Tag Archive | "safety recall"

Mazda to Recall 500,000 Cars for Power-steering Flaw


TOKYO – Mazda Motor Corp. expects to recall more than half a million vehicles worldwide due to power-steering flaws, its largest recall ever, Reuters reported.

The automaker has filed applications with local authorities to recall 215,000 vehicles in the United States and more than 10,000 in China, and now plans to broaden the net to include major export markets such as Europe and Australia, the spokesman said.

The recalls, estimated at 514,000 vehicles, target the Axela and the Premacy, known in some markets as the Mazda3 and the Mazda5, manufactured in Japan from 2007 to 2008.

The vehicles could experience a sudden loss of power steering, increasing the risk of a crash.

The spokesman said there had been three accidents reported in the United States in connection with the defect but no deaths or injuries.

The company said rust could break lose from a high-pressure pipe, straining the power steering pump and causing the system to shut down.

Last year it remedied the problem for models in Japan after issuing an advisory.

Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled more than 10 million vehicles since late last year due largely to problems with unintended acceleration that raised a storm of criticism in the United States.

It was fined a record $16.4 million by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the maximum then allowed, for moving too slowly to recall vehicles with defective accelerator pedals.

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GM to Recall More than 243,000 Vehicles


WASHINGTON – General Motors Co. said it plans to recall more than 243,000 model year 2009/2010 crossover sport utilities, mainly in the United States, to inspect safety belts for possible damage, Reuters reported.

The automaker and regulators said most of the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook vehicles were shipped within the United States. Several thousands others were exported to Canada, Mexico, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

GM said potential damage to the second-row safety belts could make it appear as if the latch were properly secured when it was not.

The problem was discovered during warranty returns, and any damage was cosmetic in the vast majority of cases, GM said in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

There are no known cases of belts failing in a crash, GM said.

GM said it would begin notifying owners by letter this month to make appointments with dealership service departments for repairs.

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Honda to Recall 428,000 Vehicles in North America


Honda Motor Co. said it was recalling more than 428,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada because of a defect that could cause the cars to roll away if they are parked incorrectly, Reuters reported.

The Honda recall covers Accord, Civic and Element models from the 2003 and 2004 model years in the United States. That recall includes 384,220 vehicles.

A parallel safety recall in Canada covers those models and some Acura 1.7ELs. There are about 44,000 vehicles under recall in Canada, most of them Accords and Civics.

Honda said that in some situations a part known as the ignition interlock lever could fail.

That device is intended to keep drivers from removing their key from the ignition when the vehicle has not been put in park. If the ignition switch fails, that could allow vehicles to roll away when parked incorrectly, causing accidents.

Honda said it would begin notifying consumers of the recall in September.

The safety recall started with an inquiry from U.S. safety regulators in September 2008.

In early 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration upgraded its inquiry of the potential defect for the 2002 model year Accord, Honda’s best-selling vehicle.

At that time, Honda had received reports of 10 crashes related to the defect. NHTSA said consumers had reported 11 crashes to the safety agency for the same problem.

One woman said she had almost been run over by her car when it was parked in her driveway, accord to NHTSA records.

In early July, Honda and NHTSA representatives met to discuss the situation and on July 29 Honda determined that it had a safety defect with the ignition switch that demanded a recall, according to the records.

Honda had two other recalls for related problems in 2003 and again in 2005, NHTSA records show.

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Toyota Responds to Lawsuit’s Acceleration Allegations


SANTA ANA, Calif. – Toyota Motor Corp. knew of at least six sudden acceleration incidents as early as 2003, including some that were verified by its own technicians and dealers, according to court documents filed Monday as part of sprawling litigation against the Japanese automaker, reported The Detroit News.

The incidents were reported to Toyota and culled from thousands of pages of internal documents that were included in filings made in U.S. District Court in Orange County.

Plaintiffs lawyers allege that the automaker did not respond appropriately to complaints in hundreds of lawsuits filed against Toyota in state and federal court after the automaker began recalling millions of vehicles.

Toyota has recalled more than 9 million vehicles worldwide, including more than 7 million in the United States, mostly to address the risk of unintended acceleration but also to correct other problems ranging from rusting truck frames to brake glitches in the Prius hybrid.

