Ford and Mazda SUVs Recalled for Sticky Throttles

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About 660,000 Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute SUVs are being recalled for a defective auto part that results in issues with the throttle. According to Consumer Reports, the auto recall involves 2001 to 2004 model year Escapes as well as 2001 to 2006 and 2008 Tribute SUVs. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say the SUVs have a design flaw that causes the throttle to stick even when the cruise control system is not on.

The recall was announced only a week after news broke that there was an ongoing investigation into consumer complaints regarding stuck throttles in these vehicles. The probe uncovered an inadequate clearance between the speed control cable connector and the vehicle’s engine cover. The defective design causes the throttle to get stuck as if the accelerator pedal is fully depressed. Free repairs will be offered to the owners of the vehicles affected by this auto recall.

The Dangers of Sticky Throttles

It can be extremely dangerous to travel in a vehicle with a defective throttle. Whenever the design of a vehicle results in throttle issues, it is likely that the auto manufacturer will have to issue an immediate recall. It is crucial that vehicles have properly working throttles. If there is sudden and unintended acceleration it may be impossible to slow the vehicle. Victims in these types of situations may desperately slam on their brake pedal or even pull their emergency brakes to no avail. Sadly, defective throttles have been linked to a number of serious injury and fatal accidents. Toyota recalled more than 11 million vehicles three years ago as some of its vehicle models accelerated uncontrollably due to sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats. More

Hyundai Recalls Vehicles for Defective Airbags

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Hyundai is recalling two of its popular models, the Sonata sedan and the Santa Fe SUV because of airbag defects. According to Consumer Reports, the 2007 to 2009 Santa Fe SUVs may contain defective electronics that may not detect small front seat passengers and fail to deploy in the event of a crash. The 2012 to 2013 model year Hyundai Sonata sedans may have side airbags that deploy suddenly, even when there is no side-impact crash. Hyundai has issued a statement saying that the airbags in the Santa Fe SUV will not deploy because of a software error. More than 199,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs will be affected by this recall.

The company will also recall 22,500 Sonata sedans. The automaker received 16 consumer complaints about sudden and unexpected side airbag deployment. This vehicle defect has been blamed on a manufacturing flaw. Hyundai has said that it will replace the side airbag systems free of charge. For more information, call Hyundai at 800-633-5151 or visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web site at

Dangerous Airbag Defects

Airbag defects primarily result in failure to deploy or sudden deployment. When an airbag fails to deploy in the event of a car accident, the vehicle’s occupants lose that extra layer of protection thereby suffering catastrophic injuries or even deaths. When an airbag deploys suddenly and unintentionally, it can lead to an injury accident. The force with which the airbag deploys may also cause serious injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. More

Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup Trucks under Investigation for Drive Shaft Problems

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Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are investigating Dodge Ram vehicles for defective auto parts. According to Consumer Reports, the Dodge Ram 1500 4WD full-sized pickups in question are from model years 2009 and 2010. Safety regulators are trying to determine if the vehicle has drive shaft issues that can lead to serious injury accidents.

Officials say there have been eight complaints against the Dodge Ram so far for instances involving drive shafts locking up at speeds of 35 mph or greater. Four of those instances resulted in the driver losing control of the truck. In one case, the pickup crashed into a concrete barrier. It is not clear if Dodge will have to issue an auto safety recall on the potentially defective vehicles. Investigators are asking for information from anyone who owns one of these trucks and has experienced their steering wheel locking up.

Dodge Recall

It is not clear if this potentially dangerous auto part will result in a recall. If it does, it wouldn’t be the first time in recent years that Dodge has had to issue a major vehicle safety recall. The 2012 Dodge Charger was recalled for issues with its service brakes and anti-lock control unit. The 2012 Dodge Durango was recalled for engine cooling issues. The 2012 Dodge Journey was recalled for service brake issues. The 2011 Dodge Avenger and the Dodge Caliber have been recalled for steering column defects. More

Defective Strollers Recalled after Child’s Death

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Peg Perego USA Inc. is issuing a defective product recall of 223,000 strollers for risk of entrapment and strangulation. According to a news report in Consumer Affairs, a 6-month old baby from Tarzana, California was killed after his head was trapped between the seat and the tray of his stroller in 2004. Officials say a 7-month-old girl from New York was nearly strangled in a similar fashion in 2006. The risk of entrapment or strangulation on these defective strollers is at its highest when a baby under the age of 1 is not properly harnessed. In such cases, the infant can pass through the opening between the seat bottom and the stroller tray.

