Floor Mats May Make Maserati Vehicles Unsafe

Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ — March, 10, 2016 — In some Maserati vehicles, loose floor mats can leave a car’s gas pedal pressed down, posing a major crashing hazard to occupants. A Part 573 Safety Recall report has the details on the issue, which appears in autos produced between February 1, 2013, and November 30, 2015. Maserati first started investigating the problem last February. Dealers and owners will both be notified on April 29, and the dealer inspection is expected to take an hour to complete.

As the report stated, these Maserati recalls involve 28,235 vehicles of two different model types: the Quattroporte and Ghibli. Model years for both of these vehicles range between 2014 and 2016. If the floor mat anchors in any of these vehicles breaks, the mat could get stuck under the accelerator pedal.

Although the source notes that the brake override system can help prevent this, there’s still the risk that it would, at the very least, “startle the vehicle operator.” The mat could potentially trap the pedal in any position, not just the “wide open throttle.”

Toyota recalls in the past have concerned a similar issue. In 2010, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center senior engineer Jake Fisher spoke to Scientific American about some of the factors that might lead to a gas pedal being pressed down. One of these include “the electronic throttle control – the digital fly-by-wire unit that links the gas pedal to the fuel delivery unit.”

He also noted that buyers that purchase floor mats as an extra or from an outside source both risk encountering the same issue. “In the first case the dealer typically throws them into the car or the trunk, so the mats don’t necessarily get hooked into the floor correctly,” Fisher said. “In the second, the mats may not fit or be installed properly.”

The remedy and recalled components will have different part numbers.

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Toyota’s Takata Recall Efforts Extend to Canada

Canada – March 9, 2016 — While almost 20 million American vehicles have been part of the wide-reaching Takata air bag recalls, the effort continues to expand across North America, affecting other countries as well. As the number of deaths related to ruptured inflators continues to rise, Toyota is adding thousands of vehicles to its recall actions, including tens of thousands in Canada.

Previous reports have noted that the inflators are in particular danger of exploding in humid climates, but it isn’t just these regions at possible risk, as the massive international effort has revealed. While a press release from the company announced that it would address a large amount of newly included vehicles, Reuters reported that 33,264 Toyota autos with Takata inflators in Canada are part of the latest expansion.

The source didn’t identify which models are part of the new action, but the release specifically mentioned Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Lexus SC 430 vehicles with model years ranging 2008 to 2010. This statement noted that some of the vehicles in the new extension were also included in some previous recalls. The company is planning on notifying owners and coordinating a replacement effort, although the release did not mention a specific date for doing so.

Investigators and researchers have looked closely at the possible factors causing a rupture. Bloomberg Business paraphrased David Kelly of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the key elements that could trigger inflator damage.

The article describes these details as “poor design, lack of water-absorbing chemicals and high atmospheric temperatures with wide ranges,” all of which were noted in the results from Orbital ATK’s recent findings. Another concern is the presence of ammonium nitrate in affected inflators, which exist in more than 87 million units, the source said.

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Two Hyundai Models Recalled Due to Wiper Concerns

Fountain Valley, CA — March 8, 2016 — On February 29, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a report of a pair of Hyundai recalls based on the same issue. According to this document, 18,700 Genesis and Equus vehicles, both of them four-door light vehicles with gas powertrains, may be subject to an issue that affects windshield wiper functions.

The majority of the autos in this recall are Genesis models manufactured between 2011 and 2012. The source notes that the cover seal for wiper motors is at risk of corroding, potentially slowing the wiper or preventing it from functioning at all. For the Equus vehicles included, model years range between 2011 and 2013. VALEO Wiper Systems, a German company, was listed as the component manufacturer.

“If the windshield wipers become inoperative during inclement weather, driver visibility could be reduced, increasing the risk of a crash,” the report said. Though no recall timeline was listed, dealers and owners are scheduled for notification on April 22.

Dealers will solve the problem by resealing the cover of the wiper motor to lower chance of circuit board corrosion. Hyundai officially decided to conduct this recall on February 16, six years after it first learned of possible delays in wiper performance for the Genesis vehicles.

In October 2015, General Motors also launched a recall based on difficulties with windshield wiper motors. That action involved concern over a possible fire risk from overheating systems. Unlike this Hyundai recall, the GM order concerned three different 2016 models: the Buick Enclave, the Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia.

As a Car and Driver article from that time described, 31,00 vehicles were part of the recall, although only 6,400 were with customers at the time of the recall.

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Some Chrysler Windshields Could Dislodge in Crash [Video]

Detroit, MI — March 07, 2016 — Starting next month, a Chrysler recall will affect hundreds of vehicles manufactured with expired urethane primer. This chemical may make it more likely for the windshields in these vehicles to dislodge.

This action comes from tests that revealed the possible effects of using primer past its expiration date. Older coats of primer were found to ineffectively bond on the windshield. There have currently been no reports of injuries from this problem, though the dislocated windshields could potentially hurt a vehicle’s occupants.

The recall extends to two models: the Town and Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Manufacture dates range from August 2014 to December 2015. Dealers will remedy the issue by replacing the windshields as needed

Be sure to visit our blog often for the latest news on Chrysler recalls. Thank you for watching!

