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Toyota is issuing a vehicle defect recall for 2.8 million cars including its high-profile Prius hybrid models. According to an NBC News report, the most recent recall is the result of a water pump problem and a steering shaft defect. These defects can result in steering problems on a variety of Toyota models using the components. The steering shaft defect is involved in the recall of vehicles including the Corolla and Prius models. About 620,000 of those vehicles may also be equipped with the defective water pump.
Vehicles that may need both parts repaired were sold between 2001 and 2010 in Japan and from 2003 to 2011 in the United States. Another 10,000 Toyota vehicles are being recalled solely due to the faulty water pump. This recall is being viewed as a significant setback for Toyota, according to the news article. One month ago, the Japanese automaker announced its biggest recall ever for a single part – 7.4 million vehicles over a faulty power window switch that could pose a fire hazard.
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The Highway Loss Data Institute released a report based on insurance data for vehicle model years 2009 to 2011, which shows that people traveling in a Toyota Yaris are more likely to get injured than occupants of any other vehicle. According to the Los Angeles Times, the institute found that personal injury claims were filed 28.5 times for every 1,000 Yaris vehicles that were insured by the industry.
Next to the Yaris, the Suzuki SX4, a small crossover, had the second highest risk of injury to occupants posting 26.6 claims per thousand vehicles insured. Other vehicles that scored poorly in terms of occupant safety include the Chevy Aveo, Mitsubishi Galant, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and Sentra, Hyundai Accent and the Dodge Avenger. It is interesting to note that the vehicles with the highest injury claims are also small cars.
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General Motors is issuing an auto defect recall for nearly 474,000 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn cars due to transmission problems, which can cause the cars to roll away unexpectedly. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the vehicle recall affects 2007 to 2010 Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura vehicles, many of them in the United States. All the vehicles involved in this recall have four-speed automatic transmissions.
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Federal officials have launched a vehicle defect investigation into Ford Crown Victoria police cars after complaints regarding possibly faulty steering columns. According to a news article in The Associated Press, the probe affects about 195,000 cars from the 2005 through 2008 model years. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received three complaints that part of the steering column can separate and result in loss of steering control. No crashes or injuries have yet been reported. During the investigation, officials will determine whether the vehicles in question are defective and whether a safety recall is warranted.
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Ford Motor Company is issuing an auto defect recall for its redesigned 2013 Ford Escape SUVs due to potential fire risks. According to a Detroit News report, this third recall for the redesigned Escape vehicles involves 7,600 SUVs with 1.6-liter engines. The recall covers 6,150 vehicles in the United States and 1,300 in Canada. The recalled vehicles were built between October 5, 2011 and August 31, 2012. Ford says a dislodged cup plug in the engine cylinder head could result in immediate discharge of engine coolant.
Rapid loss of coolant could result in a combustible glycol concentration near hot engine components and create the risk of a fire. So far, Ford says there have been no reports of fires from customers. But one fire in an Escape SUV on a dealer lot was reported in Tennessee. The automaker decided to issue the recall after a 19-day investigation. When the recall begins, dealers will install an additional plug sealant and a secondary cap.
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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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Isuzu and General Motors have issued an auto defect recall for more than 258,000 SUVs for an electrical issue that can result in vehicle fires. According to an Associated Press news report, the auto recall includes the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 97-X SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years. In these vehicles, corrosion in the power-window and door-switch circuit boards can result in short-circuits and fires.
Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that GM has already received reports of 28 auto fires as a result of this particular electrical issue. It is not clear if there have been any reports of injuries. Vehicle owners can expect to get a recall notice in the mail soon. Following this, owners can have their power window switches replaced at no cost. If you own one of these recalled vehicles, please contact your dealer for more information.
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Mercedes-Benz has issued a vehicle defect recall for thousands of SUVs for defective floor mats that can affect the accelerator pedal. According to a Consumer Reports article, the affected vehicles include 8,500 M-Class SUVs from model year 2012 to 2013. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) say that the ML350, ML550 and ML63 have all-season mats that do not properly conform to the contour of the floor. In some cases, the mats can trap the accelerator pedal making it difficult to slow down or even stop the vehicle as it suddenly accelerates.
It is not clear if any accidents or injuries have been reported in connection with these faulty floor mats. Anyone who owns one of these recalled vehicles is asked to remove the floor mats until free replacements are distributed. It is not clear how long Mercedes-Benz will take to replace the poorly designed mats or when owners will be notified about these defective mats.
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Toyota has announced an auto defect recall for hundreds of thousands of RAV4 SUVs and Lexus sedans. According to Consumer Reports, the vehicles included in this massive auto recall are model year 2006 to 2011 RAV4 SUVs and model year 2010 Lexus 250h sedans. Officials say the 778,000 vehicles have loose nuts on their rear suspension arms, which could result in excessive play in the suspension arm. When the suspension moves too much, there is a risk of premature wear or separation. Toyota officials say the issue is not the result of a manufacturing error. Instead, the company says the problem occurred due to improper maintenance work. Mechanics hired to align the rear wheels were not tightening the suspension arm nuts to proper torque specification.
Toyota has certainly seen its share of recalls of late. The 2011 RAV4 was previously recalled for issues with the side curtain airbags. The Lexus GS350 F Sport was recalled for issues with the variable gear ratio steering electronic control. The Toyota Tacoma from model years 2005 through 2009 was recalled for steering wheel spiral cable problems. The 2001 to 2003 Toyota Prius was recalled for nut issues with its electric power steering pinion shaft attachment. Three years ago, Toyota recalled nearly 11 million vehicles, most of them for sudden and unintended acceleration caused by sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats.
When a suspension begins to fail, the ride will become rough and the vehicle may become difficult to handle. Vehicles with faulty suspensions are more prone to spinning out of control on a curve or in the rain. A vehicle’s suspension can also affect the wear and tear on the tires and other auto parts.
If you have been involved in an auto accident involving a defective auto, it would be in your best interests to preserve the vehicle in its current crashed state, unaltered, so an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced auto products liability lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases against large auto manufacturers such as Toyota. In cases where a defective auto part has caused or contributed to an accident or injury, the victim can file an auto product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.
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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