Tag Archive | "recalls"

Kia Motors Recalls Nearly 87,000 Forte Sedans in U.S. Due to Fire Risk


Kia Motors is recalling 86,880 Forte sedans in the United States because a cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents filed by U.S. auto safety regulators, reported Reuters.

The recall involves certain model year 2014 Forte compact sedans and is expected to begin on Feb. 24, according to documents on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Dealers will replace the cooling fan resistor and multifuse unit in the recalled cars, and owners of vehicles with a 1.8 liter engine will also have the engine control unit software updated, the documents said.

The South Korean automaker reported several incidents of engine fires that could be linked to the resistor but no accidents or injuries, the documents said.

A Kia Motors representative was not immediately available for comment.

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General Motors Issues Three New Recalls, Cites Ignition Systems


General Motors Co began the new year by announcing three new vehicle recalls on Thursday, as the ignition switch crisis continued to dog the automaker after millions of vehicles were recalled in 2014, reported Reuters.

No crashes or injuries were reported in the latest round of recalls involving 83,572 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. GM expects that fewer than 500 will be affected by the defect, an ignition lock actuator with an outer diameter that exceeds specifications.

Still, the issue could spook consumers and investors.

Ignition system problems were behind the record number of recalls made in 2014 by GM, which has struggled to rebuild its reputation following its 2009 bankruptcy.

The recalls hit GM’s share price, which fell 14.6 percent during 2014, a year in which shares of rival Ford Motor Co rose about 0.5 percent.

GM recalled more than 2.5 million vehicles in 2014 after accidents that caused more than 40 deaths. The compensation program, which is accepting claims until Jan. 31, has received more than 2,200 claims for injuries and deaths as a result of the issue.

In the primary recall announced on Thursday, the outsized ignition lock actuator can lead to the ignition key getting stuck in the “start” position. If the vehicle is driven that way and experiences a “significant jarring event,” the ignition lock cylinder could move into the “accessory” position, affecting engine power, power steering and power braking.

“Also, the timing of the key movement into the accessory position relative to crash sensing could result in the air bags not deploying in certain crashes,” company spokesperson Alan Alder said in a statement.

The latest issue was discovered in an internal review following warranty party returns, GM said, and covers certain Chevrolet Silverado light-duty and heavy-duty pickups, as well as Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; GMC Sierra light duty and heavy-duty pickups, and Yukon and Yukon XL; Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT. It concerns models from 2011 and 2012, and 2007-2014 vehicles that have been repaired with defective parts.

Another of the announced recalls concerns a faulty hose clamp in 56 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickup trucks from the 2015 model year.

The third covers 152 of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC 1500 pickup trucks over concerns the rear axle shaft could fracture while the vehicles were being driven.

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Toyota Recalls More Cars for Dangerous Takata Air Bags


Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it would recall 57,000 vehicles globally to replace potentially deadly air bags made by Takata Corp, as a safety crisis around the Japanese auto parts maker looks far from being contained, reported Reuters.

Toyota’s action follows a recall by rival Honda Motor Co for the same problem two weeks ago after revelations of a fifth death, in Malaysia, linked to Takata’s air bag inflator. More than 16 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide since 2008 over Takata’s air bag inflators, which can explode with too much force and spray metal fragments into the car.

Toyota is recalling some Vitz subcompacts, called Yaris in some markets, and RAV4 crossover models made between December 2002 and March 2004. About 40,000 are in Japan, 6,000 in Europe and the rest in other markets outside North America. Toyota said it was not aware of any injury or death related to the recall.

Separately, Toyota’s small-car subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co also issued a recall, in Japan, of 27,571 Mira minivehicles produced between December 2002 and May 2003 for the same reason – its first recall involving Takata inflators.

About 2.6 million vehicles have been recalled in Japan so far for Takata’s air bag inflators, a transport ministry official said.

Takata-related recalls are almost certain to balloon after U.S. safety regulators on Wednesday ordered the company to expand a regional recall of driver-side air bags to cover the entire United States, not just hot and humid areas where the air bag inflators are thought to become more volatile.

