Lotus Recalls 40 Evora Vehicles for Steering Column Problem

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Lotus Cars Limited (Lotus) is recalling certain 2018 Lotus Evora vehicles due to a potential danger in case of a crash should the steering column not collapse correctly. Vehicles affected are 2018 model year Lotus Evora (all variants). The potential number of units affected is 40.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, during a vehicle crash event, the steering column is designed to partially collapse and help dissipate a portion of the crash energy. On some assemblies, the screw securing the steering column cartridge, which supports the column during the collapse process, has been found to be finger tight only.

If the screw is loose but remains engaged in the thread, there is expected to be no adverse effect on vehicle crash performance. However, if the screw disengages from the thread, in the event of a frontal collision, the steering column may not properly collapse to absorb some of the impact energy. If the steering column does not collapse as intended in a crash, it can increase the risk of injury to the driver and possibly any passengers.

Timeline of Events

Lotus has been notified that a small number of Evora steering columns have been assembled incorrectly, which could compromise the performance of the part in a vehicle crash.

A mis-build issue of the steering column assembly fitted to the Evora model range has been identified in a small number of vehicles manufactured between 17/04/2018 to 02/10/2018. As a result, the steering column cartridge screw may not have been tightened to its specified torque of 5 Nm

The manufacturer of the steering column corrected the recall condition by re-setting the torque wrench used in the assembly process. Correctly assembled steering columns were introduced into vehicle production with effect from 10/10/2018.

The Solution

Lotus will notify owners, and dealers will correct the steering column assembly, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Lotus customer service at 1-800-245-6887. Lotus’ number for this recall is 2018/01R. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-781.

Sean ReyesLotus Recalls 40 Evora Vehicles for Steering Column Problem

Daimler Recalls More Than 500 School Buses Due to Inadequate Emergency Egress

Laguna Hills, CA – October 17, 2018 – Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) is recalling certain 2016-2019 Thomas Built Buses Minotour school buses with 36″ or 39″ wide seats due emergency exit doors which do not meet requirements. The recall is expected to affect 525 vehicles which may be subject to the defect.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the rear emergency exit door may not open wide enough to meet the unobstructed emergency egress area requirements do to interference from a specific seat configuration. If the emergency exit door does not open wide enough, it may limit the ability to exit the bus, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an emergency.

Timeline of Events

In June of 2018, while using a parallelepiped fixture to check the minimum opening for emergency egress during the production process, Thomas Built Buses identified a bus that did not meet unobstructed area requirements for emergency egress. During the check, a minor interference was identified at the upper hinged side of the door.

DTNA opened an investigation to determine the scope of the issue, and the bus was fully inspected to determine if the issue was related to manufacturing or design; however, the bus was determined to be properly manufactured. The next step was to evaluate all of the different seating configurations available on the Minotour to determine compliance with emergency egress requirements.

The issue was narrowed down to 36″ and 39″ wide seats from a specific manufacturer. DTNA discovered that the obstruction only occurs when the 36″ and 39″ seats from this manufacturer are installed within 10″ of the back wall. DTNA subsequently searched their full production records to identify buses with these seating configurations, and on October 5, 2018 DTNA chose to conduct a voluntary recall of certain Thomas Built Buses Minotour school buses that had the potential for noncompliance with emergency egress requirements.

The Solution

DTNA will notify owners, and dealers will modify the rear door slide system, increasing the angle that the door can open, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 3, 2018. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-797.

Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-698.

Sean ReyesDaimler Recalls More Than 500 School Buses Due to Inadequate Emergency Egress

Collins Recalls Nearly 3,000 School Buses for Insufficient Leg protection

Laguna Hills, CA – October 16, 2018 – Collins Bus Corporation (Collins) is recalling certain 2011-2018 Collins SL, SH, DH, DE, and TH school buses, built on Promaster chassis, equipped with CE White/HSM SB11-30″ series, standard, unbelted, school bus seats, or SB11-30″ series school bus seats with lap belts only, due to insufficient passenger leg protection.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, HSM Solution has determined that SB11-30″ and 26″ School bus seats not installed in the rear row of a school bus as manufactured by CE White/ HSM solutions may not comply with the impact requirements of CFR 49.571.222.

Specifically, the foam in the knee impact area of the lower seat back may be insufficient, and may not absorb enough impact in the event of a crash. If the seat foam does not absorb enough impact energy, it can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Timeline of Events

On October 1, 2018 Collins was notified by Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company HSM (recall 18E056), about a potential safety issue in SB 11-30″ and SB11-26″ Series School bus seats. The seats not installed in the rear row of the school buses fail to conform to Federal Motor vehicle safety standard No. 571.222″ School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection”, specifically the requirements for leg protection zones.

