Nissan Recalls Vehicles for Fuel Pump Plating [Video]

Franklin, TN — March 31, 2016 — Last December, Nissan recalled more than 30,000 Nissan Rogues for transmission issues that could see the vehicle shift gears unexpectedly. A new recall for the same model concerns a totally different issue involving faulty fuel pump materials.

A safety recall report notes that some of the cars included in this recall may lose nickel fuel pump plating, putting engine functionality at risk. The vehicles involved were produced between February and June of 2014, and could suffer serious fuel pump problems if plating particles get into the wrong area.

The company decided a recall would be necessary on March 3, after processing warranty data. To fix this problem, the manufacturer will include a new component that uses a different kind of coating for the pump.

Check out our blog for more information on Nissan recalls.

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New Recall Looming for Ford F-150

Dearborn, MI — March 30, 2016 — On March 8, Equipment World reported on a government investigation that could lead to a new series of Ford recalls in the future. According to the source, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 420,000 Ford F-150s.

A document from this agency denoted four collisions traced back to a brake failure issue, with 33 complaints registered in total, 20 of which occurred within seven months. The main issue concerns brake fluid leaks within the master cylinders of these vehicles.

As of February 29, the Office of Defects Investigation had opened a preliminary evaluation. The loss of brake fluid means the drivers could find it more difficult to stop successfully during an emergency. According to this report, the complaints included a “complete loss of brake effectiveness” as well as low levels of brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. The vehicles included in this investigation make up 36 percent of the 2013 and 2014 model year F-150s sold, all of which may possibly signal the brake issue with a warning light indicator.

The Kansas City Business Journal received an email from Safety and Sustainability Communications Manager John Cangany. He affirmed the manufacturer’s commitment to working with the government as the matter develops.

“We take the safety of our customers very seriously, and we will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do,” he said.

The source also stated that Ford has until April 20 to respond to the Administration’s requests for vehicle and warranty information, or risk a multimillion dollar fine. Furthermore, the NHTSA is interested in mechanical design data that could inform their investigation, since this might give them greater insight into the way the brake systems in these vehicles worked.

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No Seat Belt Warning for Some Hyundai Santa Fe Vehicles [Video]

Fountain Valley, CA — March 29, 2016 — In most Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles, passengers get a warning chime when their seat belts aren’t buckled. However, the manufacturer has issued a new recall for models in which a faulty alarm could leave passengers at risk. This action affects approximately 34,200 vehicles produced this year.

According to an official report, vehicles with damaged wiring could fail to alert occupants to undone seat belt buckles. On the other hand, the same defect could leave the alarm on after a seat belt is buckled. Each of these could represent a serious safety violation.

The defect was first discovered through an audit this February. Dealers will replace seat belt buckle harnesses if they detect damage.

Learn more about the latest Hyundai recalls by visiting our blog. Be sure to check out our March 8 story about another recent Hyundai action involving windshield wipers.

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More Time Added to BMW’s Takata Recall

Washington D.C. — March 28, 2016 — Though the Takata airbag recalls have affected several manufacturers, each action has played out differently, depending on the company. BMW, for example, has 1.8 million airbag inflators to take care of, and will now have until five extra months in which to address 420,000 vehicles from that population. According to Automotive News, the deadline for the PSDI-4 inflators will be May 31, 2020. The same manufacturer also has more time to meet a deadline for providing replacement parts for 100,000 vehicles.

These deadlines come from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration and apply to 11 other companies, the source said. All of the other manufacturers taking part in this effort are still expected to stick to the original March 31 deadline. The source says that the overall action related to Takata recalls includes “some 29 million inflators.”

The NHTSA has had other recent concerns with BMW. Last December, the organization issued a consent order in response to mishandling of different BMW recalls, this one involving the Mini 2 Door Hardtop Cooper. In a press release on that action, Administrator Mark Rosekind referenced a previous penalty the manufacturer received in 2012.

“The requirement to launch recalls and inform consumers in a timely fashion when a safety defect or noncompliance is discovered is fundamental to our system for protecting the traveling public. This is a must-do,” Rosekind said. “For the second time in three years, BMW has been penalized for failing to meet that obligation.”

That consent order required BMW to perform multiple actions to meet government demands, including a $40 million civil penalty payment and work with an “independent safety consultant” to work more closely under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This consultant was also instructed to regularly contact the NHTSA.

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NHTSA Head Affected by Takata Recalls

Dearborn, MI — March 24, 2016 — Throughout the coverage of the Takata airbag recalls, Mark Rosekind’s name often comes up. As the public face of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Rosekind has been a vocal opponent of the ineffective way some major recalls have been handled. Now, however, the largest recall in history seems to have affected Rosekind personally.

The Associated Press reported that one of the vehicles Rosekind’s family uses is part of the Takata recall effort. This enormous safety undertaking has seen 14 manufacturers struggle to replace dangerous airbag inflators in affected vehicles. While Rosekind has not given any specific information on the make or model year, he did say that this circumstance allows him a new, unique perspective on the effort.

“I now have that personal experience to be able to deal with it and see how we can push,” Rosekind said recently. “It is a source of information that probably typically is not available to an administrator facing something like this.” The source also noted that Rosekind is borrowing a car from a dealer while he waits for repairs, much like most consumers.

As of March 11, the NHTSA reported that more than 7.5 million airbags had been repaired, most of them of the driver-side kind. Though there’s still the potential for more actions to extend the recall beyond the current numbers, progress has steadily increased since August 2015. The latest statistics from this agency showed that 33.4 percent of air bags are repaired in March 2016, a 2 percent growth over February’s repair statistics.

The NHTSA has worked towards a full recall since last May, and recently expanded the numbers to apply to 28 million inflators in January. The agency also granted a five-month extension to BMW, so the manufacturer has time to obtain more replacement parts.