Takata has so far resisted expanding the recall, saying that could divert replacement parts away from the high-humidity regions that need them most.

TUESDAY DEADLINE

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given Takata until Tuesday to issue a nationwide recall, and could fine it up to $7,000 per vehicle if it doesn’t comply. It remains unclear how many more vehicles that would add, but it could be in the millions, affecting five automakers: Ford Motor Co, Honda, Chrysler Group LLC, Mazda Motor Corp and BMW AG.

A U.S.-wide recall of driver-side air bags could cost an estimated 70 billion yen ($600 million), Nomura Credit Research analyst Shintaro Niimura wrote in a Nov. 26 report.

“Takata could need nearly 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) of reserves in the event of a U.S. nationwide recall (including passenger-side air bags), and the company’s cash-on-hand would be tightly squeezed,” he wrote, noting Takata had just 8.33 billion yen of cash and deposits.

“If the company makes any missteps, we cannot say that there is ‘zero’ chance of the company dying a sudden death – that is, being hit with excessive debt or facing a cash-insolvency bankruptcy,” Niimura added.

SHARES HIT

NHTSA’s action and the latest recalls come on the heels of an announcement by Japan’s transport ministry on Wednesday that it received a report of an “unusual deployment” of a Takata air bag as it was being removed from a scrapped car on Nov. 6. The inflator was manufactured in January 2003 at Takata’s Monclova, Mexico factory, and had not been subject to recalls, at least in Japan, raising the prospect of an expanded recall, the ministry said.

A Toyota spokesman said the scrapped car was a 2003 Will Cypha, a Japan-only compact model that is no longer in production. Toyota said it was investigating the issue as part of its wider probe into Takata’s air bag inflators. “We will take prompt and appropriate action if we find there is a need for a recall as a result of the investigation,” it said.

Takata shares dropped as much as 7.9 percent in Tokyo on Thursday, closing down 4.8 percent. Toyota shares eased 0.5 percent and Daihatsu shares slipped 1.2 percent, roughly in line with the broader market. Shares of Honda, Takata’s top customer, underperformed other auto stocks, falling 3.3 percent.

Honda had said the Takata air bag inflator that failed in the Malaysia crash had likely been exposed to excessive moisture at the supplier’s now-shuttered plant in LaGrange, Georgia. A transport ministry official said no further recalls are expected in Japan related to the problem identified at the LaGrange line between November 2001 and November 2003.

A second U.S. congressional hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, where representatives from Takata, NHTSA and several automakers will testify.

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Toyota Recalls 1.67 Million Toyota, Lexus Cars


Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it would recall a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could hinder the brake’s performance, Reuters.

Toyota said in an email it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths resulting from the defects. Some 1.05 million vehicles will be recalled in Japan and 615,000 overseas, covering Toyota models Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah, Voxy, Corolla Rumion and Auris, as well as more than a dozen Lexus models.

Car makers have faced heightened global scrutiny on how quickly they share information with regulators and the public since a massive recall crisis in 2009 battered Toyota’s reputation and sales. Most vehicle recalls are issued on a voluntary rather than mandatory basis.

Toyota recalled 6.39 million vehicles globally in April in its second-largest recall announcement ever. Two months later, the company issued a recall of almost 2.3 million vehicles globally for faulty airbag inflators that have also plagued other car makers.

In the latest recall, about 802,000 Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models manufactured between June 2007 and June 2012 will be called back to replace a rubber seal ring in the brake master cylinder to prevent brake fluid from leaking. If brake fluid has already leaked, the brake booster will be replaced.

A second recall of about 759,000 vehicles globally, including 423,000 in the United States, will fix faulty fuel delivery pipes that could, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire through a fuel leak. Some of these vehicles are also subject to the first recall.

Toyota will also recall in Japan 190,000 front-wheel drive Corolla Rumion and Auris models built between October 2006 and October 2014 that are not equipped with an idling feature to fix a defective fuel evaporative emission control unit.

