GM issues recall for windshield wiper motor fire risk [Video]

In a press statement, General Motors recently announced a new recall for more than 30,000 of its SUVs across North America. Owners of these vehicles could, in extreme cases, be at risk of fire.

Although the manufacturer noted that the fire risk is only present in “some cases,” the windshield wiper motor could overheat to the point that it causes the motor cover to catch fire. The recall effort officially began on September 30, a day after the report receipt date.

Makes and models associated with this recall include the 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Arcadia, all produced within a range of a few weeks this year between August and September. To remedy the situation, GM states that dealers will replace the wiper motor cover assembly on the front of the affected vehicles.

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Power-Window Issue Leads to Toyota Recall

Tokyo, Japan — October, 29 2015 — More than 6 million vehicles are part of a new worldwide Toyota recall over faulty power window switches. According to the Wall Street Journal, North America will see closer to 2.7 million vehicles recalled, as the manufacturer addresses cars produced over a five year period, beginning in January 2005. No serious fatalities and one minor injury has been attributed to these conditions, though there have been more than 11 cases documented in which fires affected the vehicles.

In affected vehicles, fires could break out because of too-little grease on driver’s side windows. Components inside the car could melt, leaving drivers and passengers both at risk. Over time, the electrics can wear down and spark a fire, destroying or damaging sections of the auto, like the switch assembly. Vehicle models involved in this recall include RAV4s, Corollas and Camrys. In addition to these numbers, more than 1 million cars will recalled in Europe.

The company has acknowledged that the fault could lead to a potential fire in target vehicles, and is not related to the Takata recalls that have affected millions of Toyota vehicles. The supplier in this case is Tokai Rika Co., a representative of which defended the car company’s actions.

“We have been taking various measures to prevent problems from recurring,” this person said, as the Wall Street Journal notes. “But the recalled vehicles carry older components.”

USA Today notes that Toyota has issued a similar recall in the past, centering around 150,000 vehicles from between 2007 and 2009. The company will administer a free remedy in response to the recall.

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Even More Vehicles Added in GM Takata Airbag Recall

Warren, MI — October, 28 2015 — The influence of the Takata airbag recall continues to grow, as General Motors takes action against more defective airbag systems in some of its vehicles. As the Part 573 Safety Recall Report notes, the seat-mounted side impact airbag modules in the front of several 2015 brands could contain the kind of exploding inflators seen in other units. The airbag could also simply not inflate at all when needed.

Although the specific cause behind this fault is not known, a side airbag inflator failed a Takata Lot Acceptance Test earlier this month, with both that company and GM taking action to look into this issue. Potentially affected vehicles include the Chevrolet Camaro, Equinox and Malibu, as well as the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS and GMC Terrain, all with the model year 2015. A total of 395 vehicles are considered potentially at risk.

The manufacturer plans to replace the inflators and also use those replaced units for “further investigation.” Customers are expected to receive letters about this issue starting October 20, with the Campaign Initiation Detail Report available soon. Dealers should have already received notification, as the original dates ranged from October 16 to 19.

“In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of one or both of the side impact air bags, the inflator(s) could rupture with inflator components striking the vehicle occupants, potentially resulting in serious injury or death,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says in a letter about the subject. The new replacement modules will feature inflators that are not currently under suspicion.

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New ignition switch problem leads to GM recall [Video]

A new GM recall concerns ignition switch problems in some Chevrolet Silverado and Suburban vehicles, as well as GMC Sierras and Tahoe SUVs. Fortunately, the problem appears to have been detected early on, with only five accidental shutoffs attributed to it and just over 3,000 autos recalled. In affected vehicles, the cars can get stuck in the ignition when interior temperatures are high.

The lock cylinder in these cars could accidentally be shifted into “accessory” mode, making the truck less safe to drive and leaving it more defenseless during crashes. There have been no injuries reported yet connected to these issues, and is supposedly unrelated to a previous GM ignition switch recall.

The remedy for this issue involves changing out the housing around the ignition area.

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Kia Motors America Recalls Vehicles that Shift Unexpectedly

Irvine, CA — October 27, 2015 — A breakable gear shift lever in some hundreds of thousands of Kia Sorento units has prompted attention from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report posted by this source, more than 377,000 of these light vehicles could shift unintentionally during use if excessive force was applied to the shifting lever.

Normally, these vehicles can only be shifted out of park mode if the service brake pedal is pressed. Though the discovery of this problem dates back to this August, the concerned vehicles were manufactured as far back as 2009, with model years ranging between 2011 and 2013. These voluntary Kia recalls come after three claims of related injuries and more than 50 warranty claims.

The planned dealer notification date is scheduled for November 18, with owners informed some time between November 24 and December 1. The same recall report explains the actions that the manufacturer will take and that dealers will be expected to.

“Kia will instruct dealers to replace the brake-shift interlock mechanism with a new one,” it reads. The statement further explains what this means, adding that “the recalled brake-shift interlock mechanism is comprised of a shift lever and an interlock hook, along with associated fasteners. The remedy replaces these parts with improved parts.”

This is a possible threat to drivers and passengers because the vehicles could accidentally move once they have been shifted. The initial case noting this defect concerned a father whose son received a fractured leg while trying to stop the vehicle from rolling in a parking lot.

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Toyota Recalls Hundreds of 2016 Tacomas

San Antonio, TX — October 26, 2015 — In a new voluntary recall action, Toyota will address airbag bolt problems in more than 300 2016 Tacoma vehicles. On October 13, the same day in which it announced that the truck had been honored by the Texas Auto Writers Association, the company released a statement detailing the issue, which involves faulty bolts used to hold a knee air bag module in place within the vehicle.

