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Recalls Archives - Page 20 of 27 - Omaha Auto Deals

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03 Jun 2014

Reuters claiming at least 74 people killed due to faulty GM ignition switches

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General Motors Recall

The study also found that the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than their competitors.

Reuters, today, announced the results of an investigation into the General Motors ignition switch recall, claiming that at least 74 people have been killed in accidents with “similarities” to the accidents that GM attributed to the deaths of 13 people. Reuters is also claiming that the crash statistics analyzed, for the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, revealed that drivers were more likely to be involved in a fatal crash in the GM products than in competitive vehicles.

According to Reuters, it analyzed the incidence of single-car, frontal crash tests where the airbags did not deploy and at least one of the front-seat occupants was killed. It discovered that for every 100,000 Ions on the road, 5.6 were involved in fatal crashes. The Cobalt, meanwhile, had 4.1 fatal crashes for every 100,000 cars, while the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla had 2.9, 1.6 and 1.0 fatal crash per 100k vehicles.

Of course, you may be wondering how Reuters knows that 74 people were killed due to GM’s ignition switch problems. The simple answer is, it doesn’t, a fact that it acknowledges, writing:

“It is not clear how many of the deadly accidents identified by Reuters involved defective ignition switches, because crash reports typically do not include that data. That leaves open the possibility that air bags may have failed to deploy in some of the GM crashes for reasons other than faulty switches.”

In fact, as pointed out by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby to Reuters, it is entirely possible that “limitations” in the data analyzed may actually overstate the number of people killed due to undeployed airbags. One of the big “limitations” is the simple fact that sometimes airbags aren’t meant to deploy, even in a frontal impact.

Then there’s the issue of the statistical system Reuters used for its analysis, which isn’t acknowledged in the story. Once again, it’s the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which is the same system responsible for an episode in March which saw Friedman Research Corporation claim that 303 people had been killed driving the Cobalt and Ion. Besides the fact that FARS doesn’t, as Zuby points out, consider situations where airbags aren’t meant to deploy, it also relies heavily on police data, which The Detroit News called “not always reliable,” in its March report.

Those two factors are big reasons why FARS is only one of the statistical tools that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses. The other is the National Automotive Sampling System/Crashworthiness Data System. According to our March story, which cited a 2009 IIHS study, NASS/CDS reported that airbags deployed in 45 percent of the fatal front accidents that FARS claimed lacked airbag deployment. We said it then, and we’ll say it again now, FARS is simply not a reliable measure of airbag deployments.

This isn’t meant to discount the Reuters’ study, which Reuters itself points out may have resulted in an inflated figure, via its interview with Zuby. There is some value here, particularly in regards to the analysis of fatal crashes per 100,000 vehicles and how the Cobalt and Ion relate to the competition. Although it relies on FARS data, a similar analysis including NASS/CDS could provide a better picture of just how many people were killed due to the faulty ignition switches preventing airbag deployment.

Take a look below for an emailed statement from GM spokesman Greg Martin. Then head into Comments and let us know what you think of Reuters findings. Do you think the final death toll will be higher or lower?

Continue reading Reuters claiming at least 74 people killed due to faulty GM ignition switches

Reuters claiming at least 74 people killed due to faulty GM ignition switches originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Jun 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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02 Jun 2014

Airbag fault on 1M recalled Jeeps getting second look from NHTSA [UPDATE]

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Jeep Grand Cherokee

UPDATE: Here is the statement we received from Chrysler regarding NHTSA’s query: “Chrysler Group LLC advised the National Highway Traffic Administration of the six reports and, in accordance with the Company’s long-standing practice, is cooperating fully with the resulting investigation. Customer safety is paramount at Chrysler Group. Customers who are concerned may call 1-800-853-1403.”

It appears that Jeep’s repairs for nearly one million Grand Cherokees from 2002-2004 and Liberty models from 2002-2003 might not be over yet. The vehicles were first recalled in November 2012 because the front airbags could suddenly deploy without being in an accident. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a recall query into them because of reports of inadvertent activation on some already corrected vehicles.

