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Posts Tagged ‘Auto recalls’

Expect Recall Numbers to Remain High, Study Says

NHTSA looks to increase investigation numbers, leading to more actions.

by on Feb.25, 2015

Mark Rosekind, NHTSA's new administrator, is pushing for a tripling of the agency's budget to ensure it can be an "enforcer" of safety rules.

The steady stream of automotive recalls that made 2014 the Year of the Recall is unlikely to occur again this year, but volumes are likely to be higher than normal, according to a recently released study.

Stout, Risius and Ross, a financial advisory firm, released its second annual automotive industry warranty and recall study suggesting that the federal government is getting better at determining when there is a problem and getting automakers to take action, which will mean more recalls than normal this year. The firm discussed its findings at the Society of Automotive Analysts second annual Automotive Warranty and Recall Symposium.

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In short, another year with with 63.9 million vehicles recalled shouldn’t happen nor should a replay of last year’s type of recalls where two large events dominate the recalls. According to the firm, Takata’s faulty airbags accounted for 30% of last year’s recalls and General Motors was good for 20% with its action related to its ignition switches. GM, Toyota, Ford and Chrysler led the year in recalls. (more…)

2014: The Year of the Recall

Safety may remain the big story in 2015.

by on Dec.30, 2014

Barely 2 months after becoming GM's new CEO, Mary Barra was facing a Congressional investigation into the maker's ignition switch problems.

When 2014 opened, the year’s top automotive story seemed likely to be Mary Barra, General Motors’ new chief executive, and the first female CEO of a major automaker. As the year draws to a close, Barra is, indeed, still in the headlines, but enmeshed in what has turned into the year’s biggest story.

GM’s February recall of 2.6 million vehicles due to faulty ignition switches has so far been linked to more than 40 deaths. But in recent weeks, that’s nearly been eclipsed by the Takata airbag crisis that has so far led to the recall of more than 10 million vehicles and counting – federal regulators pressing to expand the service action nationwide.

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But those are only two of the many safety issues that have led the industry to recall about 60 million vehicles this year, nearly twice the previous record set back in 2004. The question is whether recalls will remain the big automotive story for 2015.

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New NHTSA Nominee Promises to Speed Up Safety Recalls

Agency needs to be industry “enforcer.”

by on Dec.04, 2014

Mark Rosekind, nominee for NHTSA Administrator.

(This story has been revised to correct the name of former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.)

Call him “the enforcer.” Mark Rosekind, the nominee to take over as the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says he’ll be getting tough when it comes to recalls and other auto industry safety lapses.

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That appeared to be precisely what members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee wanted to hear as they held a hearing on Rosekind’s appointment by President Obama. Over the last 11 months, since David Strickland left his post as NHTSA chief, the agency has come under intense fire for its handling of a series of safety issues, including the current Takata airbag recall crisis.

“I’ve been concerned with the slowness across all of the agency’s recalls,” Rosekind told the committee, adding that “NHTSA needs to be the enforcer.”

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Recalls Aside, Automobiles Becoming Safer than Ever

An era of zero fatalities may be within reach.

by on Dec.03, 2014

Volvo's new AstaZero safety proving grounds. The maker wants to see zero deaths in its vehicles.

With a record 54 million vehicles facing recall — and nearly another month to go before the books are closed on 2014 — it’s no surprise American automakers and auto buyers alike have been focused on safety this year.

But despite all the lapses that have seen dozens of deaths from faulty airbags and flawed ignition switches, there’s another side to the story: cars are safer than ever. U.S. highway fatalities are now about 40 percent down from their 1970s peak, even though there are more cars on the road logging more mileage.

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“I don’t think we’ve ever seen vehicle safety reach this level before,” contends Raj Nair, global product development director for Ford Motor Co.

The latest vehicles are not only better-equipped to survive crashes but also to avoid them altogether. That’s led several automakers, including both Nissan and Volvo, to declare that they hope to see no deaths occur in the new vehicles they bring to market by the beginning of the next decade.

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NHTSA Debates How Far to Expand Takata Airbag Recall

Agency still wants nationwide recall for faulty driver’s side bags, but hedging on passenger-side airbags.

by on Dec.02, 2014

A Takata airbag after a crash.

(This story has been updated.)

Already under fire for its handling of several recent major safety issues, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to debate how far to expand the recall of vehicles equipped with potentially faulty airbags produced by Japanese supplier Takata Corp.

With NHTSA officials set to testify before Congress on Wednesday, the agency confirmed it is still seeking a nationwide recall of driver-side airbags, but that it is not yet calling for a similar action for passenger-side airbags. The safety agency was sharply criticized following its initial decision in October to order a recall of 7.8 million vehicles in areas with high humidity where the risk of airbag failures was considered most serious.

