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20 Aug 2014

NHTSA launches VIN search tool for finding recalls

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Right to Repair

We’ve already seen more vehicles recalled this year than any year on record. General Motors alone has issued campaigns covering about 25.75 million cars in the US. Finally, with 2014 more than half gone, it appears that the rate of these announcements is finally starting to slow, but that still leaves tens of million of drivers needing to know whether their vehicle needs a safety fix. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is offering a solution with a simple new way for people to make sure whether their car or truck is covered under one of these recalls.

The new government website allows people to type in their model’s Vehicle Identification Number, and the system spits out whether the vehicle is subject to recall campaigns. The launch coincides with NHTSA’s mandate that major automakers allow customers to search for uncompleted campaigns on their models. Each company is required to update the data at least once a week, and the regulator’s service is tied to this information.

The agency’s VIN lookup is certainly a step in the right direction, and it could be extremely useful when buying a used car to double-check its repairs. However, the system could probably still use a bit of work. At this time, it only lists recalls on the vehicle that aren’t yet repaired, instead of all possible campaigns. To get that info, an owner would have to separately search the existing NHTSA database. It also doesn’t list manufacturers’ customer service or other non-safety campaigns. Scroll down to read the regulator’s full announcement about the new program and the response from the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Continue reading NHTSA launches VIN search tool for finding recalls

NHTSA launches VIN search tool for finding recalls originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Aug 2014

Ford issues four recalls covering 163k vehicles

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2013 Ford Escape

Recalls! 2014 will be forever remembered as the year that automakers went recall crazy, with millions and millions of vehicles adding up to crush previous recall records well before the end of the year. Adding to that tally is Ford, which announced a call-back for 163,000 vehicles.

Leading that charge are the 2.0-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder engines of the Ford Focus ST and Ford Escape. 160,000 of the 2013 and 2014 models have bad wiring harnesses that can disrupt the signals traveling to the powertrain control module. That, in turn, could lead to a check engine light, reduced power and stalling. Notably, Ford hasn’t recalled any other vehicles that feature the 2.0 EcoBoost, such as the Fusion, Taurus or Explorer.

While the Focus ST and Escape constitute the vast majority of recalled vehicles, they aren’t the only problem children in the Ford family. 1,300 Transit passenger vans from model year 2015 were recalled due to brake fluid leaks, while another 600 Transit cargo variants were recalled after Ford discovered the windowless sliding doors could come open in the event of a side-impact crash. Dealers will replace the sealing washers on the passenger variants and add a reinforcement plate on the cargo models, The Detroit News reports.

Finally, some 1,300 Lincoln MKC crossovers have been recalled due to bubbles that may have formed during the manufacturing process for the windshields, which is a violation of federal regulations.

None of these recalls have been attributed to any crashes or injuries and, as per usual, repairs will be conducted free of charge.

Ford issues four recalls covering 163k vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Aug 2014

Morgan Three-Wheeler puts on the brakes for new recall

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Morgan Three-Wheeler

The Morgan Three-Wheeler certainly isn’t the fastest performance vehicle money can buy, but it might be one of the coolest. With its V-twin engine hanging out front and styling like nothing else on the road, it draws stares from anyone who sees it and likely a lot of grins from the driver too. As fun as it may be, the quirky roadster is being hit with another brake-related recall, and this one is nearly as absurd as the last.

The new campaign covers 235 units of the Three-Wheeler in the US from the 2012 through 2014 model years. Although we always suggest having your recalls taken care of, attentive drivers probably don’t need to worry too much. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles, which are considered motorcycles by the agency, don’t have the correct warning lamp telling drivers if the brake fluid is low. This light is one of the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No.122a covering motorcycle brake systems.

To make this recall even more bizarre, the Three-Wheeler technically already comes with a brake warning light installed. “The lamp that we have been using shows a (P) type symbol that illuminates red when the park brake is applied or there is a failure in the brake system leading to low brake fluid,” said the company’s noncompliance notice to NHTSA. However, that’s not what the code specifies. Morgan says that it’s sourcing a correct lamp to install in the vehicles.

The company’s previous brake-related recall was because 139 of the Three-Wheelers were missing a mandated sticker on the brake fluid reservoir, last year. Scroll down to read about the latest campaign or read the full noncompliance notice as a PDF, here.

