Feds Launch Investigation into Side Airbag Problems, More Recalls Likely

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Federal safety regulators have launched a probe into airbag defects involving side curtain airbags in a number of vehicles that may fail to deploy in the event of a car accident. According to an Associated Press news report, this issue has spurred several auto recalls already, involving different brands including Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan. It appears now that the number could grow well beyond the current 2,700 vehicles recalls if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that more automakers used similar defective parts.

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Nissan Recalls Vehicles for Potential Fuel Tank Leaks

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Nissan North America is issuing an auto defect recall of more than 79,000 Infiniti sedans, SUVs and Juke crossovers for possible fuel tank leaks caused by faulty installation of a fuel pressure sensor. According to Consumer Reports, the 2011-2012 models of the Infiniti M sedan, the QX SUVs and the Nissan Juke crossover might have improperly tightened fuel pressure sensors in the fuel tanks.

Over time, these sensors may loosen as a result of heat and vibration causing fuel leaks and presenting a potential fire danger. Nissan is expected to notify vehicle owners in March. Dealers will replace the faulty fuel pressure sensors at no fault to customers. For more information, please contact Nissan at 615-725-1000 or visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site at www.SaferCar.gov. Several automakers have issued recalls recently for potential fire hazards due to fuel leaks. As recently as last week, Honda recalled its 2012 Pilot and Acura MDX models for defective design issues that can result in fuel leaks and potential vehicle fires.

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15-Passenger Van Accident Injures 10 College Students

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Ten students from the University of Washington were injured in a 15-passenger van accident on Highway 101 near King City. According to a news report in The Monterey County Herald, the injury collision occurred the afternoon of February 24, 2012. The 22 students were traveling to a conference in Santa Maria in two 15-passenger Ford vans carrying 11 students each. The vans were traveling side by side when they collided near a rest area south of Bradley.

The van that was traveling in the slow lane veered into the right side of the other van, which in turn swerved into the dirt median and back across the southbound lanes. That vehicle entered the dirt shoulder again before overturning. California Highway Patrol officials say two people in the van were ejected. Seven others suffered injuries. The driver of the first van was also injured. The injured students ranged in age from 18 to 22. More

Recall of Women’s Cruiser Bicycles Due Frame Failure

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Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of all Women’s Saratoga Bicycles built by Fuji. 10,500 of the bikes were manufactured in China and imported by Advanced Sports, Inc. of Philadelphia.

The hazard in question is that the bicycle’s frame can break right down the center of the downtube, causing frame to collapse and the rider to fall. The company is aware of 12 reports of bicycle frames breaking, including two injuries, a head laceration requiring 20 stitches and scrapes and bruises.

The recalled bicycles are Fuji women’s cruiser bicycles. The 2008 through 2010 models Saratoga 1.0, Saratoga 2.0, Saratoga 3.0 and Saratoga 4.0 are included. The bicycles are various colors. “Fuji” and “Saratoga” alone or “Saratoga” along with the model number is printed on the frame of the bicycle. Serial numbers beginning with ICFJ7, ICFJ8, ICFJ9, ICFJ10 and ICFJ11 are included in this recall. The serial number is located on the bottom of the frame near the crank. More

Honda Vehicles Recalled for Potential Fire Dangers

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Honda has issued an auto defect recall for its 2012 Pilot and Acura MDX models for potential fire hazards, The Car Connection reports. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the vehicles involved in this recall have defective design issues that can result in fuel leaks. Officials say the vent shut float valve case in the fuel tank assembly is ill fitting and can result in leaking fuel, which could cause a fire. Approximately 8,709 vehicles are affected by the recall.

Owners of 2012 Honda Pilots or Acura MDXs would be well advised to take their vehicle to a Honda dealer who will inspect it and replace the fuel tank assembly at no cost if necessary. It is unclear if anyone has been injured because of this auto defect. The official recall is scheduled to begin on March 13, 2012.

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Honda Odyssey Minivans Recalled for Faulty Lift Gates

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Honda has issued an auto defect recall for nearly 46,000 Odyssey minivans because the struts that support power lift gates on higher priced models may fail and cause injuries. According to a report in The New York Times, a manufacturing defect on Odyssey EX-L and Touring vehicles from the 2008-2009 model years, which are equipped with power lift gates, allowed pressurized gas to escape from the struts. This defect could result in the lift gate closing under its own power. This can also occur suddenly and unexpectedly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in September after getting seven consumer complaints with regard to this issue. Two of these complaints were from owners who said they were injured by falling lift gates.

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Safety Advocates Call for Government Oversight of Rental Car Recalls

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Hertz and safety advocacy group, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, have reached a landmark agreement that calls for Congress to give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) authority over the car rental companies’ recall-related practices as well as prohibit them from renting or selling these recalled vehicles until they have been repaired. According to a news report in USA Today, this historic agreement adds momentum to an amendment with the same provisions backed by Senators Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer. The amendment is likely to be included in a surface transportation bill, which the Senate is expected to take up later this month.

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Nissan Recalls Vehicles for Dangerous Airbag Defects

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Nissan has joined several automakers who have recently issued auto defect recalls in connection with faulty airbags that were made with initiators containing an incorrect mixture of propellants. According to Consumer Reports the 2012 Nissan Altima and Nissan Versa sedans that have been recalled could have issues with their side curtain airbags that may not inflate during a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified similar issues with other vehicle models.

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The Bisnar | Chase Auto Recall Update

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Yes, the media and auto makers will tout and spout about all the great and grand safety features, gas mileage, and dependability. They all win awards for crash test safety and “car of the year.”

Yet, each week the news carries a quiet undercurrent of vehicles being recalled. On average, the typical NEW vehicle has 132 things wrong with it as it sits on the showroom floor. The very best rated cars will have a minimum of 85 things wrong with them. Still, this news and notices of recall are constant and constantly underplayed and hidden by the media and auto makers themselves.

Therefore, as a public service, this firm will endeavor to present a weekly, updated list of recalls…from that particular week. We invite you to take a look. You may wish to contact us if you find yourself in an car accident that is caused by one of these auto defects. More

First It Was The Coffee Maker…Now It’s The Packaged Coffee

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Last week everyone was blaming the Tassimo single cup coffee makers for exploding. Now it has been announced that it is the coffee packets themselves that are a problem.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Kraft Foods Global Inc., of Northfield, Ill., is recalling about 2.1 million packages of Tassimo espresso T Discs sold in the United States and an additional 1.9 million in Canada.

The T Discs can become clogged and spray hot liquid and coffee grounds onto consumers and bystanders during or after brewing, posing a burn hazard. There have been 21 reports of incidents of hot liquid and/or coffee grounds spraying onto consumers and bystanders, including four reports of second-degree burn injuries. One injury involved 2-year-old girl from Canada who received second-degree burns to her face. This recall involves Gevalia, Maxwell House and Nabob brand espresso T Discs. The T Discs are plastic discs filled with coffee that are inserted into Tassimo coffee makers to brew single cups of hot espresso drinks. More

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