Survey: Recalls Influence Car Shoppers

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If you're weary of the nonstop recall coverage lately, we don't blame you. It's been an unprecedented year for them. Tallying recalls is a dubious task, given the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's counts a vehicle recall as anything from passenger cars to garbage trucks and motorcycles. But the Detroit Free Press counted 56.1 million auto recalls year to date on Oct. 20 — a figure that thumped NHTSA's prior record of 30.8 million vehicle recalls set in 2004, according to annual totals obtained by Cars.com. And that was two days before NHTSA added another 3.1 million cars to a widespread airbag recall.

Related: What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

Meanwhile, new-car sales at GM are up 3.9 percent through October. That falls short of the industry's 5.5 percent gain, according to Automotive News, but it's better than you'd expect for an automaker whose 25.6 million recalls top other automakers by a mile. Other recall-heavy automakers have had mixed years: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is up 15.8 percent and Toyota is up 5.8 percent, but Ford and Honda are roughly flat.

Still, a new survey suggests that car shoppers do, in fact, care about recalls — and most of them know about this year's largest ones. How that influences shoppers' decisions, on the other hand, is up for debate.

By Kelsey Mays | November 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

Report: GM Ordered Replacement Ignition Switches Two Months Before Recall

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The New York Times reported today that GM ordered some 500,000 replacement ignition switches from auto-parts supplier Delphi Automotive in December 2013. That was nearly two months before GM told regulators and the general public that the existing ignition switches, which have led to some 2.2 million recalled small cars in the U.S., could get bumped into the "off" position. Citing emails declassified by a plaintiff's attorney during class-action litigation against GM — and first reported by The Wall Street Journal — the Times notes that the request represented "an urgent field action" and far outweighed a previous request for 11,000 such switches in 2012.

Related: New House Report Blasts NHTSA

The report fuels claims that GM knew about the problem before disclosing it to the public. Earlier this year, news reports said GM may have known about the faulty switches as early as 2002. The automaker faces investigations from the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, 48 state attorneys general and Canadian officials, according to The Detroit News.

GM says the emails simply confirm that the automaker's previous defect reporting and investigation systems needed reform, something it claimed it's done. "We have reorganized our entire safety investigation and decision process and have more investigators, move issues more quickly and make decisions with better data," the automaker said in a statement.

Click here to read the full story from the New York Times.

Cars.com photo by Ian Merritt

By Kelsey Mays | November 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2001-2006 Honda, Acura Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: An unspecified number of model-year 2001-05 Honda Civic cars; 2003-04 Civic compressed natural gas cars and Element crossovers; 2002-05 CR-V crossovers; 2002-04 Odyssey minivans; 2003-05 Accord cars, Pilot crossovers, Civic Hybrid cars and Acura MDX luxury crossovers; 2005 Acura RL luxury sedans; and 2006 Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks, all originally sold or registered at any time in areas with high absolute humidity, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam and American Samoa

The Problem: Upon deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. In a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and seriously injuring occupants. The action is part of the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall that has affected nearly 7.8 million vehicles and 10 automakers.

The Fix: Honda will begin notifying owners Nov. 24, and dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. Honda said most of the vehicles covered by this formal recall were included in a June 2014 "safety improvement campaign." The automaker said the same repair required in that previous campaign — replacement of the passenger-side frontal airbag inflator — applies to all of the vehicles now included in the formal recall; vehicles in which the passenger-side airbag inflator already was replaced under the previous safety campaign are not included in the recall. Honda said the number of vehicles affected has yet to be determined; a call to the automaker for clarification was not immediately returned.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009, 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 | November 7, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 53,000 Nissan SUVs, Sedans and Infiniti Crossovers, Sedans

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 53,000 model-year 2003-04 Nissan Pathfinder SUVs, 2004-06 Sentra sedans, 2003-05 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 luxury crossovers, 2003-04 I35 luxury sedans, and 2006 M35 and M45 luxury sport sedans, all originally sold or currently registered in areas with high absolute humidity, including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Florida and adjacent counties in southern Georgia, as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas

The Problem: Upon deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. In a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger-side frontal airbag, a rupture could propel metal fragments, striking and seriously injuring occupants. This action is part of the massive ongoing Takata airbag recall that so far has affected nearly 7.8 million vehicles from 10 automakers.

