San Bernardino Rollover Accident Proves Fatal

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Mathew McIntosh, 21, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after the vehicle he was driving rolled over, the night of December 27, 2011. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred along Highway 18 near Kasota Road in Apple Valley. McIntosh was westbound in his 2002 Chrysler PT when it swerved onto the road’s north shoulder and overturned, ejecting him. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department is investigating the cause of this fatal accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Mathew McIntosh for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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Tankless Water Heaters Recalled due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risks

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Navien America Inc., an Irvine-based company, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has issued a defective product recall for about 13,000 tankless water heaters. According to a CPSC safety alert, an unstable connection can cause the water heater’s vent collar to separate or detach if pressure is applied. A detached vent collar poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to the consumer. So far, no incidents, injuries or fatalities have been reported as a result of this product defect.

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Honda Goldwing Motorcycles Recalled for Defective Floorboards

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an auto defect recall for 21,600 Honda Goldwing motorcycles due to defective aftermarket floorboards that can crack and break off, increasing the risk of crashes and injuries. According to Consumer Reports, the aftermarket floorboards manufactured by Kuryakyn may separate from the motorcycles possibly injuring riders or causing collisions. NHTSA says the defects affect Kuryakyn floorboards, part number 607005, which were sold and installed on 2001-2011 Honda Goldwing motorcycles. When the recall begins in January, Kuryakyn is expected to begin notifying consumers and provide replacement mounting kits at no cost.

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Nissan and Infiniti Vehicles Recalled for Possible Oil Leaks

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Nissan North America has issued an auto defect recall for nearly 15,000 vehicles for an issue that may cause a loss of engine oil and increase the risk of a crash. According to Consumer Reports, the recall involves 2011 Infiniti FX SUVs, 2012 Infiniti M sedans, 2012 Nissan Frontier pickup trucks, 2011-2012 Nissan Pathfinder SUVs, 2011-2012 Nissan Xterra SUVs, and 2012 Nissan NV commercial vans.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the vehicles being recalled use sub-standard bolts to connect the engine oil cooler to the oil filter. The bolts, officials say, were not manufactured to the specified strength. So, they could break at the filter attachment point and cause an oil leak. Loss of oil could cause the engine to seize and increase the risk of a car accident. When the recall begins in January, Nissan will notify vehicle owners who can bring in their cars to a dealership. The defective bolts will be replaced at no cost to consumers.

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Cadillac SUVs Recalled for Transmission Issues

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an auto defect recall for 2010-2011 Cadillac SRX sport utility vehicles for transmission issues. According to Consumer Reports, the 8,789 recalled vehicles have improperly installed transmission shift cables that may prevent drivers from shifting the SUV into or out of “park” and possibly cause a car accident. The problem affects SRX models made by General Motors between October 2008 and June 2011.

Drivers of the vehicles in question may have problems shifting the automatic transmission out of the park mode because the cable has come out of the bracket. The vehicle’s shifter may also incorrectly show that the SUV is in “park” when it is not. In such cases, there is the danger of the SUV rolling away and causing a crash. When the recall begins in January, General Motors will notify the owners of the affected vehicles. Dealers will have the transmission shift cables inspected and replaced free of charge.

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Group Calls for Civil Penalty against Honda for Delaying Safety Recall

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The Center for Auto Safety is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to fine Honda Motor Company for delaying its recall of more than 2.7 million vehicles for airbag defects that have been linked to at least two deaths. According to a Detroit News report, the safety advocacy group sent its letter to NHTSA on December 5, 2011 calling for a civil penalty against Honda “for failing to initiate a timely recall of defective driver airbag inflators that rupture and send shrapnel into the driver.”

Serious Injuries and Fatalities

The letter came on the heels of an auto defect recall involving 876,000 vehicles issued by the Japanese auto maker. This is the fifth separate recall issued by Honda for the same problem. In all, Honda has recalled 2.5 million vehicles in the United States. These defective airbags have been linked to 20 incidents in the United States, 18 injuries and at least two fatalities. In May 2009, Ashley Parham, an 18-year-old Oklahoma high school student, was killed when metal shards hit her after the airbag deployed in her 2001 Accord. A number of these recalled vehicles were manufactured in 2001 or 2002 and included popular models including the Civic, Accord, Odyssey, Pilot, and the Acura 3.2 TL and Acura 3.2 CL vehicles.
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Elderly Man Killed in Riverside Rollover Accident

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John W. Morris, 81, was killed in a Riverside car accident when his vehicle left the roadway and rolled over. According to a news report in The San Diego Union-Tribune, the fatal rollover accident occurred on Interstate 10 between North Palm Springs and Cabazon, the morning of December 1, 2011. Officials are investigating what caused the vehicle to veer off the freeway and overturn. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The accident remains under investigation.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of John W. Morris following this tragic rollover accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
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Honda Recalls 304,000 Vehicles for Defective Airbags

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Honda Motor Company has issued an auto defect recall for 304,000 vehicles worldwide due to defective airbags. According to an Associated Press news report, the recall involves 273,000 vehicles in the United States including Accord, Civic Odyssey, Pilot CR-V, and other models. Honda officials say the airbags in these vehicles may inflate with too much pressure in the event of a crash sending metal and plastic fragments flying and causing injuries or deaths. So far, 20 accidents have been reported relating to this problem including two fatalities in the United States in 2009. The vehicles involved in this recall were all manufactured in 2001 and 2002. Also included in this recall are 912 airbag service parts sold for installation in vehicles for collision repair and other reasons.
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Car Booster Seat Law

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California has always been a leader in legislating defective auto products, and a new law stipulates that children riding in any vehicle must be restrained in the back seat in a child restraint until their eighth birthday or until the child reaches 4 feet 9 inches tall. A $500 fine awaits violators as well.

The law goes into effect beginning January 1 with absolutely no grace period to learn the law. CHP officers will enforce the new law in full from the first day of the new year.
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Subaru Stops Sales of Certain Models for Brake Defects

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Subaru of America has stopped the sale of 2012 Impreza, Legacy, and Outback models for auto defects after consumers complained about brake problems with the vehicles. According to a report in Automotive News, Subaru halted the sale on November 25, 2011 and recalled around 3,000 cars already sold and delivered. Company officials received about 130 reports of “increased brake pedal travel.” They say the brakes work, but that consumers complained that the brakes didn’t “feel right.” The brake pedal travels farther than it should. But there were no brake failure issues and no car accidents reported so far.
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