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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Recalls

GM Recalls Over 200,000 Crossovers

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 1:35PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Recalls Over 200,000 Crossovers test 1-1

 The latest company to hop on the automotive recall band wagon is General Motors.  The company announced today that it is recalling 243,000 crossovers including the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Arcadia, and Saturn Outlook, for a problem that interferes with the latch mechanism of the safety belts in the rear seats.

The recall involves 2009 and 2010 model years and most of the vehicles were sold in the United States.  Several thousand exported vehicles were recalled in Canada, Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

According to a recent statement by a GM spokesperson, the seat belts will be checked “for damage that in rare cases could make an occupant think the belt is properly latched when it isn’t.”  The seatbelts that are affected are in the 2nd row of vehicles designed with three rows of seats, occurring when the seats are returned to an upright position after being folded down.

Jeff Boyer, GM executive director of safety commented; “Because of the potential for a false-latch condition, we want customers to return their vehicles to have the recall repair performed as soon as possible.”

Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue test 1-1

In a recall notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website yesterday, Honda announced that it will be recalling 384,220 vehicles in the United States due to possible ignition interlock failure. What could be termed "unintended rolling," can result if the interlock system fails. The new recall brings the total number of Honda vehicles recalled for similar issues since 2003 up to 1.4 million. The latest recall relates to different specific parts of the ignition than past recalls, however.

End Is In Sight: Toyota 80 Percent Finished With Acceleration Recalls

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

End Is In Sight: Toyota 80 Percent Finished With Acceleration Recalls test 1-1

In the 2010 automotive landscape, the words "Toyota" and "recall" have taken on a near synonymous relationship that the Japanese automaker undoubtedly can't wait to shed. According to a company executive, Toyota is nearly ready to start fresh. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting warmer and brighter, and Toyota is more than 3/4 of the way toward finishing its unintended acceleration recalls.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's chief quality officer in the United States, recently announced that Toyota has repaired 80 percent of the vehicles involved in its 2009-2010 unintended acceleration recalls. By his reckoning, that puts it ahead of the average in terms of the percentage of cars repaired under a given recall. The automaker is focusing its attention on following up with the remaining 20 percent to ensure that all vehicles are safe to drive.

Toyota's acceleration issues began last September when it announced a recall involving 3.8 million U.S. vehicles. This initial recall was for floor mats that Toyota cited as the cause of unintended acceleration. Less than four months later, Toyota announced another major recall affecting 2.3 million U.S. vehicles, also for unintended acceleration. However, floor mats were no longer to blame, and the second recall related to a sticking accelerator pedal. In all, Toyota has recalled over 11 million vehicles worldwide in the past year.

During its recall crisis, Toyota has come under scrutiny from every angle—from U.S. government investigations to media reports to lawsuits and independent analysis. In April, after an extensive investigation, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration fined Toyota $16.4 million—the maximum that it's allowed to issue under law—for its delayed actions in the recalls. The NHTSA's investigation remains ongoing.

VW Passat is Under Investigation Again for Engine Compartment Fires

On: Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 10:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 VW Passat is Under Investigation Again for Engine Compartment Fires test 1-1

In recent automotive news, Volkswagen is under investigation again (for the second time in the past 3 years) as a result of multiple reports of engines that actually caught fire secondary to ignition-coil failures in 2002 through 2003 Passat models. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a new preliminary investigation has been opened by federal regulators in order to find any evidence that a formal investigation is indicated.

There are 16 reports by Passat owners stating that the vehicle hesitated or lost power when the ignition coil (which had been replaced more than once) failed, and the NHTSA reports that there may be as many as 199,000 total vehicles involved.  

One complaint stated: “While driving approximately 45 MPH, the vehicle began shaking violently and shut down in the middle of an intersection. The vehicle then skidded into an intersection and almost struck a child,” referring to a 2002 VW Passat.

“We take all of these investigations seriously, and we're working with NHTSA on this matter,” company spokesman Kerry Christopher said.