The affected population was determined to include a potential 2,667 vehicles with SB11-30″ seats manufactured by HSM Solutions/CE White Company which had been shipped between April 24, 2011 and July 17, 2018, or SB11-26″ seats manufactured by HSM Solution/CE white company, shipped between April 24, 2011 and September 7, 2018.  Collins issued a voluntary recall to add foam to the seats.

The Solution

Collins will notify owners, and dealers will install additional foam into the seat backs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 31, 2018. Owners may contact Collins customer service 1-800-533-1850, extension 424. Collins’ number for this recall is 18e056.

HSM Solutions/CE White will facilitate the repairs via with the Collins dealers or customer. HSM will provide parts and a service repair procedures “SRP1801-0013 (for 30″Seat) and SRP1801-0014 (for 26″seat) which will provide instruction on how the repair must be conducted, to the servicing agent upon receipt of a completed HSM “Recall Parts Kit Order Card”. The expected out of service time necessary to affect repairs is 10 mins per seat.

Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-696.

Sean ReyesCollins Recalls Nearly 3,000 School Buses for Insufficient Leg protection

EPA Has Cummins Recall 500,000 Consumer Trucks Over Emissions

 

U.S. – Aug. 29, 2018 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a massive voluntary recall of certain medium and large trucks and engines. According to The Daily Journal Online, roughly 500,000 models from 2010-2015 are part of this recall, though specific makes have not been made known yet. Cummins produces the engines inside of each of these vehicles.

The Defect

In certain medium to large trucks, the EPA has found a faulty emissions control system (NOx). This is a potentially dangerous emission, contributing to smog and fine particles in the air, that needs to be dispersed or controlled through special internal equipment.

Each truck in the recall has a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which controls the NOx system. The real issue is the SCR system itself, as it was found to be less durable than expected. So the emissions are not trackable in the long run and may be giving out faulty readings, saying the NOx is at an acceptable level.

For the repairs, the SCR system will be replaced so it reaches the acceptable level of the minimum full life of the truck. For instance, the medium-sized trucks are expected to last 185,000 miles, or 10 years with the replaced system. The heavy-duty trucks can be considered full-term at 435,000 or 10 years.

According to the EPA, emissions are regulated in all types of non-road and on-road vehicles. This included cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and construction equipment, to name a few. The vehicles and workable equipment need to have one of two types of gas to begin standardizing under the EPA rules – low sulfur gasoline or ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Timeline of Events

On July 31, the official announcement was made for the voluntary recall. Bill Wehrum, EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator, said the recall was a good step in the right direction in how government and industry can work together to ensure the health of the public and environment of the world is secure.

Wehrum stated, “This is the way it’s supposed to work. Our follow-up testing seeks to make sure that pollution controls work throughout an engine’s useful life. And, if they don’t, then companies step up to set things right.”

Earlier this year, there was a similar recall announced by the EPA. About 232,000 Dodge Ram trucks and an additional 3,500 pickups for high NOx emissions.

Through regular government emission and equipment checks, the faulty SCR systems were discovered over the summer. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board found out about the problem and addressed the issue efficiently with the engine manufacturer. Cummins, the global power leader in diesel and alternative fuel engines, is partnering with the EPA over the recall, as they conducted their own tests shortly afterwards. According to the Cummins website, these engines are used in both Nissan and Dodge trucks.

The Solution

Cummins plans to contact all owners of the trucks to offer them complimentary repairs of the SCR system. They will receive instructions about when are where this can be done. Owners are encouraged to contact Cummins directly via their website or helpline: 1-800-286-6467. More information about this recall and other instigated by the EPA can be found on their recall page.

Sean ReyesEPA Has Cummins Recall 500,000 Consumer Trucks Over Emissions

Ferrari recalls vehicles with defective air bags

 

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – July 2, 2018 – Ferrari North America has recalled more than 1,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective Takata air bag assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:

  • 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia coupes produced between July 14, 2011, and May 18, 2012.
  • 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider convertible coupes produced between Feb 12, 2012, and May 18, 2012.
  • 2012 Ferrari California convertible coupes produced between Aug. 30, 2011, and May 17, 2012.
  • 2012 Ferrari FF hatchback coupes produced between Sept. 1, 2011, and June 25, 2012.

The Italian automaker suspects all of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected models include air bag assemblies with non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators prone to propellant degradation. In the event that the propellant in these fixtures does deteriorate, the material may combust upon air bag deployment, exploding the metal inflator casing and sending steel shards flying through the vehicle cabin at high speeds. This defect poses a serious safety hazard to occupants.

