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Auto Product Liability

Hyundai Recalls Sonatas for Transmission Defects

By Wayne Grant on August 4, 2014 - Comments off

When there are numerous reported problems with a particular motor vehicle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may conduct a defect investigation. If it is clear that consumers are in danger because a part of the vehicle was poorly designed or assembled, the NHTSA may administer a safety recall. In recent years, there have been many recalls involving faulty tires, defective brakes and poorly designed child safety seats. Hyundai Motor Co. is one of the most recent automakers that have issued a major recall because of serious safety concerns.

The NHTSA reports that Sonata cars from model years 2011 to 2014 have a transmission-shift cable that can detach from the shift-lever pin. When this happens, the gear selection may not match the indicated gear causing the car to move in an unexpected direction. As a result of this defect, Reuters reports that Hyundai is recalling 883,000 Sonata mid-sized sedans in the United States and in Puerto Rico. A spokesman for the company has stated that there have been no reported accidents, injuries or fatalities resulting from the defect. Read the rest »

Why the GM Ignition Recall Matters

By Wayne Grant on May 9, 2014 - Comments off

Recalled Product LawsuitsOn the surface, the massive General Motors recall of faulty ignition switches is like any other safety recall. GM recognized that there was a defect in their product that put consumers at risk and issued a recall of 2.6 million vehicles. However, this auto recall is different. According to a recent news report in The Consumerist, GM spent about a decade failing to issue a recall despite possessing full knowledge that the ignitions were dangerous. This failure to act has lead to at least 13 traffic deaths and it has sparked a civil and criminal investigation into the practices of GM.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently looking into when GM became aware of the ignition defect. The first report of a potential problem was documented in the pre-production notes of the 2002 Saturn Ion back in 2001-2002. GM also knew there was an issue with the ignition switch of the Chevy Cobalt in 2005 because they opened a number of engineering inquiries into the problem. In 2007, the NHTSA threatened to open an investigation because of reports of cars turning off. However, it wasn’t until 2012-2013 that GM admitted that the ignition switches were in fact broken, resulting in the recall of 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.

Read the rest »

GM Issues Major Recall of Small Vehicles

By Wayne Grant on March 24, 2014 - Comments off

Georgia Personal InjuryIn mid February, General Motors issued a recall of more than 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles for defective ignition switches. GM has now announced that they are doubling the recall after 13 deaths were reported. According to The Associated Press, 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts, Saturn Sky sport cars, Pontiac Solstice, and Chevrolet HHR SUVs have been added to the list of recalled vehicles. Read the rest »

Honda Issues Recall of 374,618 Vehicles due to Inadvertent Air Bag Deployment

By Wayne Grant on October 15, 2013 - Comments off

Atlanta Auto Product LiabilityAccording to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Honda has issued a recall of certain model year 2003 and 2004 Odyssey and model year 2003 Acura MDX vehicles. An estimated 374,618 units are affected.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received six reports of inadvertent frontal air bag deployment from owners of the affected Odyssey vehicles. Three of the six reports involved injuries. All six reports stated that the air bags deployed while the vehicles were being driven. An additional 41 reports alleged the air bag warning light to be on without any apparent reason. Read the rest »

Chrysler Recalls 1.5 Million Jeep Vehicles for Fire Hazard

By Wayne Grant on June 24, 2013 - Comments off

The Chrysler Group has agreed to recall 1.56 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) slashed the number of vehicles that should be recalled by over a million. According to a news report in USA Today, the auto manufacturer fought the recall for two weeks because they found the original recall of 2.7 million vehicles by the NHTSA to be too costly.

Government officials requested the recall as a response to a growing number of deadly vehicle fires involving rear-end crashes. Chrysler could have prevented a number of these fires had they installed longer fuel-filler hoses that would have stayed on the fuel tank during a collision. The 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs involved in the recall have hoses that are prone to becoming detached during a rear collision. When this occurs, fuel can leak and catch fire. Read the rest »

Chrysler Issues Massive Recalls of SUVs

By Wayne Grant on June 12, 2013 - Comments off

Chrysler has issued an auto recall of their Jeep SUVs to fix airbag issues and transmission fluid leaks. According to a news report in The Detroit Free Press, about 630,000 late-model Jeep SUVs are involved in the recall. The affected vehicles include more than 409,000 Jeep Patriot and Compass small SUVs from model years 2010 through 2012 that have defective airbags and seatbelts. The recall also involves 221,000 Jeep Wranglers from 2012 and 2013 that have transmission fluid leaks.

