Recalls From Volkswagen and Hyundai

Volkswagen Group of America has recalled approximately 240,487 vehicles as a result of a fuel pump problem. More specifically, the recall applies to 2013-2017 Audi Q5 and Q7.  These vehicles are equipped with a fuel pump that has a flange which can crack.  The crack in turn, can allow fuel to leak and fuel in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire.  Audi will advise owners (usually by regular mail) and dealers will replace cracked fuel pumps free of charge.  If fuel pumps are found to be crack free, then a protective film will be applied in order to prevent cracking, also free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin on July 2, 2017.  For further information, owners can contact Volkswagen by calling 1-800253-2834.  The recall number for this campaign is 20Z8

Hyundai Motor Company has announced that it is recalling approximately 600,000 vehicles in two recalls. The first recall involves 2013-2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, about 437,400 vehicles. Corrosion can attack the secondary hood latch and cause it to malfunction.  More specifically, the actuating cable can bind causing the hood to open while the vehicle is in motion.  The recall will begin June 30 with Hyundai notifying owners and dealers replacing the hood latch free of charge.  The second recall applies to 16,074 Hyundai Genesis and Sonata Vehicles manufactured between 2015 and 2016.  Corrosion is also to blame for attacking the parking brake switch.  As a result, the parking brake light may not illuminate if the driver does not realize that the parking brake is applied.  This recall will also begin on June 30 with the notification of vehicle owners.  Again, dealers will repair the affected vehicles free of charge.  For further information on either of these recalls, owners can contact Hyundai by calling 1-888-327-4236.

Fire and Appliance Safety, Part 2

In keeping with the previous post on fire and appliance safety, photographs of some items that have been encountered in previous fire investigations are posted here: the first photo shows an electric stove where the fire originated in the control panel.

                                                                                                    electric-stove-fire

The next photo shows a packaged a/c unit damaged by fire as a result of contact made between a live wire and the edge of an opening in the metal casing.

through-the-wall-unit

The third photo shows a riding lawn mower that ignited, most likely, by the owner’s failure to keep the machine clean between cuttings.

riding-lawn-mower

The next photo is of a paper shredder, also burned, because the machine was not kept clean.  Dust created by shredded paper is just as flammable as any petroleum based fuel if the right conditions exist for ignition.

paper-shredder

The propane gas regulator shown below was installed backwards so that gas was flowing into the outlet port and existing through the vent port.  Since there was no pressure regulation, the cap covering the adjustment, (located in the center) was blown off and the escaping gas ignited.  The homeowner happened to be standing nearby and was severely burned.

improperly-installed-propane-gas-regulator

The next photograph shows a line cord attached to an aquarium pump. The problem was identified as a faulty line cord that was not properly sized for the continuous operation. As a result, the line cord insulation melted and ignited.

aquarium-pump-motor0004

The following photograph shows a coffee maker that ignited and caused a small kitchen fire.  This appliance was destroyed badly enough so that the actual problem was unidentifiable.

coffee-maker-fire

The pipe flange in the next photograph cracked after having been in use for several years.  The leaking gas percolated up through a homeowner’s lawn and ignited; destroying the home as well as damaging a neighbor’s house.

cracked-gas-line-flange

Corrosion of the copper gas line resulted in the leaking of propane gas and a sudden explosion.  The explosion destroyed a residential structure.

fractured-gas-line

Ford and their Windstar Axle Problem

The Ford Motor Company has recently recalled 1998 to 2003 Winstar vehicles due to a problem with the rear axle. It seems that corrosion can attack the axle and cause it to break. When the axle breaks, the driver can lose control of the vehicle and crash. It seems to me that as long as Ford has been in business, the company has gained enough experience to know how to protect the vehicle, in general, and, the rear axle,  in particular, from the effects of corrosion.  It is well known that in climates where salt is used to melt ice, the resulting residue can corrode the undercarriage of vehicles not protected. So, how is it that a car manufacturer, who has been building cars for longer than most of us have alive, puts out a product that is not protected against a well known corrosive medium? Consider for a moment that the Windstar is the only vehicle in the Ford family of cars and trucks that is subject to this problem. Ther aren’t any other recalls for a Ford manufactured vehicle wth this problem. From Ford’s viewpoint, Ford believes that owners of Windstar vehicles who are experiencing rear axle problems are trying to get out of paying for expensive repairs by filing claims against Ford alledging a defective product. Why couldn’t the Windstar be defective?

%d bloggers like this: