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Posts Tagged ‘Chevy Cobalt’

Death Toll Could be 74 Due to GM Ignition Defect

Research of federal database reveals possible increase.

by on Jun.03, 2014

A 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, one of the recalled GM vehicles, could be one of the vehicles responsible for as many as 74 deaths, according to new research.

According to new research, the faulty ignition switch that caused General Motors to recall 2.6 million small cars since January may be responsible for as many as 74 deaths, not the 13 reported by the automaker and federal agencies.

Reuters reported it conducted a search the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a national database of crash information submitted by local law-enforcement agencies, for collisions similar to those involving GM’s recalled vehicles: single-car frontal collisions where no front air bags deployed and the driver or front-seat passenger was killed.

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The news agency found two things: between 2003 and 2012, 45 people died in Chevy Cobalts and 29 in Saturn Ions – totaling 74 – in crashes under the aforementioned circumstances. It also found people are six times more likely to die in those vehicles than in comparable vehicles, such as the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. (more…)

Chevy Finally Has Competitive Compact With Cruze

Great fuel mileage, snazzy interior, sharp exterior highlight small sedan.

by on Sep.30, 2011

The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is setting sales records for General Motors, a far cry from the unloved Cobalt it replaced.

When Chevrolet replaced its long-running Cavalier compact with the Cobalt, some pundits wondered if we just would have been better with yet another update of its ancient predecessor.

There are no such thoughts about the Cobalt’s replacement, the Cruze. The Cruze is so much better that in a few years when its successor is introduced, it is likely that it won’t have sullied its name so much that General Motors needs to come up with yet another moniker for its compact offering.

Fuel mileage has become a major point of emphasis for automakers everywhere and GM is crowing loudly that the Cruze can be ordered in Eco trim, which is rated at 42 mpg highway, the highest such rating for any gasoline-powered, nonhybrid sold in this country.

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The Cruze tested here doesn’t carry that 42-mpg label, but it’s still impressive, scoring 26 city and 38 highway on the EPA tests. We saw 32 in a combination of freeway and rural two-lanes.

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NHTSA Opens Numerous Investigations in January

Millions of Ford F150 and Escape, Mazda Tribute, Chevy Cobalt and Trailblazer, GMC Envoy and Denali models under scrutiny for fires, loss of steering, stalling and other deadly defects.

by on Feb.03, 2010

Ford F150 air bags blowing up for no reason?

Ford F150 air bags blowing up for no reason?

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened defect investigations into millions of non-Toyota vehicles last month.

The safety agency is under criticism, of course, for lack of action in the ongoing Toyota unintended acceleration matter, and faces at least two Congressional hearings (click here) over its conduct.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Republican – Illinois, has vigorously defended NHTSA in the media, while attacking Toyota officials for their foot dragging on safety issues, including the sticking pedal recall that was just announced at the end of January.

That’s not going to be good enough for Congressmen who will want to know just what Toyota and NHTSA knew about the complaints and deaths, precisely when it was known, and why it took so long to do anything about it.

It turns out that while NHTSA was pressing Toyota for recalls and telling it to stop sales, it was also asking Ford Motor Company about airbags inadvertently blowing up and causing injuries to at least 66 people. Millions of Ford’s best-selling F150 pickup trucks are potentially affected covering 2004-2006 production.

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Timely!

NHTSA also has reports of at least 88 fires in previously recalled 2001-2004 Ford Escape and Mazda Tributes. In spite of repairs performed on almost 400,000 of the compact SUVs, the fires kept occuring.  NHTSA is now questioning the effectiveness of the previous recall covering an ABS brake controller. Stay tuned for more on this.

The safety agency also queried General Motors about several potentially severe problems. One is the result of a petition calling for NHTSA to open an investigation into the performance/reliability of the fuel level sensor installed in model year 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazers. Reports of engine stalling, and possible rear-end accidents are alleged. If further action were taken, it would include not only 2005 and 2006 Trailblazers, but GMC Envoy models as well. More than 600,000 trucks could be affected.

More serious, perhaps, are the more than 1,000 reports of the loss of electronic power steering assist on 2005-2009 Chevrolet Cobalt models. Most of the complaints have been received during the past six months, and at least 11 of them allege that an accident resulted. NHTSA is now taking a closer look at the issue.

In fact, in the current environment, it looks like NHTSA is going to be more active, and less acquiescent toward automakers than it has been in the past.  The web has made the gathering of information much easier. And publicizing problems results in yet more data, making it harder for automakers to dismiss customer concerns. The art and/or engineering science of this is deciding when a problem is large enough to justify a recall.