BMW Recalls

BMW has recalled issued two recalls for approximately one million vehicles.  The first recall involves a defective PCV valve heater that can short circuit and cause a vehicle fire.  The recall applies to 2008 through 2011 model 128i; and 2007 through 2011 models 328i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3, X5, and Z4.  The second recall is for a defective blower motor wiring connector that also poses a fire hazard.  The connector can cause the wiring to overheat and ignite.  The recall applies to 2006 through 2011 models 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi, and M3; 2007 through 2011 model 335is; and 2009 through 2011 model 335d.  Vehicle repairs are expected to start on December 18 and will be fixed free of charge.  For additional information, consumers can contact BMW by calling 1-800-327-4236.

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The Problem With Oxygen Depletion Sensors…

The problem with oxygen depletion sensors is that they don’t sense oxygen.  Oxygen depletion sensors (ODS) are found on gas log appliances and are intended to shut the appliance off before the oxygen in a space falls to a dangerous level.  ODS sensors are thermocouples which produce a millivoltage when heated.  For this reason, the sensing end of an ODS sensor should be in contact with the pilot flame.  When operating properly, the flame heats the thermocouple which produces a millivoltage which in turn keeps the main gas valve open and allows gas to flow to the main burner.  When the flame cools as a result of low oxygen levels, the thermocouple or ODS fails to produce the necessary power to keep the main gas valve open and allows it to close, preventing gas flow and subsequent ignition.  The real problem however, is not low oxygen level, but the production and distribution of soot.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a soot damaged home knows how difficult the process can be to recover from the damage.  You see, appliances that burn with a yellow flame are already burning natural or propane gas incompletely.  That is, the carbon not consumed by the combustion process, will be visible and deposited as soot on clothing, furniture, draperies and appliances.   As a result, the ODS will NOT shut down the unit in time to prevent a soot production problem.  The lesson to be learned here is that even though your appliance has an ODS, don’t be fooled into thinking that you are protected.  Remember, if your appliance is designed to burn with a yellow flame, it is already producing soot.  Keep an eye on your fireplace insert, particularly if yours is unvented.  You will eventually see soot on the inside walls and if you see it there, it’s in the house!  The only way to prevent further damage is to quit using the gas logs set.

 

Pumps and Glycol Solutions

Just completed two webinars; one on the use of glycols as heat transfer fluids and the other on retrofitting pumps in HVAC applications.  Both of these topics are related in that pumps are used to circulate fluids, including glycols, to transfer heat.  Typical applications for glycol use include the food and beverage industry, HVAC, and process chemical.  Pumps applications not only include the previously stated industries but also, utility; both electrical and water, petrochemical, and plastics, to name a few.  Insurance carriers that cover businesses in these industries need to be concerned because property damage as well as personal injury can occur when spills and pump failures occur.  Corrosion is a major problem in systems using carbon steel piping as a conduit for the transmission of the gylcol.  If not properly mixed and the correct inhibitors added, the glycol solution can be acidic and cause wear to occur in pipes and fittings resulting in leaks and spills, if not carefully monitored.  Similarly, the internal components of pumps can come under attack and fail as a result of the acidic conditions that could arise if the glycol solution is not properly mixed.  However, during such instances, insurance carriers are also considering the possibility of subrogating against a third party in order to recover their expenditures.  Potential defendants would include the company mixing and/or installing the glycol solution, the designer and installer of the piping system, and the selector and installer of the pump used in circulating the glycol.  It should be noted that the internal components of the pump can be selected based on compatibility of the fluid to be circulated.

Ram Truck Recall

Fiat Chrysler has announced that it is recalling approximately 494,000 medium and heavy duty Ram trucks for a problem with a water pump.  Approximately 443,000 trucks are in the United States.  The recall applies to 2013-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks equipped with 6.7 liter engines.  The recall also affects vehicles built with 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs.  The problem with the water pump is that the pump is equipped with a certain type of bearing that can overheat and cause a fire.  Fiat will begin notification of owners when service is available although there has been no indication of when that will take place.  For additional information, owners can contact Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at 1-800-853-1403.

Volkswagen Recalls CC and Passat Vehicles

Volkswagen has announced that it is recalling approximately 280,915 CC and Passat sedans and wagons for a problem with the fuel pump control module. The engines in these vehicles can stall as a result of the loss of power to the fuel pump module.  The loss of power means that fuel flow to the engine will cease causing the engine to stall and increasing the possibility of a collision.  In addition, the fuel pump module can remain running after the ignition is turned off.  All of the vehicles involved in this recall are equipped with four cylinder engines.  The vehicles involved in this recall are 2009 to 2016 Volkswagen CC and 2006 to 2010 Volkswagen Passat.  Volkswagen will begin owner notification in October and will send a second letter to owners advising of the date of availability of the replacement fuel pump modules.  For additional information, owners can contact Volkswagen customer service directly by calling 1-800-893-5298.  Owners should refer to Volkswagen recall number 20AE.

GM Recalls 2014 Silverado and Sierra Trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on June 29, 2017 that General Motors is recalling 2014 Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. According to NHTSA, 690,685 vehicles in the United States are involved.  The problem with these vehicles is that the electric power steering assist can fail increasing the risk of a crash.  At this time, neither NHTSA or General Motors is providing any details about the specific problem.  NHTSA has also indicated that GM has not yet scheduled a date when notification letters to owners would be mailed.  For additional information, owners can contact General Motors customer service by calling 1-800-222-1020.  Similarly, GMC owners can call 1-800-432-8782 for answers to their questions.  In both cases, owners will need to reference GM recall # 17276.

Honda Accord Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that Honda has recalled 1,148,550 vehicles because of a battery fire hazard. More specifically, the recall is for 2013-2016 Honda Accords.  The problem is that a battery sensor, when wet, will short circuit and can ignite.  Honda will begin notifying owners by sending out an initial notification letters beginning July 31, 2017, since parts are not yet available.  The letter will instruct owners to take their vehicles to their Honda dealer and that the dealer will replace the battery sensor free of charge.  Owners should also know that the NHTSA campaign number is 17V418000 and the Honda recall number is KGO.  Lastly, for additional information owners can contact American Honda Customer Support by calling 1-888-234-2138.

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