The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials opened investigations into 374,000 2013 Honda Accords and 17,000 2008 Infiniti EX35 crossovers for steering problems that led to dozens of complaints and possibly four accidents.
Regulators received 24 complaints about the Accords, claiming the vehicles lose power steering or that a significant increase in effort was needed to steer the vehicle. In the complaints were allegations of four accidents occurring as a result of the problem. The collisions all happened at speeds of less than 30 mph, according to NHTSA.
According to some of the complaints, the problem was fixed after shutting the car off and restarting it. However, some reports showed that the problem returned after that was done.
Also under the microscope are Infiniti crossovers due to a problem with steering wheel shaft separations causing a loss of steering control. In one instance, problems began at 40 mph and once the driver came to a stop the driver of the vehicle, which had less than 20,000 miles on it, was able to turn the steering wheel 360 degrees, but the tires did not move.
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A second instance indicated that the steering became loose on the vehicle while driving and it failed completely upon pulling into the driveway of the vehicle owner’s home.
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In the case of Honda, it’s also dealing with a separate probe into how it handled the reporting of problems with Takata airbags in its vehicles. While the automaker did bring the problems to the attention of regulators, NHTSA officials suspect the maker may not be fully reporting the extent of the problem.
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The Takata-produced airbags are the cause of the recall of 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. and 16 million worldwide. The airbags can explode launching pieces of plastic and metal shrapnel at the driver and passengers in the vehicles.