Coda Recalls Electric Vehicles for Defective Side Airbags

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Los Angeles-based electric car company, Coda Automotive, has issued a recall of their electric cars for potential side airbag defects. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the defective side airbags were installed improperly and may not deploy during an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that only 78 vehicles are involved in the recall because so few Coda vehicles have been sold since they became available in March of this year. Coda Automotive says that there have been no known incidents or injuries related to this vehicle defect. A date has not been set for the recall. Anyone who owns or drives one of these vehicles would be well advised to contact the manufacturer for more information regarding this recall.

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Is General Motors Ignoring Defective Airbag Complaints?

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There have been a number of inadvertent airbag deployment incidents recently involving General Motors vehicles. According to an MSN news report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and GM have not investigated these alleged airbag defects involving problems with the airbag sensors despite multiple reports of inadvertent deployments. There have been at least 19 reported instances of sudden airbag deployments involving GM vehicles. According to the report, the vehicles include Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer and Buick models.

One consumer reported an incident where the side curtain airbags in a CTS-V wagon deployed suddenly. The driver of a 2009 Chevrolet HHR SS had a similar experience when the vehicles side curtain airbags deployed as during a hard left turn. The driver of a 2011 Buick Regal was surprised when four side airbags deployed as his vehicle went over a bump on the roadway. It is not clear if GM or NHTSA will begin an investigation with regard to these potentially defective vehicles.

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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 www.SaferCar.gov.

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

Kia Recalls 73,000 Rio Models for Airbag Defects

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Kia Motors America has issued an auto defect recall for nearly 73,000 of its Rio vehicles because a passenger airbag could malfunction and deploy when a small child is seated in the front passenger seat. According to a report in The New York Times, the recall affects Kia Rio vehicles from the 2006 to 2008 model years. Kia has tracked the problem to a sensor mat in the passenger seat that was intended to determine whether a child or an adult was seated as a passenger. The airbag is not supposed to deploy with a child on the seat. However, with repeated use of the seat, the automaker says the sensor may fail allowing the airbag to deploy and possibly injure children.

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General Motors Recalls Chevy Malibu Vehicles for Airbag Issues

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General Motors has issued an auto defect recall for Chevrolet Malibu Eco sedans for potential inadvertent airbag deployment. According to Consumer Reports, there are software issues with the sensors in the vehicle’s airbag and safety systems. Officials say the recall involves approximately 4,300 Chevy Malibu Eco sedans from model year 2013. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the roof rail airbags can unintentionally deploy and the seat belts and air bags may fail to work properly during a collision. Vehicle owners are expected to be notified next month to bring their cars to a dealership for reprogramming. It appears that GM engineers discovered the software issues during tests involving aggressive turning maneuvers. It is not clear if anyone has been injured because of these auto defects.

Chevrolet Recalls

There have been a number of Chevrolet recalls recently. The 2012 Chevrolet Express and Suburban were both recalled for issues with the steering systems. The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox has issues with its pressure monitoring and regulating systems. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic was recalled for brake issues. The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado was recalled because of seatbelt defects.

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Honda Recalls Acura Sedans for Power Steering Issues

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Honda Motor Company is issuing an auto defect recall for Acura TL sedans in the United States to fix a problem with power steering hoses. According to an Associated Press news report, the recall involves about 53,000 sedans in which the hoses can deteriorate over time and leak fluid. That can cause the cars to lose power steering and even cause a fire. The recalled sedans are from the 2007 and 2008 model years. Honda officials say they have not yet received reports of crashes, injuries or fires related to the problem. In 2008, the Japanese automaker recalled 273,000 Acura TLs for a similar problem. Those vehicles were from the 2004 to 2008 model years. Owners can expect to get letters in mid-June telling them to take their cars to an Acura dealer for repairs.

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Federal Officials Launch Investigation into 2012 Hyundai Elantra Side Airbags

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Officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are investigating possible auto defects in 2012 Hyundai Elantra sedans after receiving a report from a vehicle owner who was severely cut from a piece of metal from the side airbag deployment during a collision. According to Consumer Reports, the metal along with the side airbag protruded from the left side headliner of the driver’s seat and cut the victim’s ear in half missing his neck by less than an inch. Neither Hyundai nor NHTSA have examined the crashed Elantra.

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Drivers Report Inadvertent Side Airbag Deployment in Honda Vehicles

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A driver in Cobb County, Georgia, reported that the side airbags in his Honda deployed suddenly and without warning as he was driving the vehicle. So far, Honda has not issued any recalls for these particular airbag defects. However, WSBTV in Georgia reports that 24-year-old Shane Kurth is not the first one to report inadvertent deployment of side curtain airbags in Honda vehicles.

According to the news report, Kurth was heading to chiropractic school and driving 65 mph on Interstate 285 when his driver’s side airbag deployed for no apparent reason and hit him on the side of his head. Kurth initially thought he had been hit by another vehicle, but soon realized that wasn’t the case. Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of the car. WSBTV reports that Kurth’s story, while frightening, is not unique. The report says there have been dozens of similar complaints about various Honda models. Another Georgia driver, Chris Androvic, also complained in October 2011 after his airbags deployed while the car was in motion and had not been hit.

No Recalls Yet

So far Honda officials have not issued an auto defect recall in connection with these airbags. Six months ago, the Japanese automaker released a statement that the airbag deployments have not been linked to a common condition or defect. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet opened an investigation into this matter. So far, it is not known if any injuries have been reported.

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Nissan Recalls Vehicles for Stalling and Airbag Issues

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Nissan is issuing auto defect recalls for minivans and cars due to stalling and side airbag issues. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the recalls involve certain Nissan Quest minivans from the 2011 and 2012 model years to fix a fuel delivery problem that could cause the vehicles to stall. The minivans involved in this recall were manufactured from July 2010 through February 21, 2012. Improper software programming may result in an insufficient supply of fuel. This could happen especially when the vehicle is driven downhill at low speeds with a quarter tank of gas or less. In such cases, the engines could stall. This problem affects about 23,531 vehicles. When the recall begins later this month, Nissan dealers will reprogram the fuel pump control module.

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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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