Chrysler recalling 49K Chargers for headlight components
Statement: Jumper Harness
March 13, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group is recalling approximately 49,400 full-size cars to inspect and replace, if necessary, various headlamp components.
Customer service data led Chrysler Group engineers to investigate reports similar to those that prompted a 2012 recall. The campaign involved police vehicles equipped with jumper harnesses and other components that overheated.
Chrysler Group was not aware of any related injuries or accidents in the 2012 campaign, nor is the Company aware of any injuries or accidents involving the current recall.
Chrysler Group will inspect and replace, if necessary, headlamp jumper harnesses and bulbs, or headlamp assemblies, on certain model-year 2011-2012 Dodge Chargers equipped with halogen headlamps. Repair costs will be borne by the Company.
Affected are approximately 43,450 vehicles in the U.S., 2,850 in Canada, 375 in Mexico and 2,700 outside the NAFTA region.
Chrysler Group will contact affected customers and advise them when to schedule service. Customers who remain concerned may call 1-800-853-1403.
US database may have overstated deaths in GM ignition switch recall
Earlier today, we reported that the actual death toll attributable to GM's ignition switch problem had crested the 300 mark according to new research, well up from the original reports of 12 to 13 deaths. Now, word is breaking that the US government database that informed the study that the report was based on may have significantly overstated the correlation between the study and the GM recall.
The initial study was conducted by Friedman Research on behalf of the Center for Auto Safety, and used something called the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System. To recap, the study claimed that over a 10-year period, 303 people were killed in Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion coupes and sedans when their airbags failed to deploy. These undeployed airbags were then linked to GM's ignition switch recall, which as we've explained before, can turn the ignition out of the "run" position and into the "off" or "accessory" position, disabling the airbags in the process.
Now, according to a report from The Detroit News, which cites research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Study Center for Trauma and EMS at the University of Maryland, the FARS analysis didn't take into account fatal accidents in conditions where the airbags weren't supposed to deploy (which isn't to say crashes and deaths weren't caused by loss of control from the ignition switching off in the GM vehicles). According to the report, this was a significant number of the cases.
There is another potential problem, too. According to that same report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses both FARS and another database on fatalities, called the National Automotive Sampling System/Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS). Where FARS uses what the DetNews calls "not always reliable" police data to record vehicular deaths within 30 days of a crash, NASS/CDS relies on what's known as a probability sample. It collects data on 5,000 crashes each year – including some found in the FARS database – to calculate a probability figure.
According to a 2009 IIHS study, "Among crashes common to both databases, NASS/CDS reported deployments for 45 percent of front occupant deaths for which FARS had coded nondeployments." In plain English, FARS doesn't provide a reliable count airbag deployments.
"The bottom line is at least for the years we looked at it, the coding of airbag deployments isn't always accurate," the study's author, IIHS Senior Vice President for Research Anne McCaratt told The News. "It's frustrating because it seems like police reports would be able to code accurately whether an airbag deploys or not. It's not like trying to figure out if the driver fell asleep."
At this point, it remains unclear how many deaths are attributable to the GM ignition switch flaw. It's possible that the number of total deaths may be far fewer than the 303 claimed by the Friedman Research/CAS study we covered earlier (although it may climb back past that number once deaths across all models are included), though it's likely still higher than the 12 to 13 cases thus far acknowledged by GM. With this latest turn, though, the issue becomes cloudier and cloudier.
NHTSA closes investigation into Jeep Liberty fires
NHTSA closes investigation into Jeep Liberty fires
The investigation that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened into the Jeep Liberty in October 2013 has been closed. NHTSA received two (!) complaints about fires starting in the driver's door, thought to be caused by the master power window switch. The initial estimate was that 80,000 Libertys could be roped into a possible recall, but according to a report in the Detroit News the agency examined records for 425,000 Chrysler products that used the same window switch, including the Dodge Nitro and Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
After canvassing 265 warranty claims related to the master switches, NHTSA concluded that the rate of fires compared to the "large population of vehicles" was rather low, and that there was no trend pattern behind the few issues it did find. Perhaps with that, and the closure of the trailer hitch investigation, the Liberty can finally rest in peace.
