Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango

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Vehicles Affected: About 644,354 model-year 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs manufactured from Jan. 5, 2010, through Sept. 8, 2013.

The Problem: A brake booster's center shell may corrode and allow water to get inside, which could freeze and limit the braking ability of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in May, and dealers will add a water diverter shield to the booster after the booster has been tested to confirm that it can hold an acceptable amount of vacuum pressure. If the booster inspection confirms an unacceptable loss of vacuum pressure, the booster will be replaced for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 2, 2014 | Comments (7)

GM Recall Timeline

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Since GM announced its ignition switch recall in mid-February and its subsequent recommitment to safety issues headed by a new safety czar, the automaker has issued a slew of new recalls, expansions of recalls and clarifications of existing recalls.

More on GM's Ignition Switch Recall

All told, GM has recalled millions of vehicles during the last six weeks. Are you confused over whether your car is involved? Here's a recap of all the GM recalls announced since mid-February:

By Jennifer Geiger | April 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM CEO Testifies Before Congressional Panel on Ignition Switch Recalls

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GM CEO Mary Barra testified this afternoon before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee investigating the automaker's recall of more than 2.5 million vehicles worldwide for faulty ignition switches that have been blamed in at least 31 crashes and 13 deaths. House committee members took turns grilling Barra with questions focusing heavily on when it came to the automaker's attention that faulty switches had been used in the 2003-10 Saturn Ion and 2007-10 Sky, the 2006-10 Pontiac Solstice and 2005-10 G5, and the 2006-11 Chevrolet HHR and 2005-07 Cobalt, and why after repeated complaints and defect discoveries in subsequent years the faulty ignition switches continued to be used. Panel members also attempted to get to the bottom of how numerous communication breakdowns between GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had occurred.

More GM Ignition Recall News on Cars.com

After reiterating in her opening statement her earlier apology to the victims of the ignition switch problem and their families, Barra repeatedly responded to subcommittee members' questions by saying she would have answers only after GM completed its ongoing internal investigation. One new piece of information Barra did report to House members was that GM has hired lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who has overseen the victim-compensation process after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the BP oil spill and the Boston Marathon bombing.

By Matt Schmitz | April 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Another Recall for General Motors

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General Motors continues to make recall news this week; yesterday it was new Chevrolet Cruze sedans and older-model Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Saturns, today its new full-size SUVs and pickup trucks. GM is recalling 489,936 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks as well as model-year 2015 Tahoe and Yukon SUVs to fix a faulty transmission oil cooler line.

Click here for the full story from PickupTrucks.com.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Chevrolet Cruze

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Vehicles Affected: About 174,046 model-year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Cruze sedans equipped with a turbo 1.4-liter engine and manufactured between Nov. 28, 2012, and March 7, 2014.

The Problem: The right front half shaft may fracture and separate while driving, potentially causing the vehicle to lose power and coast to a stop. If a vehicle with a fractured half shaft is parked without the parking brake applied, the car could move unexpectedly. Either condition increases the risk of a crash. The recall comes after GM recently announced that it was ordering dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 Cruzes with the 1.4-liter engine, but did not reveal why at the time.

The Fix: GM will initially notify owners starting April 28 and a second time when parts are available, and dealers will inspect and replace the right half shaft, if necessary, for free. Some vehicles in this recall were subject to another recall initiated in August 2013 and repaired using defective parts. GM also said those owners will be advised that they must have their vehicles fixed again under this new recall campaign.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 866-694-6546 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to www.safercar.gov, for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 31, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 1.3 Million Older Model GM Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.3 million older-model GM vehicles. The affected cars include model-year 2004-06 and 2008-09 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 2004-06 Malibu Maxx wagons, non-turbo versions of the 2009-10 Chevrolet HHR hatchback, model-year 2010 versions of the Cobalt coupe and sedan, model-year 2008-09 versions of the Saturn Aura sedan, model-year 2004-07 versions of the Saturn Ion coupe and sedan, and model-year 2005-09 versions of the Pontiac G6. GM is also reporting that certain vehicles that had related service parts installed before May 31, 2010, under a previous safety recall may also be affected.