The defective product recall affects 223,000 strollers made by Peg Perego. The two different versions of the strollers that are being recalled are the Venezia and the Pliko-P3. These strollers were manufactured between January of 2004 and September 2007. All of these recalled products have a one-cup holder. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the strollers. More

Volkswagen Beetle Vehicles Recalled for Defective Tires

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Volkswagen is issuing an vehicle defect recall for some of its 2012 Beetle sedans that are equipped with defective tires. According to Consumer Reports, 46 vehicles are being recalled for having inappropriate summer tires. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that the tires can become overloaded or under-inflated. Vehicles with improperly inflated tires have an increased risk of being involved in a car accident. The owners of the affected VW vehicles will be notified in September. Volkswagen will replace the faulty tires free of charge. It is unclear if the defective tires have resulted in car crashes or injuries.

Tire Care during the Summer

Tire care is especially important during the summer. Long summer trips, heavy loads and higher temperatures put additional stress on a vehicle’s tires. It is important to check your tires regularly. Look for signs of uneven wear or damage. Make sure that there is enough tread on the tire to operate safely. Place a penny in your tire tread. If it is not deep enough to see the top of Lincoln’s head, then you may need new tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Use a gauge to make sure your tires are at the recommended inflation pressure and not at the maximum level. Also, make sure you never overload your vehicle. Tires are more likely to fail when a vehicle is overloaded.

Dangers of underinflated and worn tires

NHTSA found that vehicles with tires that are underinflated by more than 25 percent are three times more likely to be involved in a crash. Additionally, tires that are underinflated up to 25 percent are at a greater risk of overheating and failing. Tire depth will also affect the handling of your vehicle. The accident rates for vehicles with full tread depth on the tires are 2.4 percent while tires with inadequate depth have an accident rate of 26 percent. More

Jeep Grand Cherokees Under Investigation for Engine Fires

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles from model year 2012 for potential defective auto parts that are causing engine fires. According to Consumer Reports, the SUVs are under investigation because of complaints regarding engine fires and totaled vehicles. Officials determined that one of the engine fires occurred at the result of a faulty power steering hose that leaked fluid while the engine was hot. The cause of two other vehicle fires remains under investigation. NHTSA is trying to determine just what caused the fires and if a safety recall is needed.

Recent Jeep Investigations and Recalls

In June of 2012, the Office of Defect Investigations began investigating older Jeep Grand Cherokees as well. Cherokees from model year 1993 through 2004 are under investigation because of a potentially defective design. The fuel tank in those SUVs is behind the rear axle where it can result in a gas tank explosion. In April of this year, NHTSA issued a recall of 2012 Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs for leaking fuel valves. Approximately 1,700 SUVs were involved in this recall, but there have been no reports of engine fires resulting from the defective part. More

Anaheim Car Accident Proves Fatal for Woman

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Kimberlee Reimer, 49, was killed in an Anaheim car accident after she lost control of her vehicle and crashed, the evening of July 21, 2012. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal car accident occurred at the on-ramp to the Interstate 5 at Katella Avenue. California Highway Patrol officials say Reimer was driving a Hyundai and had approached the merge point to enter the northbound I-5. Her car then veered right, before falling off the freeway’s east embankment and travelling across all lanes of Katella Avenue. Reimer died at the scene. Officials are looking into what caused the accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of Kimberlee Reimer, who are mourning this tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Car Crash Statistics

According to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 23 fatalities and 1,970 injuries occurred in 2009 involving Anaheim car accidents. During the same year, Orange County car crashes claimed 141 lives and injured 13,373 people.

What Caused This Crash?

