Chrysler Launches Its Own Ignition Switch Recall

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GM has been in the news for most of 2014 due to numerous recalls covering millions of vehicles for faulty ignition switches. Now, another major automaker is launching a recall over similar issues.

Related: More Details on GM's Latest — and Largest — Ignition-Related Recall

Late today, Chrysler announced a recall covering approximately 650,000 Jeeps in the U.S. and nearly 800,000 worldwide for an ignition switch that could fail in a similar fashion to what has been detailed in some of GM's recalled vehicles.

The models covered are the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Chrysler says that the recall is being initiated "out of an abundance of caution." The switch could move out of the on position if something hits the key with enough force. This would usually be a knee during a collision. This could lead the engine to stall, but more significantly the airbags would not deploy.

While there are numerous reports of fatalities and injuries regarding the GM recall, Chrysler said in a statement that it is unaware of any injuries due to the recalled switch with one reported accident. Chrysler said complaints have been "relatively small" and give a percentage of .015 percent, which would be approximately 9,500 complaints just in the U.S.

Chrysler has not developed a fix for its ignition-switch defect and will start alerting owners in September. Until then the company is recommending owners remove any key rings from the ignition key when in use.

By David Thomas | July 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM Issues Stop-Sale Order on Cadillac SRX, CTS

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GM has asked dealers to stop selling several used Cadillac models that have a standard key ignition. The stop-sale order, which Bloomberg News reported on July 19, involves the 2004-06 Cadillac SRX SUV; 2003-13 Cadillac CTS sedan, coupe and wagon; and the 2014 CTS coupe and wagon — both from the previous generation, not the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan. All cars affected by the stop-sale order have conventional remote keyless entry; any cars with optional keyless access and push-button start are exempt.

More Details on GM's Latest — and Largest — Ignition-Related Recall

The sales stoppage includes Cadillac models involved in a June 30 expansion of GM's ignition-related recalls, which totaled 7.6 million Cadillac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac models. The Cadillac CTS and SRX, whose key can inadvertently rotate out of the Run position if the driver's knee bumps it, requires a replacement key. A similar situation prompted GM to recall nearly 465,000 model-year 2010-14 Chevrolet Camaro sports cars on June 13.

By Kelsey Mays | July 21, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2014 Kia Soul

2014KiaSoulRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 51,600 model-year 2014 Kia Soul cars manufactured between July 21, 2013, and Jan. 17, 2014

The Problem: The plug that secures the pinion gear to the steering gear assembly may loosen due to an improper application of thread-locking adhesive during the assembly process. This could cause the pinion gear to separate from the steering gear assembly, causing a loss of steering and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Kia will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will replace the pinion plug with a new one that has properly applied adhesive, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Kia at 800-333-4542 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 | July 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

How a Vehicle Safety Complaint Becomes a Recall

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It's pretty much impossible to go a day without yet another vehicle safety recall; GM's wide-spread ignition defect woes and the ever-expanding, multi-automaker Takata airbag recall continue to grab headlines. With so much recall news, it's easy to get jaded, but they address dangerous problems and you can be the first step in making sure all vehicles stay safe. Often, recall investigations are launched after a vehicle owner files a complaint.

More Safety News

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration receives more than 40,000 consumer complaints each year — and looks into all of them, said Kathryn Henry, media relations for the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA.

"Vehicle safety is a top priority for the department and over the past seven years, NHTSA safety defect investigations resulted in 929 recalls involving more than 55 million vehicles and motor-vehicle equipment, which has helped us reduce vehicle fatalities to historic lows," Henry said.

Here's how to file a vehicle safety complaint with NHTSA and how your complaint can become a recall:

By Jennifer Geiger | July 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Hyundai Sonata Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

2015HyundaiSonataCrashTest

Hyundai's midsize sedan is back for 2015, redesigned and safer than ever. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today announced that the new Sonata earned its most prestigious safety award, Top Safety Pick Plus. The Sonata earned the honor by overcoming the previous version's lackluster rating in the stringent small overlap frontal crash test, which replicates what happens when a vehicle's front quarter strikes a tree or utility pole.The 2015 Sonata — Hyundai's second model to earn the institute's top honor this year — earned an acceptable rating in the small overlap test, improving on its previous rating of marginal.