In the past an investigation of 2007-2008 Passat was conducted by federal regulators after owners lodged complaints about 78 crashes that may have been linked to the engine coil failures, over 400,000 Passats were recalled, and the investigation was closed after finding a damaged underbody heat shield that “may contact the exhaust system which can result in a vehicle fire.”  Other possible issues that were identified were leaky fuel lines or fuel tank ventilation valves that had the potential to cause fires.


Recall Woes: Toyota Steering Issue

On: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:34AM | By: John Welch

2003 Toyota Avalon test 2

The new Toyota Avalon is sort of cool. Considering its front-drive, luxo-barge nature, I'm surprised to hear myself say such a thing. Or 'type' of thing as the case may be. The Avalon is equipped with a stout V6, LED lighting, and the most engaging "MadMen60'sPopCulturePanAmStewardessDrivingIsAsEasyAsFlying" ad campaign. I'm becoming afraid that I may like the Avalon solely because of the 60s air-travel themed marketing. Seriously, these commercials are very well done.

Too bad the older Avalon models have quality concerns, specifically a steering issue involving much more then crappy electronic power steering programming. Toyota will add 373,000 Avalon sedans, model years 2000 through 2004 to its growing list of recalled vehicles. According to a statement released by Toyota, the steering lock bar in these vehicles could break under certain conditions. How hard are blue-hairs driving these cars exactly? Of all the things that fall apart on cars; I don't think I have ever heard of a steering lock bar malfunctioning. Which is to say, NO ONE has reported any sort of injury because of this issue. After how poorly we Americans handled the issue of unintended acceleration (to be clear: 80% of those cases boiled down to some yokel mashing the gas pedal instead of the brake. Toyota can't make you pay attention while driving, Dummies, and shouldn't be blamed for injuries or deaths it did NOT cause . . .) Toyota is learning from its mistakes and nipping this issue in the bud . . .  instead of covering it up for six years (lookin' at you, Inaba!)

You didn't think I would crack on the American public without jabbing Toyota a little bit, did you? As of 10:28 a.m. EST there is no offcial NHTSA release regarding this issue; The 'Shopper will post it and recalls involving Volvo, Subaru, BMW, and Nissan when the actual Avalon report is released . . .

Toyota Complaints Drop Drastically

On: Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 9:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Complaints Drop Drastically  test 1-1

It's been a long time in the making, but there is some good news for Toyota, if only in the short term. According to Reuters, complaints about unintended acceleration have dropped significantly, as media focus has shifted away from Toyota's safety problems. The drop in complaints and media scrutiny should help Toyota rebound and earn back consumer trust and respect after an embarrassing year of major safety recalls, bad press, and fines for inaction.

Beginning in September of 2009, Toyota announced a string of major recalls that affected an eventual 10 million vehicles in total. Two major recalls were made due to unintended acceleration problems. Floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals were cited as the causes of the unintended acceleration, but the media questioned whether there wasn't a greater issue with the electronic throttle-control system.

So far, both Toyota and NHTSA testing has failed to reveal any problems outside of the floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals. The NHTSA is still involved in a thorough review of the recalls and it's likely to be months before it wraps up its investigation and present its findings. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that initial findings by the NHTSA have indicated that a percentage of unintended acceleration complaints were due to driver error and were not caused by vehicle deficincies.

Toyota May Not Be Entirely At Fault in Unintended Acceleration

On: Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 9:50AM | By: Chris Weiss

2011 Toyota Avalon  test 2

The United States Department of Transportation has been rigorously analyzing paperwork and equipment relating to Toyota's unintended accleration problems, issues that have caused the recall of more than eight million vehicles, beginning last year. While the National Highway Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) has already slapped Toyota with a $16.4 million fine, and may still add more fines to that total, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that the agency is finding that Toyota is not the only party to blame in the acceleration woes. In at least a portion of the complaints, driver error has been found to be the cause of the issue.

In an intensive analysis of dozens of vehicle data recorders taken from Toyota models involved in sudden acceleration incidents, the NHTSA has found that many of them recorded the throttle being fully open and the brakes being disengaged at the time of crashing. This shows that the drivers involved were punching the accelerator, but not stepping on the brakes at all.