As part of a more comprehensive injury reduction technique during a crash, knee airbags are meant to spread out the cushioning and protect drivers. Their use stems from increased government interest, including the New Car Assessment Program, as reported by Edmunds.

Another manufacturer employing knee air bags in new vehicles is Ford, which has incorporated them into the passenger side of its 2015 Mustang. In contrast, driver-side knee air bags inflate under the steering apparatus.

The manufacturer explained the problems associated with the recall-worthy issue and tied the problem to operations at a specific factory. To remedy this issue, dealers will replace all four of the module’s bolts in affected vehicles at a yet-undisclosed date.

“There is a possibility that incorrect bolts were installed during vehicle assembly at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California plant,” the statement reads. “This could result in the bolts loosening over time. A loosened bolt could affect the performance of the knee air bag, increasing the risk of injury during a crash.”

Last September, Toyota also issued a recall for Tacoma vehicles, albeit one that applied to 690,000 units associated with a fragile rear suspension leaf spring system.

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Mazda Recall to Begin this Month

Washington, DC — October, 14 2015 —  Late last month, a Mazda dealer email announced a pending recall for Mazda3 vehicles with the model years of 2015 and 2016. According to this notice, vehicles built between May 21 and August 24 of this year are at risk of a fuel shutoff failure that could potentially cause fire hazard in cases of overflow. That recall is currently being conducted.

This action, overseen by Mazda North American Operations, specifically concerns 14,406 potentially affected units, with the manufacturer offering rental vehicles to owners who need them while repairs are being administered. If needed, dealers can replace the fuel shutoff valve to correct the situation. Since the fuel problem can lead to multiple related issues, including engine stalling, replacing the charcoal filter canister could make operating affected Mazda 3’s safer.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) document for dealers describes the steps needed to test fuel tanks in vehicles under inspection for this flaw.

“Using a special tool to pressurize the fuel tank, test to determine if the shut-off valve is properly sealed,” the document reads. “The special tool is currently being produced and will be sent to dealers in mid-October. It requires a nitrogen gas bottle in order to perform the test.”

As they wait for the tool to arrive, dealers are instructed to prevent drivers from using vehicles that may be defective and to coordinate proper reimbursement and rental with customers. In addition to the tools necessary for testing, dealers will also have access to replacement fuel tanks sometime later this month.

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Takata Recall Expands

Washington, D.C. — October 15, 2015 —At this point, many are aware of the severity of the Takata airbag inflator recalls, which encompass 11 different car companies. That number could expand to 18 after recent actions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to the Wall Street Journal, this organization addressed letters to several manufacturers not currently part of the recall, implying that the current scope could increase.

The letters were sent to seven different companies in total. Some of them, like Tesla and Mercedez-Benz, have denied using air bag parts under recall. The BBC reports that while 23.4 million inflators have been recalled in the United States, only around 4.4 million have actually been replaced so far.

Among the other manufacturers the NHTSA has addressed is Volkswagen, which is also currently preparing to recall vehicles with diesel engines this coming January. In addition, a Volkswagen Tiguan vehicle was also involved with a SSI-20 inflator rupture this June, already sparking NHTSA attention even though the manufacturer did not believe it to be related to the Takata recalls. Volvo Trucks, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Spartan Motors Inc. and Jaguar-Land Rover also received letters from the NHTSA regarding possible inclusion in the recall.

Explosions from faulty inflators have been linked to multiple deaths since the recalls began, and more than 19 million vehicles have been part of the recalls to date. An NHTSA release from May said that the ruptures stem from the fact that “these inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time.” A public meeting on the Takata recall is scheduled for October 22, held by the administration.

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Road Salt Worries Nissan Recalls

Franklin, TN — October 20, 2015 — Suspension issues in certain Nissan vehicles may be even worse with the rise of cold weather. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) posted documents concerning a new Nissan recall.

According to these files, more than 218,000 Nissan Versas sold in 22 different states could have defective front coil springs. What makes this issue especially concerning is the way road salt could potentially make the faulty springs more likely to crack, possibly due to a lack of protective coating.

The model years for affected vehicles range from 2007 to 2012, and mostly concern states on the east coast and Midwest, including New York, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin. The recall action follows discussions in August between the car manufacturer and the NHTSA about the seriousness of the issue.

Although the Part 573 Safety Report describes spring breakage as “rare,” it does describe the ways road salt could aggravate the already fragile springs. Prolonged exposure to road salt could leave the springs at a greater risk of fracturing, posing serious risks for drivers.

“If this condition is ignored, in extreme cases, the broken front coil spring may damage the front tire while driving, which may increase the risk of a crash if the driver is unable to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop,” the report states.

The supplier responsible for the spring has supposedly corrected the process to prevent further issues. Dealerships will have access to replacement parts starting in November, and are asked to replace the front coil springs using instructions in the Electronic Service Manual. The remedy also involves realigning the front wheels.

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Fiat Chrysler Defends Recall Rate

Detroit, MI — October 19, 2015 — Issuing recalls within the right time span is vital for auto companies, as the case of Fiat Chrysler shows.

According to the Associated Press, the manufacturer has been responding to questions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although Fiat Chrysler has been slow to issue recall statements and warn customers for numerous issues, it cited its overall 75 percent recall completion rate for a year and a half after being initiated.

Though the company has been slow to answer five separate recalls, it will come before the NHTSA this July to answer for 20.

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Recall MastersFiat Chrysler Defends Recall Rate