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Now it’s Seatbelts…as Toyota Recalls Nearly 3 Mil SUVs Worldwide

Belts in RAV4 SUV could fail during a crash.

by on Feb.18, 2016

About 1.1 million Toyota RAV4 SUVs sold in the U.S. are covered by the new recall.

Toyota is recalling nearly 3 million vehicles – including more than 1 million sold in the U.S. – because their safety belts might fail in a crash.

The move comes as another setback in an industry that has suffered from a record number of recalls two years in a row – many of those service actions involving devices meant to protect passengers in a crash. Toyota has been one of 14 manufacturers who have so far had to recall about 24 million vehicles sold in the U.S. because of defective Takata-made airbags linked to at least 10 deaths.

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This recall involves second-row seatbelts that may inadvertently come in contact with a metal seatbelt frame. In turn, that could cause the belts to become frayed and unable to restrain an occupant in the event of a frontal crash.


GM: Ignition Switch Victim Fund Paid Out Nearly $600 Mi

Total cost for scandal now tops $2 bil.

by on Dec.10, 2015

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

An independent victims’ fund set up by General Motors paid out nearly $600 million to settle 399 claims related to a faulty ignition switch, bringing to more than $2 billion the total amount of money the maker has spent as a result of a defect linked to more than 100 deaths.

The announcement came Thursday as the special fund began wrapping up operations. It had been set up on orders from Mary Barra, the then-new GM CEO, last year as part of a broader response to the maker’s extensive safety problems. GM has also had to pay out $900 million to settle a Justice Department criminal probe, and millions more in fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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But GM’s troubles are far from over. Not all of those offered settlements from the victims’ fund accepted, and they are among a number of others still set to have their day in court, with a series of trials set to begin in U.S. District Court in New York next month.


Kia Recalling 260,000 Late-Model Soul Crossovers

Steering system can fail unexpectedly, maker tells NHTSA.

by on Nov.16, 2015

The Kia Sould is one of the Korean automaker's most popular product lines.

Kia has announced the latest in a string of major recalls plaguing the auto industry this year, this one impacting nearly 260,000 late-model Soul crossovers.

The maker says that a faulty steering gear assembly could cause the vehicle’s steering system to fail, the steering wheel itself even coming lose.

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It’s just the latest in a string of six- and seven-figure recalls that are pushing the industry close to a new record, potentially topping the all-time high 64 million vehicles affected by safety-related issues n 2015.


Nissan Latest to Join Big Recall Club

Altima sedans could see hoods fly open while driving.

by on Oct.10, 2014

Nissan targets the Altima for recall.

In most years, a recall of 220,000 midsize sedans might make major headlines. This year, however, Nissan’s latest safety news could almost be lost in the noise, the auto industry already recalling roughly 40 million vehicles for all matter of problems.

But the Japanese maker is warning that it is looking into the possibility that its problems could be more serious, leading to a possible expansion of today’s announcement.

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The initial news, at least, involves 220,000 Nissan Altima sedans sold in the U.S. during the 2013 model-year because their secondary hood latches could fail. If that happens, the hoods could potentially fly open while the vehicles are in motion.


Chrysler Recalls 349,000 Vehicles for Ignition Switch Defect

One crash linked to defect.

by on Sep.25, 2014

The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the vehicles covered by Chrysler's ignition switch recall.

General Motors isn’t the only automaker facing problems with ignition switches. Chrysler is recalling 349,442 older sedans, wagons and SUVs because of a problem that could inadvertently lead vehicles to shut off while being driven.

The announcement is one of the latest involving faulty ignition switches, though the most notorious case involves 2.6 million small cars produced by GM that were recalled last February and which have since been blamed for at least 21 deaths.

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In the case of Chrysler, the ignition switches may inadvertently slip out of the Run position without a driver’s intervention. In some cases, that will simply shut off accessories such as the windshield wipers. But if the key turns all the way to the Off position, the vehicle’s engine may then shut off, leading to a potential loss of control and possible crash.


