Not the Way to Mount Running Boards to your Truck!

Running Boards are very popular and offer to convenient way to enter and leave a truck for those who have a hard time getting in and out.  Running boards come in various styles and are usually equipped with brackets that are intended to be bolted to the truck underbody.  However, when the underbody is corroded or the condition of the metal that will hold the running board is questionable, then caution should be exercised in deciding whether and how to mount the boards.  When bolts can’t be used, welding the bracket to the underbody can be an alternative.  In doing so, care must be taken not to set the vehicle on fire!  Carpeting is usually present at the edge of the floorboard adjacent to the doors.  When welding the brackets, the heat from the weld is conducted through the metal to the carpet (and wiring if present) creating a perfect condition for a vehicle fire.  The photographs shown below illustrate how a fire originated in a 1997 Ford F 250 when one of the passenger side running board brackets was welded to the underbody.  Precautions must be taken before welding to prevent damage to the vehicle.  If bolts cannot be used because of questionable metal strength, then welding is probably not a good idea either.    

Fire origin at floorboard and damage to passenger door
View of underbody beneath area of fire origin, note bracket weld location

Combustible Hoverboards Still Out There

Back in 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled thousands of hoverboards due to a problem with lithium ion batteries.  The batteries would short circuit and cause the hoverboards to ignite.  Because most of the brands used cheap materials and were made overseas, the market pretty much disappeared overnight.  However, hoverboards that have some age on them are still in use.  Recently, one was encountered in the investigation of an apartment fire.  The condition of the hoverboard is shown below.  Spontaneous ignition of the hoverboard was determined to have been the cause of the fire.  More specifically, the lithium ion batteries  appeared to have self-short-circuited resulting in excessive heat buildup (thermal runaway) that ultimately led to the ignition of the product.  If you have an older product, it is recommended that you replace the batteries with batteries or a battery pack certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  Make sure that the batteries or battery pack has been tested according to UL standard 1642 or 2054.  The product should carry a label showing what standard has been met.   For new products made this year, 2020, the product should have been tested according to UL standard 2272.  Look for a label on the product indicating that the product has been certified accordingly.       

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Latch and Brake Issues

The Ford Motor Company has issued a recall for approximately 2.1 million vehicles with a door latch issue.  The latch issue was previously addressed under recall numbers 15S16 and 16S30.  While some of the door latches might have been replaced under one of the two recalls, not all of the latches were replaced or replaced correctly.  As a result, some of the latch pawl spring tabs are still cracking or failing under high thermal loads (combination of air temperature and solar radiation). Owners will be given the opportunity to have a dealer inspect the latch or verify the latch code themselves and validate the repair online.  The following vehicles are affected:

2011 – 2014 Ford Fiesta built at Cuautitlan plant between Jan 26, 2010 and Oct 31, 2013

2012 – 2015 Ford Focus built at Michigan plant between Oct 4, 2010 and Jan 31, 2015

2013 – 2014 Ford Fusion built at Hermosillo plant between May 11, 2012 and Oct 31, 2013

2013 – 2014 Ford Lincoln MKZ built at Hermosillo plant, between July 19, 2012 and Oct 31, 2013

2013 – 2015 Ford Escape built at Louisville plant between Dec 23, 2011 and Jan 31, 2015

2013 – 2015 Ford C-Max built at Michigan plant between Feb 2, 2012 and Jan 31, 2015

2014 Ford Fusion built at the Flat Rock assembly plant between June 18, 2013 and Oct 31, 2013

2014 – 2016 Ford Transit Connect built at Valencia Plant between August 9, 2013 and Feb 1, 2016 

2015 Ford Mustang built at Flat Rock plant between Feb 14, 2014 and April 30, 2015

2015 Lincoln MKC built at Louisville plant between Nov 18, 2013 and Jan 31, 2015

For additional information, owners can contact Ford by calling 1-800-392-3673 or visit Reference recall number 20S30.

