2015 Subaru Outback: Car Seat Check

OutbackCSC

In its 2015 redesign, beloved family hauler the Subaru Outback continues to smartly straddle the line between a practical wagon and a rugged SUV, while getting subtle updates to its exterior styling, interior upgrades and improved fuel economy. Families will appreciate the new Outback's roomier cabin, cushier feel and an improved center storage bin that can hold larger items like an iPad. We last car-seat checked the Outback in 2012; that model proved as delightfully utilitarian as the vehicle's reputation. Can the 2015 live up to that easy-to-use, easier-to-love rep?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

Airbag

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now reporting that 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. have defective Takata airbags that need to be replaced immediately. Today, NHTSA added 3 million vehicles to the consumer advisory, which it first issued on Tuesday. The recall, expanded several times during the year, involves airbags that could deploy with too much pressure and cause injury. It affects millions of Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, Subaru, Nissan and General Motors vehicles.

Related: BMW, Chrysler, Ford Join Ever- Expanding Airbag Recall

"Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue," NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said in a statement.

Unsure if your vehicle is affected? NHTSA recently launched a Vehicle Identification Number search tool, but the site is currently down. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to follow this story. According to the government safety agency, the following vehicles are affected:

By Jennifer Geiger | October 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2002-2005 Lexus, Toyota and Pontiac Cars, Pickup Trucks, SUVs

2005ToyotaSequoiaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 250,000 model-year 2002-05 Lexus SC luxury coupes and Toyota Sequoia SUVs, and 2003-05 Tundra pickup trucks, Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks, and Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, all originally sold or currently registered in high-humidity areas of southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa

The Problem: The front passenger airbag inflators are susceptible to rupture in a crash, necessitating the deployment of the front passenger airbag. The inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike and seriously injure the passenger-seat occupant or others.

The Fix: Toyota will notify owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, and GM will notify owners of Pontiac vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag inflator for free. As an interim measure if a replacement is not available, the dealer will disable the front passenger airbag and advise owners not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin notifying owners around Oct. 25; GM has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners of Toyota and Lexus vehicles can call Toyota at 800-331-4331, and owners of Pontiac Vibes can call GM at 800-521-7300. Owners can also call 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 | October 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2015 Ford Mustang

2015FordMustangRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 50 model-year 2015 Ford Mustang sports cars manufactured between Aug. 18 and Oct. 2 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan

The Problem: Ford issued the voluntary recall due to an issue with the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly. The buckle tension sensor, included in the assembly, may not have been calibrated at the supplier. This could result in misclassification of the front passenger-seat occupant, which could lead to improper airbag deployment, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule. Ford said it is aware of no accidents or injuries related to the condition.

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.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Volkswagen Jetta, 2012-2013 Beetle

2013VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly half a million Volkswagen cars, including more than 400,000 model-year 2011-13 Volkswagen Jetta sedans and nearly 42,000 model-year 2012-13 Beetle hatchbacks and convertibles

The Problem: A rear or side-rear collision could damage the rear suspension trailing arms; if this damage is not repaired, the trailing arm could fracture suddenly, resulting in a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash, Volkswagen said in a statement about the voluntary recall. No accidents or injuries related to the issue have been reported, the automaker said.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear suspension of vehicles that have been involved in rear or side-rear collisions to determine whether the trailing arms have been damaged. On cars that do not have damaged trailing arms, the dealer will fit a sheet-metal inlay on the rear trailing arms, which will emit a distinctive sound if the car is later involved in a rear-end collision and will be a signal for the owner to take the car back to a dealer for inspection. Work will be done for free. The automaker has not announced a notification schedule, but said it will contact all owners of affected vehicles and instruct them to arrange an appointment.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 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 | October 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2015 Acura TLX

2015AcuraTLXRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 200 model-year 2015 Acura TLX sedans manufactured between Aug. 26 and Sept. 20, and equipped with all-wheel drive

The Problem: Incorrect values for the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight rating, front and rear, may be printed on the safety certification label. If the vehicle is loaded to the specifications listed on the label, tire failure may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Honda will begin notifying owners on Tuesday, and dealers will install the correct certification label for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Acura manufacturer Honda at 800-382-2238, 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 | October 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid

2008MazdaTributeHybridRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 400 model-year 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid crossovers manufactured between Oct. 10, 2006, and May 23, 2008

The Problem: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating. This could cause the powertrain to shut down, resulting in a stall-like condition and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Mazda will begin notifying owners on Nov. 3, and dealers will replace the original motor electronics coolant pump with an improved brushless pump for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mazda at 248-295-7859, 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 GM Sedans, SUVs, Pickup Trucks, Vans

2014CadillacCTSRecall
Vehicles Affected:
Nearly 100,000 model-year 2013-14 GM vehicles, including Cadillac CTS sedans, Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs; Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, Express vans, Impala sedans, Silverado heavy-duty pickup trucks and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, Acadia crossovers, Savana vans and Sierra HD pickups

The Problem: The chassis electronic module may be internally contaminated, resulting in an electrical short, which could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the chassis electronic module for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, GMC at 800-462-8782 and 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Jeep Wrangler

2013JeepWranglerRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 313,000 model-year 2011-13 Jeep Wrangler SUVs manufactured between Feb. 16, 2010, and July 19, 2013

The Problem: Corrosion in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector may result in an electrical short, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Dec. 5, and dealers will move the exterior power feed to a separate connector for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Chrysler Sedans; Dodge Sedans and SUVs, Jeep SUVs

2014Chrysler300Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 435,000 model-year 2011-14 Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Charger and Challenger sedans, and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured between June 17, 2010, and Dec. 23, 2013, and equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and a 160-amp alternator

The Problem: The alternator may suddenly fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Nov. 28, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker said the remedy is still being determined.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

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