Tag Archive | "recall"

Ford Recalls 463,000 Windstar Minivans on Axle-Fracture Risk


Ford Motor Co. said it is recalling 575,000 Windstar minivans in the U.S. and Canada because rear axles may corrode and break, Bloomberg reported.

The voluntary recall affects 1998 to 2003 model-year Windstars in areas where road salt is used in cold weather, according to a notice today on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

“After many years of vehicle service in these areas, corrosion can weaken the rear axle, making it susceptible to torsional stress,” Ford said in a report posted on NHTSA’s site.

Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., has received about 950 complaints alleging cracking in the rear axle, including seven that resulted in accidents causing three injuries, Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

The company will repair the recalled vehicles free of charge by installing brackets to reinforce the rear axle, Ford said in the statement.

The U.S. auto-safety agency opened an investigation into the defect in May after receiving 234 complaints alleging rear-axle failures.

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BMW Recalls New 5-Series Sedan for Bad Fuel-level Sensors


BMW AG is recalling as many as 12,400 new 5-Series sedans in the United States and China to fix their fuel-level sensors, Bloomberg reported.

The automaker is recalling 6,400 cars in the United States and 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles in China, spokesman Frank Strebe said. Replacing a part of the fuel tank sensor will take about half a day, he said.

A flaw means that the fuel sensor can become wedged against the tank, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The fuel gauge in the instrument cluster would then display a higher amount of fuel than was present, increasing the likelihood of stalling as drivers inadvertently run out of gas, the agency said.

The new 5-Series, which abandoned the flared headlights and small kidney-shaped grill of the previous version, starts at $44,550 in the U.S. market. The model went on sale in Europe in late March and in the U.S. in June. Sales Chief Ian Robertson said in a June 23 interview that the model had sold out, forcing clients to wait as long as four months for deliveries.

Demand for the revamped 5-Series, which competes with Mercedes’s E-Class and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus GS, prompted Munich-based BMW earlier this month to raise its 2010 sales and earnings forecast.

BMW’s Strebe said that there had been 10 reported incidents in the U.S. as a consequence of the defect. The affected vehicles were manufactured from Jan. 12 through July 1, 2010, according to the NHTSA.

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Toyota Knew About Faulty Engines Over Three Years Ago


DETROIT — Toyota Motor Corp. said it had received reports more than three years ago of faulty engine valve springs at the center of a U.S. recall of nearly 139,000 luxury Lexus vehicles it announced last week, Reuters reported.

Toyota plans to recall 270,000 luxury Lexus and Toyota Crown vehicles across the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe and other countries due to the potential defects that could lead to engine failures.

The report on the U.S. recall to U.S. safety regulators on Tuesday is the latest blow to Toyota, which has recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide, mostly due to the potential for unintended acceleration.

Toyota said in its notice to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it had received a report from the Japan market in March 2007 about abnormal noise and engine shaking and examined a broken engine valve spring.

The notice to regulators said there was a possibility the valve springs could degrade over time, leading to failure.

The automaker said it made improvements to its casting process after the initial report, but received more reports of broken valve springs. Toyota increased the thickness of the valve springs in August 2008 and again in September 2009.

From October 2009 onward, Toyota received an increasing number of reports that valve springs produced before August 2008 were breaking, as well as of total engine failures, though not of crashes or injuries, the automaker said.

Toyota said it would replace the engine valve springs with the new thicker version at no cost. It did not provide safety regulators with a recall schedule.

The U.S. recall covers 138,874 luxury Lexus IS 350, GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, LS 460, LS 460 L and LS 600h L vehicles from the 2006 through 2008 model years. The cars were built between August 2005 and July 2008.

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Toyota Says Lexus Engine Flaw May be Due to Faulty Materials


LOS ANGELES – Toyota Motor Corp. said an engine flaw in its luxury Lexus brand may have been caused by defective components, Bloomberg reported.

Toyota said today that as many as 270,000 Lexus-brand cars may have a problem that causes engines to stall. Last week the Toyota City, Japan-based company recalled hybrid Lexus HS250h sedans because of a fuel-leak risk.

The engine problem may result from “contaminated materials used in valve springs,” Mark Templin, U.S. group vice president and general manager of the Lexus brand, said today in a conference call. “We want to take care of customers better than anybody and take care of this as quickly as possible.”

Toyota is working to restore its reputation for quality after recalling about 8 million vehicles globally for defects linked to unintended acceleration. The company recalled about 13,000 Lexus GX 460 sport-utility vehicles in April after Consumer Reports labeled the model a “safety risk” because it could roll over under certain driving conditions. The designation was removed in May.

As many as seven Lexus models and the Crown, a sedan sold in the Japanese market, may be affected by the latest flaw, and the carmaker is considering its next step to address the problem, said Ririko Takeuchi, a Toyota spokeswoman in Tokyo.

Lexus has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue, the company said.

The models with engines that may stall are the Lexus GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460, LS 600h and LS 600hL, and the Toyota Crown, the company said today. About 90,000 vehicles may be affected in Japan, Takeuchi said.

Toyota said 2010 models are not affected.

Some models with 4.6-liter and 3.5-liter engines have a problem with valve springs that may, in the worst case, cause the engine to stall, Takeuchi said. The company hasn’t yet determined if a recall will be necessary, Templin said.

Toyota said on June 25 it would stop selling the HS250h after too much gasoline spilled in U.S. government crash tests, posing a fire risk. The company, which paid a record $16.4 million U.S. fine this year for not complying with auto-safety regulations, said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that about 17,000 of 2010 model year HS250h sedans would be recalled.

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Toyota Recall Leaves Dealers Scrambling


Toyota retailers were caught off guard by a decision to recall 3.8 million vehicles linked to incidents of sudden acceleration. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. told dealers of the campaign today – after it was announced to the public. The timing has led to some confusion, according to reports by Ward’s Dealer Business.

“We haven’t received any notification,” said Earl Stewart, owner of Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Bay, FL. “This has been one of the most confusing situations to the dealers and customers, and a little embarrassing.”

Bob Moran, owner of Acton Toyota in Littleton, MA, told Ward’s that he, too, was not told of the situation until an announcement already was made.

Normally, Toyota would notify its dealers first. But given the severity of the situation, there was no time to do so, a spokesman says.

“We thought this was important enough to get out early,” Bryan Lyons says, noting all dealers now should be informed about the recall.

Under conditions of the recall, dealers will be trained and receive the necessary components to trim three-quarters of an inch off the accelerator pedals.

Additionally, dealers will receive instructions on how to reconfigure floors in the Toyota ’07-’10 Camry, ’05-’10 Avalon and ’07-’10 Lexus ES, says spokesman John Hanson, noting all models implicated in the recall eventually will be eligible for footwell modifications.

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