Sometimes Things Just Happen…

Sometimes, when you take your vehicle in for service things happen that you don’t expect but, can result in serious damage.  The following are two examples of recent investigations where serious problems were caused.  The first claim involved a 2016 Toyota Tacoma that was taken to a Toyota dealership for an oil change.  Upon completion of the work, the vehicle was returned to its owner.  After arriving back at home, the owner noticed that his vehicle was leaking oil.  The owner promptly returned to the dealership.  However, unbeknownst to him, the oil drain plug fell out of the oil pan.  As a result, the engine was damaged to the extent that metal flakes were found in the oil drain pan indicating the need for an engine replacement.  Although the dealership denied any wrongdoing, a trail of oil was found and could be followed from the owner’s home to the dealership.  The photos below show the metal flakes found in the oil pan and the oil trail leading back to the dealership. 

Metal flakes found in oil pan indicating damage to engine
Oil trail leading from owner’s home to dealership

In this next claim, a lady was involved in a five vehicle accident when she couldn’t stop her 2011 Ford Escape and rear-ended a vehicle.  That impact started a chain reaction that involved four other vehicles.  Upon investigating it was learned that the vehicle’s front brakes had been replaced approximately two weeks before the accident.  It was also learned that the work had been done by a nationally recognized tire and auto service center.  The vehicle was later returned to the service center in order to perform an examination of the brakes and the work that had been done in the presence of service center personnel.  Upon removing both front wheels and inspecting the brake pads, it was noted that the pads on the interior sides of the rotors on both sides were missing.  It was clear that for whatever reason, the technician doing the work had only installed one brake pad on each wheel!  The photos below show the condition of the brakes on each wheel with one missing pad.

Missing brake pad on driver’s side front wheel
Missing brake pad on passenger’s side front wheel
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Vehicle Recalls by Ford, GM, and Chrysler

 

The Ford Motor Company has recalled 2013 -2014 F-150 pick up trucks due to a problem with the brakes.  The trucks involved in this recall were manufactured Between August 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014 and equipped with 3.5L engines.  The problem with the brakes is that the master cylinder rear cup seal can leak brake fluid from the reservoir into the brake booster.  The loss of brake fluid results in the loss of braking power to the front brakes and increases the likelihood of a crash.  The recall was expected to begin on July 11, 2016.  Owners of the recalled vehicles should take their trucks to an authorized Ford Dealership where dealers will replace the master cylinder and if necessary, the brake booster, free of charge.  For additional information, owners can contact Ford customer service by calling 1-800436-7332 and referencing recall # 16S24.

 

General Motors has recalled certain 2016 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles due to a problem with the memory chip located in the electronic brake control module (EBCM).  The recalled vehicles were manufactured between March 7 and March 12, 2016.  The failure of the memory chip can cause the loss of the anti lock braking system and electronic stability control.  According to GM, if the EBCM fails, the primary braking function will still operate but, the vehicle will be harder to stop increasing the risk of a crash.  GM has already begun notifying owners and replacing the EBCMs as of June 17, 2016.  For additional information, owners can contact GM by calling Chevrolet customer service at 1800-222-1020 and referencing recall # 39440.

 

Chrysler has recalled 2009-2016 Dodge Journey vehicles manufactured between July 31, 2007 and November 12, 2016 for a problem with a defective power steering return hose.  The hose can rupture at engine start-up after being exposed to cold temperatures.  The rupture can cause a loss of power steering which can also increase the risk of a crash.  Chrysler dealers will replace the power steering return hoses, steel tubes and oil cooler free of charge.  The recall is currently in progress and owners should take their vehicles to their Chrysler dealer for the free repair.  For additional information, owners can contact Chrysler by calling 1-800-853-1403 and referencing recall # S08.

 

Chrysler has also recalled certain 2016 Jeep Cherokee Vehicles manufactured between September 30, 2015 and October 2, 2015.  These vehicles were manufactured with left side halfshafts that can fracture without warning.  A fractured halfshaft can disconnect from the drive axle increasing the risk of a crash.  This recall was begun on June 30th and has been assigned recall # S38.  Chrysler has also discovered that the problem extends to the right side halfshaft.  As a result, Chrysler has extended the manufacturing period of the recalled vehicles to include October 3, 2015 to March 22, 2016.  Chrysler has also assigned the recall number of S39 to address problems with the right side halfshafts.  For additional information, owners can contact Chrysler by calling 1-800-853-1403 and referencing the appropriate recall number.

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