Continue reading Morgan Three-Wheeler puts on the brakes for new recall

Morgan Three-Wheeler puts on the brakes for new recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Aug 2014

Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue

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Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for some 83,250 vehicles in the US, for an issue with halfshafts. More specifically a “halfshaft retention circlip” might not have been properly installed on affected vehicles, with the result being halfshafts that may move improperly or disengage completely from the linkshaft while driving. The NHTSA release also notes that the issue may occur “without prior warning” which obviously factors in to the timeliness of getting this checked.

Should the halfshaft disengage, a few troubling things could happen. If it occurs while driving, power from the engine will no longer be transmitted to the wheels. And, if the vehicle is parked without the parking brake applied after disengagement of the circlip, vehicles may roll away even if they’re transmissions have been placed in “Park.”

Affected vehicles are as follows: Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers from model years 2012 to 2014; Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS sedans from model years 2013 to 2014; Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT vehicles from model years 2013 to 2014.

Please check the press release below for more specific information regarding affected vehicles, and to find contact information for Ford if you suspect your vehicle may be part of this recall.

Continue reading Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue

Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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14 Aug 2014

46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags

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2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover is recalling over 40,000 of its smaller SUVs over an airbag issue. In the affected vehicles, the front passenger airbag may not deploy because of a problem with the restraint control module, which will be replaced where needed as part of the recall.

The issue specifically affects the LR2 (known overseas as the Freelander, in case you have trouble keeping track) from the 2010-2015 model years, and the Range Rover Evoque from the 2012 and 2013 model years.

A combined total of 40,551 vehicles in the United States are affected by the recall, including over 17,000 LR2s and 23,000 Evoques, with an additional 6,000 vehicles in Canada.

Owners can expect to be contacted by their local dealer, but you can read the details of the recall in the notice below from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Continue reading 46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags

46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Aug 2014

Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles

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2012 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced the recall of over 150,000 Tiguans over fuel issues. In the affected units, bubbles may form in winterized fuel that could cause the vehicle to stall. And “a vehicle stall,” says the NHTSA, “increases the risk of a crash.”

The issue could result from winter fuel that is warmed up, whether in warmer climates, hotter seasons or under “engine hot soak” – tech speak for when a cold fluid (whether a coolant, lubricant or fuel) sits in a hot engine block after it’s been shut off. Under such circumstances, deposits could collect in the fuel system, preventing proper circulation and causing the engine to stall shortly after ignition.

The recall affects 151,389 examples of the Tiguan manufactured between July 2007 and June 2014, covering the 2009 through 2014 model years. Volkswagen will notify owners to bring their crossovers in to their local dealership to have the software updated to increase fuel pressure so as to eliminate the bubble issue. The manufacturer reports, however, that no injuries have been reported as a result of such a malfunction occurring. See the notices from both VW and the NHTSA below for further details.

Continue reading Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles

Volkswagen recalls 150,000 Tiguans for fuel bubbles originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Aug 2014

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue

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2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid Limited Service CampaignIt looks like Consumer Reports might be getting part of what it wants regarding the Toyota Camry Hybrid and its braking system. Toyota is issuing what it calls a limited service campaign, rather than a full recall, covering about 177,500 of the hybrid sedans from the 2007 through 2011 model years because of an issue with the cars’ brake fluid reservoirs.

The models have a filter separating two chambers of the brake fluid reservoir, and the part can get clogged over time. If this happens, the fluid level in one of the chambers can get too low and eventually cause the power assist to fail. There are multiple warning lights on the dashboard that illuminate over time if the filter gets obstructed, though. The company is replacing the entire reservoir with an improved unit, and the fix takes about two hours to perform.

Consumer Reports recently began asking for a recall on these models for the potentially clogged filters. The magazine also reported a second issue with the ABS brake actuator that could lead to a difficult to depress brake, but Toyota has increased the warranty on the part to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight explained why this isn’t a full recall to Autoblog via email. “If Toyota determines that an issue presents an ‘unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,’ per the Safety Act, the company will conduct a safety recall,” she said. It doesn’t think this case rises to that level, but it’s still notifying owners, and they “are provided a free repair,” until June 30, 2017. If they already paid to have the problem fixed, it’s possible to have the money reimbursed. Check out the gallery for all of the details.

