VW, Audi Recall 2.0 Liter TDI Models For Fuel Leak

Posted in auto industry, News, Newsworthy, Recalls, Safety, Volkswagen by Kurt Ernst | October 7th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

VW's 2010 TDI Cup Street Edition Jetta. Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen and Audi are recalling certain models equipped with the 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel engine to repair a potentially leaking high pressure fuel line. Affected by the recall are some 168,275 models, including: Read More…

Honda To Recall 311,000 Model Year 2010-2011 Pilot SUVs

Posted in auto industry, Honda, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | September 13th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2011 Honda Pilot Touring. Image: Honda Motors

Honda is recalling nearly 311,000 Pilot SUVs built between March 13, 2008 and August 30, 2011, as the stitching on the seat belt anchor webbing may be missing or incomplete. In the event of a crash, the seatbelt may detach from the anchor webbing, leading to an increased risk of injury. Two accidents resulting in seat belt failures have been reported to date, but it’s not known if there were any resulting injuries. Read More…

BMW Recalling 241,000 3 Series Models

Posted in BMW, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | September 4th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

An E46 3 Series. Image Rudolf Strickler

If you own a BMW 3 Series model built between 2002 and 2005, heads up: the automaker is recalling some 241,000 325i, 325Xi, 330i and 330Xi models manufactured between September 1, 2001 and March 1, 2005. At issue is the electrical contact between the wiring harness and the tail lights. Over time, resistance can build up at the connection and cause the failure of the brake lights, tail lights or directional signals.

While no accidents or injuries have been reported, the condition could increase the chances of being in an accident. BMW dealers will inspect the connections and repair as necessary, when the recall begins in October. Owners with questions or concerns can reach BMW’s customer service at (800) 525-7417, or they can contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for additional details on this recall.

Source: NHTSA

NHTSA Looking At Ford Mustang Transmissions

Posted in auto industry, Favorite Cars, Ford, Mustang, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 9th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Image: Ford Motor Company

This has been a long time coming, but the NHTSA has finally launched an investigation into the manual transmissions used on 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang models. The agency has received 32 complaints to date, including both 5.0-liter and 3.7-liter equipped cars, but the issue has been well-documented on Mustang internet message boards for nearly a year. There may be 32 official complaints, but there are a lot more dissatisfied owners out there. Read More…

Honda Recalls 1.5 Million Accords, CR-Vs And Elements

Posted in auto industry, Honda, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 6th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2012 Honda CR-V. Image: Honda Automobiles

If you drive a 2005-10 Honda Accord with a four-cylinder engine, a 2007-10 Honda CR-V or a 2005-08 Honda Element, heads up. Honda has announced a major recall of these vehicles to re-program the shift software on the automatic transmission. Owners have reported problems when shifting rapidly and repeatedly between drive and reverse, as when rocking a car to get it unstuck in snow. Doing do can damage the transmission’s secondary shaft bearing, which may cause the engine to stall or prevent the transmission from entering “Park.” Read More…

Ford Recalls 1.1 Million Pickups For Failing Gas Tank Straps

Posted in auto industry, Ford, Lincoln, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | August 3rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2003 Ford F-150. Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford has announced a major recall of over 1.1 million F-150, F-250 and Lincoln Blackwood pickups to replace the gas tank retaining straps in states where corrosion due to road salt is a potential issue. At risk are 1997-2004 F-150s, 1997-99 F-250s and 2002-03 Lincoln Blackwood models, but the trucks are only being recalled in northern states where the use of road de-icing chemicals is common. Read More…

NHTSA Investigates Ford Freestyle

Posted in Ford, News, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | May 17th, 2011 | 1 Response |

The 2006 Ford Freestyle. Image: Ford Motor Company

It’s safe to say that the Ford Freestyle doesn’t represent the automaker’s finest moment. Part station wagon, part crossover vehicle, the Freestyle stands out in my mind only for having the worst engine / CVT transmission pairing in modern automotive history. I’ve had dialogue with Ford engineers who worked on developing the Freestyle, and the common apologetic theme is “we did the best we could with what we had to work with”. To no one’s surprise, the over-priced and under-contented Freestyle never sold particularly well, and Ford pulled the plug after a three year model run from 2005 to 2007 (although the similar Taurus X was sold from 2008 through 2009). Read More…

Nissan Recall Affects 271,000 Pathfinders, Infiniti QX4s

Posted in News, Nissan, Recalls, Safety by Kurt Ernst | April 25th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

A 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. Image: IFCAR

If you drive a 1996 to 2004 Nissan Pathfinder, or a 1997 to 2003 Infiniti QX4, expect to hear from your local dealership in the near future. Nissan has announced the recall of some 271,000 Pathfinders and QX4s, in the United States and Canada, to fix a potential corrosion-related issue that could result in steering loss. In states where road salt is used to prevent icing, a buildup of salt and slush can occur in the strut housing, leading to a potential structure failure and difficulty in controlling the car. Nissan points out that no injuries have been reported due to this issue, and that only a single accident may be attributable to the design. Read More…

Toyota Goes To Court For Scion Unintended Acceleration

Posted in auto industry, News, Recalls, Scion, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | March 30th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Toyota has seen the inside of a courtroom several times relating to the unintended acceleration (UA) of their cars. To date, three causes have been found for unintended acceleration: a sticking accelerator pedal, entrapment of the accelerator pedal by a floormat and driver error. Of the UA cases tried thus far, none have been brought before a jury, but that’s about to change: a New York jury will hear the case of Sitafalwalla versus Toyota this week. Amir Sitafalwalla, the plaintiff, claims that his 2005 Scion accelerated without driver input until it struck a tree. Sitafalwalla’s attorney claims the incident started when his client attempted to shift the car into park, at which time the vehicle “took off”. Toyota denies the claim and points out that the Scion in question was never part of any UA recall. Furthermore, the accident happened in 2005 but the lawsuit wasn’t filed until 2008. Read More…

Toyota Plaintiffs Dispute NASA Findings

Posted in News, Recalls, Safety, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | March 25th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

A 2010 Toyota Prius. Image: Toyota

Remember last month, when I told you that the NHTSA and NASA had issued their findings on the whole Toyota unintended acceleration debacle? To summarize, NASA reviews some 280,000 lines of code relating to acceleration commands, and could find no instance where a short or other malfunction could create an instance of unintended acceleration. The NHTSA (and even Toyota’s biggest opponent, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood) supported these findings, and agreed that there were only two causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota models. The first to be identified was “pedal entrapment”, caused when the accelerator pedal stuck in an open position, jammed by the floor mat. The final cause identified was a sticking acceleration pedal assembly, which Toyota has since corrected via a series of recalls. Other instances of unintended acceleration, based on the data available, were found to be caused by pedal confusion, which is a polite way of saying “operator error”. Read More…