Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls 805,000 cars due to defects, NHTSA filings show.


Car and Driver (7/17, Atiyeh, 5.75M) reports that filings by Fiat Chrysler with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate “Fiat Chrysler is recalling 805,694 cars in the U.S. for cars that can stall, set off airbags without warning, and catch on fire.” The models affected by the recall include “certain 2011–2014 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, Challenger, and Durango models, plus the 2012–2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee,” which will need to have their alternators replaced due to “faulty diodes.” 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fiat Chrysler recalls more than one million vehicles.


ABC World News Tonight (7/14, story 13, 0:25, Muir, 14.63M) broadcast that Fiat Chrysler is “recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles” for reasons involving either “the alternator, which could catch fire in several models of the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee,” or due to “a wiring problem that could cause the driver’s side air bag to mistakenly deploy in Dodge Journeys from 2011 to 2015.” 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Honda recalls more than 1 million Accords.


The AP (7/13) reports on the recall of 1.2 million Accord vehicles in the US by Honda due to battery issues where “the sensors on the negative terminal of the battery aren’t properly sealed from moisture,” posing a fire risk. The recall affects vehicles from the 2013-2016 model years. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Takata recalls additional 2.7 million vehicles over faulty airbag inflators.

ABC World News Tonight (7/11, story 9, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) reported that Takata is issuing a recall of “an additional 2.7 million vehicles because of a safety risk involving an air bag inflater.” The new recall includes “some Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles.”
        The company flagged these cars because they use calcium sulfate as a drying agent, which poses an explosion risk, the Wall Street Journal (7/11, Spector, Subscription Publication, 6.37M) reports, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents made public in Tuesday. The recall was made “out of an abundance of caution” and not from any actual ruptures that might have occurred. However, the NHTSA indicated the recall was prompted by new testing of the air bag inflators, which have already lead to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, Reuters (7/11, Shepardson) reports. Nissan has said it will “recall 627,000 Versa cars from 2007-2012 model years, including 515,000 in the United States,” while “Ford spokesman John Cangany said the issue covers about 2.2 million Ford vehicles.”
        The New York Times (7/11, Maidenberg, Subscription Publication, 13.9M) says that “exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations can degrade the propellant, which contains ammonium nitrate, a volatile compound Takata’s inflaters use to deploy airbags.” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata’s ammonium-nitrate-based airbags.” He also urged regulators to quickly figure out “whether all remaining Takata airbag inflaters are safe.”
        With this newest recall, Bloomberg News (7/11, Beene, Ma, 2.41M) says that a worst case scenario is that “abnormal rupture of inflators that have a desiccant might spur a recall of 130 million air bags worldwide,” which is up from the 68 million already set to be recalled through 2019. The piece says Takata is possibly looking at $13 billion in recall costs, according to analyst Takaki Nakanishi of Jefferies Group LLC.

        Additional coverage includes the AP (7/11, Krisher), The Hill (7/11, Zanona, 1.25M), the AP (7/11), the Automotive Fleet (7/11, 62K), AutoBeat Daily (7/11, Subscription Publication), Autoblog (7/11, 459K), and ConsumerAffairs (7/11, Hood, 154K). 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Uber drivers often work “dangerously” long shifts.


USA Today (7/10, Kruzman, 5.28M) reports on Uber drivers who drive continuously for extended periods of time. The Uber app does not have a limit for the number of hours that a driver can work consecutively. Because Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors instead of employees, the drivers are not bound by federal labor laws governing work hours. USA Today reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “estimates that 100,000 car accidents reported to the police each year directly result from driver fatigue, though no concrete data exists on how many of those involved Uber or other ride-hailing service drivers.” 

Monday, July 10, 2017

NHTSA investigating faulty Continental parts “that may cause auto gas leaks.”

Crain’s Detroit Business (7/8, 75K) reports that US safety regulators and automakers “are trying to track down gas tank flanges that can crack and cause fuel leaks on what could be millions of cars and trucks.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “began investigating the parts made by German supplier Continental Automotive GmbH, whose U.S. operations are based in Auburn Hills, after the company filed recall documents this week saying the parts could be defective.” The documents, posted Friday by the agency, “say Continental sold the potentially faulty flanges to 11 automakers and five other parts supply companies.”
        Continental warns Porsche, Audi SUV recall may impact 13 other automakers. Bloomberg News (7/7, Beene, 2.41M) reported Continental AG warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a filing released on Friday that its “faulty fuel pump parts that have spurred U.S. recalls of more than 450,000 SUVs by Volkswagen AG and its Porsche and Audi brands” had also been sold to an additional 13 automakers and auto parts suppliers, “including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover.” As such, the NHTSA is “probing whether vehicles and parts sold by those other companies also contain defective fuel pump flanges from Continental, which can crack and cause a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire, according to a document” on the agency’s website.

        The AP (7/7, Krisher) reported the flanges “can crack and cause fuel leaks on what could be millions of cars and trucks.” The AP added a spokeswoman for Continental “conceded the number could run into the millions, but said it will be difficult to determine how many were sold because part numbers are not the same. The company has no reports of fires caused by the problem, she said.” 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Volkswagen recalls 766,000 vehicles worldwide over brake system.


Reuters (7/6) reports Volkwagen has issued a global recall of 766,000 vehicles under the VW brand due to a defect in the braking system that requires a software update. The recall includes 288,000 VW cars in Germany, in addition to about 100,000 Audi and Skoda vehicles there. 

Injured drivers get official role in Takata bankruptcy.


Reuters (7/6, Hals) reports from Wilmington, DE that “people injured by Takata Corp’s defective air bags were given an official role in the bankruptcy of its U.S. unit on Thursday, allowing them to challenge restructuring plans that plaintiffs’ lawyers have criticized as protective of automakers.” According to Reuters, “a seven-member official committee will represent economic loss and personal injury or tort claimants, David Buchbinder, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice’s bankruptcy watchdog, told a meeting of creditors of Takata’s U.S. business.” Reuters notes that “official committees receive funds from a debtor to hire professionals who can carry out investigations and test financial assumptions.” 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mazda recalls 227,000 cars due to parking brake issue.

MLive (MI) (7/3, Raven, 878K) reports Mazda has issued a recall for 227,814 of its “2014 and 2015 Mazda 6, and 2014 and 2016 Mazda 3 models due to a possible issue with the parking brake.” According to the article, “the issue is due to the parking brake not fully releasing or holding the four-door cars in place,” and “the key safety risk is that the cars may unexpectedly move if parked on a slope.”