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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Recalls

Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again test 1-1

After a two and a half month hiatus and an investigation leading to recall, the worldwide Ferrari 458 fire-fest is back on. A 458 recently caught fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, casting some question on the efficacy of Ferrari's 458 recall.

In early September, Ferrari concluded an investigation into a rash of 458 fires that had plagued the new model since shortly after it became available. At that time, there were four highly publicized 458 fires in just a few short months, each occurring in a different country. The fires had occurred in Switzerland, California, Paris and China. Maranello concluded that the fires were a result of the adhesive used on the rear wheel arches. At extreme speeds and temperatures, the adhesive would heat up, melt and potentially catch fire.

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 4:10PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed test 1-1

Toyota Motor Co. has requested that the judge in a California class-action lawsuit drop the charges of alleged defective parts causing unintended acceleration on the grounds that no electronic throttle defects have ever been identified. Toyota states that while claims have been made on behalf of all Toyota owners with electronic throttle control systems, “only a tiny fraction of the vehicles in question” have accelerated out of control.

Out of thousands of mechanical/technical examinations of Toyota vehicles that allegedly sped out of control, Toyota Motor Co. engineers and federal regulators have been unable to find any evidence of electronic defects that could possibly be the cause of unintended acceleration.

Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW

On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:34AM | By: John Welch

Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW test 1-1

Direct Injection isn't that "new" in terms of physical age, but then neither are dual clutch transmissions, traction control, underbody aerodynamics, or fully electric cars. These things have been in use for decades, but have made it to the civilian market only in the last decade. Direct Injection is especially new and untested, as BMW's latest voluntary recall can attest.

Direct Injection requires some pretty stout ancillaries to properly administer fuel in the combustion chamber. Along with injectors that could take your fingers off, an ultra high-pressure fuel pump is required to get the right amount of fuel in the right spot at the right time. This complicated technology is bound to have a few teething problems, and BMW is one of the first automakers to experience sore gums.

The high-pressure fuel pump installed in cars that feature the N54 twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine is apparently prone to failure. A long, agonizingly grinding engine start could be followed by a "Service Engine Soon" dash marker, and reduced engine performance. BMW plans to access each affected car, and then replace the fuel pump or reflash the ECU, depending on the severity of the issue.

There are low-pressure fuel pump issues with some BMW models as well, though these have nothing to do with Direct Injection. On some 2008 X3 and X5 models, equipped with N52 naturally aspirated inline-6s, may experience engine stalling due to their fuel pumps. Worn fuel pump internals are the culprit; BMW plans to alert owners by mail over the course of the next month. Press releases for both issues can be found inside this post . . .

Nissan Recalls 2.14 Million Vehicles in Japan and the U.S.

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:13PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Nissan Recalls 2.14 Million Vehicles in Japan and the U.S. test 1-1

Nissan Motor Co. announced that the Japanese automaker plans to recall 2.14 million cars and light trucks, including the Pathfinder SUV and Titan pickup. This is the 3rd biggest recall for Nissan in the company’s history. The problem is with a faulty ignition relay that could potentially cause problems in the engine.

There are 835,000 units being recalled in Japan and 762,000 in the U.S. and Canada, according to Nissan spokesperson, Mitsuru Yonekawa. The models that were affected include 227,000 Titans, 143,000 Pathfinders, 123,000 Frontier units, 106,000 Armada vehicles, 101,000 Xterra units, and 36, 0000 Infiniti QX56 units. Japanese models included in the recall are the Cube and Micra passenger cars.


Honda Recalls the Odyssey

On: Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 1:53PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Honda Recalls the Odyssey test 1-1

Similar to Toyota Motor Company’s recent recall, Honda recalled 528,000 vehicles for problems with the brake-seal that could potentially lead to brake fluid leaks. Honda reports that there is a risk of failure of master brake cylinder seals that could cause brake fluid leaks.  The problem occurs in vehicles in the U.S., most of them are the Honda Odyssey.