The original problem affected over 919,000 vehicles worldwide, including 744,822 in the US, and was caused by a degrading circuit in the wires that control the airbags. In some cases the airbag warning light would come on just before the premature activation, but in other cases it would just happen. The automaker installed an “in-line jumper harness with an integrated electrical filter” meant to eliminate the power spikes believed to be the cause.

That might not have been sufficient, though. Chrysler has reported six incidents to NHTSA of recalled vehicles still having sudden airbag deployment, even after the repair. There have been no crashes recorded so far but some alleged cuts and burns. At the moment, the investigation appears to be in the early stages with all data other than the six reports listed as “TBD.”

Chrysler responded to Autoblog’s questions with a prepared state about the investigation, which you can read above. Scroll down to read NHTSA’s recall query.

Continue reading Airbag fault on 1M recalled Jeeps getting second look from NHTSA [UPDATE]

Airbag fault on 1M recalled Jeeps getting second look from NHTSA [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Jun 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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31 May 2014

GM seeking NY court for ignition switch lawsuits

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General Motors Investigation

The struggle is on to decide where to hear the US district court cases relating to General Motors ignition switch recall. The automaker already paid a $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its poor handling of the situation, and it agreed to additional oversight by the regulator. However, it still has the civil cases to deal with.

The first step to dealing with them is consolidating the cases into a single court, and the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Chicago is deciding the location for that now. The two most likely sites are New York and Santa Ana, CA. According to Automotive News, GM’s lawyers argue that the Manhattan court is the best place because it’s near the bankruptcy court for Old GM. Attorneys for the plaintiffs don’t think this matters and want the California court where the unintended acceleration cases from Toyota are being heard. A decision is expected within a week.

The judgment would only affect the economic loss claims against the company, but the question still looms how far these cases can go. While GM is reportedly facing $10 billion in lawsuits, a judge could decide it’s a matter for the bankrupt Old GM and save the current business from paying for it.

There also continue to be claims of more deaths caused by the faulty switches, but so far there is no proof showing more than 13. According to Automotive News, one of the attorneys even alleges 60 fatalities related to the recall but so far without any verification. Acting NHTSA boss David Friedman believes there could be more as well. The death and bodily injury claims against GM are being negotiated separately.

GM seeking NY court for ignition switch lawsuits originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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30 May 2014

Ford announces four recalls, 1.4M vehicles affected

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Ford Escape

Ford is taking a bit of the spotlight away from General Motors, announcing a major group of recall campaigns, covering a total of 1.4 million vehicles built between 2006 and 2013.

Let’s start with the big one, which covers the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and, according to The Detroit News, Ford-built Mazda Tribute CUVs. 915,216 vehicles are covered, all of which were built in model years 2008 to 2011. 736,000 vehicles are in the US, while Canada then Mexico make up the vast majority of the remainder. The problem is due to an issue with the torque sensor in the steering column, which could lead to sudden power steering failure. Manual steering would still be available, though.

“Dealers will perform one of three service fixes, depending upon what diagnostic codes are shown when the vehicle is taken to the dealer,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker wrote to Autoblog in an email. “They will either update software for the power steering control module and the instrument cluster module; replace the torque sensor; or replace the steering column, which includes upgraded power steering control module software.”

The most recent generation of the Ford Explorer is suffering from a similar malady, thanks to an intermittent electrical connection (we think that means short circuit) in the steering column. Like the Escape and Mariner, manual steering would still be available in the event of a power failure. Ford will recall 195,527 examples of its Explorer, 177,500 of which are in the US. This recall covers model years 2011 to 2013. According to Automotive News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that Ford will inform owners of affected vehicles by July 25.

Ford is also recalling 200,000 Taurus sedans, over a corrosion issue in the license plate lamp. This particular recall, which covers vehicles from model years 2010 to 2014, is limited to drivers in northern climes. Vehicle owners in southern states are free to pass on the recall.

