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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching an investigation into 310,000 older model Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles after reports of unintended sudden acceleration. According to an article in the Detroit News, the federal auto safety agency is conducting a preliminary investigation on 2000 and 2003 Taurus and Sable models and has so far received 50 complaints regarding incidents involving stuck throttles. The defect is apparently due to the failure of a plastic bracket that holds the speed control cable in place. The vehicles that are a part of this probe are equipped with 3.0L V6 Duratec engines.
The fractured bracket in these vehicles allows the cable to move, which may cause the throttle to stick. A number of these failures occur in vehicles that have more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. So far, no car accidents or injuries have been linked to this potential vehicle defect.
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Nissan has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 13,919 of its 2012-2013 Altima sedans because they may have been equipped with incorrectly torqued transverse link bolts and power steering rack bolts. According to an article in Consumer Reports, the bolts could become loose and fall out leading to loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a car crash. This recall involves Nissan Altima vehicles made between May 10 and July 26, 2012. When the recall begins at the end of the month, Nissan will notify owners and dealers will tighten the bolts to the proper torque specifications at no charge to car owners.
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Jimmy Hughes Jr., 37, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after he lost control of his SUV and crashed into another vehicle. According to a City News Service report, the fatal crash occurred on the 134 Freeway near Harvey Drive in Monrovia, the morning of September 14, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Hughes was westbound on the freeway when he lost control of his Chevy Suburban SUV, which went off the shoulder, across the median and into eastbound lanes. The SUV then collided with a Toyota Solara and overturned. Hughes sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the Toyota Solara suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jimmy Hughes Jr. for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
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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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Honda has issued a vehicle defect recall for Element crossover SUVs from the 2007 to 2011 model years that come with a trailer hitch add-on. According to a news article in The Car Connection, the wire that supplies power to the trailer’s turn signal lights was inadvertently switched with the stop lamp wire. As a result of this error, turn signal lights on the trailers attached to the Element will only work when the brake lights are illuminated.
This means that if you are hauling a trailer and not hitting the brakes, drivers behind you will have no idea that you are turning. This could increase the risk of a car crash. About 5,216 vehicles are included in this recall. Element owners will most likely be notified around September 20, 2012. Once the recall begins, owners will be able to take the affected vehicles to Honda dealers who will repair it free of charge. Concerned owners are asked to call Honda at 1-800-999-1009 and ask about recall #S53.
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David Alex Trujillo, 26, was killed and two others – 21-year-old Frankie J. Ruiz of Colton and a 3-year-old Rialto boy – were injured in a rollover accident, the night of September 8, 2012. According to The Press-Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred along Highway 259 near Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. California Highway Patrol officials say the southbound 1993 Jeep Cherokee veered to the right and struck the curb causing it to roll over. The vehicle then hit the guardrail and tumbled down a steep embankment. Trujillo was ejected and died at the scene. Ruiz sustained major injuries while the boy escaped with minor injuries. Officials suspect that Trujillo and Ruiz were not wearing their seatbelts. The investigation into the cause of this crash is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of David Alex Trujillo. My thoughts and prayers are also with the two injured victims. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
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Mercedes-Benz has issued a vehicle defect recall for certain luxury SUVs from the 2011 model year because a part of the dashboard could become airborne if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the recall includes 189 vehicles built from September 20, 2010 through April 27, 2011. A document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that the vehicles have a molding strip between their front passenger airbag and a flap that covers the airbag.
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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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Anthony Friel, 45, was killed in a Santa Clarita area car accident after he lost control of his Toyota pickup truck and crashed. According to a news report in The Signal, the fatal accident occurred early morning on August 26, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Friel was traveling in the northbound lanes of the Interstate 5, between Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway, at the time of the incident. His truck collided with a sign and then went airborne, before striking a large tree. Friel suffered massive head injuries. He died at the scene. Officials are investigating the cause of the crash.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of Anthony Friel who are mourning the loss of their loved one. I offer my deepest sympathies to them. Friel was apparently a local resident who graduated from Saugus High School and worked as a stagehand.
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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.