After receiving an unspecified number of complaints in China, BMW has reportedly started a "full investigation" into what may be a defective part in its VANOS engine control system. BMW said via a Chinese blog that it would file a recall application with the the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in China.
BMW has not yet announced how many vehicles will be recalled, or which models the potential recall might cover. We're also curious as to whether the VANOS issue could extend into markets outside of China.
GM announces 3 new recalls affecting 1.7M vehicles in North America
GM announces 3 new recalls affecting 1.7M vehicles in North America
Still embroiled in the ongoing ignition switch recall, General Motors announced today three more discrete recalls, affecting a grand total of 1,546,900 vehicles in the US. The Detroit News reports that some 1.7 million vehicles are affected overall in North America.
The first and largest of the trio of new recalls concerns some 1.18-million Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia crossovers from the 2008-2013 model years, Chevrolet Traverse from 2009-2013 (pictured above) and Saturn Outlook vehicles from 2008-2010. All of the crossover utilities may have an issue with the wiring harness for their seat-mounted side airbags. Apparently, the vehicles are equipped with a Service Air Bag warning light that, if ignored, "will eventually result in the non-deployment of the side impact restraints." Those restraints include the side airbags, a front-center airbag if the vehicle is so equipped and seatbelt pretensioners.
Dealers of affected vehicles will be instructed to remove driver and passenger side airbag wiring harness connectors, and then "splice and solder the wires together."
The second recall affects 303,000 Chevrolet Express (pictured right) and GMC Savana vans from model years 2009-2014, and with gross vehicle weights under 10,000 pounds. Said vehicles do not comply with a head impact requirement for unrestrained occupants, and will need a reworking of the instrument panel material to be sent back on the road. It doesn't sound as though there's a quick fix for this one, as the GM press release states: "Unsold vehicles have been placed on a stop delivery until development of the solution has been completed and parts are available."
Finally, the third recall affects 63,900 Cadillac XTS luxury sedans from model years 2013 and 2014. A brake booster pump may be susceptible to corrosion by way of the relay, potentially causing and electrical short, overheating, melting of plastic components and even engine fires. GM says it is aware of two engine fires in unsold XTS models and two cases of melted parts. Repairs for the issues affecting the XTS have not not mentioned by GM in the release.
The Detroit News is also reporting that along with news of the triple-recall, GM is taking a $300-million credit to help pay for the repair costs, and to deal with the ongoing costs associated with the ignition switch recall.
GM Redoubles Safety Efforts, Announces New Recalls
- 2009-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana to get reworked instrument panel material to meet compliance for unbelted passengers
- 2013 and some 2014 Cadillac XTS models to be repaired to prevent possible brake booster corrosion that may result in overheating
- Some 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverse, and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlook to repair the wiring harness of seat mounted side air bags
DETROIT – As a result of Mary Barra's request for a comprehensive internal safety review following the ignition switch recall, General Motors today announced three separate recalls involving U.S. production and sales of approximately:
303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from the 2009-2014 model years with gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds
63,900 Cadillac XTS full-size sedan from the 2013 and 2014 model years
1.18 million Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia models from the 2008-2013 model years, Chevrolet Traverse from the 2009-2013 model years, and Saturn Outlook from the 2008-2010 model years
"I asked our team to redouble our efforts on our pending product reviews, bring them forward and resolve them quickly," said Mary Barra, GM CEO. "That is what today's GM is all about."
The full-size vans with gross vehicle weights of 10,000 pounds or less do not comply with a head impact requirement for unrestrained occupants, requiring a rework of the passenger instrument panel material.
Unsold vehicles have been placed on a stop delivery until development of the solution has been completed and parts are available. Customers will be notified at that time. Repairs will be made at no charge to customers.
In the XTS, a brake booster pump can create positive pressure within the wiring harness attached to the pump relay. This pressure can lead to the dislodging of a plug in the brake booster pump relay, allowing corrosive elements to enter the connector and form a low-resistance short that could lead to overheating, melting of plastic components and a possible engine compartment fire.
GM is aware of two engine compartment fires in unsold vehicles at dealerships and two cases of melted components.