Finally, 82,576 Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ sedans from 2006 to 2011 are being recalled because of floormats that can interfere with the accelerator pedal. Dealers will replace the offensive floormats with newer examples.

“Ford is committed to providing our customers with top quality vehicles. We are equally committed to addressing potential issues and responding quickly for our customers,” Felker wrote.

As of publication time, there isn’t an official press release official or bulletin on either Ford’s media page or the NHTSA website. We’ll be sure to update this story as soon as that becomes available.

Ford announces four recalls, 1.4M vehicles affected originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 May 2014 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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28 May 2014

NHTSA chief says it's 'likely' more than 13 died due to GM ignition switch

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APTOPIX General Motors Recall Congress

One of the major points of contention in the GM ignition switch debacle has centered around just how many people were killed due to the problem. GM claimed, and continues to claim, that 13 people have been killed. Safety advocates and lawyers, though, are arguing that the final total will likely be higher.

Of course, we’ve been down this road before. Back when details of the ignition switch problem first came to light, reports poured out that the actual death tally was around 300, rather than 13. While that figure was quickly discredited, the number being stated by GM has hardly been firm. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is weighing in.

“We believe it’s likely that more than 13 lives were lost,” said David Friedman, acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to The Wall Street Journal. “GM knew about the safety defect, but did not act to protect Americans from that defect until this year. The families and friends of those lost in the crashes … deserve straight answers about what happened to their loved ones.”

While NHTSA doesn’t seem willing to put an exact number on the total deaths due to the recall, safety advocate Clarence Ditlow (pictured above with an ignition switch) isn’t so reserved, claiming the tally will, eventually, hit 100.

“My estimate is based on my reading of NHTSA’s own reports which show similar accidents where the air bags haven’t deployed,” Ditlow told the WSJ. “It just makes sense the number would be higher.”

More than just safety advocates and regulators, GM itself has a vested interest in figuring out exactly how many deaths can be blamed on the ignition switch problem. The final figure is essential to setting up a victims’ fund, while family members need to know whether the death or injury of their loved one was due to GM’s mistake. This latest story is far from the last we’ll hear about this.

NHTSA chief says it’s ‘likely’ more than 13 died due to GM ignition switch originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 May 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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27 May 2014

2014 BMW X5 recalled over faulty child-safety locks

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2014 BMW X5

BMW is set to recall some 6,400 of its new-for-2014 X5 SUVs built between December 12, 2013 and March 10, 2014 due to concerns that the child safety locks, if set, might deactivate without warning. The problem affects only those vehicles with the automatic soft-closing option.

According to the bulletin issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the lock mechanism on the rear doors “may not have been manufactured to correct tolerances,” meaning the safety locks could disengage with a simple pull of the door handle. Basically, with a pair of tugs, the rear doors could be opened from the inside, regardless of child safety locks.

BMW is in the process of notifying owners of affected vehicles. Any necessary repairs will be conducted free of charge. Take a look below for the official press release from NHTSA.

Continue reading 2014 BMW X5 recalled over faulty child-safety locks

2014 BMW X5 recalled over faulty child-safety locks originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 May 2014 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 May 2014

Chevy Malibu most recalled of GM cars this year, not Cobalt

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu

Well, this is certainly a surprise. In a record-breaking year for recalls, General Motors’ most recalled vehicle is not the Chevrolet Cobalt and its problematic ignition switches – it’s the Chevy Malibu.

More accurately, it’s the Malibu and its Epsilon platform partners, the Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6. Of the 15.8 million vehicles GM has recalled in its 29 recalls since January, over 4.3 million have been Epsilon-platform vehicles built between 2004 and 2012. Compare that to the Cobalt and other Delta platform vehicles, which have only had 2.15 million units recalled in 2014.

The Bu’s problems have ranged from its stem to its stern, with power steering, transmission, air conditioning and brake light issues affecting the midsize and its ilk.