Toyota Issues Recall Concerning Brake Fluid Leaks

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 12:14PM | By: John Welch

2006 Toyota Avalon test 2

Here we go again; Toyota announced today that it will recall 1.53 million vehicles that may be equipped with faulty braking systems. The recall cover models built between 2004 and 2006, and include several Lexus vehicles. The RX330, GS300, IS250, and IS350, as well as Toyota Highlander and Avalon models, are all included. Seems like I just took my Avalon in for a new steering rack . . .

Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall

On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 11:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall  test 1-1

Federal Safety regulators expect to meet the deadline set for the investigation of recalled Toyota vehicles with unintended acceleration by late fall of this year. Toyota vehicles are being examined for problems with electronic systems and throttles to find out if defects can be linked to Toyota cars that were reported to speed out of control.

According to senior safety investigator Richard Boyd: "We're working hard to get this to you." Boyd, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) defect investigations unit told the chair of a the Acadamy of Science panel,  "It will be sooner rather than later."

Tesla Recalls Electric Vehicles For Faulty Power Cables

On: Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 4:21PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Recalls Electric Vehicles For Faulty Power Cables test 1-1

Tesla Motors, makers of the all-electric Tesla Roadster, has announced that it plans to recall over 400 of its battery-powered vehicles; there may be a high risk of the power cable shorting out, which could potentially lead to a fire. The vehicles involved in the recall are the 439 Roadsters sold under the 2.0 and 2.5 model names.

The motivation for the company initiating the recall was a single report of an incident in a Tesla vehicle that experienced a problem with a 12-volt cable which rubbed against a panel, creating a short in the wire, which began smoking, eventually caught fire behind the front headlamp.

Tesla has begun the process of informing owners of the potential fire hazard in a 12-volt cable that powers auxiliary systems such as lights and turn signals. The company stated that it will send a team of service mechanics to owners’ homes and offices to check for the faulty wiring and make repairs when necessary. The repairs will involve checking the cable placement and installing a protective sleeve over the cable to prevent it from shorting out in the future, according to Tesla.

The recall is the second for Tesla on its Roadster, a $109,000 luxury car built on a Lotus platform that is powered by a battery pack composed of more than 6,800 laptop batteries. Federal safety regulators have been notified of the recall. Tesla made it clear that the defective parts do NOT involve the main battery pack or power system that propels the Roadster; Tesla will be providing battery packs for the upcoming all-electric Toyota RAV 4 that will hit the market in 2012. These safety issues are very high priority for automakers involved in the design and development of new electric power systems, companies such as Tesla, Nissan, and General Motors.

Toyota Works to Repair Its Brand Image After Recalls

On: Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 3:54PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Works to Repair Its Brand Image After Recalls  test 1-1

Toyota Motor Co. has recently tested as many as 4,000 vehicles that were involved in last year's recall, a recall concerning unintended acceleration caused by a faulty electrical system in Toyota vehicles. Toyota was unable to find any evidence of defective electronic throttle control after examination of thousands of vehicles involved in the safety recall. Steve Angelo, Toyota’s Chief Quality Officer in North America, stated: “Toyota has not found a single case in which electronics would lead to sudden unintended acceleration.” Angelo also stated: “Toyota has reviewed 4,200 individual acceleration-related complaints so far.”

Toyota has spent a lot of time and money in attempting to repair the brand image of the once world’s largest carmaker after the recall of 8 million vehicles for problems with “sticky gas pedals,” and unintended acceleration. Federal safety regulators agreed after examination of dozens of vehicles that had allegedly sped out of control for no apparent reason. After federal findings that driver error was responsible for a high percentage of the recall vehicles, the complaints of sudden acceleration have reportedly declined by 80%, according to Toyota.