Shares in Toyota closed 0.2 percent higher in Tokyo at 5,990 yen after the recalls were announced, while the exchange’s Topix index .TOPX gained 0.8 percent.

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GM Sued for $10 Billion Over Losses on Recalled Cars


General Motors was hit with its biggest lawsuit so far over serial recalls, brought on behalf of drivers of 27 million vehicles who are seeking more than $10 billion in compensation for fallen car prices, reported Detroit Free Press.

The class action against GM aims to represent everyone who bought or leased a recalled car from July 2009 to July 2014 and still owns it, or sold it after mid-February when the recalls started, or had an accident that destroyed it after that date.

The automaker spurred the price drops by hiding at least 60 serious defects in around 27 million vehicles sold in the U.S., according to the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan against “New GM,” as the carmaker became known after its 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout.

“New GM repeatedly proclaimed that it was a company committed to innovation, safety and maintaining a strong brand,” according to the filing. “The value of all GM-branded vehicles has diminished as a result of the widespread publication of those defects and New GM’s corporate culture of ignoring and concealing safety defects.”

Hundreds of individual car-price complaints against GM were combined in two separate class actions, according to a Web post by Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, one of the lawyers leading the fight against the automaker.

The larger suit concerns cars made after the bankruptcy.

A smaller one, focused on ignition-switch faults in cars made before the bailout, may be curtailed by a bankruptcy judge’s ruling next year on whether older claims for accidents and economic losses are allowed. GM asked the judge to rule that his earlier orders, which enabled the U.S. to rescue the stumbling company, bar most of the claims over old cars.

According to the suits, 2010 and 2011 Chevy Camaros lost $2,000 in value as a result of recalls. The price drop of the 2009 Pontiac Solstice is $2,900.

GM spokesman Pat Morrissey didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the suits.

The number of fatalities tied to the ignition-switch defect has more than doubled from initial company estimates, based on the latest data from the automaker’s compensation program that aims to settle, rather than fight lawsuits.

The victims’ fund, run by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, said this week that it approved 27 payouts as of Oct. 10 for cases of death. At least 151 other fatality claims are under review.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said in July that it was setting aside $400 million to $600 million to pay victims. Feinberg received 1,371 claims in total, 1,193 for non-fatal injuries. Twenty-five of those injury claims so far have been ruled valid.

An investigator paid by GM said this year that for at least a decade the company failed to promptly resolve complaints from consumers, dealers and others about abnormal crashes in the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion, and later it replaced the faulty ignition switch without alerting the public or changing the part number as required.

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Chrysler Recalls More Than 900,000 Vehicles Globally in Two Actions


Chrysler Group on Thursday announced two global recalls of more than 900,000 cars and SUVs combined for problems that could cause fires, reported Reuters.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is recalling about 470,000 cars and SUVs globally from model years 2011 through 2014 and equipped with a 3.6 liter engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to the company and documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The alternator may suddenly fail, possibly causing a stall or fire and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA documents.

The second recall covers about 437,000 Jeep Wrangler SUVs globally from model years 2011 through 2013 because of a fire risk, according to the NHTSA documents. They said water in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector could cause an electrical short.

Chrysler said it was unaware of any injuries resulting from either problem. The automaker said one accident might have stemmed from the first problem, but had no reports of fire. It was not aware of any accidents from the second problem.

The repair for the first recall is still under development, according to the NHTSA documents. Chrysler plans to begin notifying owners of the recall on Nov. 28, according to the NHTSA documents.

Models affected in this recall include the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Challenger and Charger cars, and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. An estimated 434,581 of the recalled vehicles are in the United States, 16,080 in Canada, 2,335 in Mexico and 17,000 outside North America, Chrysler said.

The repair for the Wrangler recall, which should begin on Dec. 5, includes moving the exterior mirror power feed to a separate connector and adding a water shield, according to the NHTSA documents.

In that recall, an estimated 313,236 of the SUVs are in the United States, 39,627 in Canada, 5,685 in Mexico and 78,369 outside of North America, Chrysler said.

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