With respect to the Enclave, Traverse, Acadia and Outlook, the vehicles are equipped with a Service Air Bag warning light in the driver information center. Ignoring the Service Air Bag warning light will eventually result in the non-deployment of the side impact restraints, which include driver and passenger seat-mounted side air bags, front center air bag (if equipped), and the seat belt pretensioners.
To repair the condition, dealers will remove the driver and passenger side air bag wiring harness connectors and splice and solder the wires together.
"Today's announcement underscores the focus we're putting on the safety and peace of mind of our customers. We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes and will have more developments to announce as we move forward," Barra said.
GM expects to take a charge of approximately $300 million in the first quarter primarily for the cost of the repairs for the three safety actions and the previously announced ignition switch recall.
Honda recalling nearly 900,000 Odyssey minivans over fire fear
Honda recalling nearly 900,000 Odyssey minivans over fire fear
RECALL Subject : Fuel Pump Cover may Crack and Leak Fuel
Report Receipt Date: MAR 14, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V112000
Component(s): FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Potential Number of Units Affected: 886,815
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
HONDA ODYSSEY 2005-2010
Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) is recalling certain 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey vehicles manufactured June 23, 2004, through September 4, 2010. In the affected vehicles, the fuel pump strainer cover may deteriorate allowing fuel to leak out.
A fuel leak increases the risk of a fire.
Parts to permanently repair the affected vehicles are not currently available. Honda will notify owners with an interim letter during April 2014. A second notice will be mailed to owners when the remedy becomes available, currently expected to be during the summer of 2014. Any vehicles that are currently leaking from the fuel pump cover will get a replacement, original cover. All vehicles, including those receiving the interim repair, will get an improved cover when they are available. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009. The recall numbers associated with this campaign are JD9 (inspection and/or preliminary part replacement) and JE0 (final parts replacement).
In wake of ignition scandal, GM appoints Jeff Boyer as safety czar
GM Announces New Vehicle Safety Chief
Jeff Boyer named Vice President, Global Vehicle Safety
DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra today named a new vehicle safety leader whose first priority will be to quickly identify and resolve product safety issues.
Jeff Boyer, has been named to the newly created position of Vice President, Global Vehicle Safety, effective immediately. Boyer, who has spent nearly 40 years in a wide range of engineering and safety positions at GM, will have global responsibility for the safety development of GM vehicle systems, confirmation and validation of safety performance, as well as post-sale safety activities, including recalls.
Boyer will provide regular and frequent updates on vehicle safety to Barra, senior management and the GM Board of Directors.
"Jeff's appointment provides direct and ongoing access to GM leadership and the Board of Directors on critical customer safety issues," said Barra. "This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability. If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them. If he needs any additional resources, he will get them."
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers in the vehicles they drive," said Boyer. "Today's GM is committed to this, and I'm ready to take on this assignment."
Boyer, 58, will report to John Calabrese, Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering and become a member of Global Product Development staff, led by Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Boyer began his GM career in 1974, as a co-op student and has held several senior engineering, safety and process leadership positions, including the role of a total vehicle integration engineer. His most recent position since 2011 was Executive Director of Engineering Operations and Systems Development. Before that, Boyer served as Executive Director of Global Interior Engineering and Safety Performance where he was responsible for the performance and certification of GM vehicle safety and crashworthiness. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University and a Masters of Business Administration from Michigan State University.
VOLKSWAGEN ISSUES VOLUNTARY SAFETY RECALL
Mar 14, 2014
Herndon, VA (March 14, 2014) - Volkswagen considers the safety and satisfaction of its consumers and passengers to be a top priority. As such, Volkswagen of America today notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will be issuing a voluntary recall.
Volkswagen has notified NHTSA of an upcoming voluntary safety recall affecting approximately 150,201 Volkswagen Passat vehicles from the 2012-2013 model years. It is possible that, in instances where the hood is closed roughly (or dropped from a certain height), the resulting vibration and/or impact can cause a low-beam headlight bulb to lose electrical contact. If this happens, a warning in the instrument cluster will immediately alert the driver. Failing illumination of the low beam bulb may lead to reduced visibility of the vehicle.