Toyota has repaired approximately 5 million vehicles that were affected by the recall and implemented new safety mechanisms such as; Smart Stop Technology and enhanced event data recorders (EDR). The software for the “brake override” system which Toyota says will control 84% of new Toyota, Lexus, and Scion models sold today, was designed to shut off the accelerator if it becomes stuck, (when the brake is applied). Toyota will be the first automaker to offer the brake override system in every vehicle in its lineup.

The Japanese automaker is also working more closely with auto parts suppliers that provide parts for assembly of Toyota vehicles to ensure higher safety standards in the components that go into building new Toyota’s.

According to St. Angelo: “Toyota has made significant progress in recent months to help ensure that our customers can have complete confidence in the quality, safety and reliability of their vehicles, and our latest initiatives build on those accomplishments.” St. Angelo also said, “Our goal is to set new, even higher standards for quality assurance and customer responsiveness in both the factory and the market by continuing to put our customers first in everything that we do.”

Allstate Brings Lawsuit Against Toyota For Unintended Acceleration

On: Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 9:38AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Allstate Brings Lawsuit Against Toyota For Unintended Acceleration test 1-1

Just as it seems that the Toyota saga is over, another lawsuit is brought against the Japanese automaker, this time by Allstate Insurance Company. The lawsuit involves all of the claims paid out for past accidents that were linked to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. A total of $3 million was reportedly paid out by Allstate insurance company.

The lawsuit was filed last Friday in California Supreme Court. Some project that this is just the beginning of “a relatively new front in the wave of U.S. civil litigation piling up against the Japanese automaker for economic losses resulting from complaints about Toyotas that have sped out of control and crashed,” according to Auto News.com.

According to Chirstina Loznicka, Allstate spokeswoman: "We are expected to be one of several insurance companies that are taking this action." Allstate claims that Toyota could have taken action that would have prevented the accidents by installing brake override systems in vehicles.

The law suit that Allstate has filed against Toyota claims that the acceleration defects were caused by a problem with the electronic throttle systems in recalled Toyota vehicles and that Toyota “essentially hid the problem.”  The suit claims, "This has resulted in numerous claims of instances of property damage and injuries, including, in some instances, fatalities.”

The claims paid that Allstate attributes to Toyota vehicles total over $3 million which may be the beginning of additional suits brought by other insurance companies.

Toyota spokesperson Steven Curtis stated: "Based on reports we believe the unfounded allegations in this suit have no basis."  Toyota continues to stick to its claim that no electronic defects were found even after examination of thousands of vehicles involved in the recent recall and so far in the NHTSA investigation. Federal regulators' findings agree but the investigation of 89 deaths resulting from crashes that were linked to unintended acceleration in Toyota cars continues.

198,000 BMW's To Be Recalled For Brake Leakage

On: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:17PM | By: John Welch

BMW 7 Series test 2

A collective "D'oh!" could be heard emanating for BMW North America's headquarters this morning, as company execs read the startling news that 198,000 of their babies would have to recalled over a braking issue. Thankfully, this is BMW and not Toyota, so instead of the requisite "cover it up for six years" mentality employed by their Japanese counterparts, BMW is taking the initiative and ordering a recall before the customary NHTSA report is released. Good on ya, Bimmer, way to jump the shark or whatever . . .

The recall encompasses all BMW products built between 2002 and 2010, that feature 8- or 12-cylinder engines. Yes, overpaid hedge-fund yuppies, that means Rolls Royce as well. In the affected vehicles, it is possible for the power braking system to leak. This can result in a loss of vacuum pressure and a reduction in the amount of braking assistance the system gives the driver. When this occurs, the mechanical brakes still function and can slow and stop the car, but requires more driver effort to press the pedal. See? It isn't even that bad! There have been no reports of any injuries or deaths as a result of this issue.

BMW is setting up an inspection and repair procedure, and will distribute this info along with spare parts to its entire North American dealer network. Though affected customers will be alerted by first-class mail, anyone experiencing braking issues with their Bimmer should report the issue to an authorized BMW service center immediately.

Venture inside the post for a list of affected vehicles . . .