Ford has also issued a recall for 2014 – 2017 Ford F 150 vehicles equipped with the 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine, due to a problem with the master cylinder.  The master cylinder will leak brake fluid through the front wheel circuit into the brake booster.  The driver can experience a change in the feel in braking as well as a loss of braking effort in the front wheels.  The rear wheel brakes are unaffected.  The loss of braking power increases the risk of a crash.  292,311 vehicles are affected in the United States.  The affected vehicles have been identified as follows:

2015 – 2017 Ford F 150 built at the Dearborn plant between Oct 1, 2014 and Aug 1, 2016

2014 – 2017 Ford F 150 built at the Kansas City plant between Sept 1, 2014 and Aug 1, 2016

Dealers will replace the master cylinder and if necessary, replace the brake booster.  For additional information, owners can contact Ford at the telephone number or website address given above and reference recall number 20S31.

Nissan Recalls Altimas for Second Time

Nissan USA has issued a recall for their 2013 – 2018 Altima sedans for a problem with the hood latch.  Corrosion has been found to attack the primary hood latch and when it fails, it can prevent the secondary hood latch from engaging.  Failure to engage the latch can result in the hood flying open while the vehicle is moving, obstructing the driver’s view and resulting in a crash.  Driver’s can determine if the hood is about to open by watching whether it is fluttering or making noise as the vehicle is moving.  This recall is an extension of the original recall which was applied to 2013 – 2015 year models.  The current recall has included 2016 – 2018 Altimas.  All together the recall affects approximately 1.8 million vehicles.  It should be noted that if a vehicle has been previously repaired, it will have to be repaired again.  Nissan expects to begin notifying owners on August 1st.  For additional information owners can contact Nissan by calling 1-800-647-7261.  Owners can also contact their dealer for recall assistance.

Hyundai Recalls Sonata and Santa FE Sport Vehicles for Fuel Leaks

Hyundai Motor America is recalling 2013-2014 Hyundai Sonata vehicles due to a fuel leak that can occur in a low pressure fuel hose.  The hose in question connects the low pressure fuel pump to the direct injection fuel pump.  As a result of engine heat, the hose can crack over time resulting in fuel leakage that can become a fire hazard.  The recall affects approximately 206,896 vehicles.  Dealers will inspect the hose and replace it as necessary.  If no damage or leakage is found, dealers will wrap the hose in heat protective tape.  Repairs will be performed at no cost to the owner.  For additional information, owners can contact Hyundai customer service by calling 1-855-371-9460 and referencing recall number 189.  The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 20V121000.

Hyundai Motor America is also recalling 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata as well as 2013-2014 Santa Fe Sport Vehicles.  These vehicles were previously repaired under recall numbers 15V-568 and 17V-226 and affect approximately 150,730 vehicles.  During the repairs to these vehicles, the high pressure fuel pipe that attaches to the outlet of the fuel pump could have been improperly installed.  That is, the pipe could have been damaged, misaligned, or improperly torqued, resulting in fuel leakage from the pipe.  This is an outstanding recall that was begun March 1, 2019.  For additional information, owners can contact Hyundai customer service by calling 1-855-371-9460 and referencing recall number 180.  The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 18V934000.  

Subaru Recalls Impreza and Other Vehicles

Subaru of America has issued a recall for approximately 188,207 model year 2019 Impreza, Outback, Legacy and Ascent vehicles.  These vehicles are equipped with a low pressure fuel pump that can become inoperative causing the vehicle to stall and possibly crash.  No details are available are on the cause of the sudden fuel pump failure.  However, Subaru expects to begin recalling vehicles on June 5, 2020.  Subaru will begin notifying owners and dealers will replace the low pressure fuel at no cost to owners.  For additional information, owners may contact Subaru by calling customer service at 1-844-373-6614 and referencing recall # WRD-20.  The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 20V218000.

Subaru is also recalling 2017 – 2019 Impreza and 2018 – 2019 Crosstrek vehicles for a problem with the engine control module (ECM).  The recall affects approximately 466,205 vehicles.  A short circuit in the ECM could cause the vehicle to stall and subsequently crash.  The ECM has also been found to continue powering the ignition coil after the engine has been turned off.  Subaru has already begun notifying owners and dealers will update the ECM software and replace damaged ignition coils and exhaust pipes (as necessary) free of charge.  For additional information, owners can contact Subaru by calling customer service at 1-844-373-6614 and referencing recall # WUQ-02.  The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 19V743000.