These defective air bag assemblies, 50 million of which have been recalled worldwide, according to the NHTSA,  have claimed the lives of approximately 23 people and injured more than 100 others, Car and Driver reported. However, Ferrari has yet to receive field reports linking the Takata air bags involved in this action to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 3, 2017, Takata filed a Defect Information report with the NHTSA, indicating that it intended to recall a slew of new air bag assemblies installed in numerous models across multiple brands. Ferrari immediately reviewed its stock and issued a recall of its own soon after the Takata filing. In May 2018, the car manufacturers reassessed the issue and decided to expand its previous action.

Ferrari notified dealers of its intentions June 15, 2018.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to replace the air bag inflators in affected models free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. Ferrari notified owners via first-class mail June 22, 2018. However, those in need of additional assistance can speak to Ferrari customer service representatives by calling (201) 816-2668. They can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesFerrari recalls vehicles with defective air bags

2018 Alfa Romeos Face Recalls over Brake Fluid Contamination

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 16, 2018 – Chrysler Fiat America recently announced a recall of more than 300 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans, citing concerns over contaminated brake fluid that could degrade over time, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the brake fluid in these vehicles may have come into contact with a type of oil that is not compatible with it, which could cause it to degrade over time and reduce braking performance. That, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of accident or injury.

All 307 of the Giulia sedans in the recall are expected to carry this defect, and were produced from Nov. 14 to Nov. 23, 2017.

The Defect

The brake fluid in affected vehicles were limited to the 10-day period in question, before and after which point the contaminated barrels of oil were not present in the factory where the vehicles were put together.

When the brake system is affected by the contaminated fluid, its components will likely be damaged and lead to a decline in overall performance of the vehicle’s braking capabilities. There would be no way for drivers to determine that this was happening, and could therefore result in a crash before the problem could be addressed, unless there was a brake failure during operation. In that case, a warning light in the dashboard would come on to alert the driver about the issue. However, the recall report called this warning “limited.”

Timeline of Events

Two vehicles being tested as part of a Customer Product Audit failed a routine examination on Nov. 23 when they suffered a loss of clutch pressure. This prompted a small population of vehicles to be put on hold. On Nov. 28, Alfa Romeo officially opened an investigation into the issue, and conducted further lab analysis on the vehicles that failed the audits. This analysis found the contamination of the brake and clutch fluid that led to the recall, and determined through internal records that they had both been manufactured at a time when a pallet of brake and clutch fluid, as well as oil, had been used starting Nov. 13. The next day, all vehicles at the plant were held and tested for oil contamination.

Alfa Romeo was able to create a bypass to only use uncontaminated barrels in further production starting Dec. 5.

Then, on Dec. 13, FCA Italy finally decided to issue the formal safety recall.

The Solution

FCA is encouraging owners to get their vehicles’ brake systems inspected and replaced as necessary, as part of the recall. It will fully reimburse owners who incurred any associated costs with repairing the issues.

Consequently, the automaker asks that owners send original receipts or other proof of payment to confirm the cost of the expense.

Fiat Chrysler will notify owners and dealers about the recall starting on or around Feb. 8, 2018.

admin2018 Alfa Romeos Face Recalls over Brake Fluid Contamination

Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures during car repair

ABC News – July 10, 2017

Man dies when air bag inflator ruptures during car repair

Another person has been killed in the U.S. by an exploding Takata air bag inflator, but this death wasn’t the result of a crash.
Honda says a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer.
The car’s ignition switch was on, so the air bag would have been ready in case of a crash. But it’s not clear why the air bag deployed, the company said. Police photos show the metal inflator ruptured and shot out fragments in Hialeah, Florida, near Miami.
“The rupture most likely contributed to his death,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin said.
The company has not been able to inspect the car and is relying on police photos to make its determination, Martin said…

Read the entire article on the ABC News website

Sean ReyesMan dies when air bag inflator ruptures during car repair

Suzuki Recalls SUV with Defective Shift Shaft

Brea, Calif. – Mar. 22, 2017 – Suzuki Motor Company of America has recalled almost 800 vehicles due to shift shafts. The recall impacts Grand Vitara sport utility vehicles with manual transmissions produced between June 2008 and October 2012, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

The affected models include gearshift rear shafts – fixtures responsible for the shift lever to the transmission – that are prone to breakage due to defective materials. Shifters can snap during normal operational movements, especially when maneuvered right-to-left or left-to-right repeatedly. This poses serious risks for customers, as it prevents them from changing gears while driving, increasing the risk of a traffic accident. No injuries have been linked to this defect as yet.