There have been no crashes or injuries reported regarding this issue.
Volkswagen plans to notify all owners of affected vehicles and will instruct them to arrange for an appointment with an authorized Volkswagen dealer. At no cost to customers, dealers will install an improved bulb fitting. Additionally, the hood bumpers will be inspected and, if necessary, adjusted or replaced to help prevent the hood from contacting the headlight assembly if the hood is dropped during closing.
Barra says recalled GM cars 'safe to drive' with one big 'if'
The ongoing investigation into General Motors' 1.6-million-car ignition recall continues to pick up steam, with most questions centering on what the company knew and when it knew it. On Tuesday, newly minted CEO Mary Barra held a press conference to directly address questions about GM's safety problems and their ramifications. In addition to public criticism and potential lawsuits, the business is facing multiple government examinations into how it handled the issue.
During the conference, Barra reportedly said that she first learned about an internal safety investigation in late December and found out that a recall was necessary on January 31. A repair campaign for 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 models was first announced on February 13 and broadened about a week later to cover more models.
According to The New York Times, during the conference, Barra was asked directly if the affected cars are safe to drive until the ignition switch is replaced. She responded: "If you have just the ring with the key, it is safe to drive." She spoke to GM engineers about the issue and asked them, "Would you let your wife drive this car? ... And they said yes." The problem, which involves the potential for the ignition to shut off unintentionally (killing engine power and deactivating the airbags), is understood to be exacerbated by large and heavy key rings that place strain on the ignition.
The company has been addressing this major safety issue since it went public in February. On March 18, it appointed Jeff Boyer to the newly created position of vice president for global vehicle safety. It has also promised loaner vehicles and a $500 cash allowance on a new GM product to affected owners.
The automaker is still facing a hearing in front of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. Barra said she would speak there if asked, according to the NYT. The company is also preparing a 107-question timeline on the recall for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and conducting an internal investigation.
Barra will testify to US House on April 1 about recall
More Official Press:
GM CEO Mary Barra and Lead Federal Vehicle Safety Official Expected to Testify April 1
March 20, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today announced that General Motors Company CEO Mary Barra will testify at an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. The committee has also invited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman to testify on the same day.
"We look forward to hearing from both Mary Barra and Administrator Friedman. Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it," said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). "The problems originated long before Barra and Friedman took the helms of their respective organizations, but their actions and input now, as our investigation proceeds, will be essential to getting answers about what went wrong. We want to know if this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life due to safety failures like this don't happen again."
"I look forward to this hearing so we can find out from GM and NHTSA how this happened and why these dangerous vehicles were not fixed in a timely fashion," said full committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO).
Additional hearing details, the Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.
BACKGROUND: The committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into the General Motors Company's (GM) and NHTSA's response to consumer complaints related to stalling, airbag non-deployment, and ignition switch problems. GM announced a recall in February covering over 1.6 million vehicles worldwide to correct the problems, but reports indicate drivers first complained of the safety defects over 10 years ago. The company has stated that the defects may have been linked to 31 frontal crashes and a dozen fatalities. Committee staff has now been briefed by both NHTSA and GM on the recalls, and currently awaits production of the documents and information requested last week.
Recalled Saturn Ion facing separate federal safety probe
Date Investigation Opened: SEP 29, 2011
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: EA11014
All Products Associated with this Investigation Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
SATURN ION 2004-2007
Manufacturer: General Motors LLC
ODI has received 846 complaints and GM identified 3,489 reports alleging sudden loss of power steering assist in model year (MY) 2004 through 2007 Saturn Ion vehicles manufactured and sold by General Motors Corporation (GM). Sixteen of these complaints alleged that the EPS warning lamp had illuminated before or during the loss of steering assist and the increased steering effort contributed to a crash. Two of the GM crash claims indicated that the driver was injured in the crash.