2015 Hyundai Genesis Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

The Sonata's optional forward collision warning system also qualified it for the Safety Pick Plus rating; the Sonata's system earned a basic score. To qualify for Top Safety Pick Plus, a vehicle must earn good or acceptable in the small overlap test; basic, advanced or superior for front crash prevention; and the top score of good in four other crash tests assessing performance in moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

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

Recall Alert: 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and SLK-Class

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 300 model-year 2014 versions of the SLK250, SLK350, SLK55 AMG, SL550, SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG vehicles manufactured March 19 through May 5, 2014

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that an airbag assembly error could prevent the front passenger airbag from properly deploying.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the front passenger airbag for free.

What Owners Should Do: Parts for the fix aren't yet available, but Mercedes-Benz says they should be by the end of this month and the automaker will send a second notice when they're ready. NHTSA advises owners not to place a passenger or other items in the passenger seat until the airbag is fixed. Owners can call Mercedes-Benz at 800-367-6372 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 17, 2014 | Comments (2)

New Study Breaks Down Traffic Fatalities State by State

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When it comes to U.S. traffic fatalities, coastal states have the lowest rates, according to a new study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. By contrast, Montana, North Dakota and a number of Southern states have the highest rates.

Related: Sobering Stats on Summer Driving Dangers

UMTRI's July 2014 study by professor Michael Sivak is called "Road Safety in the Individual U.S. States: Current Status and Recent Changes." It compared traffic fatality rates in every U.S. state plus the District of Columbia between 2005 and 2012, the last available year of data. Taken as a whole, the data gives a snapshot of traffic fatalities — which claimed 33,561 lives in 2012 — across a broad spectrum of America.

By Kelsey Mays | July 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

IIHS: These Used Cars Are Safer for Teen Drivers

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Teen driving statistics are scary: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens and in 2010 seven teens died every day from crash-related injuries. What's worse is that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, many teens drive vehicles that don't protect them very well in an accident. Since the IIHS estimates that 83 percent of parents who buy a vehicle for their teen purchase a used car, the agency just released its first list of used vehicles that cost less than $20,000 and are recommended as safe for teen drivers.

More Safety News

IIHS suggests that parents choose lower-horsepower larger vehicles that are equipped with electronic stability control. The cars on its list range in price from $4,000 for a 2005 Saab 9-3 to $19,900 for a 2011 Buick Enclave. Click here for more from our friends at USA Today and check out the IIHS's full list of recommended vehicles here.

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

By Jennifer Geiger | July 16, 2014 | Comments (9)

Recall Alert: 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series

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Vehicles Affected: About 574,000 model-year 2000-06 BMW 3 Series luxury cars manufactured between May 1999 and August 2006

The Problem: This is a voluntary expansion of a May 2013 recall of 42,000 3 Series cars to replace the passenger-side front airbag; the airbag inflator may deploy the device with too much pressure, causing a rupture and, possibly, serious injury to occupants. The problem is related to the massive recall involving several other automakers whose vehicles are equipped with airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., a worldwide supplier of airbags. BMW said this recall, which excludes the models recalled in the 2013 campaign, is precautionary. The automaker is unaware of any incidents involving related to this issue.

The Fix: BMW will notify owners by mail, and dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag module. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or email customer.relations@bmwna.com 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 | July 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

Infographic: Sobering Stats on Summer Driving Dangers

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With a population of nearly 13 million people, Illinois is the fifth-largest state in the U.S., but according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if those who admitted in surveys to driving drunk — all 17 million of them — were to form their own state, it would bump the Land of Lincoln to No. 6. Considering 10,322 people in 2012 lost their lives in crashes involving someone driving under the influence, that's not a state anyone should be in. Moreover, NHTSA says nearly twice as many people die in car crashes overall during the summer months than the rest of the months of the year combined.

Poll: Drugged Driving Versus Drunken Driving

To draw awareness to increased driving dangers during these warm-weather months, NHTSA and the Ad Council have partnered on a safety campaign. The following infographic shows some frightening statistics, particularly pertaining to drunken driving, that should remind motorists of the vital importance of staying sober behind the wheel.

By Matt Schmitz | July 15, 2014 | Comments (7)

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