Recalls/TSBs auto news

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What you missed on 8.5.2014

08/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Government/Legal, Recalls/TSBs, Cadillac

Daily U-Turn

Autoblog readers share unpopular opinions

Last week Autoblog editors went on record with some of our most unpopular opinions about cars and driving. In response our never-shy readership presented an awful lot of interesting and controversial opinions of their own. Here, we choose some of the reader responses we found most compelling (some downright strange) to feature and respond to. Click through to see what's it's like when the inmates run the asylum.

First Drive: 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Cadillac's sport-sedan ATS was hailed as a legitimate contender for the BMW 3 Series throne, so removing two doors and sharpening the styling should only help it's case, right? You've heard the one about the book and it's cover... We get behind the wheel of the new Caddy two-door; finding a lot to love and a little bit to gripe about in the process.

Life sentences for execs that delay recalls?

Senator Claire McCaskill has introduced legislation that would drastically increase NHTSA's budget, remove a maximum limit on fines for automakers and punish executives at car companies if they knowingly delayed recalling cars. When we say punish, we mean punish; McCaskill's proposed law would see penalties as high as life imprisonment for execs, where recall violations resulted in death.

Top Stories

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NHTSA says GM recall website isn't completely accurate

08/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Tech, GM

General Motors-Recall

As of this writing, General Motors has issued 60 recalls in 2014 covering about 25.5-million vehicles in the Unites States. That's a lot of drivers left wondering if their model in need of repair. GM is actually already complying with the request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make these campaigns searchable by a model's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) online. However, the feds reportedly don't like the way that the company has set up its website. NHTSA is requesting changes to The General's page because some cars could fall through the cracks without owners even knowing it.

While GM's site allows owners to search for recalls based on VINs, it only displayed a campaign for a vehicle if the parts were actually available to perform the repair, according to The Detroit News. If the components aren't ready yet, then the model isn't listed. That could obviously have given drivers a false sense of security about their car. NHTSA has asked the automaker to update the website to make it more accurate and to display the info whether or not the fix had been done.

GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that the company first learned about the problem on Friday, August 1. "Basically, the VIN lookup wasn't giving up accurate information," he said. The automaker worked over the weekend to fix things, and Adler says that the majority of the updates are now complete, but GM still has a few more to do. He expects the changes to be finished soon.

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Harley-Davidson joins GM, FCA in ignition-switch recall

08/04/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Motorcycles

2014 Harley-Davidson FXDL Dyna Lowrider

We've seen a rash of ignition switch recalls this year, especially from General Motors, but also from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Harley-Davidson is joining their ranks with a new repair campaign on some of its bikes, but for a somewhat different reason: some examples of one model might be vibrating too much.

According to Harley's recall filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem affects 3,361 units of the 2014.5 FXDL Dyna Low Rider built from January 6, 2014, through June 19, 2014. The report states that "certain optional performance electronic control module calibrations" may cause enough engine vibrations to move the ignition switch from the "IGN" on position to the "ACC" position where only the accessories work. This movement would shut off the engine.

The full defect notice goes into more detail explaining that the engine mount bracket on these models has a resonant frequency that happens around 5,800 rpm. At this point, it begins vibrating the ignition switch and can cause it to change position. The stock bikes only allow engine speeds up to 5,600 rpm, according to the report, but the company offers an option to increase the limit further.

To fix the problem, Harley is replacing the "engine mount bracket assembly and ignition switch knob," on all models, even those that still have the 5,600-rpm limiter in place, according to the notice. Scroll down to read the recall announcement or check out the full defect notice in PDF format, here.

Continue reading Harley-Davidson joins GM, FCA in ignition-switch recall

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Hyundai recalls over 419k vehicles in three campaigns

08/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, SUVs, Recalls/TSBs, Crossovers/CUVs, Hyundai

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai VeracruzGeneral Motors is the undisputed king of recalls for 2014. No one is going to contest this point. The American company is far from the only one with vehicles that need fixing, though, as Hyundai has announced another recall totaling 419,000 vehicles in three separate campaigns.

The majority of the vehicles affected come from the Santa Fe family, where 225,000 of the model year 2001 to 2006 CUVs will need their front springs replaced. It seems that the early Santa Fe's coils can rust and crack when subjected to frosty temperatures and the road salt that so often accompanies them. Should they fracture, it's possible that a crash would be the end result.

As this is an issue linked to road salt, only Santa Fes sold in 20 states - from Maine to Iowa and Wisconsin to West Virginia - are affected. Vehicles sold in Washington, D.C. are also covered in the recall.

Meanwhile, the Sonata sedan is getting dinged with another recall, the nameplate's third in less than three weeks. This time, the 2011 model is at fault, with 133,075 vehicles that could be leaking brake fluid, thanks to a bad seal between brake hose and the brake-line fitting.

Finally, the Veracruz is facing a recall, with 61,122 of the SUVs suffering from potential alternator failure. This issue is caused by a bad valve cover gasket in the front cylinder bank, which could cause oil to leak on the alternator causing the vehicle to stall or refuse to start.

None of these issues have lead to any crashes or injuries, although the Santa Fe's spring issue has resulted in 1,200 warranty claims and 90 cases of the spring contacting the tire, according to the Associated Press. As is usually the case, repairs on each vehicle will be conducted free of charge, while Hyundai plans to have notified owners of all affected cars and SUVs by the end of September.

Scroll down for the trio of bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Honda asking used-car buyers to sign liability document [w/poll]

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Government/Legal, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Honda

AUTO SALES OUTLOOK

New cars under recall must be repaired before a dealer can sell them but used cars are under no such mandate.