Timeline of Events

  •  In July 2012, Suzuki learned that drivers were experiencing trouble when shifting gears from a distributor in Nigeria, according to a document filed with the NHTSA. Quality control specialists investigated the issue and discovered that broken gearshift rear shafts were the cause.
  • More than one year later, the automaker was forced to investigate further as more incidents involving broken shafts had been reported. Suzuki engineers eventually decided that operator overuse was to blame. It altered production practices and changed the shaft design to accommodate more aggressive gear-shifting. Suzuki implemented the new fabrication workflows in June 2013.
  • In July 2015, the company looked into the defect once more in response to an influx of new incident reports. Engineers tested the materials used in the original production process and found that they failed to comply with internal quality metrics. By then, Suzuki had fielded 29 complaints related to the defective transmission components.
  • Four months later, similar tests were performed using the alternative shafts introduced in 2013. The new fixtures met durability standards.
  • In April of last year, Suzuki engineers altered the Grand Vitara production process once more, replacing circular shafts with square-shaped models. This new design complied with company standards. Production of the new shaft began in August.
  • On Feb. 2, 2017, the automaker chose to initiate an official recall, citing more than 100 separate incident reports involving the original gearshift rear shafts. While none were filed in the U.S., the defect was mentioned in various warranty claims, necessitating the involvement of the NHTSA.
  • Dealers received notification Feb. 24.

The Solution

Suzuki has instructed dealers to replace the original shaft with the newly designed square alternative, free of charge. The automaker intends to notify affected customers March 1.

adminSuzuki Recalls SUV with Defective Shift Shaft

Fuel Leak and Fire Hazard Prompts Truck Recalls

Bellevue, Wash. — Mar. 07, 2017 — In an action announced this month, PACCAR Incorporated is recalling 465 potentially affected trucks due to a fuel system concern. While only half of these vehicles are thought to be affected, the problem could cause a potentially dangerous situation, as the recall acknowledgement statement said.

The Defect

As this letter also noted, the recall included five different types of trucks, including Kenworth and Peterbilt models ranging between the 2015 and 2018 model years. The models included the Kenworth K370, T680 and T880, as well as the Peterbilt 567 and 579.

The defect itself involved faulty plastic tee fittings on the engine that could lead to a dangerous fuel leak, since they’re so close to a possible source of heat. The Kenworth vehicles were produced between Nov. 18 2014 and Jan. 18, 2017, while the Peterbilt vehicle dates range from May 16, 2016 and Jan.18, 2017.

Timeline of Events

  • Jan. 19, 2017: The Indiana-based supplier, Voss, tested for leaks in the engines of affected vehicles after fitting reports appeared, according to a report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Jan. 23, 2017: Once the parts had been already certified, Peterbilt reviewed the affected tees’ and discovered faults. 
  • Feb. 1, 2017: PACCAR Technical Center tested some of the problematic tees.
  • Feb. 8-10, 2017: After observing the problem, the Peterbilt & Kenworth Safety Committees both decided the leak posed a safety risk.
  • Feb. 15, 2017: The Part 573 Safety Recall Report was submitted to the NHTSA. 

The Resolution

The mold temperature was too low during the production process, leading to the fault, which could create a noticeable fuel leak. Both Kenworth and Peterbilt said they would replace the fuel tees. Though no official dates were given for the notification schedule as of this writing, the report said that it would send notifications out within 60 days of Feb. 15.

adminFuel Leak and Fire Hazard Prompts Truck Recalls

Lamborghini Recalls Rare Sports Cars Due to Fire Risk

Bologna, Italy – Feb. 20, 2017 – Lamborghini is recalling almost 1,500 vehicles due to improperly handled fuel vapors. The recall impacts Aventatdor sports cars produced between 2012 and 2017, according to documents from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration. It also extends to various special-edition Aventatdor models, including the Anniversario and the extremely rare Veneno Coupe.

The Defect

When the fuel tank is overfilled and road conditions are particularly harsh, gasoline can spill over into the carbon canister. The fuel can then seep into the evaporative emission control system via engine purge valves. Here, the fuel can potentially damage essential EVAC components, allowing improperly treated vapors to circulate and ignite with exhaust gases. This can lead to an engine fire, which poses obvious safety risks for occupants.

Lamborghini and the NHTSA say this situation is more likely to develop with repeated idle revving. Additionally, vehicles with aftermarket exhaust systems are more susceptible than those with stock components.

Timeline of Events

The Italian automaker received several owner complaints in 2015 that detailed instances of irregular idle activity and sudden engine shutoff. Lamborghini technicians investigated the claim and discovered a link between these occurrences and carbon canister saturation. In January 2016, the company concluded that overfilled fuel tanks were the real culprit after further testing, including sessions with Aventatdor models modified with aftermarket parts.

The Resolution

Lamborghini has instructed dealers to upgrade EVAC systems in affected vehicles free of charge. This includes swapping out installed purge valves for high-performance models that prevent overfilling. Officials for the car company began notifying dealers Feb. 17 and are expected to reach out to owners starting Feb. 24.

The Aventatdor comes with an manufacturer’s suggested retail price between $400,000 and $500,000, according to Car and Driver.

adminLamborghini Recalls Rare Sports Cars Due to Fire Risk