Video: Don't Leave Kids in the Car

We're not kidding: Don’t ever leave your kids in the car. Dozens of children in the U.S. die each summer from being left in cars. In the video above, our own Joe Wiesenfelder talks with our friends at USA Today to offers some tips on the best ways to keep parents and their kids from experiencing a truly horrific and tragic situation: kids dying in overheated cars. 

By Patrick Olsen | August 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011HyundaiSonataRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 133,000 model-year 2011 Hyundai Sonata sedans manufactured between Dec. 11, 2009, and Sept. 1, 2010. See when your vehicle was built by checking the manufacturing sticker on the driver's-side doorjamb.

The Problem: The affected vehicles may experience a brake fluid leak from the two brake lines that connect the brake system's master cylinder to the hydraulic electronic control unit due to insufficient seal between the inner brake hose and metal brake line fitting. If the brake lines leak enough hydraulic fluid, the brake warning lamp in the instrument cluster will illuminate and a longer stopping distance will be required, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake hoses with a revised service part free of charge.

What Owners Should Do: The recall is expected to begin by the end of September. Owners can call Hyundai 800-633-5151, 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 Aaron Bragman | August 1, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2007-2012 Hyundai Veracruz

2012HyundaiVercruzRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 61,000 model-year 2007-12 Hyundai Veracruz crossovers manufactured between Dec. 26, 2006, and July 24, 2012

The Problem: An oil leak from the front cylinder bank valve cover gasket could cause enough oil to drop onto the alternator to damage it, resulting in a failure of the charging system. If the alternator is damaged, the charging system warning lamp in the instrument cluster will illuminate, causing the engine to lose power and the vehicle to stop running; an unexpected engine failure while driving increases the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Hyundai will begin notifying owners by the end of September, and dealers will inspect and repair the alternator and the front valve cover gasket for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151, 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 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Spark

2014ChevroletSparkRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 1,900 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Spark hatchbacks manufactured between May 7, 2014, and May 26, 2014. You can check your vehicle's manufacture date by locating a sticker on the driver's-side doorjamb.

The Problem: The left and right lower control arm attaching bolts in the front suspension may not be tightened to specification. This could cause the lower control arm to separate from the steering knuckle while driving, causing a loss of steering and increasing the risk of a crash. We first reported on the recall on July 23.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners today, and dealers will inspect the left and right lower control arm attaching bolts to make sure they are tightened to the proper specification for free.

What Owners Should Do: GM is advising owners not to drive their vehicles until the recall remedy is completed; they should call a Chevrolet dealer immediately to arrange for their vehicle to be transported for servicing for free. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, 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 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2001-2006 Hyundai Santa Fe

2006HyundaiSantaFeRecall

Vehicle Affected: About 225,000 model-year 2001-06 Hyundai Santa Fe crossovers manufactured between March 31, 2000, and Feb. 15, 2006, and registered and operated or originally sold and registered in the following 20 "salt belt" states plus the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin

The Problem: The vehicles may experience front coil spring corrosion from road salt, causing the coil spring to fracture and make contact with the tire. If this happens, it could cause the coil spring to make contact with the tire, possibly puncturing the tire and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Hyundai will begin notifying owners by the end of September, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair the coil spring for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151, 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 | August 1, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014-2015 Fiat 500L

2014Fiat500LRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 26,000 model-year 2014-15 Fiat 500L small crossovers

The Problem: The driver's knee airbag may not deploy in the proper position if the driver is not wearing a seat belt. Chrysler said in a statement that it discovered the problem during routine testing and is unaware of any related injuries.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners and advise them when they can schedule service; repairs will be made for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 for more info. The automaker advises owners to wear their seat belts at all times.

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 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

Social Media Campaign Aims to Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

ChildHeatstrokePrevention

Children dying in hot cars are gruesome headlines we're unfortunately confronted with every summer. Just a week ago, according to the Los Angeles Times, the 18th child this year in the U.S., a 10-month-old girl in Kansas, died after being left behind in a car.

Related: Never Leave Kids in Cars Unattended

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children younger than 14, occurring about once every 10 days, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year alone, 44 children in the U.S. lost their lives after being left unattended in vehicles. More than half of children who have died from vehicular heatstroke were left in the car by their parent or caregiver, NHTSA said. These tragedies often occur because harried parents forget that their child is in the car, whether because of a change in routine or the child is sleeping.

To help raise awareness, NHTSA is partnering with Safe Kids and the Administration for Children and Families on an all-day social-media event today, and is calling on the public to participate.

By Matt Schmitz | July 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

Not All Small Cars Shine in Latest IIHS Crash Tests

Leaf_crash

In its latest round of tests the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that diminutive cars still have issues with its challenging small overlap front crash test. This time out electric cars like the range-extender 2014 Chevrolet Volt and 2014 Nissan Leaf were tested for the first time with mixed results, while the Mini Countryman was the only small car in the group to earn a top grade in the test.

Related: Tougher IIHS Crash Test Could Mean Fewer Top Safety Picks

The Volt popped up on IIHS' scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good with a score of acceptable, good enough for the Volt to be awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ designation, the institute's highest award. The Leaf didn't fare as well in the 40-mph test designed to simulate a collision with another vehicle or a pole and earned a poor rating. IIHS observed intrusion in the lower and upper compartments indicating likely injuries to the left knee and left lower leg, while a left thigh injury would also be possible. Neither electric car had any issue with the batteries or electrical systems post-crash.

Ten other small cars went through this round of IIHS small overlap crash tests along with the Volt and Leaf, including the Mini Cooper Countryman and the Mazda5, which IIHS says is one of the worst-performing models the institute has evaluated in the small overlap test.

By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Chevrolet Caprice, 2014 Chevrolet SS

2014ChevroletSSRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 5,000 model-year 2013-14 Chevrolet Caprice police vehicles manufactured between June 7, 2013, and May 29, 2014, and model-year 2014 SS sedans manufactured between Sept. 13, 2013, and March 4, 2014

The Problem: The windshield wiper motor gear teeth may strip, causing the windshield wipers to not work. This would prevent the clearing of rain or snow and reduce the driver's visibility, which increases the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners in early August, and dealers will inspect the wiper module assembly and replace any affected ones for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, 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 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-14 Hyundai Sonata

2014HyundaiSonataRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 880,000 model-year 2011-14 Hyundai Sonata sedans manufactured between Dec. 11, 2009, and May 29, 2014

The Problem: The transmission shift cable may detach from the shift lever pin; if this happens, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear, and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, when the driver parks the vehicle, despite selecting the Park position, the transmission may not be in Park; if the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle could roll away, endangering occupants exiting the vehicle and bystanders.

The Fix: Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair the connection between the shift cable and shift lever for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Hyundai at 800-633-5151, 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 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

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