In a previous Preliminary Evaluation PE10-005, ODI investigated the sudden loss of power steering assist in MY 2005 through 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles. In May 2011, in response to an ODI information request letter for RQ10-004, GM provided ODI with complaint, warranty and EPS system information related to EPS loss of assist for the Saturn ION and peer vehicles Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu. In that response, GM indicated that the EPS system used in the subject vehicles was the same as that used in the MY2005 to 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5. In March 2010, GM recalled approximately 1.05 million Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles (NHTSA recall No. 10V-073) to correct a defect with the EPS assist motor. The defect identified was described as a buildup of brush debris mixed with oily material on the EPS electric motor armature which causes the motor to stop functioning; the same problem identified in the current subject vehicles. ODI has duplicated this failure in both a Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn ION previously tested at the Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC).
In the defect notification letter for the previously recalled Cobalt and G5 vehicles, GM stated that the vehicles may experience a sudden loss of assist that could occur at any time while driving and that if power steering was lost the vehicle would revert to manual steering mode and would require increased steering effort from the driver. ODI believes that, depending on driving circumstances this increase in steering effort could result in some loss of control and a crash.
An engineering analysis has been opened to further assess the frequency, scope and safety consequences of a sudden loss of steering assist in the subject vehicles.
Lawsuits contend GM hasn't recalled all defective Cobalts
General Motors is facing additional lawsuits in California and Alabama relating to the faulty ignition switches that have forced it to recall some 1.6 million Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles. These suits are a bit different than GM's other legal issues, though.
In the California case, a suit was filed with a federal court in San Francisco alleging that the ignition switch problem is present on newer Chevrolet Cobalts, up through the 2010 model year, with claims that the ignition could be switched off by a driver's knee. Currently, GM's recall only covers 2005 to 2007 model year Cobalts.
The Alabama case, meanwhile, alleges that GM sent technical service bulletins to dealers in the state warning that keys may "stick" or "bind" in the ignition in Cobalts and other vehicles not covered under the recall.
"We won't comment on specific allegations," GM spokesman Jim Kane told Autoblog, "but we're confident that we've recalled all of the vehicles that could have faulty ignition switches."
Vice President of GM, Mark Reuss, echoed that sentiment in speaking at a roundtable last week, according to Automotive News. "Where the switch was used in production, we have done a very accurate and complete read across," Reuss said.
Nissan recalling more than 1M vehicles for airbags that may fail to deploy
Nissan recalling more than 1M vehicles for airbags that may fail to deploy
Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for 989,701 vehicles in the US due to an issue with their passenger-side airbag systems. Affected Nissan models include the Altima, Leaf, Pathfinder and Sentra from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and 2013 NV200 taxis. Affected Infiniti models include the 2013 JX35 and 2014 Q50 and QX60 utility vehicles.
Reuters is reporting that a total of 1,053,479 vehicles are included in the recall globally, with about 60,000 of the affected vehicles having been sold in Canada.
The fault apparently lies in something called the occupant classification system, which may, in the recalled vehicles, incorrectly classify the passenger seat as empty when it is in fact occupied by an adult. When the system fails to recognize the passenger, the passenger-side airbag may deactivate, and could therefore fail to deploy in the event of a crash.
Nissan is expected to notify owners sometime in the middle part of next month, instructing its dealers to update the vehicles' software, free of charge.
Cadillac recalls ELR coupe over stability control problems
Subject: Electronic Stability Control Systems/FMVSS 126
Dear Ms. Benavides:
This letter serves to acknowledge General Motors LLC's notification to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety recall which will be conducted pursuant to Federal law for the product(s) listed below. Please review the following information to ensure that it conforms to your records as this information is being made available to the public. If the information does not agree with your records, please contact us immediately to discuss your concerns.
Mfr's Report Date: March 26, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V-144
ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL
Potential Number of Units Affected: 656
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Cadillac ELR vehicles manufactured September 26, 2013, through February 14, 2014, and equipped without adaptive cruise control. In these vehicles, the electronic stability control (ESC) system software may block certain ESC diagnostics, preventing the system from alerting the driver that the ESC system is partially or fully disabled. As such, these vehicles fail to conform with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 126, "Electronic Stability Control Systems."
If the driver is not alerted to an ESC malfunction they may continue driving with a disabled ESC system which may result in loss of directional control, increasing the risk of a crash.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will recalibrate the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), free of charge. The recall is
expected to begin on April 17, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac at 1-800-458-8006. GM's number for this recall is 14087.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY
1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.