Recently in Automobile Recalls Category

May 13, 2013

The Safe Rental Car Act

A new bill will be presented named "The Safe Rental Car Act" to the U.S. Senate sometime this year, where it states that Rental car companies are to ground any recalled vehicles within 24 hours of receiving a recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The time limit is extended to 48 hrs if a rental company has more than 5,000 of the affected vehicles in its fleet. At times, certain recalls provide a list of temporary measures that can be taken until the complete fix is available. If such an option is made available, rental car companies are allowed to continue to rent those recalled vehicles until the replacement parts are available and distributed accordingly.

The bill, if passed, would also give the NHTSA the right to investigate rental car companies' compliance with the law. Passing the Safe Rental Car Act has its ups and downs, according to rental car companies such as Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, etc. Some rental companies say it's too hard a law to abide by because depending on the vehicle that is being recalled, rental companies might be forced to ground thousands of vehicles, which would in turn affect the customer, reduce the inventory available at each rental company and any recalled vehicles already out on loan would have to be replaced immediately.

Secondly, some recalls are less serious than others. For example, if a vehicle is being recalled for brake failure or fluid leaks or engine troubles then that recall is important and should be immediately grounded but if the recall is for a proper tire pressure label then that recall is not as important, serious or dangerous to the renter.

Lastly, rental companies, sometimes, point out that taxis do not have to follow the same legislation as rental companies, and to them, that is not fair. They consider taxis as vehicles that take a non-vehicle owner from one place to another and should therefore follow the same legislation, rules and laws as rental car companies in order to maintain the safety of the driver and passenger in these recalled vehicles.

However; if the new bill is passed, it is only for and in the best interest to the public/consumer. When renting vehicles, the rental companies are ultimately taking risks and taking responsibility for the vehicles that they are renting to the public. It is simply one of the risks that come with the rental car business.

April 3, 2013

Magura Hydraulic Disc Brake Recall Issued by the CPSC

Magura USA Hydraulic disc brakes have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after it was determined that the brakes can malfunction in low temperatures and can lead to loss of brake pressure. The recall includes Magura MT6 and MT8 hydraulic disc brakes that consist of a brake lever, master cylinder linked to the handle bars, and a hose running from the master cylinder to the caliper that is attached to the rear wheel. These specific hydraulic disc brakes were manufactured from March 2011 to May 2011 with the date codes ranging from 10301 to 20531, which are printed on the bicycle. This means that about 2,800 bicycle hydraulic brakes have been recalled due to the risk that they may fail, posing potential crashes and injuries for riders. All other Magera hydraulic disc brakes are not included in this recall or affected by the faulty part that can cause injury.

The Magura MT6 was sold in black and silver and the MT8 was sold in black and red. Both have the word "Magura" located on the caliper and the "MT" logo on the master cylinder. The MT6 model has the word "six" printed on the brake lever and the MT8 model has the word "eight" written on the brake lever. The Magura MT6 and MT8 were priced at $269 and $379 respectively. Also, included in this recall are all MT6 and MT8 brake systems without date codes.

Magura disc brakes are manufactured in Bad Urach, Germany and imported by Magura USA, of Olney Illinois.

The CPSC recommends that owners and riders of these bicycles stop riding them, contact Magura USA at (800)448-3876 for a free repair, and/or visit them online at and click on "Recall Information".

Also, please be aware that it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The CPSC responsible for protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion a year. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard.

No injuries have been reported to date, but if you or someone you know does become a victim or is injured by the use of either the MT6 or MT8 Magura USA Hydraulic disc brakes, please contact the CPSC and file a report/complaint and contact an attorney to assisting you in your claim.

July 24, 2012

Ford Motor Company Recalls 2013 Ford Escape SUV's

M-2013-Ford-Escape.jpgFord Motor Company has recalled the 2013 Ford Escape that comes equipped with 1.6 liter four cylinder engines.

The recall was issued of the 2013 Ford Escape 1.6 liter four cylinder engine vehicles because the vehicles have a faulty fuel line that can cause an under hood fire. This recall affects about 11,500 Escapes in the US and Canada, mainly vehicles built at the Ford Motor Company Louisville, Kentucky plant. All other Escape models are not affected. The danger of an under hood fire only occur while the vehicle is in motion, therefore; do not drive the vehicle. Call your dealership, immediately. Dealers will pick up your Escape and drop off a rental car that can be used until the repairs are finished at no cost to you, the owner/customer.

Three under hood fires have been reported since June 9, 2012. Two were reported by employees that were test driving the vehicles at the Louisville Kentucky Assembly plant and one by an owner in Canada. No injuries were reported, but this caused the recall of the 2013 Ford Escape 1.6 liter four cylinder engine vehicles.

There was a second recall issued on the 2013 Ford Escape. The second recall issued has to do with the carpet padding that can interfere with braking.