Table of Contents

This page contains a list of all of the posts on this blog site. Please scroll down to review the content. If you see a specific post that you would like to read, please note the month and year that it was posted. On the right side of the page, you will see an entry for the “Archives”. Click on the month and year and you will be taken to the entries for that time. Scroll through until you find the desired post. We hope that you will will enjoy this blog and obtain some useful information. Please feel free to make comments or suggestions that: will help us improve its presentation.

January 2021

Hyundai Recall Update

December 2020

Defective GE Dishwasher

November 2020

217,000 Vehicles Recalled by GM

October 2020

Potential Ford F 150 Fire Hazard

Hints That You Might Have a Subrogation Case

September 2020

Hyundai and Kia Vehicles Recalled for Fire Hazard

August 2020

Possible ProFlo Toilet Tank Defect

Recalls from Toyota, Ford and Subaru

Riding Lawn Mower Fire

July 2020

Not the Way to Mount Running Boards to Your Truck!

Combustible Hoverboards Still Out There

June 2020

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Latch and Brake Issues

Nissan Recalls Altimas for Second Time

Hyundai Recalls Sonata and Santa Fe Sport Vehicles for Fuel Leak

Subaru Recalls Impreza and Other Vehicles

April 2020

Coronavirus Protections

March 2020

What a Way to Blowup a Blower

Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator Recalled

February 2020

Services We Offer

Hyundai Recalls Elantra and Elantra Touring Vehicles

January 2020

Toyota Recalls Vehicles for Electronic Defect

Toyota Recalls Vehicles for Faulty Fuel Pumps

Space Heater Fire

December 2019

Holiday Fires

Brake and Battery Issues Prompt GM to Recall Trucks

Ford Recalls Super Duty Trucks

Holiday Greetings

November 2019

Leaking LG Refrigerator

October 2019

The Heating Season Begins

September 2019

Sometimes Things Just Happen

GM Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles for Brake Problem

Weather Related Damage

Boiler Refresher

July 2019

Why Does the Inside of Cars Get so Hot?

Mazda Recalls SUVs for Engine Stalling

June 2019

Condenser Water Piping Seminar

Recalls – How Long Do They Last?

May 2019

Ford Fusion Recall

April 2019

Vehicular Fire in Hayfield

March 2019

Ford Recalls Trucks Due to Fire Hazard

What Every Property Adjuster Should Know About…

Hyundai Recalls Vehicles Due to Fire Risk

February 2019

Wet Weather and Engine Damage

Haier Recalls Freezer Refrigerators

January 2019

AHR Expo

Beware of Accucraft Wood Burning Fireplaces

December 2018

Watch Those Connections

Happy Holidays

Wheel Separation in 2016 Ford Taurus – Possible Recall?

November 2018

Combined Heat and Power

Veteran’s Day Appreciation

Lathe Chuck Injury Due to Faulty Lathe Operation

October 2018

Power Steering Recall

Long Hydraulic Hoses Cause Trencher Fire

Toyota Recalls Hybrids

September 2018

GM Recalls for Loss of Power Steering

Fire Hazard Prompts Ford to Recall 2 Million F-150s

August 2018

Gas Logs and Soot Damage

July 2018

Contents of Aerosol Cans can be Flammable

June 2018

So You Want to be Connected

How Can I help?

State Farm Accused of Influence Peddling

May 2018

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 4.8 Million Vehicles

It’s Not Always the Contractor’s Fault

April 2018

Ford Recalls Trucks and SUVs

March 2018

Death by Driverless Car

Ford Recalls Fusion and Lincoln MKZ Vehicles

Fire Hazards and Recalls

Hyundai Santa Fe Recall

February 2018

Maytag Dryer Electrocution and Fire Hazard

Destructive Force of Ice

Rheem Water Heater Recall

December 2017

Ram Truck Recall

Holiday Greetings

How NOT to Install a Water Filter

November 2017

Continuing Education Update

BMW Recalls

October 2017

The Problem With Oxygen Depletion Sensors

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

ATTENTION: Tennessee High School Seniors and Current Engineering Students

Pumps and Glycol Solutions

September 2017

Ram Truck Recall (Separate from Dec 2017)

What’s Going On?

Eight Deaths – Really?

HVAC Equipment – Repair or Replace?

What Happened to Water and Gas Lines?