VW Adds 151,000 Vehicles to Year’s Surging Recall Tally

German maker targets stalling Tiguan SUVs.

by on Aug.11, 2014

VW's Tiguan model could suffer unexpected stalling.

This year’s record run-up in safety-related recalls is showing no sign of abatement, Volkswagen the latest to announce a six-figure service action, the German maker targeting 151,000 of its Tiguan SUVs due a stalling problem.

The announcement came just days after General Motors announced yet another batch of recalls covering an assortment of issues including a faulty ignition switch.

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All told, the auto industry has now recalled more than 40 million vehicles since January 1, a more than 30% increase over the previous record of 31.4 million vehicles set during 2004. And industry analysts warn that at the ongoing pace, the numbers could grow substantially before the end of this year.


My Car’s Been Recalled: Now What?

Recall notice provides next steps on getting repair completed.

by on Jul.23, 2014

If you find this in your mailbox, don't panic. Open it to find out what you need to do to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.

Due to the sheer number of vehicles recalled in the United States this year – in excess of 40 million – you very well may have a vehicle that is involved in some sort of safety-related service action.

So, the big question is: what do I do now?

On Track!

Well, first: don’t ignore that notice. Experts warn that even seemingly minor recalls can involve life-threatening defects and must be dealt with. (more…)

What’s Behind the Recall Frenzy?

by on Apr.11, 2014

BMW today increased its recall count for an engine bolt problem to nearly 500,000 vehicles.

Are the cars on our highways getting more dangerous?  That might be a logical assumption considering the rapid rise in recalls over the last five years.  In 2013, a total of 22 million vehicles were involved in recalls in the U.S. alone, up about 20% from the previous year, according to federal data, and the pace is only accelerating.

Since the beginning of the year, General Motors alone has issued recall notices for approximately 6.3 million vehicles – about 40% of those due to faulty ignition switches linked to at least 31 crashes and 13 fatalities.  On Wednesday, Toyota announced it was recalling 6.4 million of its own vehicles – 6.7 million if you include products it also assembled for other manufacturers.

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While not all of those Toyota products were sold in the States, preliminary data suggest about 11 million cars, trucks and crossovers have been covered by U.S. recalls during just the first 14 weeks of this year, roughly half as many as during all of 2013. And over the past year, it was hard to find a single maker not on the list, large or small, from mainstream brands like Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen, to that most exclusive of marques, Rolls-Royce.


GM Not Working with NASA on Ignition Switch Recall

Space agency would be open to assist – under specific conditions.

by on Apr.11, 2014

A 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, one of the 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles.

Contrary to widely published reports, General Motors will not have the official assistance of NASA as it moves ahead with its internal investigation of the botched recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches, has learned.

Those reports, which included a story on this site, indicated that the space agency was being recruited to study whether it was safe to continue driving the recalled vehicles if a motorist removed the ignition key from their key ring.

Keeping the Record Straight!

The issue has become a critical one because a federal judge in Texas is currently considering a request to “ground” all 2.6 million GM vehicles covered by the recall until they can be repaired.

“NASA is not working with General Motors on its ignition switch issue,” the agency’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications, Bob Jacobs, said during a Friday interview.


Chrysler Recalling Nearly 900,000 SUVs

Service action focused on possible brake problems.

by on Apr.02, 2014

Jeep calls back its latest-model Grand Cherokee due to potential brake problems - especially in colder climates.

The U.S. side of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to recall nearly 900,000 recent sport-utility vehicles because of potential brake problems that could become especially severe in colder climates.

The automaker originally said it didn’t see a recall-worthy problem when it notified federal regulators of a possible issue with brake line corrosion last year, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thought otherwise after learning that the problem can be worsened if the vehicles are operated in sub-freezing conditions.

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The recall involves 2011 through 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, 644,354 of them sold in the U.S., 42,380 in Canada, and another 181,061 delivered to customers in Mexico and other parts of the world.