Posts Tagged recall
The well-publicized runaway 2008 Toyota Prius and its driver that hit the news last week have come under intense scrutiny. Later today, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Toyota will announce they could not re-create the incident.
To many, that might not prove anything, since past incidents have also been hard or impossible to re-create. However, a Toyota representative who was at the California dealership where the car was tested by the government and the company says there is little possibility the driverâ€™s story is accurate.
The congressional observer who was there concurred. “In this case, knowing that we are able to push the car around the shop, it does not appear to be feasibly possible, both electronically and mechanically, that his gas pedal was stuck to the floor and he was slamming on the brake at the same time.â€
However, the spokesman also said he was not accusing the driver of lying.
Automotive blog Jalopnik has been digging into the past of the driver, Jim Sikes, and uncovered a past of financial problems and accusations of fraud from a former business partner.
The California Highway Patrol says there is no evidence of a hoax and would not pursue an investigation unless â€œthey can completely disprove Mr. Sikes.â€ The CHP says that because there were no injuries or property damage, it does not need to keep the investigation open.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010; 10:42 PM
TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said it would recall another 438,000 cars globally to replace an airbag deflator that could rupture and send shards toward the driver in an accident.
The move follows a separate recall of 646,000 cars less than two weeks ago for a faulty window switch that engulfed a Jazz subcompact in flames in South Africa, killing a child.
Japan’s No.2 automaker had previously filed recalls for the airbag problem on two separate occasions, in November 2008 and June 2009, covering a total 510,000 vehicles.
Ongoing investigation had determined the defect was caused by insufficient stamping pressure during the production of the inflator propellant and not by excessive moisture intake by the propellant as previously believed, Honda said.
The airbags are made by the U.S. unit of Japan’s Takata Corp, a Honda spokesman said. A Takata spokesman said the company was not aware of any defect in airbags it supplies to other automakers.
The expanded recall is concentrated in the United States, where nearly 379,000 cars are subject to the recall. All cars to be recalled globally are made at Honda’s U.S. and Canadian plants. The latest recall applies to 2001 and 2002 model-year Accord, Civic, Odyssey, CR-V, Pilot and 2002 Acura TL and CL vehicles in the United States.
The Honda spokesman said the recall would cost the company about 24 million yen ($267,000) in Japan, or about $67 a car. He declined to disclose a global estimate, but based on the per-unit cost in Japan, the global tally would come to about $30 million.
The airbag defect has been linked to one fatality and 11 injuries in the United States. There have been no reports of accidents elsewhere, Honda said.
The move comes at a time when Honda’s bigger rival Toyota Motor Corp has come under intense scrutiny from U.S. safety regulators. Toyota has launched the biggest recall in its history and faces criticism that it was slow to respond to safety issues.
Honda said it had brought the safety issue to the attention of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and had notified regulators of the decision to include additional vehicles in its recall.
The NHTSA contacted Honda in August 2009 as part of a review into whether the automaker had acted in a timely way in announcing its broadened recall.
John Mendel, Honda’s U.S. chief, told reporters on a conference call that the NHTSA review had not been concluded.
Shares of Honda were down 0.2 percent on Wednesday afternoon in Tokyo, underperforming gains in most other auto stocks and the broader market. The Nikkei share average rose 1 percent.
Takata shares fell 1.6 percent.
But analysts noted that automakers regularly make recalls, and said media coverage of recent cases had been somewhat overblown.
“While the way automakers handle recalls is important, I think people should be careful not to overreact to every single recall,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Kazaka Securities in Tokyo.
“Rather, my concern for the auto industry is their earnings for the next financial year, given the absence of the boost they enjoyed from government incentives this year,” he said.
Honda last week lifted its annual guidance far beyond market expectations.
(Additional reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher)
Safety Expert Says New Fix Still Won’t End Runaway Cars
New Toyota accelerator pedals have passed tests for problems and are being shipped this week, according to the supplier, CTS of Elkhart, Indiana.
Toyota has recalled more than two million cars and stopped sales and production because of “sticky” accelerator pedals that could cause cars to race out of control.
“New pedals are being made to their new specification to solve this recall issue and they’re being tested and parts are beginning to be shipped,” said Mitch Walorski, director of investor relations for CTS.
There was no immediate comment from Toyota.
At the same time the new parts were being tested and shipped, Toyota expanded the recall by at least two million cars, to include cars and trucks in Europe and China with the same gas pedals from CTS.
CTS, however, suggests it is being made a scapegoat by Toyota.
“The products we supplied to Toyota, including the pedals covered in the recent recall, have been manufactured to Toyota’s specification,” said Walorski.
“It’s a rare set of conditions and that rare set has only occurred in very few instances causing no accidents or injuries,” said the CTS executive.
A leading safety analyst said he believed that “the largest number” of the reported accidents and deaths are the result of other problems with Toyotas beyond gas pedals and loose floor mats that have not yet been fully explored.
“It’s not one single issue that’s causing these unintended acceleration complaints to rise to the top of the defect chart today,” said Sean Kane, of Safety Research & Strategies, a private auto safety firm in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
It’s a cold, cold world. Especially in the world of major automotive industry recalls. It appears thatÂ GM will have a massive recall for its brand-spankin’-new-selling-like-hotcakes 2010 Chevy Equinox and 2010 GMC Terrain CUVs vehicles (59,031 in all). The news was originally posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This time, it’s due to faulty HVAC systems. It may sound silly that an imperfect air-conditioning and heating system would warrant a recall, but do not be so foolish. The HVAC system design is a major sub-discipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. In this particular case, the official statement reads- “failing to comply with the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 103, â€œwindshield defrosting and defogging systems and with federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 101, controls and displaysâ€. The software in the center instrument panel can cause the heating, air conditioning, defrost, and radio controls, as well as the panel illumination to become inoperative.â€
The safety recall is expected to begin during January 2010. Chevrolet and GMC dealers will replace the computer modules in the center console, at no charge, to repair the problem.
Owners of any of these vehicles can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438 or GMC at 1-866-996-9463.