Toyota responded that it had identified two mechanical causes of unintended acceleration and had addressed the problem with “effective and durable solutions” in the recalls. “Toyota rejects claims that plaintiffs suffered economic damages because of the recent recalls,” the company said.

“Importantly, to date, plaintiffs have not cited a specific cause that would support their claim of a defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system,” it said in a statement. “No credible scientific theory or proof has been advanced to support this allegation. Toyota firmly believes that the system is completely safe and that reliable scientific evidence will demonstrate the safety of our vehicles in the investigations currently underway and, ultimately, to the court.”

Some plaintiffs allege that Toyota’s electronic throttle control system is defective.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by the time that Toyota issued major recalls to address the risk of unintended acceleration last fall, the automaker had received 2,000 complaints of unintended acceleration over a decade — more than other automakers.

The issue is extremely difficult because industry experts say most cases of reported unintended acceleration involve driver error. But Toyota has identified mechanical causes, including loose floormats that can entrap pedals.

It has replaced gas pedals and adjusted the floor space of some vehicles to keep pedals from getting entrapped by loose mats or other materials. It is installing a brake override system in all new and many older models.

One of the new filings seeks class-action status for vehicle owners claiming the value of their cars has diminished because of alleged defects, while the other claims damages for motorists injured or killed in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration.

Specific information about the incidents, however, was barred from public view to protect customers’ privacy, and the complaints did not list the dates of problems or the year or the model of each Toyota involved.

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Toyota Recalls 412,000 Cars in U.S., Mostly Avalons


WASHINGTON – Toyota Motor Corp. announced it would recall 412,000 vehicles today for steering issues — in its 13 and 14th recall campaigns of 2010, The Detroit News reported.

The new recalls mean Toyota has recalled more than 5 million vehicles in 2010 in the United States — and the company has surpassed the 4.8 million vehicles it recalled in 2009.

The new recalls includes 373,000 2000-2004 Toyota Avalon models to address concerns the vehicle’s steering lock bar could break under certain conditions.

The company said it first received a report in Japan of possible problems in October 2007 — and another report in December 2008 in the United States. “Toyota believed that this was another isolated case,” the company told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toyota also said it will recall 39,000 2003-2007 Lexus LX 470 vehicles to address a steering shaft issue.
The company first received a field report from Germany in October 2009, which said the issue had been seen on three vehicles — at least two with high mileage. Another report of the problem from Japan received in January suggested it may have been caused due to driving under harsh conditions.

Toyota has come under a torrent of criticism in the wake of its recall of more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide for sudden acceleration issues. It paid a $16.4 million fine to the government for delaying a recall of 2.3 million vehicles by at least four months and is a subject of a federal criminal investigation over its handling of recalls.

The new Toyota recall is to address concerns that after a severe impact to the front wheels — like striking a deep pothole — that it could disengage the steering shaft. Toyota will install a newly designed snap ring and another component to prevent separation of the steering shaft.

“Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles,” said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

Toyota will replace the steering column bracket — a procedure that will take about two hours. Owners will get notified starting in late August.

Lexus owners will get notified in mid-August.

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Nissan Recalls 46,000 Cubes Over Fuel Spills


WASHINGTON — Nissan is recalling 51,100 of its Cube hatchbacks in the United States and Canada because of possible problems with fuel spilling during rear end collisions, reported The Associated Press.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan Motor Co. said Monday tests conducted by NHTSA safety regulators found more fuel spilled than federal standards allow. The spillage occurred during rear end crash tests at 50 miles per hour where the vehicle also spun onto its side.

Nissan said its own earlier tests did not show any fuel leakage, but it will issue a voluntary recall. It notified dealers last week and will contact owners on Aug. 30. Dealers will attach a special protector to prevent leaks.

There have been no injuries or incidents reported by drivers, according to Nissan.

The recall covers model year 2009 and 2010 Cubes made between Jan. 30, 2009 and July 30. It includes 45,700 in the United States and 5,400 in Canada. Cubes sold in Europe and Japan are not included because they use different parts.

A sporty four-door aimed at urban drivers, the boxy Cube was introduced in Asia before being sold in the U.S. last year. U.S. buyers have snapped up 15,530 through June this year, a 300 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

Toyota reported a similar problem last month from NHTSA tests of a Lexus hybrid. The automaker also did not find problems in its own tests, but issued a recall anyway.

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