NHTSA Tells Chrysler to Expand Its Takata Airbag Recall

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put Chrysler in the hot seat Tuesday, telling the automaker to expand its June recall of vehicles with defective Takata airbags and to report the problem to affected owners by Dec. 1, according to The Detroit News. This comes on top of NHTSA telling Chrysler to speed up its fix of 1.56 million Jeep SUVs that have been recalled for rear fires.

Related: Takata Airbag Fix Will Take Months

"Chrysler's delay in notifying consumers and taking other actions necessary to address the safety defect identified is unacceptable and exacerbates the risk to motorists' safety,” NHTSA Deputy Chief David Friedman wrote in a letter to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Chrysler limited its initial Takata-related recall to cars sold or registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are high-humidity areas, but NHTSA contends that the recall should include southern Georgia, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa and coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Get the full story from The Detroit News.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Newman | November 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Honda Failed to Report Airbag-Related Deaths, Injuries

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GM has some company in the hot seat: Another automaker is coming under fire for failing to report safety problems in a timely manner. According to the Detroit Free Press, Honda underreported how many people died or were injured by faulty Takata airbag inflators in its vehicles; so far the airbag recall has affected 7.8 million vehicles from several different automakers. Honda failed to disclose 1,729 accident, injury and death claims between July 2003 and June 2014.

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

An outside law firm hired by the automaker discovered the discrepancy in time to meet a Monday deadline imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding Honda's timeline for the recall, specifically when the automaker first became aware of the issue and when it started investigating and reporting the defect.

"Honda takes these findings extremely seriously. We are taking immediate corrective action, and we continue to fully cooperate with NHTSA to resolve this matter," Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, said in a statement. 

Click here for the full story.

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By Jennifer Geiger | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI: Car Seat Check

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Both the Volkswagen Golf and its performance variant, the GTI, entered their seventh generation with 2015 redesigns. The cars haven't exactly set sales records ablaze in the past, though a reduced starting price for the Golf, a win for the GTI in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge and a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should at least spark some interest among car shoppers not already carrying a torch for the five-seat hatchbacks. Another selling point — for families with small children — should be the Golf's and GTI's accommodation of child-safety seats. Much like in 2012, when we tested the Golf R, the cars earned high marks in our tests. Check out the Car Seat Check below for more.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Car Seat Trends

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Child-safety seats are always evolving as manufacturers look to create safer and easier-to-use car seats that meet changing federal standards.

Related: Car Seat Checks

This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated a weight limit for Latch anchors, and it has proposed new side-impact crash tests that some car-seat makers are already using to design safer car seats. Car seats already have to pass federal safety standards to be sold in the U.S.

At the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas earlier this fall, car-seat makers were among the many manufacturers showing off their latest wares. Here are the trends we noticed for 2015:

By Jennifer Newman | November 25, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Subaru Impreza Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award

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The 2015 Subaru Impreza has joined the ranks of the most crashworthy vehicles on the road as determined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The car, available as a sedan or hatchback, earned the safety agency's highest distinction, Top Safety Pick Plus, when equipped with the optional EyeSight Driver Assist Technology; without the option, the Impreza earns the Top Safety Pick designation.

Related: 2015 Subaru Impreza Starts $300 Higher, Adds More Standard Features

Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Impreza received ratings of good in IIHS' front small overlap, front moderate overlap, side impact, roof strength and rear impact evaluations. EyeSight earned the car a superior rating in front crash avoidance. EyeSight comes as part of a $2,795 option package that includes a moonroof, navigation, keyless entry and push-button start; it's available on the 2.0i Limited model sedan and 2.0i Sport Limited hatchback.

By Matt Schmitz | November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 9,000 2012-2014 BMW Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 9,000 BMW vehicles, including model-year 2014 328i Sports Wagons; 2012-14 BMW 320i sedans, 328i sedans, 320i xDrive sedans and 328i xDrive sedans; 2012-13 BMW 528i and 528i xDrive sedans; 2013-14 BMW X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i sports activity vehicles; 2013-14 BMW X3 xDrive28i sports activity vehicles; 2012-14 BMW Z4 sDrive28i roadsters; and 2014 BMW 428i and 428i xDrive coupes

The Problem: Due to insufficient lubrication, the vacuum pump that supplies brake power assistance may fail, causing a reduction in braking power and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: BMW will begin notifying owners late this month, and dealers will install a locking ring in the camshaft to retain the camshaft seal disk in the proper location for free. This latest action is an expansion of a recall from earlier this year.

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 | November 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Record Number of Motorists to Hit the Road This Thanksgiving

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If you're headed over the river and through the woods this Thanksgiving, the roads might be just a bit more crowded this year. AAA is reporting that 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend, a 4.2 percent increase over 2013 and the highest volume of travelers since 2007.

Related: Transport Thanksgiving Food Safely With These Tips

For drivers, the news is both good and bad. According to AAA, the 41.3 million travelers who plan to drive to their destination will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. Last year, motorists paid an average of $3.28 per gallon of regular gas, more than 40 cents higher than the current national average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is less enthusiastic. "It's one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately that means more crashes," the agency said in a statement.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 24, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and 2013-2014 LR4

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Vehicles Affected: More than 28,000 model-year 2014 Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport luxury SUVs, and model-year 2013-14 LR4 luxury SUVs, all manufactured between Sept. 16, 2013, and June 30, 2014

The Problem: The tire pressure monitoring system may fail to learn the locations of the individual sensors while the vehicle is being driven. As a result, the low tire pressure warning light will illuminate, despite the tire pressure being within specification. If one of the tires subsequently loses air pressure, the driver will not be notified of the change, increasing the risk of tire failure and, likewise, a crash.

The Fix: Land Rover began notifying owners on Nov. 6, and dealers will update the body control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Land Rover at 800-637-6837, 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 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2015 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV

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Vehicles Affected: More than 1,000 model-year 2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV luxury SUVs

The Problem: The passenger-side instrument panel top cover may have been manufactured using an incorrect spacer fabric, causing a reduction of adhesion between the spacer fabric and the vinyl show surface. This could cause inconsistent passenger airbag deployment, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash necessitating airbags.

The Fix: Cadillac manufacturer GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the instrument panel top cover for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM at 800-458-8006, 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 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2006-2011 Lexus LS, GS and IS

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 423,000 luxury sedans, including model-year 2007-10 Lexus LS sedans manufactured between May 9, 2006, and July 20, 2010; model-year 2006-11 GS sedans manufactured between Jan. 6, 2005, and Sept. 10, 2010; and model-year 2006-11 IS sedans manufactured between Aug. 30, 2005, and Sept. 10, 2010

The Problem: Due to anticorrosion plating remnants, fuel may leak from where the fuel pressure sensor is attached to the fuel delivery pipe. In the presence of an ignition source, this increases the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Lexus manufacturer Toyota will begin notifying owners in December, and dealers will clean and reseal the fuel pressure sensor mounting area for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 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 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

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