April 19, 2012

NHTSA Proposal for Override Brake Systems Implementation

brake pedals.jpgOn April 12, 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a 98 page proposal to upgrade the current safety standards of vehicles by implementing brake-override systems in all vehicles. The proposal is aimed at preventing runaway car crashes. Federal safety administrators propose that all new cars and trucks have brake-throttle override systems. This means that a vehicles brake system would work even if the gas pedal is stuck while the driver is trying to brake (ie: sticky pedals or pedal entrapment issues), therefore; minimizing the risk of driers losing control of their vehicles in emergency situations. A perfect example of this problem is the Toyota's unintentional acceleration problems from 2009 and 2010, where Toyota vehicles were accelerating and the drivers could do nothing to stop the vehicle and therefore crashes occurred and people were injured. As a result of the acceleration problem of certain Toyota vehicles, a recall of over 10 million vehicles went into effect. The NHTSA brake-override proposal would stop that from happening ever again.

If passed, the proposed rule would go into effect September 1, 2014, but would exclude vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds. One of the important issues is that if this rule goes into effect, it would cost little to implement, considering that most new vehicles have the software already. Toyota, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group LLC already have the brake override systems in all their vehicles since 2011.

December 6, 2011

NHTSA Investigates Batteries of Chevrolet Volts

After crash tests results show that batteries are catching fire on the Chevrolet Volts, the NHTSA will get involved and further investigate this safety problem. The fire risk of the Chevrolet Volts will be investigated by the NHTSA in the coming weeks. In the meantime, General Motors Company, has offered all Chevrolet Volt owners rental vehicles until the NHTSA's investigation is complete. If you own a Chevrolet Volt, you should contact your dealer immediately.

The investigation needs to determine whether the lithium-ion batteries have a higher risk of catching fire in certain types of automobile crashes. A recall could be issued if it is determined that this is so.

So far crash test results show that when the Volts have a side impact, that causes damage to the battery compartment and coolant line, can lead to a fire. The problem is that in some of the cases in the tests conducted showed that the fire might not ignite right away and could take a few days before actually catching on fire.

The crash test in questions was conducted by the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Three separate tests caused the batteries to either heat up or burst into flames. The first test was done in May and it was a side impact test to show how well the vehicle protects passengers. Three weeks after the test was conducted the vehicle's battery caught fire.

In November three more tests were done. One resulted in no fire or increase in battery temperature, but the other two tests resulted in batteries smoking, sparking and catching fire.

General Motors, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the NHTSA are all working together to continue testing the Chevrolet Volt's lithium-ion batteries and to determine what is causing these batteries to ignite.

While these investigations are being conducted Chevrolet Volt owners should be cautious and if you feel unsafe, contact your dealership directly and request a rental vehicle. If you are involved in a collision and the battery catches on fire, make sure and exit the vehicle quickly and safely and make sure and advise the fire department or any rescue crew that responds to the collision about the battery issue and electrical issue of your vehicle, so they can better respond to the situation, if possible disconnect the battery.

June 9, 2011

Odometer Fraud

Odometer.jpgThe Office of Odometer Fraud Investigations (OFI) was established in 1984 and consists of four regional offices, staffed with a criminal investigator and an administrative support staff. Their mission is to reduce the cost of vehicle ownership by stopping odometer fraud.

When purchasing a used vehicle one must consider the safety of the vehicle. Things such as safety belts, air bags, brakes and the like, but one must also consider the vehicle's odometer. A vehicle's odometer is used to determine the wear and tear of the vehicle and if this has been altered or tampered with then it can affect your safety. Some sellers tamper with odometers, and therefore you buy a vehicle thinking it is much newer and safer then it really is.

The OFI is responsible for making sure that odometers are not tampered with or rolled back. The organization works hard at tracking down crime rings that continuously purchase high-mileage vehicles, alter their odometers, and resell them.

Therefore, when purchasing a used vehicle make sure and compare the odometer mileage with maintenance and inspection records. You should also consider the wear and tear of the vehicle with the mileage of the vehicle. Most dealerships can also provide you with a CARFAX report when purchasing a vehicle, and you can review the report for the vehicles history and prior ownership.

May 2, 2011

Corrosion Risk Recall for the Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 in D.C. and Maryland

nissan-pathfinder-2002_1611.jpgA vehicles recall is in affect for Infiniti QX4 model vehicles manufactured between 1997 and 2003 and Nissan Pathfinders model vehicles manufactured between 1996 through 2004, sold in various states in the Northeast part of the United States, including the District of Columbia and Maryland. About 196,000 of these vehicles are being recalled due to potential steering problems as a result of corrosion from cold weather and the use of road salt to clear snow and ice from the roads. These are called "salt belt" states, which also include: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A mix of water, salt and snow collected in the upper strut housing of these vehicles is causing corrosion and the corrosion is causing the strut housing to crack and separate from the inner hood ledge assembly. This is causing difficult in steering and the steering column could ultimately break, causing an inability to steer or control your vehicle. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating this problem since October of 2010 and has determined that 162,658 Nissan Pathfinders and 33,333 Infiniti QX4s are to be recalled.

Nissan Dealerships in the "salt belt" states will inspect and repair vehicles at no cost to the vehicle owner. Notifications will also be mailed to the owners no later than May 16, 2011. Nissan owners can call (800)647-7261 with any further questions or concerns.