The Fix: Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. The automaker has not yet provided a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261, 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 | November 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Infiniti M35, 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, Q70 Hybrid

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Vehicles Affected: More than 6,500 model-year 2013-14 Infiniti M35h hybrid luxury sedans manufactured between April 7, 2012, and Sept. 9, 2013; model-year 2014 Q50 Hybrid luxury sedans manufactured between Dec. 10, 2012, and July 15, 2014; and model-year 2014-15 Q70 Hybrid sedans manufactured between April 9, 2010, and May 7, 2014

The Problem: Due to a software error, if the signal is lost from one of the two throttle position sensors, the engine control module will go into a fail-safe mode, partially closing the throttle chamber. If the lost signal is restored, the throttle chamber may open regardless of the position signal from the throttle position sensors; this could cause the vehicle to gradually accelerate unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Infiniti manufacturer Nissan will begin notifying owners in mid-November, and dealers will reprogram the engine control module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261, 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 | November 5, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid and Avalon, Avalon Hybrid

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 5,650 model-year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid sedans

The Problem: Toyota is reporting that the left front suspension lower arm may have an improperly manufactured bolt hole which could affect bolt clamping force. In the event of severe impact to the area, which could be caused by driving on rough pavement, the lower arm could separate from the ball joint, causing a loss of steering control. The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the left front lower suspension arm for free.

What Owners Should Do: Toyota is currently notifying owners via mail. Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 for more information.

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

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford Flex, 2009-2014 F-150

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Vehicles Affected: More than 113,000 model-year 2014 Ford Flex SUVs manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, 2014 F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, 2014 F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and May 31 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri, and 2009-14 F-150 pickup trucks serviced with a suspect seat track assembly between Feb. 17 and Oct. 31

The Problem: A passenger seat sensing issue could result in non-deployment of the passenger-side airbag in certain frontal crashes if an adult is in the passenger seat, increasing the risk of an injury. Ford said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will widen the gap between the manual seat frame seat track assembly, then calibrate the seat occupant classification system for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

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 | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Ford F-150

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Vehicles Affected: More than 600 model-year 2014 Ford F-150 pickup trucks manufactured between March 1 and March 13 at the automaker's Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan, and between March 3 and March 13 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri

The Problem: A brake pedal position switch may be incorrectly adjusted, possibly resulting in a delay or a non-illumination of the brake lights when the brake pedal is depressed, increasing the risk of an accident. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the condition.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will remove and reinstall the brake pedal position switch for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info. The automaker noted that additional brake pressure may be necessary to disengage the cruise-control system, so customers are advised not to use cruise control until the vehicle is repaired. The cruise-control system off switch on the steering wheel will continue to disengage the system, Ford said.

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 | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 38,600 model-year 2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car sedans. The vehicles being recalled include certain 2005-2011 Ford Crown Victoria vehicles built at St. Thomas Assembly, March 23, 2004, to Aug. 30, 2011; certain 2005-2011 Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles built at St. Thomas Assembly, March 23, 2004, to Aug. 30, 2011; certain 2005-2007 Lincoln Town Car vehicles built at Wixom Assembly, March 8, 2004, to June 5, 2007, and certain 2008-2011 Lincoln Town Car vehicles built at St. Thomas Assembly, Aug. 28, 2007, to Aug. 30, 2011

The Problem: Ford is reporting that these vehicles were previously recalled due to an issue with the lower intermediate steering shaft and may not have been properly repaired. If not correctly repaired, a potential loss of steering control could result. Ford said it is aware of one accident and no injuries related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the upper intermediate steering shaft, and inspect the steering column lower bearing and install a bearing retainer kit if necessary.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not released an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more information.

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

More Recalls

By Jennifer Geiger | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid and Q70 Hybrid

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Vehicles Affected: More than 6,200 model-year 2014 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid and Q70 Hybrid luxury sedans are being recalled in two separate actions, one affecting more than 5,400 cars and the other more than 800 cars. Q50 Hybrid sedans in the larger recall were manufactured between Dec. 10, 2012, and June 25, 2014, and in the smaller recall between Oct. 16, 2013, and Jan. 27, 2014. Q70 Hybrid sedans in the larger recall were manufactured between Nov. 7, 2013, and May 7, 2014, and in the smaller recall between Nov. 7, 2013, and Dec. 10, 2013.

The Problem: In the larger recall, both Q50 and Q70 hybrid sedans may have a software error that could cause the electric motor to stop working while the vehicle is being driven in electric-only mode, increasing the risk of a crash. In the smaller action, both sedans may have been assembled with transmissions that have damaged housings, which could crack and fracture, creating road debris and disabling the vehicle, and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: In the larger recall, Infiniti manufacturer Nissan will notify owners starting in mid-November, and dealers will reprogram the inverter software. In the smaller action, the automaker will also begin notifying owners in mid-November, and dealers will inspect the transmission assembly and replace it if cracks are found. Repairs in both cases will be made for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

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