Tag Archive | "recall"

GM Recalls 361,357 Vehicles For Headlight Issue


General Motors Co. is recalling more than 316,350 sport-utility vehicles and a handful of other car models in North America, marking the 79th recall action the auto maker has taken this year, reported The WSJ.

The auto maker found that an intermittent or permanent power loss of low-beam headlamps exists in its Buick LaCrosse sedans along with its Chevrolet, GMC, Saab and Isuzu midsize SUVs. GM hasn’t been able to confirm whether the issue is linked to any accidents.

The company has now recalled more than 30.4 million vehicles in this year alone.

The recall is part of the company’s revived safety blitz to act more quickly on potential problems following the fallout from its delayed response to recalling 2.5 million vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch.

A total of 36 deaths have now been connected to the faulty-ignition switch problem as determined by Ken Feinberg, who oversees the auto maker’s compensation fund. Claims are evaluated by Mr. Feinberg, who acts independently of GM. The claim period runs until the end of January.

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U.S. Regulator to Chrysler’s Marchionne: Get Act In Gear on Jeep Recall


U.S. government safety regulators on Thursday told Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne that the company “have to get their act in gear” to speed up repairs of recalled Jeep SUVs that face a heightened fire risk, reported Reuters.

David Friedman, deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was asked by reporters if he was satisfied with Chrysler’s performance in adding trailer hitches to affected Jeep SUVs to protect them in lower speed rear-end crashes.

“No. In fact, this morning I sent a letter to the chairman and CEO of Chrysler telling them they have to get their act in gear. They have to make sure they’re getting those parts in the hands of consumers,” Friedman said.

Chrysler is a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Marchionne is chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group as well as CEO of Fiat Chrysler.

Earlier this month, Chrysler said it was intensifying its effort to reach owners of the 1.56 million older model recalled Jeep SUVs because so few were bringing them in to dealerships to have the trailer hitch assemblies installed.

Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne on Thursday said the company has again stepped up its efforts to reach owners. Only about 137,000 of the 1.56 million owners have shown up at dealers to have trailer hitch assemblies installed, Mayne said.

As of Thursday, the Chrysler spokesman said, the company has 488,000 trailer hitch assemblies in stock.

Still, on Thursday, Friedman of NHTSA said, “They’ve told us they have nearly 400,000 parts and yet we’re getting complaints from consumers saying the dealers are telling them there aren’t any parts. Something is wrong there.”

Chrysler is committed to the safety of drivers and passengers in its products, the spokesman said.

“Chrysler Group leads the industry with a recall-repair completion rate of nearly 80 percent. The industrywide average is approximately 70 percent,” Mayne said.

After initially resisting NHTSA’s requests for a recall, Chrysler in June 2013 announced the recall of 1.56 million Jeep SUVs. They were the model years 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee, with rear fuel tanks.

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U.S. Auto Regulator Seeks Nationwide Recall of Takata Air Bags


The U.S. auto safety regulator has told Japanese supplier Takata Corp and five automakers to expand nationwide a regional recall of potentially lethal air bags, increasing pressure on the industry to move faster in a growing scandal, reported Reuters.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also scolded Takata for what it called “an unwillingness to move forward” on a nationwide recall, and said the company needs to be open with the U.S. public about the risks of its air bags.

Takata and automakers have so far taken a targeted approach in recalling U.S. vehicles with air bags that can rupture upon deployment, shooting shrapnel into the car. Five fatalities, including four in the United States, have been linked to the air bags.

The U.S. regional recall has involved 4.1 million cars in hot and humid areas where the air bags may be prone to fail, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and parts of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. Most of those cars are made by Honda Motor, Takata’s biggest client.

In a call with reporters on Tuesday, NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman declined to estimate how many more cars would be included in a nationwide recall.

Shares in Takata dropped by as much as 7.8 percent in Tokyo on Wednesday, and have now slid 64 percent this year to 5-1/2-year lows.

Takata has already set aside more than $750 million for recall-related costs, but Takayuki Atake, manager of credit research at SMBC Nikko Securities, warned a national recall would need more provisioning and raised the risk of a deeper credit rating downgrade than initially expected.

Japan Credit Rating Agency has put Takata’s single-A rating on negative watch. “However, risk of a (three-notch) downgrade to BBB would increase if the expanded recall leads to further erosion of shareholder equity and/or a negative impact on Takata’s capacity for generating profits and cash flow,” Atake wrote in a report.

Takata, NHTSA, Honda and Chrysler have been called to testify at a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Thursday, where Takata will be represented by Hiroshi Shimizu, a 36-year company veteran and senior vice president of global quality assurance.

MILLIONS MORE?

Around 16 million cars with Takata air bags have been recalled worldwide over the past six years, with more than 10 million of those in the United States.

NHTSA’s Friedman said the recall expansion was prompted by an August incident involving a 2007 Ford Mustang in North Carolina, outside the area of the regional recalls.

The agency ordered Ford, Mazda Motor, Honda, Chrysler and BMW to send notifications for replacement driver-side air bags to consumers quickly. “We will begin a process both with Takata and the automakers to force them to recall all affected” vehicles, Friedman said.

Ford, Honda, Mazda and Chrysler said they would continue to cooperate with NHTSA and plan to evaluate their call for a national recall. But each stopped short of saying they would expand beyond the current set of cars they are fixing. BMW is already recalling air bags nationally.