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Some Buick Regals Subject to Power Steering Recall

Warren, MI — March 23, 2016 — One of the most recent GM recalls in February concerns steering assembly faults in the 2016 Buick Regal. Although the first hints of this failure were discovered in another car during vehicle tests last November, the recall only began on February 12, with dealers notified a week later. According to a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the affected vehicles may have been manufactured as recently as the date the recall started.

This report noted that bad circuit boards in these vehicles could lead to power steering failure, which could put additional steering pressure on the driver. The defect was only thought to be in 74 units, signaled by a noticeable malfunction alert when present. The replacement circuit boards include stronger circuit boards.

The NHTSA also featured a recall bulletin released this month, which explained that the recall parts needed would start shipping on the week of March 14. The bulletin lists 12 parts, including steering knuckle nuts, knuckle bolts and gear nuts.

“Some of these vehicles have a condition in which the power-steering assist system can fail while driving,” the bulletin stated. “If this occurs, the vehicle will lose power-steering assist.” It also added that “Steering control can still be maintained, but will require increased steering effort, particularly at lower speeds, which could increase the risk of a crash.”

Automotive News grouped this recall in with several other GM recalls issued around the same time. These include actions for other vehicles with the 2016 model year, including Chevrolet Malibu, Colorado and Camaro autos. The source said that these recalls included nearly 2,000 vehicles total, with the highest coming from a 1,750 unit group of Colorado, Malibu and GMC Canyon vehicles in Canada and the United States.

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NHTSA, FBI Address Vehicle Hacks in New Bulletin

Washington D.C. — March 21, 2016 — A new joint statement from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the Department of Transportation, addresses the concern surrounding cybersecurity threats in vehicles.

Since electronic control units in vehicles manage multiple systems in a single unit, modern cars could contain flaws that an attacker may be able to exploit to take control of the target. The statement said that researchers were able to perform various functions within a vehicle with a radio module, including engine shutdown at low speeds between 5 and 10 miles per hour.

Vehicles moving at any speed could still see their door locks, GPS and turn signal compromised, according to the tests from IOActive that the statement referred to. The source more generally highlighted the way that cybersecurity issues potentially make normal means of protecting vehicle software more dangerous.

“As a note of caution, if manufacturers regularly make software updates for vehicles available online, it is possible that criminals may exploit this delivery method,” it read. “A criminal could send socially engineered e-mail messages to vehicle owners who are looking to obtain legitimate software updates.”

The authors give several possible steps for protecting vehicles, including only modifying vehicle software if the right authorization has been granted. Third-party devices and suspicious persons were also said to be possible security issues.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Fiat Chrysler recalls that included more than 1 million vehicles, although the manufacturer assured the press that only technically skilled users could take advantage of the systems and that the recall was preventative. Model years ranged between 2013 and 2015, and the action served as a symbol of the possible havoc vehicle hacks could cause.

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Dealers to Benefit from Honda Recall Update

Torrance, CA — March 16, 2016 — In a move that ties into the Takata airbag recalls, Honda appears to be taking action to make dealer activity easier in the wake of the massive recall effort. The American branch of the company stopped the sale of more than 1.5 million vehicles earlier this year, the Automotive News reports. That source also claimed that the manufacturer will compensate dealers as part of a plan to make up for the recent recalls and related actions.

Though the article did state that the compensation program will begin on March 28 and end on July 29, there doesn’t seem to be much information on the actual amount of dealer relief. A spokesman did tell the source that the manufacturer will spearhead a “Trade-In-Assistance program” as delayed replacement part shipments make it harder to repair recalled vehicles.

The online Honda Airbag Inflator Recall Center lists the manufacturer’s three priorities in addressing the recent crisis. These include “working with our dealers to ensure a positive experience for our customers throughout the entire process of scheduling and completing each repair – including making available a loaner or rental vehicle if there is any wait for the required repairs.”

This statement also explained that Honda dealers are liable for providing alternate forms of transportation as needed for affected owners while free repairs are made. These owners are encouraged to take their cars to the dealer as soon as they discover that their cars are involved in a recall.

In an FAQ on the Takata airbag recalls, Consumer Reports noted that most of the states where owners are at risk tend to be in humid areas either in the south east, Hawaii or the island territories. Honda recalls have accounted for “more than five million cars” as of March 11.

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Some Nissan Vehicle Brakes Could be Harder to Use in cold Weather [Video]

Franklin, TN — March 15, 2016 — Though spring is approaching, cold weather-sensitive vehicle issues may still affect Nissan owners and dealers alike.

A Safety Recall Report noted that the manufacturer recalled 47,000 Nissan LEAF hybrid cars last month in the United States. If the brake relays freeze, these vehicles could be more difficult to stop in cold temperatures, even if the braking system itself stays functional.

In a special bulletin, Nissan stated that affected owners have already been notified, and that dealers can fix this issue by updating vehicle software.

Last October, the same company recalled thousands of Sentras for a door latch issue. Learn more about this and other Nissan recalls by visiting our blog.

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Investigators Looking into Ford F-150 Brake Problems [Video]

Dearborn, MI — March 14, 2016 — Hundreds of thousands of Ford F-150 trucks are currently under investigation for brake system issues. According to the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 30 complaints about this issue, most of which have come with the last 12 months. None of the complaints have involved any injuries so far.

The effort does not include an official recall yet, but does show the manufacturer reacting seriously to customer problems. Currently, the investigation includes approximately 420,000 units with model years ranging from between 2013 and 2014. Affected vehicles have leaked brake fluid, leading to difficulties using the brakes at all.

Since this just an investigation, there is no suggested remedy action from the source if a recall is required.

Visit our blog for more information on the latest Ford recalls and related actions. Thanks for watching!

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