Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana

2014ChevroletExpressRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 3,000 GM full-size cargo vans from the 2011-14 model years that run on compressed natural gas, including Chevrolet Express vans manufactured between Sept. 10, 2010, and April 28, 2014, and GMC Savana CNG vans manufactured between May 23, 2011, and April 21, 2014

The Problem: The vans may leak natural gas from the CNG high-pressure regulator, which in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire or an explosion.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the high-pressure regulator for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 800-462-8782 for more info. They can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

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

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

New House Report Blasts NHTSA

GMHQ

On the heels of yesterday's New York Times investigation, a report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee blasted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an alleged series of critical mistakes leading up to GM's recall of some 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. over faulty ignitions.

Related: GM Ignition-Switch Recall: What Owners Need To Know

The 44-page report claims NHTSA had information to identify the defects, which have been linked to more than a dozen deaths, as early as 2007. The report also concludes that the agency failed to link three investigations on crashes involving airbags that didn't deploy in the Chevrolet Cobalt and didn't understand "vehicle systems and functions implemented in response to the agency's own standards," including the link between airbags and vehicle power.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman defended the agency to The Detroit News on Monday, saying he'd met with a dozen automakers to facilitate further discussions on how vehicle systems interact. NHTSA's actions have also prompted some 1,300 recalls over the past decade.

Click here to read more on the report from The Detroit News.

duha127/iStock/Thinkstock

By Kelsey Mays | September 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2008-2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser, Tacoma

2014ToyotaFJCruiserRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 20,000 model-year 2008-14 Toyota FJ Cruiser SUVs and Tacoma pickup trucks equipped with accessory wheels and tires installed by Toyota or dealers before the vehicles' first sale.

The Problem: The vehicles may incorrectly list the spare tire size or inflation info on the tire placard. If the incorrect pressure is provided, tire failure may occur while it's being driven on, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Toyota will begin notifying owners this month, and the automaker will provide, either by mail to owners or to dealers, overlay stickers for placement over the incorrect info on the placard.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

New York Times: NHTSA Has 'Record of Missteps'

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.27.42 AM

A New York Times investigation into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alleges that the nation's top auto safety regulator spent the past decade stumbling over recalls and withholding its legal powers to regulate an auto industry with record-breaking recalls in 2014.

Perhaps the most damning part: Since 2000, automakers are required to report any claims of serious injury or death as a result of vehicle defects. NHTSA is allowed to make what's called a "death inquiry," which asks automakers to provide the cause of a given accident. But the answer is optional, and the vast majority of automakers decline to provide it. Prior to the publication of the article, NHTSA reversed its policy and now requires those answers.

Click here to read the story, which winds through airbag failures at Honda and fires at Jeep, plus NHTSA's subpoena powers and budget.

By Kelsey Mays | September 15, 2014 | Comments (1)

GM Issues Stop Sale on 2015 Chevrolet Corvettes

2015ChevroletCorvetteStopSale

GM has issued a stop-sale order on about 2,800 new Chevrolet Corvettes, a spokesman for the automaker told The Detroit News. GM spokesman Alan Adler told the newspaper that the Detroit automaker has instructed dealers to halt delivery on about 2,000 model-year 2015 Corvettes to repair a problem with the driver-side airbag, and has temporarily stopped shipments of the high-performance sports cars from its Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant.

Related: GM Ignition-Switch Recall: What Owners Need To Know

Another 800 Corvettes, most still at dealerships, were also placed on hold because they may have been built with only one of the rear parking brake cables fully seated and engaged. The part must be inspected to ensure the brake is operating on both brake drums, Adler told the newspaper. Adler said very few of the 2,800 were already in customer possession, and would not say whether the stop sale would be followed by a recall. Get the full story from The Detroit News.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2005-2008 Ford Escape, 2006-2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrids

2008FordEscapeHybridRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 70,000 hybrid crossovers, including model-year 2005-08 Ford Escape hybrids manufactured between Oct. 13, 2003, and June 20, 2008, and 2006-08 Mercury Mariner hybrids manufactured between June 10, 2005, and June 20, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating; if this happens it may shut down the powertrain, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners Oct. 27, and dealers will inspect and replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved, brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332, 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 12, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2012 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

2012MercedesBenzS65AMGRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 150 model-year 2011-12 Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedans, including the S550, S550 4matic, S63, S600, S65 AMG and S400 Hybrid, all manufactured between March 3 and July 30, 2011

The Problem: The tire pressure monitoring system indicators may only illuminate for a portion of the time required by federal standards, and under certain conditions may not re-illuminate immediately after the vehicle is restarted, as required. If all four wheel sensors are simultaneously malfunctioning or missing, the tire pressure monitoring system will provide an initial warning, but the warning will not automatically repeat on subsequent ignition cycles, failing to remind the driver that the system is offline. Driving unknowingly with incorrectly inflated tires may result in sudden tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mercedes-Benz will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will reprogram the tire pressure monitoring unit for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mercedes-Benz at 800-367-6372 or 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350, GLK350 4matic

2013MercedesBenzGLK350-4MaticRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 200 model-year 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 and GLK350 4matic luxury crossovers manufactured between May 31 and Aug. 2, 2012

The Problem: Voltage in the parking lamp circuit exceeds the maximum allowable value. The higher illumination level may cause glare to oncoming vehicles, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mercedes-Benz began notifying owners this month, and dealers will update the software calibration number of the subject control unit for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mercedes-Benz at 800-367-6372 or 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 BMW i3, Mini Cooper Hardtop

2014BMWi3Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 30 model-year 2014 BMW i3 electric vehicles manufactured March 31, 2014, and Mini Cooper Hardtop cars manufactured between Feb. 2 and May 30, 2014

The Problem: The airbag inflator may not have been assembled correctly, preventing the airbag from deploying properly in a crash and increasing the risk of an injury.

The Fix: BMW will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the front passenger side airbag for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417, 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | September 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Focus, C-Max

2014FordFocusRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 500 model-year 2014 Ford Focus compact cars and C-Max hybrids manufactured between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2014

The Problem: Incorrectly assembled steering gears could cause impaired steering, including a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Ford will begin notifying owners on Sept. 8, and dealers will replace the steering gears for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673, 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.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

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