August 2017

Volkswagen Recalls CC and Passat Vehicles

GM Recalls 2014 Silverado and Sierra Trucks

July 2017

Honda Accord Recall

More on the Use of PEX Pipe

Natural Gas Explosion at Murray State University

June 2017

Grenfell Tower Fire

This is What Can Happen When the Sprinkler System Doesn’t Work

Fire Protection Systems Training

Nissan to Begin Implementing Automatic Braking

Are You Ready to Deal With Robots?

Recalls From Volkswagen and Hyundai

Stop Using LaZboard Hoverboards!

Steam Condensation Plant Explosion

May 2017

Using Drones for Claims Investigations

2017 Scholarship Award Winners

Scott Hill, BSME, MSME, EIT

April 2017

Recalls for Fire and Electrical Defects

Gas Station Hose Swivel Connectors Recalled

GM Appeal Over Ignition Switch Cases – DENIED

Hyundai Kia Recalls

March 2017

Ford Recalls Vehicles for Safety Issues

Mercedes Benz Recalls

Chevy Impala Exploding Manifold

Roofs Shouldn’t Look Like this

February 2017

Cut Those Tree Limbs!!!

A Word About Fraud

January 2017

Compact Flourescent Lights

Fire and Appliance Safety, Part 2

December 2016

Fire and Appliance Safety (Part 1)

Happy Holidays

They Can’t Do anything But Say No

Fiatt Chrysler Recalls

November 2016

33 Years and counting

Fox 10 TV Investigates Vortens Toilet Tanks

Samsung Recalls Washing Machines

September 2016

Scholarship Instructions

Vortens Toilet Tank Update

August 2016

Whirlpool Microwave Recall

Deep Fryer Fires due to Lack of Maintenance

Irrigation System Failure

July 2016

Vehicle Recalls by Ford, GM and Chrysler

Scholarship Awarded to Aaron Schneider

June 2016

Toro Lawn Mower Defective Carburetor

May 2016

Guards and Guy Wires

“Leave the Friggin Thing Alone!”

April 2016

Soot Damage From Gas Logs

Scholarship Award Winners

Ceiling Fan Recall

March 2016

Craigslist and Recalled Products

What’s Going on With Carrier and Goodman?

Product Recalls

Solar Anyone?

February 2016

Microsoft Recalls A/C Power Cords for Surface Pro Devices

Please Review the Comments….

January 2016

Potential Kia Defect

2015 In Review

It’s Wintertime!!!

Happy New Year

December 2015

Climate Change, Part 2

Climate Change and Renewable energy

November 2015


Takata Air Bag Recall, Part 2


Duramax 2.8L Diesel Engine

Thank you !

October 2015

Vehicle Recalls

September 2015

GM Compared to PCA

Scholarship Instructions for Tennessee Students

August 2015

Legionaire’s Disease Makes a Comeback

July 2015

How to Tell if Your Transmission was Damaged in an Accident

May 2015

Takata Air Bag Recall

Commercial Truck Investigations

Kiwanis Presentation

March 2015

Oil Filled Heaters Spray Oil – Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

General Electric Pays 3.5 Million Civil Penalty

February 2015

Air Bag Control Module Failure

Nissan Rogue Recall

Low SEER Units Still Available

January 2015

Scholarships Available for the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Which Came First: The Accident or the Transmission Damage?

Our New Website

December 2014

Christmas and Safety

November 2014

The Workings of a Mediation

Recent Happenings

September 2014

Educating the Public

August 2014

Samsung Washing Machine Update

Another Samsung Drain Pump Failure

Hyundai Sonata Recall

July 2014

Buick Lacrosse Fires Caused by Faulty HDM Module?

Drain Pump Bracket Failure

Vortens Toilet Tanks

Faulty Installation of Frost Proof Faucet

June 2014

Need a Speaker?

What Happened Here?

May 2014

Opening for a Computer Forensics Engineer

R.J. Hill Consulting Announces Scholarship Awards

March 2014

Chevy Impala Not Recalled for for Exploding Intake Manifold and Engine Fire

February 2014

Another Flushmate Recall

January 2014

Danger: Using Lights for Space Heating

Scholarship Offerings

New Year Recalls

November 2013

Recurring Product Problems

October 2013

Is Technology changing Too Fast?

August 2013

Getting Bad Gas?