The problem of sudden acceleration, which has been linked to both floor mats and defective, sticking accelerator pedals in individual recalls, has been that cars reportedly accelerated even when the brakes were pressed. However, in these newly uncovered incidents, it would appear that the drivers mistakenly hit the accelerator rather than the brakes.

Driver error has also been cited as the cause of some high profile acceleration incidents, including one in New York and one in the San Diego area.

Subaru Recall Blues

On: Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 2:03PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Subaru Recall Blues test 1-1

Auto manufacturers have been issuing more and more recalls over the past few years. The regularity of recall notices may be a sign that a specific vehicle may have some issues with safety or reliablilty. Subaru has certainly had more recalls for the 2010 year model than in the past.

The latest in recalls for Subaru is the Outback and Legacy models, being recalled due to faulty wiring behind the steering wheel; the wires were found to be at risk of cracking and breaking, which could interfere with the normal functioning of the steering wheel. If this happens, some vehicle functions with controls on the steering wheel—such as the horn, cruise and radio controls, paddle shifters, and even the driver's airbag, including problems with deployment of the air bag—could fail.

Approximately 74,000 Outback and Legacy models are thought to be affected by the faulty steering wheel wiring issue, models that were assembled between February 16, 2009 and April 12, 2010. Consumers who own one of the affected vehicles are asked to contact their local Subaru dealer; they will then be checked to see if they have the faulty steering roll connector; all Subaru Legacy and Outback models found to have the problem will be fixed at no cost. For more details on this latest recall contact NHTSA on 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or visit Safecar.gov

Chrysler Recalls 2010 Dodge Ram 1500, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Nitro

On: Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:45AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chrysler Recalls 2010 Dodge Ram 1500, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Nitro test 1-1

Chrysler is the most recent player in the game of automotive recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Chrysler will be recalling some models of the 2010 Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro, and 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup.

Chrysler announced the numbers are 22,300 trucks and SUVs that have a potential braking problem.

According to the official NHTSA bulletin, those vehicles were built with a defective part that could cause a loss of braking ability that could result in potential accidents.

The fault lies in the end flare that sits between the master cylinder and the hydraulic control unit brake tube assembly. In certain affected models, the improperly formed part could allow brake fluid to drain out of the system, which could lead to a loss of braking capacity, putting the affected automobile at risk for a potential collision. 

The NHTSA bulletin does not indicate the number of vehicles affected, nor does it list production dates, so anyone who has a 2010 model should assume that their vehicle may be included in the recall.

Toyota Will Recall Lexus in Japan

On: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 9:32AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Crown Hybrid Concept test 2

Toyota Motor Corp. recently announced that it would recall 270,000 Lexus and Crown vehicles worldwide in order to repair valve springs, an important engine part that when not working properly could cause an engine to stall during motion (or just grenade itself completely-JD).  Toyota will start its recall in Tokyo, then extend the recall to the U.S., Canada, and other countries.

Toyota stated that there have been no injuries or accidents that have resulted from the problem.

The quality problem affecting Toyota’s top-of-the-line Lexus, comes as Toyota struggles to move on from massive global recalls that started in October. The recall is one of a string of recalls involving faulty mechanics in Toyota cars in the past 18 months—everything from stability control problems to faulty gas pedals, and more; it seems the list is never ending.

Just last week, 17,000 Lexus hybrid models were recalled for fuel that could potentially spill during a rear end crash.

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: John Welch

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues test 1-1

It is a pointless car, the HS. A more expensive, tarted-up Prius that is slower than a Prius, and just as miniscule? Not an easy sell I would think. At least the interior is fancy. My opinions aside, the HS really hasn't been all that difficult to sell, and Lexus has done a good job of it in the few months it has been on the market. Whether you appreciate this tiny luxury yacht for what it is—a smaller ES that is as well furnished as a car this size could possibly be—or not, you can't ignore one design detail that matters to everyone, the integrity of the fuel lines. The HS has an issue that involves fuel lines leaking after hard collisions. This fuel could make its way to hot exhaust or engine parts, causing a fire. Not good.

The HS may be a fine auto, may serve its purpose well for its owners, but it just can't have leaking fuel lines. The entire NHTSA post inside . . . this . . . post . . ..