Toyota Recalls Vehicles for Electronic Defect

NBC News is reporting that Toyota is recalling 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for an electronic defect that results in the failure of air bags to deploy.  2.9 million of the recalled vehicles have been identified as sold in the United States.  The recall applies to 2011 – 2019 Corolla, 2011 – 2013 Matrix, 2012 – 2018 Avalon, and 2013 – 2018 Avalon Hybrid.  The problem with the electronic circuit is that it is not adequately protected against electrical noise.  Electrical noise can occur during a crash and can result in incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags.  NBC is also reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe last April which included approximately 12 million vehicles for this air bag problem.  That probe also included the vehicles that Toyota is recalling.  In addition, the probe involved vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2019 and sold by Fiat, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, as well as Toyota.  Owners of any of these vehicles should check with their local dealers to see if their vehicle has been recalled for this particular problem.  Toyota owners can also visit Toyota’s website at www.toyota.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Safety Recalls”, then enter their vehicle identification number to determine if their has been recalled.

Toyota Recalls Vehicles for Faulty Fuel Pumps

Several news outlets including ABC News and CBS News are reporting that Toyota is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles for a faulty fuel pump.  The fuel pumps can stop pumping fuel without warning and cause the vehicle’s engine to stop.  A sudden loss of engine power can result in loss of control and increases the risk of a crash.  The following vehicles are affected:  2018 and 2019 Lexus LS 500, LC 500, RC 350, RC 300, GS 350, IS 300, ES 350, LX 570, GX 460, and RX 350 models; and 2019 Lexus NX 300, RX 350L, and GS 300.  In addition, 2018 and 2019 Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, and Tundra vehicles are recalled.  Furthermore, 2019 Avalon and Corolla are also included in this recall.  Other than the Lexus models, only certain models of the other vehicles are affected.  For additional information, owners should go to Toyota’s website, www.toyota.com,  and enter their vehicle identification numbers in the recall page to see if their vehicles are part of the recall.  Support is also available by calling 1-800-331-4331.

Nissan to Begin Implementing Automatic Braking

 

Nissan North America has announced that it will begin adding automatic braking to its vehicles beginning with some 2018 models. The feature will use sensors, cameras or radar to detect objects and either stop or slow the vehicle down to reduce the impact of a collision.  Those vehicles that will have automatic braking will include Rogue, Rogue Sport, Maxima, Altima, Murano, Leaf, and Pathfinder vehicles.  Nissan has also pledged to equip 90% of its vehicles with the feature by 2020 and all of its vehicles by 2022. The move to incorporate automatic braking is in response to an agreement with the government signed by Nissan as well as Toyota, General Motors and others to incorporate the technology and hopefully reduce rear end collisions.

Takata Air Bag Recall, Part 2

Back in May of this year, it was announced that Takata had recalled its air bags used in several different vehicle manufacturer’s vehicles.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata has extended that recall to include 19 million vehicles from 12 manufacturers.  The current list of manufacturers includes BMW, Honda, Mazda, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Daimler Trucks North America, Daimler Vans USA, Subaru, Ford, Toyota, and General Motors.  Owners are advised to go to www.safercar.gov and click on the “Takata Recall” button on the toolbar to see of their specific vehicle is on the list of those recalled.  Note that the list is extensive and should be reviewed carefully.  The website also offers owners an option to enter their vehicle identification numbers to check for recalls.  The vehicle identification number can be found on most vehicles on the lower left corner of the windshield or the manufacturers sticker located on the inside edge of the driver’s side door or pillar.  The vehicle identification number is a seventeen digit number unique to each vehicle.  Owners can also check with their dealers for recall information.

Takata Airbag Recall

Earlier this year, several automobile manufacturers announced recalls of different vehicle makes as a result of faulty airbags manufactured by a Japanese company called Takata.  Takata manufactured airbags for both driver and passenger’s sides in the recalled vehicles.  After investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others, it has been determined that the propellant used in the airbags has a tendency to deteriorate in humid areas.  As a result, when the airbag is deployed, the combustion of the propellant which produces the pressure to inflate the bag can do so with greater than necessary force.  The excessive force can cause the inflator to rupture sending pieces of metal to the occupant of either the driver or passenger seat resulting in greater risk of injury to the occupant.  The vehicles that are involved in this recall are Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.  The recall covers models years generally from 2002 through 2008.  In order to determine if the recall applies to a specific vehicle, owners can go to the manufacturer’s website and use its VIN lookup tool or contact a dealer and ask to speak with a service writer then give that person the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Hyundai Sonata Recall

I just finished posting a recall to our website which talks about how Hyundai is recalling 883,000 Sonata vehicles for a defective automatic transmission shift cable. I know that there have been larger numbers of vehicles recalled by other manufacturers but, this isn’t about the numbers. It’s about whether manufacturers have learned anything. You would think that as long as cars and trucks have been built, especially here in the US, that manufacturers would have a handle on keeping problems to a minimum. But, how does a faulty ignition switch get by a company like General Motors? Ford and Chrysler have had their problems as well. One only has to do a little research to find something that had a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. Remember Ford’s electronic ignition that caused fires in F 150s back in the lat 90s? Remember the Jeep sudden acceleration/inadvertent movement that wouldn’t go away? The problems aren’t limited to American made vehicles. The Japanese have had their share of recalled vehicles as well. Remember the Toyota floor mat fiasco? If all of the people that worked for all of the world’s car manufacturers were put under one roof, there has to be an untold number of millennia of experience and yet, recalls are a part of everyone’s life.

Sudden/Unintended Accelerration

The problem of sudden or unintended acceleration has been around for over ten years now, mostly associated with Jeeps. But,  recently another of Toyota’s problems. Since about 2006, most vehicles have been equipped with something called an event data recorder (EDR) or a crash data recorder (CDR), otherwise known as a “blackbox”. These devices are programmed to record certain events just prior to and during a crash event. In order to access the recorded data, special equipment must be used. It is understood that the readers that are used are commercially available but, only from a limited source and are very expensive. It should also be noted that manufacturer’s dealers do not have these instruments (or at least are not publicly advertised). Vehicle manufacturers want to be able  to control the data in case it reveals a defect within their vehicle. As a result, if an EDR or CDR is to be read, it has to be removed from the vehicle and sent to the manufacturer unless an individual party with access to a reader can be located. If the problem of sudden acceleration is to be properly addressed, manufacturers have to come clean. If there is a problem with a vehicle, the manufacturer should take over the problem, fix it and stop trying to hide it in order to keep from being sued. The problem has been around long enough that all American manufacturers are aware of it. So much so that a little research will produce articles about GM, Ford and Chrysler making their own deals to have data recorders made and  programmed  for their vehicles. There are those that feel that the problem is the result of driver error. That is, driver’s inadvertenly step on the accelerator instead of  the brake pedal or step on both pedals at the same time. If this is what is happening, then how is that driver’s are confusing the pedals? Have manufacturer’s compacted the floor space so much that pedal location is confusing drivers? If so, isn’t this a manufacturing defect that should be addressed by the manufacturers?

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