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The big question is whether Takata will accept NHTSA’s midnight deadline and agree to go along with the expanded driver’s side airbag recall before tomorrow’s Capitol Hill hearing.

Takata Chairman Shigehisa Takada was expected to announce a decision on Tuesday but failed to reveal the company’s position.

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Toyota Recalling 1.67 Million Cars Globally

Maker’s actions affect 423,000 US vehicles.

by on Oct.15, 2014

Lexus GS sedans built between 2005 and 2010 are part of a larger recall due to faulty fuel delivery pipes.

Toyota is recalling 1.67 million vehicles worldwide, including 423,000 in the United States, for problems ranging from potential fuel leaks to faulty brake cylinders to defective emissions equipment.

The recall that impacts U.S. owners stems from a fuel delivery pipe that may leak. If it does, it’s possible that it could start a vehicle fire. The recall impacts 795,000 globally, including the aforementioned 423,000 units in the U.S.

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The vehicles affected include Toyota Crown, Crown Majesta and Mark X cars and Lexus IS, GS and LS sedans built from January 2005 to September 2010. While no injuries or accidents have resulted from the problem, complaints from the U.S. began in late 2010. (more…)

Swedish Automaker Faces Smallest Recall Ever

Even little Koenigsegg faces safety problems.

by on Sep.08, 2014

The latest version of Koenigsegg Agera, the One:1.

It’s been a record year for automotive safety problems, manufacturers so far recalling more than 40 million vehicles in the U.S. alone, often in seven-figure increments. But the little Swedish automaker Koenigsegg has set something of its own record.

The supercar manufacturer has advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it plans to recall just one single vehicle due to a tire problem.

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The good news is that Koenigsegg doesn’t expect to have too much trouble finding the affected owners – make that owner — of the affected Agera, which can cost $1.3 million. The company says they’ve already notified him.

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Feds Unveil Online Recall Info Tool

Owners need only VIN number to find information.

by on Aug.20, 2014

Anyone seeking vehicle recall information, can now go to the NHTSA's or manufacturer's website, like GM's, and enter the VIN to get the information.

In the United States this year, recalls are coming faster than Kim Kardashian selfies – about 40 million thus far, and 70 million in the last two years – and that can make it tough to know if your car, truck or SUV is involved in one.

Until now.

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After suffering through some criticism regarding the difficulty in determining is a vehicle is subject to recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today unveiled its new online search tool that allows the public to easily discover if they’re vehicle needs to take a trip to the dealer. (more…)

GM Targets 269,000 Vehicles in Five New Recalls

Brings to 66 total number of recalls this year.

by on Aug.08, 2014

Older versions of the Saturn Vue have been targeted in the latest burst of GM recalls.

(Editor’s Note: GM has revised its original news release, noting that it double-counted one of the recalls announced last week. This story — but not the headline — has been revised to reflect the correct count.)

General Motors has announced another five recalls to wrap up a busy week for the Detroit maker, bringing to 65the total number of products it has targeted for safety-related problems since the beginning of the year.

Friday’s announcements collectively involving 267,000 cars and utility vehicles. The largest of the recalls involves 202,115 Saturn Vue crossovers from the 2002 to 2004 model-years. GM says their ignition keys could be removed even while the vehicles are running, a problem linked to two known crashes and one injury.

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The latest recalls come barely a day after GM had to call back nearly 190,000 older SUVs for the third time to address a power window switch problem that could lead to vehicle fires.

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GM Issues Stop Sale on Used Cadillac Models

Unusual move reflects slow pace of recall repairs.

by on Jul.21, 2014

The announcement covers Cadillac CTS sedans using key, rather than keyless, ignition systems.

It’s become something of a regular occurrence for manufacturers to issue so-called “stop sales” when they suspect a new model might have a problem that could lead to a recall. Volkswagen recently ordered one for its new Golf and GTI models, and General Motors has issued several this year, including one covering its popular Chevrolet Cruze sedan.

But GM has now issued another, more unusual stop sale, this one telling its dealers to park and sit on some older Cadillac models because of potential ignition switch problems. The order covers Caddy CTS models sold during the 2003 to 2013 model-years, as well as 2004 to 2006 Cadillac SRX sport-utility vehicles. A handful of 2014 Cadillac CTS models were also included.

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The move, however, does not affect vehicles sold by non-GM dealers, whether franchised or independents, so shoppers need be aware that the vehicles have not yet been repaired and could be subject to problems until GM comes up with the appropriate fix.

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