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The Latest Recalls, Investigations, and Other Automotive Faux Pas

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On: Wed, May 15, 2013 at 2:35PM | By: Teddy Field

The Latest Recalls, Investigations, and Other Automotive Faux Pas

When humans and machines assemble thousands of individual parts, and the resulting product is expected to survive extreme use/abuse by... humans, something is bound to go wrong every now and then. So here's a roundup of all the latest automotive oops-a-daisies and bad ideas.

Recall: 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee/2006-2010 Jeep Commander
Chrysler is recalling a total of 469,000 (295k were sold in the U.S.) of their top-shelf SUVs, due to a transfer case malfunction that could cause the truck to shift itself into neutral and roll away. It seems that the control module, which controls the transfer case, can incorrectly interpret the shifter position during the ignition sequence. If that happens, the computer can shift the transfer case into neutral, potentially causing the truck to roll away.

Chrysler will begin notifying owners in June, and their local Jeep dealer will be happy to reprogram the final drive controller free of charge.

Investigation: 2008 Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty
According to reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening an investigation on 340,000 2008 Ford Super Duty, over concerns of total steering failure. The Detroit News says that NHTSA has received five complaints alleging failure of the truck's steering gears. Two crashes and one roll-away have been attributed to the problem so far.

Investigation: 2005-2007 Chevrolet Corvette/Z06
So far, NHTSA has received 30 complaints from Vette owners alleging intermittent loss of headlamp functionality. Owners have reported total to temporary loss of both low beam headlights. And NHTSA has warned that “the loss of illumination impairs the driver's ability to see the roadway.” No s#&%?

Faux Pas: Trans Am Depot creates yet another Franken-Bird
Ever since GM launched the 2010 Camaro, SEMA has been littered with companies offering to turn your 5th generation Camaro into a FireChicken. Most of these aftermarket kits stay true to the Camaro's 1st generation shape, offering 1st-gen Firebird/Trans Am styling cues. But Trans Am Depot's latest attempt to reincarnate Pontiac's famous Mustang killer is... a bit confused.

Called the 2013 Hurst Edition Trans Am, this heavily modified Chevy has been festooned with front & rear fascias that were designed to look like they came from a 2nd generation T/A. As in, the car Burt Reynolds immortalized in Smokey & The Bandit.

The butchery continues with down-turned quad exhausts, gold-detailed 20” honeycomb wheels, and T-Tops (yes, T-Tops). The effect is eye-catching to say the least. But as a former 2nd-gen T/A owner the car looks like one of those old Volkswagens with the Rolls Royce grille. And with a sticker price of $30k plus the donor car, you could buy a 5th-gen Camaro SS, along with a mint 2nd generation Trans Am Y82 (aka Smokey & The Bandit Edition) with 'real' Hurst T-Tops.

Or, you could just get one of those old BugRoyces and some hair plugs.

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