Beware of Dishonest A/C Dealers

July 2013

Attorneys and Expert’s Depositions

April 2013

Microscopic Analysis Capability Update

Federal Jury Renders Verdict Against State Farm

Serious Recalls

Silly Little Key Fob

Exploding Glass Oven Door

March 2013

Dangerous Construction Site

January 2013

Update – The Problem With PEX Pipe

Mini Cooper Water Pump Fire Hazard

December 2012

A Successful Trial

September 2012

I’m Not The Enemy!

August 2012

More Throttle Trouble

July 2012

The Problem PEX Pipe

June 2012

Flushmate Does it Again

May 2012

PEs, Diplomates and Fellows

April 2012

Electric Power Steering

March 2012

Sudden/Unintended Acceleration

January 2012

LG and the Problems With Their Washing Machines

December 2011

Wheel Separation From Ford Vehicles

November 2011

Subrogating for the Sake of Subrogating

October 2011

“Did You Hear the one About the Honda…”

August 2011

Hired Guns

Lightning Hits Car

Flushmate Exploding Toilets

Vehicle Recalls

July 2011

Would You Hire an Expert to Help You Deal With an Insurance Company?

Be Careful How You Treat Your Engineering Investigator

May 2011

Looks Like Dometic Still has Problems

More Recalls

Does Ford Have a New Fire Hazard?

February 2011

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Linked to Keyless Ignition Fobs

More Natural Gas Explosions

Government’s Report on Toyota’s Sudden Acceleration Problem

January 2011

Runaround Coil Heat Recovery

Air Conditioning in Winter?

Ford and Their Windstar Axle Problem

December 2010

Haier Freezer Recall

November 2010

Sudden Acceleration

September 2010

Buyer Beware!

California Gas Line Explosion

August 2010

Corolla, Matrix and Vibe Recalls

Tankless Water Heater Explosion

Recall News

Lightning Damage

July 2010

Examination of 2005 Gulfstream RV

Coronavirus Protections

            While the world in general, and our country in particular, is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, the world of insurance claims investigations is also trying to keep working.  R.J. Hill Consulting is following the recommended social distancing guideline of maintaining at least six feet from another person.  If appropriate, statements can be obtained by phone thereby preventing unnecessary personal contact.  N95 masks are also worn when contact with another person might occur.  Lastly, while latex gloves are not worn in every instance, gloves are available and will be worn as a precautionary measure in certain cases.        

What a Way to Blow up a Blower!

Most residential and commercial HVAC equipment use centrifugal blowers to move air through duct systems.  The rate at which blower wheels turn is usually between 1000 and 1500 rev/min, depending on the application.  The point to be made is that blower wheels turn at a fairly slow speed.  Blower wheels that are attached directly to the motors that drive them turn at the rotational speed of the motor.  But, when the blower wheel is belt driven, the speed of the blower can vary depending on the size of the pulley attached to the shaft that drives the blower wheel.  If the size of the pulley attached to the blower shaft is twice as large as the pulley attached to the motor, the speed of the blower will be half of the speed of the motor.  If however, the blower pulley is the same size as the motor pulley, the blower will turn at approximately the same speed as the motor.  If the blower wheel is not designed for such speed, the centrifugal forces created by the rotational motion will cause the blower wheel to fail in a spectacular way.  The photos attached below illustrate the results.   

Blower louvers peeled away from blower ring
Blower louvers peeled away from blower ring
View of damage to blower louvers

Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator Vehicles Recalled

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that it has recalled 2018 – 2020 Jeep Wrangler and 2020 Jeep Gladiator vehicles equipped with manual transmissions.  These vehicles contain a clutch plate within the transmission that can overheat and fracture, posing a fire hazard.  If the fractured pieces crack the transmission casing and come in contact with combustible material, a fire can result.  Approximately 33,237 vehicles are involved in this recall.  Owners should be aware of signs indicating a problem: the sudden loss of power, burned clutch smell, and extra pedal travel when shifting gears.  At present, Fiat Chrysler is working on a repair but expects to begin recalling vehicles on April 22nd of this year.  Owners of affected vehicles will receive notices of the recall by mail.  For additional information, owners can contact Chrysler customer service by calling 1-800-853-1403 and referencing Chrysler recall # W12. 

%d bloggers like this: