Family of Anton Yelchin suing FCA [Video]

St. Petersburg, FL – Nov. 15, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group is being sued for both negligence and product liability by the family of late actor Anton Yelchin, according to Automotive News. On June 19, his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away unexpectedly and pinned him against a gate, ultimately resulting in his death. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1.1 million other vehicles are currently under recall for a defect in the shifter that causes drivers to think a vehicle is in park when it is not. Gary Dordick, the family attorney, told variety that the actor received a recall letter from F-C-A for his Grand Cherokee about a week after he died.

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Takata Airbags A Problem For Chevrolet

General Motors has announced a recall of Chevrolet Malibu vehicles from the 2016 model year. These cars are suffering a defect in their Takata-manufactured airbags – marking yet another problem for the embattled company.

The Defect

General Motors will recall 2016 Chevrolet Malibu models manufactured between Nov. 18, 2015 and June 7, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The cars have defective modules in their seat-mounted side-impact airbags that may cause the fabric of the airbag cushions to tear during deployment. This increases the risk that the airbags will not perform as designed, threatening the safety of the vehicles’ occupants.

Timeline

  • June 13, 2016 – Airbag supplier Takata discovered the fabric tear during a routine Lot Acceptance Test. Takata informed General Motors and then quarantined the entire shipment of supplies to confirm that the module was the cause of the problem. Specifically, the inflator may have been loaded with more propellant than necessary.
  • June 24, 2016 – General Motors opened an investigation into the issue after a report was filed on its Speak Up for Safety System.
  • July 13, 2016 – General Motors assigned a product investigator to look closely into the module issue.
  • Aug. 11, 2016 – General Motors learned that other inflators not included in the original quarantine may have similar problems, requiring further testing. The company’s Open Investigation Review then sought more data regarding the inflators.
  • Aug. 26, 2016 – Takata told General Motors that it found 18 modules with inflators that were heavier than they were supposed to be – meaning they could contain too much propellant.
  • Oct. 19, 2016 – General Motors decided to conduct the safety recall.

Resolution

Chevrolet dealers will inspect side airbags and replace them at no charge if faulty inflators are detected. Buyers are encouraged to contact their dealer as soon as possible.

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Isuzu Faces Accelerator Problems

Isuzu Technical Center has recently announced the recall of NPR and NPR HD vehicles, as well as the Chevrolet Low Cab Forward 3500 and 4500, due to faulty throttle pedals. These components have flaws that could prevent vehicles from decelerating as expected.

The Defect

Isuzu will recall vehicles from the 2014-2016 model years. The throttle pedals on these cars may get stuck under steel stopper bolts, causing the pedal to remain in the full-throttle position, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This makes it difficult for drivers to safely stop their vehicles and maintain control while on the road.

Timeline

  • July 2016 – Isuzu learned about a driver of a Model Year 2015 N-Series Gas vehicle who struggled to slow down when letting off the gas. The driver had to hit the brake in order to lose speed.
  • August 2016 – Isuzu received a warranty claim for another vehicle of the same model. Further investigation uncovered that some accelerator pedals may be susceptible to additional lateral force. In addition, the company reopened several prior investigations to see if there was a larger trend that had been missed. One pedal assembly was missing a fastener, while another had an excessively deformed bracket.
  • October 2016 – Isuzu issued the recall for all model years where similar issues have been reported.

Resolution

Isuzu will remove stopper bolts and replace them with flanged plates that will be bolted to the floor. This will prevent lateral movement and lessen straining on the components. This will be done free of charge, and any customer who has already paid for a replacement will be reimbursed.

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Subaru Addresses Potential Engine Fires

Subaru is recalling several vehicle models in the U.S. due to engine problems that have the potential to cause fires. The defect was the result of an inappropriate manufacturing process, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Subaru is recalling 100,127 Foresters from 2009-2013, Legacy and Outback models from 2007-2009 and WRX and STI models from 2008-2014. All models are equipped with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The problem is that a faulty relay in these engines can cause the secondary air injection pump to fail. The pump may then end up working constantly, possibly overheating and melting and then igniting. Subaru believes that the check engine light would be lit if this had a chance of occurring in an affected vehicle.

Timeline

April 25, 2011: Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc. learned of a secondary air injection pump failure that caused the check engine light to go off, but did not result in fire. Fuji investigated and found that the relay associated with the pump had insufficient contact point pressure.

Oct. 10, 2013: Fuji learned of another secondary air injection pump catching fire, but could not investigate it properly.

May 8, 2015: Fuji was able to investigate a separate fire report and determined the cause.

Sept. 30, 2016: Fuji advised Subaru that it would have to conduct a recall of all affected vehicles in the United States.

Proposed Remedy

Subaru dealers will replace the affected secondary air injection pump with a countermeasured replacement pump. This will be done free of charge for all owners.

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