The Problem: GM is recalling the vehicles due to a sudden loss of electric power steering assist, which increases the risk of a crash. If this happens, drivers will be alerted by a message on the driver information center and a corresponding chime. "Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds," GM said in a statement.

The automaker also said that it's unaware of any fatalities related to this recall, but some crashes have been reported.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts are eligible for reimbursement, GM said. Owners of non-turbocharged model-year 2006-09 Chevrolet HHRs and model-year 2003 Saturn Ions that are not part of this recall will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor.  

"With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right. We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough," Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM global vehicle safety, said in a statement.

What Owners Should Do: GM will notify owners, but has not yet released an owner notification timeline. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2014 Honda Civic

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 9,816 model-year 2014 versions of the Honda Civic LX sedan and coupe; only vehicles manufactured from Nov. 26, 2013, through Jan. 21, 2014, are affected.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that during the tire mounting process, the tire bead may have gotten pinched between the assembly equipment and the steel wheel rims. This could damage the tire and cause it to leak air, increasing the risk of an accident.

"Honda has not received any warranty claims, field reports or injuries related to this issue," the automaker said in a statement to NHTSA.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace any damaged tires for free.

What Owners Should Do: Honda has already started notifying owners. Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 824,000 GM Vehicles

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Affected Vehicles: About 824,000 model-year 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt subcompact cars and 2008-2011 HHR wagons; 2008-2010 Pontiac Solstice sports cars and G5 subcompacts; and 2008-2010 Saturn Sky sports cars.

The Problem: In this voluntary expansion of the ignition-switch recall already involving 1.6 million vehicles, faulty switches may have been used to repair the latest crop of affected vehicles. According to the automaker, if torque performance is not to GM specification, the ignition switch may unintentionally move from the Run position to the Accessory or Off positions, leading to a loss of power and, as a result, systems such as power steering, antilock brakes and airbags. The risk may be increased if the driver's key ring is carrying added weight, or if the vehicle goes off-road or experiences some jarring event. About 95,000 faulty switches were sold to dealers in the aftermarket and about 90,000 were used in repairs, GM stated, noting that no deaths or injuries have been associated with this new group of recalled vehicles.

"Although the cars were all built with an ignition switch that has had no problems, they might have been repaired with faulty switches left in the parts bins at dealerships and auto shops," GM spokesman Jim Cain told the Los Angeles Times.

The Fix: Owners who may have had a suspect part installed will be notified by GM the week of April 21 via a letter, and dealers will replace the ignition switch for free as parts become available; dealers, distributors and other parts customers will be notified March 31. Customers who paid to have their ignition switches replaced will be eligible for reimbursement. To help prevent an inadvertent shift in the switch, GM has asked owners to use only a key without a keychain while driving the vehicles.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000, or go to www.gmignitionupdate.com, for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3

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Vehicles Affected: About 209 model-year 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 sports coupes manufactured between Oct. 19, 2013, and Jan. 16, 2014.

The Problem: In the affected vehicles, a piston connecting rod may come loose and damage the engine crankcase, which may allow engine oil to leak onto hot components in the engine bay, possibly causing a fire. In February, Porsche issued a warning to all 785 affected vehicle owners worldwide to immediately stop driving the cars due to the risk of engine fire, in addition to a stop-sale order to dealers, after two engine fires in Europe related to the piston connecting rod problem. The automaker said no related accidents or injuries have been reported.

The Fix: Porsche will notify owners, and dealers will install a new engine with improved piston connecting rod connections for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Porsche at 800-767-7243, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Cadillac ELR

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Vehicles Affected: About 656 model-year 2014 Cadillac ELR luxury coupes not equipped with adaptive cruise control and manufactured between Sept. 26, 2013, and Feb. 14, 2014.

The Problem: The electronic stability control system software may inhibit certain diagnostics, preventing the system from alerting the driver that the system is partially or fully disabled. If the driver is not alerted to an ESC malfunction, he or she may continue driving with a disabled system, which may result in loss of directional control, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners starting April 17, and dealers will recalibrate the electronic brake control module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Cadillac at 800-458-8006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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