When it comes to informing the car-buying public about potential safety hazards on used vehicles, there are two emerging schools of thought among used-car dealers.

In one camp: those who disclose as little as possible. Used-car giant CarMax leaves it to customers to check to see whether a car is under recall. Consumer groups filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission last month, because they believe the lack of information amounts to deceptive advertising.

In the other: Honda, which has gone in the opposite direction. The company recently started disclosing possible recalls related to airbag malfunctions in certain vehicles. Honda is asking customers buying those used cars to sign a document that acknowledges they've been made aware of the issue. Buyers may be better informed, but such a signature could also shift liability away from the automaker.

It's a vexing issue on several fronts.

New cars under recall must be repaired before a dealer can sell them, under rules imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But used-car sellers are under no such mandate. Honda's disclosure helps consumers understand their new purchase may contain a potentially lethal defect, but some are worried that it could frighten customers away or expose dealerships to greater liability.

Continue reading Honda asking used-car buyers to sign liability document [w/poll]

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Fiat recalls nearly 30,000 Fiat 500L models

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Hatchbacks, Chrysler, FIAT

2014 Fiat 500L

Fiat has announced a recall of 29,500 Fiat 500L hatchbacks in the US and Canadian markets due to concerns that the roomiest member of the Fiat range features knee airbags that won't deploy unless the occupant's seatbelt is fastened.

There have been no injuries reported due to this issue, which affects vehicles from model years 2014 and 2015. Of the nearly 30,000 vehicles covered in this recall, 25,500 come from the US market, while the remaining 4,000 are from Canada. It's not clear what the underlying cause of this issue is.

Fiat knows of no injuries relating to this problem. As per usual, owners will be notified and asked to report in for a free repair.

Scroll down for a brief statement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Continue reading Fiat recalls nearly 30,000 Fiat 500L models

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Suzuki calls in 26,000 Daewoo-built Veronas for overheating lights

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Suzuki

Suzuki Recall

Suzuki is recalling yet another Daewoo-built model due to possible problems with the daytime running light module in the instrument panel. This time it covers about 25,899 units of the Suzuki Verona from the 2004 through 2006 model years that need fixing. Like the repair campaign of the Forenza and Reno in May, it's possible for the part to overheat, melt and potentially cause a fire.

According to the Chronology of Principal Events section in the defect notice submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this recall was actually a direct result of the Forenza/Reno campaign. After finding the problem in those vehicles, General Motors Korea started investigating for more affected models and discovered that the Verona was also at risk. However, the report says that no cases of melting or fires have been found in the Verona.

Obviously, Suzuki will be notifying affected owners and will replace the DRL module free of charge. Scroll down to read the recall request or check out the full defect notice in PDF format, here.

Continue reading Suzuki calls in 26,000 Daewoo-built Veronas for overheating lights

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Hyundai recalls 883k Sonatas over detaching shift cable

07/30/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Recalls/TSBs, Hyundai

2013 Hyundai Sonata

There are plenty of things that can go wrong in a car, some more vital than others. Automakers try their best to make sure they don't, but things slip through, like the shift cables on the Hyundai Sonata.

Hyundai and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have found that, on 883,000 units of the MY2011-2014 Sonata manufactured between December 11, 2009, and May 29, 2014, the shift cable in the transmission is prone to detach from the shift lever. As a result, the gear indicated and the gear engaged might not match, which could set the vehicle in motion unexpectedly. Worse than that, the Park position might not engage altogether, and without the hand brake pulled, that could lead the car to roll away without warning.

In an entirely separate recall affecting a much smaller number of 2015 Sonatas, Hyundai has found that the front brake calipers could fracture. This second recall affects a relatively small 5,650 units manufactured between April 25 and June 16, 2014.

In both cases, Hyundai is instructing owners to bring in their vehicles to have the parts repaired (in the case of the shift cables) or replaced (in the case of the brake calipers), but in the latter instance, it's also warning owners not to drive their cars until the issue is addressed. Find details of both recalls in the notices below.

Continue reading Hyundai recalls 883k Sonatas over detaching shift cable

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Nissan recalls 226k vehicles over airbag inflators

07/30/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, SUVs, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Crossovers/CUVs, Infiniti, Nissan, Luxury

2002 Nissan Maxima

Nissan and Infiniti are the latest automakers to issue recalls involving faulty airbag inflators from Takata. The Japanese automakers have announced campaigns covering about 226,326 units from seven models built in the early 2000s because they contain the bad part in the passenger-side, front airbag. The affected vehicles include the 2002-2004 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2003 Pathfinder and 2002-2003 Maxima, and it also covers the 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, 2002-2003 I35, 2003 FX45 and 2003 FX35.

Like the other vehicles with the faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture during airbag deployment and spray metal shrapnel at occupants. Nissan and Infiniti have even included vehicles with replacement airbags in this campaign because those parts also could have been defective. Both companies were also part of the earlier regional campaign to fix cars in high-humidity climates where the problem has been found to be the worst.

As is the usual response, Nissan and Infiniti will notify owners of the affected vehicles and will make the repair at no charge. According to the filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these fixes will commence around August 11. Scroll down to read the report from NHTSA, or read the full defect notice as a PDF, here.

Continue reading Nissan recalls 226k vehicles over airbag inflators

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Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators

07/25/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Mazda

Mazda RX-8 badge

Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.

As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda's defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: "some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits)."

This isn't Mazda's first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.

Repairs of the Mazda6 and RX-8 are scheduled to start in August, and obviously there's no charge to owners. Scroll down to read the recall announcement, or read the complete defect notice as a PDF, here.

Continue reading Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators

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