Recall Alert: 2013 Jaguar XF, XJ

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Vehicles Affected: Three model-year 2013 Jaguar XF and XJ luxury sedans manufactured between March 26, 2013, and April 10, 2013.

The Problem: The certification label — which specifies the required gross vehicle weight rating, gross axle weight rating front and rear, manufacture date and country of manufacture — is missing. If the certification label does not specify all of the necessary info or the vehicle weight range, the vehicle could be overloaded, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Jaguar will notify owners starting April 24, and dealers will reacquire the vehicles and provide a replacement vehicle, or a full refund of the purchase, for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Jaguar at 855-524-8278, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Land Rover LR2: Car Seat Check

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Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Land Rover LR2, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

Land Rover's five-passenger SUV gets a minor exterior face-lift and a major powertrain one for 2013. The previous model's six-cylinder is replaced by a new 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder this year. Although Land Rover calls the LR2 a compact SUV, it was able to comfortably accommodate two child-safety seats in the second row without hogging too much of the first row's legroom.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 8, 2014 | Comments (0)

Several Midsize SUVs Fail IIHS Crash Test

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The 2014 Honda Pilot didn't do very well in Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, and it fared even worse in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest crash test. The Pilot is one of several SUVs that scored poorly in the IIHS's challenging small front overlap test.

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The agency recently performed the test, meant to simulate a 40-mph crash of a vehicle's front corner into another vehicle, a tree or a pole, on nine midsize SUVs; six scored marginal or poor. Only the 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain took home good ratings, earning them Top Safety Pick Plus status.

The GM twins join the redesigned-for-2014 Toyota Highlander, which was tested last year and also deemed a Top Safety Pick Plus. To qualify for the agency's highest award, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable small overlap rating, good ratings in four other occupant protection tests and a rating of basic or higher for front crash prevention.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 7, 2014 | Comments (13)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Escape, C-Max, Lincoln MKZ

2014FordFusion

Vehicles Affected: About 42,972 model-year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans, and Ford Escape SUVs and C-Max Energi and Hybrid vehicles

The Problem:The vehicles' seatback frames do not comply with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards, according to the Detroit News. Certain driver and front passenger seatback assemblies may have been produced with substandard welds joining the seatback recliner mechanism to the seatback frame. This could increase the risk of injury in a collision, the newspaper reported. No crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of the faulty frames.

The Fix: Dealers will replace the seatback frames for free. Ford has not yet listed an owner notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2001-2004 Ford Escape

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Vehicles Affected: Around 349,000 model-year 2001-2004 versions of the Escape compact SUV sold in states where salt is used to melt ice on the roads.

The Problem: The Detroit News is reporting that rust could cause problems with the vehicle's subframe, impacting the driver's ability to steer. This could cause a crash; Ford is aware of one related crash but no injuries were reported.

The Fix: Dealers will install a reinforcement cross brace for free.

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

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 1.3 Million Evenflo Car Seats

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Car Seats Affected: More than 1.3 million Evenflo convertible and combination child-safety seats are being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer. The affected seats were built between 2011 and 2014. They are select Evenflo Momentum, Chase, Maestro, Symphony, Titan 65, SureRide, SecureKid, Snugli All-in-One and Snugli Booster models.

The Problem: The car seats’ harness buckle could become difficult to unlatch if food or drink gets into it, causing a safety hazard during an emergency exit of a car. This is the same problem that affected 4.2 million Graco car seats, which were recalled in February and March.

The Fix: A replacement buckle kit is available to affected owners who have registered their car seats, but the car-seat manufacturer says that the recalled car seats are crashworthy and can be used while waiting for the replacement kit — as long as the car seat’s original buckle is able to unlatch. Parents also can clean the buckle by submerging the unlatched buckle into a cup of warm water and agitating it; don’t use any soap or cleaning solutions to clean it. Be sure to depress the buckle’s red button several times when it is submerged. Parents should not get the buckle’s harness straps wet when cleaning the buckle. After cleaning the buckle, shake out excess water and allow it to air dry.

What Owners Should Do: To find out if your car seat is affected by the recall and order the replacement buckle kit, go to www.buckle.evenflo.com or call 800-490-7591.

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By Jennifer Newman | April 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2010-2012 Mazda6

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Vehicles Affected: About 42,000 model-year 2010-2012 Mazda6 midsize sedans manufactured between Sept. 14, 2009, and May 2, 2011, and equipped with a 2.5-liter engine.

The Problem: Spiders may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent hose, blocking it and causing an excessive amount of negative pressure in the fuel tank. That could cause the fuel tank to crack, resulting in a fuel leak and increasing the risk of a fire. The same spider problem also led to a recall announced in March 2011 affecting 52,000 model-year 2009-2010 Mazda6 sedans.

The Fix: Mazda will notify owners starting this month, and dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module and clean the canister vent line. If a web is found in the line, the fuel tank and check valve on the canister vent line will be replaced. Dealers will make the repairs for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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

13 Infant Car Seats Earn Best Rating in Consumer Reports Crash Tests

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Of 34 infant safety seats crash-tested by an independent lab hired by Consumer Reports, only 13 of those rear-facing car seats earned the highest score of best. Sixteen infant seats earned the midlevel better rating and five received the lowest rating of basic. The infant seats tested had a fixed base and a removable baby carrier.

19 New Booster Seats Earn IIHS' Best Bets Title

While some parents may believe that paying extra for an expensive car seat will keep their child safer in a crash, Consumer Reports' crash-test results show that added cost doesn't equal increased safety. The infant seats tested range from $55 to $440. The $55 seat — the Evenflo Discovery 5 — earned the better rating, but the Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat G2 (photo above), which rings up at $440, received the basic score.

By Jennifer Newman | April 3, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango

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Vehicles Affected: About 644,354 model-year 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs manufactured from Jan. 5, 2010, through Sept. 8, 2013.

The Problem: A brake booster's center shell may corrode and allow water to get inside, which could freeze and limit the braking ability of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in May, and dealers will add a water diverter shield to the booster after the booster has been tested to confirm that it can hold an acceptable amount of vacuum pressure. If the booster inspection confirms an unacceptable loss of vacuum pressure, the booster will be replaced for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 2, 2014 | Comments (7)

GM Recall Timeline

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Since GM announced its ignition switch recall in mid-February and its subsequent recommitment to safety issues headed by a new safety czar, the automaker has issued a slew of new recalls, expansions of recalls and clarifications of existing recalls.

More on GM's Ignition Switch Recall

All told, GM has recalled millions of vehicles during the last six weeks. Are you confused over whether your car is involved? Here's a recap of all the GM recalls announced since mid-February:

By Jennifer Geiger | April 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

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