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Wrong Tire Labels to be Fixed in New Volkswagen Recall [Video]

Berlin, Germany — March 04, 2016 — Something as minor as a wrong part label could still be a violation of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. A new Volkswagen recall concerns a situation that seems small but could lead to serious risks.

Before the end of the month, the manufacturer will contact Volkswagen Beetle owners about incorrect tire placards. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 325 2016 Beetles could have placards with incorrect information about the tire sidewall height ratios.

These labels were reportedly wrongly printed due to an error in the drawing process. An R&D team discovered this issue last November, and the remedy will see new, correct placards added to affected vehicles. Production on these labels began on November 27, 2015.

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Some Ford Transit Seat Belt Buckles Might Fail to Latch

Dearborn, MI — March 3, 2016 — As part of a pair of recent recalls, Ford Motor Company recently announced possible safety risks connected to Transit vehicles produced between 2014 and 2016, with the 2015 and 2016 model years.

“No injuries have been connected to this issue.”

Across the entire North American continent, approximately 51,470 of these vehicles may contain vulnerable seat belt buckles. The vehicles were manufactured at the same assembly plant in Kansas City. In a press release on the new Ford recalls, the manufacturer stated that dealers will inspect and repair the faulty buckles, replacing them if needed.

While no injuries have been connected to this issue, the press release did explain the possible danger to occupants posed by this defect.

“The rear seat belt buckles are being damaged when heavy objects are placed on top of them, which could cause the buckle not to latch completely, increasing the risk of injury in a crash,” the release said. The same statement also referenced a recall for 3,700 Ford F-150 trucks, most of which are in the United States as well. A seat massage function could disable the airbag system in the passenger seat. Dealers will address this issue by updating the module software to fix the vehicle’s classification systems.

These recent Ford recalls come after a previous action targeting 2015 Transits for a seat belt assembly issue. The belts required a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard violation because they didn’t bear the correct labels, which normally list the belt model and model year.

This represented a risk to owner safety because it made it potentially difficult for users to read crucial model information on the belt itself. The manufacturer officially launched this earlier recall on June 12, 2015 for fewer than 50 units.

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Seatbelt Issues Lead to Worldwide Toyota RAV4 Recall

Torrance, CA — March 02, 2016 — Although most of the vehicles in a new Toyota recall are in North America, this action affects almost 3 million SUVs around the world. A press release from the manufacturer explained that seatbelts in these autos ustould accidentally detach and leave occupants at risk, something possible during a severe impact.

The recall will affect RAV4 and RAV4 EV vehicles with combined model years ranging between 2006 and 2014. So far, there have been two reports of incidents where a crash caused a seatbelt in these affected vehicles to detach. The issue is due to a design that could make it easier for the seat frame to cut the belt.

“North America alone will recall 1.3 million vehicles for this problem.”

North America alone will recall 1.3 million vehicles for this problem, as the manufacturer reaches out to vehicle owners. The manufacturing production dates stretch as far back as 2005. Toyota’s solution will see the seat frames fit with a resin cover to reduce the chance of seatbelts detaching, a process that could take an hour at maximum.

“There is a possibility that, in the event of a very severe frontal crash, the lap belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut, and separate,” the statement reads. “If this occurs, the seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury.”

Outside of the United States, the CBC reports that China will see 434,000 vehicles recalled, while Japan’s version of the Toyota recalls only concerns 177,00 vehicles. More than 300,000 SUVs in countries that aren’t in North America, Europe, Japan or China are part of the ongoing effort as well. Another report, this from the New York Times, notes that the defect reportedly does not stem from a supplier issue.

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Hyundai Recalls 2011 Tucson for Transmission Issues

Fountain Valley, CA — March 01, 2016 — A total of 11,176 2011 Hyundai Tucson vehicles are part of a recall action submitted late last month. Models manufactured between July and October in 2010 are subject to a possible transmission fluid leak, due to badly produced hoses. Although the official recall began only recently, it represents five years of investigations and response actions, with the first notifications coming from a dealer in September 2011.

Owners and dealers alike have a few symptoms to help them determine whether or not a particular vehicle is at risk. According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, affected models are light SUV’s with automatic transaxles. If the transmission hose is visibly leaking fluid, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp is on or the vehicle is shifting unusually, the driver might be at risk.

The vehicle manufacturer will notify owners beginning March 25, with dealers notified on the same date, though the official schedule for the recall was not reported. However, this document did describe some of the observations uncovered in previous investigations.

“The investigation revealed that certain hoses manufactured from August 2010 through October 2010 might have been improperly cured during the manufacturing process, lowering the hose rubber durability and creating the potential for the hose to rupture and split,” the document said. Faulty hoses could potentially leak enough transmission fluid to put the vehicle in danger.

In 2015, Subaru also recalled thousands of vehicles for transmission fluid leak concerns. Instead of a hose, this effort was prompted by a “deformed” seal cap inside a propeller shaft yoke that could have leaked fluid onto an exhaust pipe. The repair required dealers to replace the entire propeller shaft assembly following a stop sale order.

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