As we’ve already reported, the Epsilon platform’s totals could increase as the year goes on, with analysts reporting that GM’s recall-a-palooza could continue through the summer.

Chevy Malibu most recalled of GM cars this year, not Cobalt originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 May 2014 15:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 May 2014

GM's recall frenzy likely to continue through mid-summer?

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GM Renaissance Center at dusk

According to Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays Capital who met with General Motors execs, the march of GM recalls – 2.7 million here, 2.19 million here, 971,000 here, another 1.3 million there, for instance – might step right on through the summer. The open-ended prognosis is due to GM scouring ten different reporting streams, like customer complaints and dealer reports, for possible safety issues. The five-person unit headed by product head Mark Reuss has broken the search down by issue, not make and model year, so as has already happened the same car could be called in for more than one recall.

The internal review itself isn’t expected to be finished until mid-summer, and it’s being carried out by a new and larger team. Previously composed of three executives from quality, manufacturing and vehicle engineering, a fourth has been added, they report to new safety chief Jeff Boyer and, according to Johnson but not confirmed by GM, that team reports to Reuss. According to a report on Johnson’s note to investors regarding the situation, “the company is trying to issue recalls as soon as they learn about problems rather than waiting. That could increase frequency of recalls but will cut the total number recalled.”

GM’s recall frenzy likely to continue through mid-summer? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 May 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 May 2014

Suzuki recalling 184k GM-built models for fire risk

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Suzuki Forenza

Suzuki is recalling 184,244 total units of the 2004-2008 Forenza (pictured above) and 2005-2008 Reno manufactured under contract by Daewoo, now General Motors Korea, between September 1, 2003, through July 30, 2008, for a risk of fire. The exact split in terms of number of each model isn’t available yet.

In the vehicles, the heat generated in the headlight switch or daytime running light module could cause the parts to melt and cause a fire. If this sounds somewhat familiar, it’s the same reason that 218,000 units of the 2004-2008 Chevrolet Aveo are being recalled. According to General Motors spokesperson Alan Adler: “It’s the same issue.”

Adler explained that as the contracted manufacturer, GM is responsible for finding a remedy to this problem and providing it to Suzuki. It’s a similar situation as Toyota recalling the Matrix and giving the automaker the repair parts to fix the Pontiac Vibe, which shares the platform.

According to Adler, GM first learned about the fire risk from Suzuki and began investigating. It found the problem in the Aveo and issued the recall. “We don’t have a fix yet,” he said. However, owners will be notified about the problem soon.

The 2004-2006 Forenza and 2005-2006 Reno were previously recalled because their headlights could stop functioning.

Autoblog has contacted Suzuki for more details. We will update this story, if we hear back. In the meantime, scroll down to read the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall announcement.

Continue reading Suzuki recalling 184k GM-built models for fire risk

Suzuki recalling 184k GM-built models for fire risk originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 May 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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24 May 2014

GM's Barra heads back to Washington

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US-AUTO-SAFETY-RECALL-GM

Embattled General Motors CEO Mary Barra is back in Washington, DC today, briefing congressional lawmakers on why it took the company ten years to recall cars with defective ignition switches.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the trip coincides with the completion of an internal investigation into what went wrong with GM’s recall process, by attorney Anton Valukas. His findings will be presented separately. Once released, though, Barra told lawmakers that she’ll be able to be more open and candid in her responses to questioning.

That’s a good thing, as Claire McCaskill, the Democratic senator from Missouri, has already said that Barra will be forced to testify again, unnamed sources in meetings on Capitol Hill told The Journal.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s Democratic representative, Diana DeGette, who is leading an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, met with Barra. According to The Journal, she said it’d be “a matter of weeks,” before Valukas’ report was released.

DeGette did speak positively of the meetings, though, saying “there is an effort to improve communication and oversight,” at GM.

GM’s Barra heads back to Washington originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 May 2014 08:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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