This recall was announced two days after Chrysler refused the request of safety regulators to recall 2.7 million older Jeep SUVs. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested Chrysler recall Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 2004 and Jeep Liberty vehicles from 2002 through 2007 for a fuel tank defect that has led to 37 fiery crashes and 51 deaths. Read the rest »

Chrysler Issues Massive Jeep Recall for Gearshift Problems

By Wayne Grant on May 23, 2013 - Comments off

A gearshift problem has forced Chrysler to issue a major worldwide Jeep recall. The Examiner reports that almost 470,000 Jeep vehicles have been recalled, including 2006 to 2010 Jeep Commanders and 2005 to 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokees. According to the recall notice, these SUVs can shift into neutral from park without warning, increasing the risk of a rollaway.

Chrysler began looking into this potentially dangerous defect when a customer reported in January 2012 that the vehicle rolled away after being started remotely. Chrysler has since been notified of 26 accidents and two injuries linked to the defective auto part. There have been no reported fatalities. Chrysler plans to notify owners by mail and to fix the problem at no cost. This is the largest Chrysler recall since November 2012 when over 900,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs were recalled. That auto recall involved defective airbags that could deploy inadvertently. Read the rest »

Honda and Nissan Issue Recalls for Shift Interlocks and Brake Issues

By Wayne Grant on April 22, 2013 - Comments off

Honda has issued an auto recall for over 200,000 recent models with automatic transmission issues. The New York Times reports that the defective Hondas have automatic transmissions that can be shifted out of “park” if the brake pedal is not pressed down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the affected vehicles include 17,500 Acura RDX models from 2013, 128,000 CR-Vs from 2012-13, and 59,000 Honda Odyssey minivans from 2012-13. No injuries have been reported in connection with these vehicle defects.

Honda has had brake-shift interlock issues in the past, as well. In 2010, Honda recalled about 384,000 2003-04 models because the key could be removed when the vehicle was not in “park.” There were two other recalls because of this same issue in 2003 and 2005. Those three recalls affected 1.4 million vehicles. Read the rest »

Kia and Hyundai Issue Massive Recall for Safety Defects

By Wayne Grant on April 10, 2013 - Comments off

If you own a Kia or Hyundai, your vehicle may have a defective brake light switch that could increase your chances of being in an accident. According to a news report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kia Motors and Hyundai have recalled 1.9 million cars and SUVs for defective auto parts. A majority of the recalled vehicles have a defective brake light switch that on occasion prevents the brake lights from turning on when the pedal is depressed. The defective part can also affect the cruise control system and the Electronic Stability Control light.

The 623,000 Kia vehicles involved in the recall include the following models: Sorrento 2007 to 2011, Rondo and Sportage 2007-2010, Sedona 2007, Soul 2010-2011, and the Optima 2011. The 1.06 million Hyundai models recalled include: Accent and Tucson 2007-2009, Elantra 2007-2010, Santa Fe 2007-2011, Veracruz 2008-2009, Genesis Coupe 2010-2011, and the Sonatas 2011. The auto manufacturers have stated that the defective switches have not been linked to any accidents. Owners can receive a free replacement switch in the coming months. Read the rest »

Subaru Recalls 47,419 Vehicles that Can Start on Their Own

By Wayne Grant on March 21, 2013 - Comments off

Subaru of America is issuing a recall of 47,419 vehicles in North America that have malfunctioning remote engine starters. As reported by The Detroit News, this auto recall affects the 2012-13 Impreza, 2010-13 Legacy, 2010-13 Outback, and the 2013 XV Crosstrek. Investigators say that the defect allows the engine to start and run for 15 minutes and continue to turn on and off until the battery in the key fob dies or the vehicle runs out of gas. This defect is particularly dangerous if the vehicle is parked in an enclosed space where a buildup of carbon monoxide can result in asphyxiation.

This is not the first auto recall in recent months that Subaru has had to issue. At the beginning of 2013, Subaru recalled 633,842 relatively late-model sedans, wagons, and crossovers that had electrical issues. According to an ABC News report, the recall resulted after there were a number of reports involving shorts in the electrical system that posed a fire hazard. Subaru was able to begin the recall for that defect before there were any actual vehicle fires, but there were incidents involving smoke. Read the rest »

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