Based on this news account, it is unclear as to how or why Reimer lost control of the vehicle. There are several unanswered questions here. Was there an auto defect or mechanical malfunction in the vehicle? Was speed a factor? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway, which may have caused or contributed to the crash? Were other vehicles involved? For example, was Reimer’s vehicle run off the roadway by another vehicle? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Liability Issues

If a vehicle defect or a defective auto part caused the accident, then, the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective product can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. In such cases, it is important that the vehicle be preserved in its current condition, unaltered, so that an expert can assess it thoroughly for vehicle defects, malfunctions and other evidence. An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney who has successfully handled auto product liability cases against large automakers will be able to advise victims’ families about their legal rights and options. The best auto product liability law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to car accident victims or their families.

New Ford Escape Vehicles Recalled for Fuel Leaks

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Ford has issued an immediate auto defect recall for thousands of their 2013 Escape SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 11,500 SUVs with the base 1.6-liter engine are being recalled for a defective auto part that may result in a gasoline leak issue. Officials say the engine’s fuel line is prone to leaking gasoline, which poses a serious fire hazard. Ford has also issued a “stop sale” order on these vehicles.

Dealerships have already been told to hold off selling the potentially defective models and sending them out on test drives. It appears from the report that only SUVs with the 1.6-liter gas engine are affected by the fuel leaks. So far, no reports of injuries or fires have been received by the automaker. All owners of this vehicle are urged to immediately contact a local dealership for free repairs.

The 2013 Ford Escape Recall

This is the second recall of the Ford Escape from model year 2013 in recent weeks. A July 16, 2012 Consumer Reports article states that improperly positioned carpet padding put drivers at risk of being unable to stop. The carpet padding can interfere with the SUV’s pedals “increasing stopping distances and risking collision.” That recall affects 8,266 Escapes. More

Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute under Investigation for Sticky Throttles

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Older-model Ford Escapes and Mazda Tribute SUVs manufactured by Ford are under investigation for a defective auto part that may have already resulted in at least one fatality. According to The Associated Press, the 730,000 SUVs that are under investigation have V-6 engines and belong to model years 2001 to 2004. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that there have already been 99 complaints from owners that the throttles can stick. The potentially defective throttles have allegedly been the cause of 13 crashes resulting in nine injuries and one fatality.

According to the report, Ford Escape owners filed 68 of the complaints and 31 were filed by owners of Mazda Tribute vehicles. Investigators are looking into whether the issue stems from a 2004 auto recall involving the same model vehicles. It appears that the recall of about 590,000 vehicles in December of 2004 involving a defective accelerator cable may have resulted in damaged cruise control cables.

Numerous Recalls in 2012

The potential auto recall involving these 730,000 SUVs is certainly sizeable, but that number is relatively small when compared to some of the recalls that have already occurred this year. Earlier in the year, 1.4 million Toyota Camry sedans and RAV4 small SUVS were recalled for door fire hazards. There was also a recall of Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVS for fuel tank fire hazards involving 5.1 million vehicles. More

Nissan Recalls 2012 Juke Vehicles for Faulty Seatback Latches

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Nissan North America is issuing a vehicle defect recall for about 12,000 Nissan Juke small SUVs due to defective rear seatback latches. According to Consumer Reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is stating that certain models of the Juke SUV have rear seat back latches that may fail during a frontal collision, increasing the risk of injuries to rear passengers.

NHTSA says this safety issue is related to “incomplete weld penetration” of the rear seat latches, which are designed to lock the seatbacks into upright position. This vehicle defect affects more than 11,000 of the vehicles in the United States. About 700 vehicles in Canada are also being recalled for the same problem. Nissan is expected to notify vehicle owners by the end of July. When the recall begins, local Nissan dealerships will replace the faulty rear seat strikers at no cost to owners.

Injuries Caused By Seatback Failure

Seatback failure can cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries to vehicle occupants. Seatback failure occurs when automakers manufacture seats that are not equipped to withstand impact during a car crash. Even in a low-speed collision, seatback failure can cause the entire seat to disconnect from the vehicle and either eject the passenger or collide with another passenger. Some of the common injuries suffered as a result of seatback failure include bone fractures, head injuries, internal organ damage, scarring, disfigurement and spinal cord injuries. According to NHTSA, three out of four people ejected from a vehicle will be fatally injured. More

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