NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

Airbag

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now reporting that 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. have defective Takata airbags that need to be replaced immediately. Today, NHTSA added 3 million vehicles to the consumer advisory, which it first issued on Tuesday. The recall, expanded several times during the year, involves airbags that could deploy with too much pressure and cause injury. It affects millions of Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, Subaru, Nissan and General Motors vehicles.

Related: BMW, Chrysler, Ford Join Ever- Expanding Airbag Recall

"Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue," NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said in a statement.

Unsure if your vehicle is affected? NHTSA recently launched a Vehicle Identification Number search tool, but the site is currently down. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to follow this story. According to the government safety agency, the following vehicles are affected:

By Jennifer Geiger | October 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

2005ToyotaSequoiaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

New Honda HR-V, 2016 Acura ILX to Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

2016_ILX_to_Debut_at_LAAS

Honda and its Acura luxury division plan to debut at least two vehicles at next month's 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. One is Honda's latest — and smallest — SUV, the HR-V; the first exterior images of the tiny crossover appeared last April. As we expected, Honda says the Fit-based HR-V will slot below the popular CR-V, which means it should compete against a burgeoning segment of entry-level crossovers like the Nissan Juke and Chevrolet Trax. Honda also confirmed the HR-V would have a lower price than the CR-V, which starts at $24,150 including destination.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News

Acura, meanwhile, announced today it would unveil a "substantially new" 2015 ILX with a "potent new powertrain," updated styling and "substantially upgraded" cabin design. The brand released a teaser image of the compact sedan, above. It makes sense, as Acura moves to expand the ILX's role as the entry-luxury car in its lineup; both the TSX and TL have been succeeded by the TLX. But through September, ILX sales have amounted to just 12,854 cars — a figure beat by the Buick Verano, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and Audi A3/S3.

Stay tuned for full details and up-close impressions on both cars in our coverage of next month's auto show; press days are Nov. 18-20.

Manufacturer image

By Kelsey Mays | October 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Cadillac Escalade Review

2015CadillacEscalade
"Like a linebacker in an expensive suit, the Escalade has dynamite looks and slick moves, and while its price matches foreign competitors, its sophistication falls just short," Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said. Check out Bragman’s review for more.

2015 Cadillac Escalade Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Hey, Parents! We're Sabotaging Our Teen Drivers

SabotagingTeens

As parents, we often subscribe to a "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. This is dangerously apparent with our teen drivers, and studies have shown that parents are unknowingly sabotaging their teen drivers by demonstrating that mentality. Because it's National Teen Driver Safety Week, let's take a look at the common mistakes parents make that may be hurting their teen drivers.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

Don't Text and Drive (But I Can): We beat teens over the head with the "never text and drive" message, yet they see us do it on a regular basis. According to a 2012 study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions, 91 percent of teens reported seeing their parents talk on cellphones while driving, and 59 percent witnessed their parents sending a text while driving.

Monkey see, monkey do. Teens mirror the behaviors they see: 90 percent of teens say they've talked on cellphones while driving, and 78 percent admitted to sending text messages while driving.

By Kristin Varela | October 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

1. 2015 Subaru Outback
2. 2015 Dodge Challenger 
3. 2015 Lexus NX 200t
4. 2014 Nissan Rogue
5. 2015 Honda Fit
6. 2015 Cadillac ATS
7. 2015 Infiniti QX70
8. 2014 Honda CR-V 
9. 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
10. 2014 Jeep Cherokee

By Matt Schmitz | October 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

1. 2015 Ford F-150
2. 2015 GMC Canyon
3. 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300
4. 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 at State Fair of Texas
5. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado

By Matt Schmitz | October 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

Video: These Over-the-Top Features Will Make You Drool

With car options, there are luxury features that make your driving experience more pleasurable in a tasteful, elegant manner. And then there are over-the-top features that exist in large part so you can boast to whomever will listen. Watch the video above as Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays introduces some of these show-offy features, from self-parking to hot-stone massage seats.

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2015 Ford Mustang

2015FordMustangRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 50 model-year 2015 Ford Mustang sports cars manufactured between Aug. 18 and Oct. 2 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan

The Problem: Ford issued the voluntary recall due to an issue with the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly. The buckle tension sensor, included in the assembly, may not have been calibrated at the supplier. This could result in misclassification of the front passenger-seat occupant, which could lead to improper airbag deployment, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule. Ford said it is aware of no accidents or injuries related to the condition.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, 2012-2013 Beetle

2013VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly half a million Volkswagen cars, including more than 400,000 model-year 2011-13 Volkswagen Jetta sedans and nearly 42,000 model-year 2012-13 Beetle hatchbacks and convertibles

The Problem: A rear or side-rear collision could damage the rear suspension trailing arms; if this damage is not repaired, the trailing arm could fracture suddenly, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash, Volkswagen said in a statement about the voluntary recall. No accidents or injuries related to the issue have been reported, the automaker said.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine whether the trailing arms have been damaged. On cars that do not have damaged trailing arms, the dealer will fit a sheet-metal inlay on the rear trailing arms, which will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision and will be a signal for the owner to take the car back to a dealer for inspection. Work will be done for free. The automaker has not announced a notification schedule, but said it will contact all owners of affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange an appointment.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

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