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Aug 2014

18k VW Routan minivans added to ignition switch recall list

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Vw Routan

We’ve had a brief reprieve recently from automakers suffering from ignition switch issues, but the problems have reared their ugly head, again. This time it’s not from General Motors; instead, the 2009 model year Volkswagen Routan is getting swept up in Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s recent repairs for some minivan models. This campaign covers 18,526 examples of the vans in the US because the key could turn in the ignition, causing the engine to shut off and powering off the airbags, power steering and power brakes.

Until the situation is fixed, VW is advising owners to remove all items from their key ring. To repair the problem, the company is modifying the ignition switch. The Routan is closely related to FCA’s minivans, and this is actually the second ignition recall for the VW. In 2011, it repaired 12,612 of them from the 2010 model year for the same problem. Scroll down to read the full announcement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Continue reading 18k VW Routan minivans added to ignition switch recall list

18k VW Routan minivans added to ignition switch recall list originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Aug 2014

Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall

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Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has slapped Hyundai with a $17.35 million fine for delaying a recall on the 2009 to 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan back in 2013. The recall grew from the original figure of 27,500 units to 43,500 sedans in November of last year, and focused on brake fluid that wouldn’t prevent corrosion of the hydraulic control unit.

“Hyundai remains committed to making safety our top priority, and is dedicated to ensuring immediate action in response to potential safety concerns including the prompt reporting of safety defects,” David Zuchowski, Hyundai’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Hyundai originally issued a technical service bulletin warning dealers to replace brake fluid. This was expanded to a full recall following NHTSA’s involvement.

Scroll down for the official press release from Hyundai.

Continue reading Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall

Hyundai fined $17.35 million for late Genesis recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Aug 2014

Saturn Vue ignition switch leads to new group of GM recalls totaling 312k

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US-DETROIT-AUTO-SHOW

GM Recalls TotalGeneral Motors has another spate of recalls to announce. This time they cover 312,280 vehicles worldwide, including 269,041 of in the US, in a total of six campaigns. In 2014, the automaker has recalled 29,079,765 vehicles worldwide, with 25,754,356 of those in the US.

The largest among them covers 215,243 units of the Saturn Vue from 2002-2004 model years worldwide, 202,115 in the US. It’s possible for the for the key to be removed even when the ignition isn’t in the OFF position. The company knows of two crashes and one injury caused by this problem. Dealers are checking the parts and replacing the ignition cylinder and key set, if necessary.

Next is 72,826 models worldwide (48,059 vehicles in the US) of the 2013 Cadillac ATS four-door sedan, 2013 Buick Encore and 2013 Chevy Trax in Canada. It’s possible that the for lap belt pretensioner to retract but not to lock, which could increase occupant movement during a crash. Both front, outboard lap belt pretensioners are being replaced, and a stop-sale is in effect on unsold models until the problem is repaired. There are no known crashes or injuries, though.

The 2014-2015 Chevrolet Impala needs repaired because some LT and LTZ models have a latch holding the front console storage compartment that could open in a rear collision. Dealers are replacing the latch, and there is also a stop-sale on these vehicles until the fix can be made. It affects 15,386 units worldwide, including 14,940 in the US. No crashes or injuries have been reported.

Another campaign covers the 1,968 examples of the 2009-2010 Chevrolet Aveo and the 2009 Pontiac G3 in the US. There are a total of 2,091 vehicles covered under this recall worldwide, but they include models not available in the US like the 2007 Chevy Optra in Canada and 2009 Pontiac Wave. The brake fluid in these vehicles can eventually cause longer pedal travel and reduced braking effectiveness. There are no reported crashes or injuries.

The 2014 Chevy Spark is also being recalled covering 3,110 units worldwide, including 1,919 in the US. The bolts that attach the left and right lower control arms might not be torqued to specification. The automaker wants the models transported to Chevy dealers to be inspected and tightened if necessary. This problem is also reported as crash and injury free.

Finally, the company is recalling 3,624 examples of the 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS for an issue with the front lights. All of these models were exported and none are in the US. Scroll down to read the company’s official press release about the recalls.

Continue reading Saturn Vue ignition switch leads to new group of GM recalls totaling 312k

Saturn Vue ignition switch leads to new group of GM recalls totaling 312k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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