Spokesman Alby Berman said Takata would cooperate with regulators and automakers if an expanded recall is required, but noted that “of almost 1,000 passenger and driver inflators from outside the high humidity areas that have been evaluated to date, none have ruptured.”

“Takata is concerned that a national recall could potentially divert replacement air bags from where they’re needed, putting lives at risk,” he said in a statement.

It’s unclear just how long it could take to replace so many air bags. NHTSA said it is pressuring Takata to ramp up production of replacement parts and has said it will explore using other suppliers to help with production if needed.

Takata has said it would add two production lines at its Monclova, Mexico plant in January to make replacement air bag inflators. Workers there have told Reuters that a single line has a typical quota of around 200 inflators an hour, meaning it could take five months to make 1 million inflators working around the clock on two lines, five days a week.

NOT ENOUGH

Auto safety advocates and lawmakers said NHTSA’s latest move may still not capture the scope of the problem, is too late, and may not be enforceable.

Democratic Senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal said they were pleased NHTSA recognized the “national scope” of the problem,” but said the call to replace driver-side air bags should be expanded to also include passenger air bags.

NHTSA agreed in June to allow automakers to do a regional recall and use their discretion in deciding how and when to notify customers and replace faulty parts, resulting in confusion for car owners receiving mixed messages.

Friedman criticized Takata for resisting when NHTSA this week called on it to issue a defect notification nationwide for air bags of a certain design. “Takata’s initial response was an unwillingness to move forward, and frankly, that is one of the reasons we are talking to you today, because I believe everyone needs to understand that Takata needs to act,” he said.

Asked about Friedman’s comment, Takata said: “We have been dealing sincerely with U.S. authorities and … will continue to do so, prioritizing customers’ safety.”

NHTSA also addressed lingering confusion over what exactly makes some air bags explode. It said it ordered Takata to provide under oath documents and information on the propellant used in newly designed air bag inflators, after Takata recently said it had changed the chemical mix of its inflators.

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Ford Recalls 65,000 Fusion Cars for Roll-Away Issue


Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will recall 65,000 new Ford Fusion cars in North America because they could roll away, reported The Detroit News.

The Dearborn automaker said the recall covers 56,500 2014-15 Fusion cars in the United States and about 8,500 in Canada and Mexico because the key can be removed 30 minutes after the ignition is turned off, even if the transmission is not in park. The vehicles are not currently in compliance with a U.S. regulation involving theft protection and roll-away prevention.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

Dealers will reprogram the instrument cluster.

Like many automakers, Ford has seen its recalls soar this year, with 36 U.S. recalls for a total of 4.3 million vehicles. By contrast, Ford recalled 1.2 million vehicles in 2013 in the United States in 16 campaigns.

The auto industry as a whole has recalled nearly 60 million vehicles this year, led by General Motors Co.’s 26.5 million vehicles, nearly double the previous record of 30.8 million set in 2004. Earlier this month, Ford issued five separate recall campaigns covering 200,000 vehicles. And Friday it expanded a recall of 85,000 vehicles for Takata airbags to include both the passenger and driver airbags in 25,000 Ford Ranger pickups.

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Chrysler Recalls 184,000 SUVs to Replace Airbag Part


DETROIT, MI – Chrysler Group LLC announced Tuesday it is recalling 184,215 SUVs, including 126,772 in the U.S., to replace a part in the vehicles’ airbag systems, reported Michigan Live.

The occupant restraint control modules in certain model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs could have an electrical short-circuit, causing air bag warning lights to come on and signaling that the airbag system could be disabled.

Chrysler said it is not aware of injuries or accidents related to the defect.

The company that supplied the part to Chrysler notified the Auburn Hills automaker of the issue, Chrysler said.

While not all 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs are affected, customers who own the vehicles are to be advised by Chrysler when they can schedule service to get the part replaced.

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Ford Recalls 850,000 Vehicles for Air Bag Problem


Ford is recalling 850,000 vehicles to address an electrical problem that could prevent the air bags and other safety systems from working properly in a crash, reported Detroit Free Press.

The recall involves the 2013-14 Ford Fusion, Escape and C-MAX as well as the Lincoln MKZ for an issue with the restraints control module connected to air bags.

Most of the affected vehicles — 745,000 — were sold in the U.S. with 82,000 in Canada and 20,000 in Mexico.

In some of them, the control module can short circuit and trigger the air bag warning light. Depending on the location of the short circuit, it could prevent the air bags, side curtains or seat belt pretensioners from deploying in a crash.

The short circuit may also affect the function of other systems that use data from the restraints control module, including stability control. In these cases, the corresponding warning lights would also come on.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem and dealers will replace the restraints control module at no cost to the customer.

Affected vehicles include certain 2013-2014 C-MAX vehicles built at the Michigan Assembly Plant, Jan. 19, 2012, to Nov. 21, 2013; certain 2013-2014 Fusion vehicles built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant, Feb. 3, 2012, to Aug. 24, 2013; certain 2013-2014 Escape vehicles built at the Louisville Assembly Plant, Oct. 5, 2011, to Nov. 1, 2013, and certain 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant, April 25, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2013

This is the 12th recall for the Escape.

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