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January 31, 2006


A statewide class-section notice program authorized by California's Sacramento County Superior Court has begun to notify people who bought, owned or leased 1991-2001 model year Ford Explorer. The notices are a result of the Court establishing or "certifying," in February 2005, a class action lawsuit against Ford about whether Ford concealed a design flaw that increased rollover risk and lowered Explorer values.

For details, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:41 AM


Nicole Nason, a lobbyist for the Department of Transportation, reportedly has been nominated by the White House as the new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nason, 35, succeeds Jeffrey Runge, a physician, who left NHTSA to become medical director of the Homeland Security Department. She is not known to have experience in motor vehicle safety issues.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:40 AM


CNN devoted a lengthy segment of its programming on January 23 to the settlement of litigation against Ford Motor Company for the burn deaths of three sisters in a Lincoln Town Car which was rear-ended by another vehicle. The case was settled just before it went to trial in North Carolina. The parents of the girls are asking Ford to retrofit all regular models of the Town Car with the same protective devices that it provided for police cars after fuel tank ruptures and crash fires in those vehicles became widely known.

CNN's report is available by CLICKING HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:38 AM


Brain O'Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, has retired from the position. Adrian Lund, formerly the IIHS senior vice president, has taken his place. O'Neill was best known for having overseen the construction and use of IIHSs crash test facility in Charlottesville, Va., where it carried out a range of highly publicized impact tests evaluating the safety performance of new vehicles.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:36 AM


According to a litigation consultant newsletter, Hyundai has been found by a Washington appellate court to have abused discovery in litigation involving severe injuries to the plaintiff, Jesse Magana, after being ejected from the rear hatchback of a 1966 Hyundai Accent. According to the newsletter, published by L.S. Sherman Litigation Consulting, the court reinstated a verdict against the manufacture awarding the plaintiff $8 million.

For details, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:34 AM


An independent researcher has accused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of concealing data showing continued correlations between tire failures and SUV rollovers. Randy Whitfield, president of Quality Control Systems Corporation, said in a filing with the agency:

The well-known replacement of tires in a substantial fraction of the Ford Explorer fleet slowed but did not halt tire-related, Ford Explorer crash fatalities. Since the tire recalls were completed, there have been more reported fatalities related to tire failures than there had been up to the time the scandal was first given wide publicity. Unfortunately, the types of tires involved and the specific nature of these failures is not publicly known. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration possesses important public health data which could aid an investigation of this issue. These data are being kept secret from researchers outside the agency, while the problem appears to be worsening once again.

For the full filing, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:31 AM


In a January 11 in-depth article, the Los Angeles Times has examined the possible safety implications of window-size changes brought on by new-car design changes:

At last check, a car without windows has not yet appeared, but carmakers are trending toward smaller windows that seem to restrict visibility. Models with low rooflines, high sills, sharply sloping windshields, large door pillars and heavy tints are widely offered and based on hot models such as the Chrysler 300, Nissan's Z and even the Prius consumers like the look. But auto safety experts and many consumers say the design trend, along with other features that restrict forward and rearward visibility, are compromising safety.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:28 AM


According to the Detroit Free Press, DaimlerChrysler AG's Jeep Liberty SUV is being investigated by U.S. auto safety regulators because its front suspension can fail. The probe centers on 2004 versions of the Liberty and may lead to 172,484 vehicles being recalled, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site... The agency received seven complaints that a ball joint in the suspension broke while the Liberty was being driven.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:25 AM


According to Automotive News, NHTSA has rejected a claim that 2002-05 Toyota Camry models are defective due to electronic throttle systems that permit unintended acceleration. The claim was made in a petition and supporting documents filed with the agency by a Phoenix lawyer.

For more information CLICK HERE. Subscription may be required.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:23 AM


A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics, reported by Bloomberg, concludes that children are as likely to be injured in an accident riding in a sport-utility vehicle as in a passenger car, a study found. According to the report, The risk of injury to children wearing appropriate safety restraints was about 1.7 percent regardless of vehicle type, based on accident reports involving 3,922 children under the age of 16… Injuries from rollover accidents were more common in SUVs and outweighed the safety benefits of larger, heavier vehicle frames. The analysis was based on insurance claims collected between March 2000 and December 2003 from Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

For the source report, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:17 AM


Acting NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker has urged the consumer electronics industry to help reduce highway crash injuries by bringing technology to bear on the problem of "distracted drivers." In a speech to an industry trade show, he said that there are technologies that can improve safety in the driving environment. Adopting these safety enhancements and making them readily available to consumers should be an industry priority, he said. He also noted that the NTSB has recommended that teen drivers, while operating under the graduated drivers licensing programs found in almost every state, not be permitted to use wireless communication devices while driving, but added that the agency did not want to restrict everyone's use of cell phones or other electronic devices.

For the NTSB press release and link to the speech text, CLICK HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:14 AM

January 30, 2006


(Clicking on product name at start of item will connect to the NHTSA recall file.)

Jaguar 2006 XJ Sedans (Mon, 23 Jan 2006)
On certain sedans equipped with moonroofs, a reinforcement bar has been incorrectly assembled so that the bar may contact the glass in the moonroof. It is possible on door closure or severe road impact, the moonroof glass may shatter. If the glass shattered, there is a risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.

GM Model Year 2006 Cadillac STS passenger vehicles equipped with all wheel drive and a 3.6l V6 engine (Fri, 20 Jan 2006)
The torque monitoring functions of the electronic throttle control (ETC) are not enabled. These functions can limit engine speed and torque if unusual engine control module (ECM) hardware or software failures occur. Without these functions enabled, a persistent ECM failure could result in a throttle opening greater than commanded by the driver and a crash could occur. Dealers will reprogram the ECM on these vehicles free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on January 24, 2006.

Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch and Reese T-Connectors (Thu, 19 Jan 2006)
Certain T-Connectors manufactured from June through October 2005 sold by Cequent Towing Prodcuts under the Hidden Hitch, Reese, and Draw-Tite brand names for aftermarket installation on 2005 and 2006 Volvo XC90 vehicles. Due to a unique waveform present on the tail lamp circuit of the tow vehicle, the T-Connector may cause the tail lamps to flicker or not work when the vehicle is in operation. Non-operational or intermittently operational tail lamps can prevent the vehicle/trailer from being visible to other vehicles, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash.

Audi 2003 A4, A6 and Volkswagen 2003 Passat Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 17 Jan 2006)
On certain passenger vehicles equipped with 1.8L Turbo, 2.8L V6, or 3.0L engines, a change in the electrical motor components in the fuel pump can lead to an inoperative fuel pump and, ultimately, stoppage of fuel supply to the engine.

Fleetwood 2006 Prowler, Terry and Wilderness Travel Trailers (Fri, 13 Jan 2006)
On certain travel trailers, the axle width is too narrow causing the tires to rub on the inside of the wheel well housing. This can cause tires to fatigue and prematurely fail, which could result in a crash.

Suzuki Model Year 2003-2006 SV650, SV650S, SV1000S, and MY 2003 SV1000 California-specification model motorcycles (Wed, 11 Jan 2006)
Repeated stress from vibration can cause a crack to form in the area where the liquid/vapor separator bracket is welded inside the fuel tank. This can allow fuel leakage to occur. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire. Dealers will replace the fuel tank free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in February 2006.

Porsche 2005-2006 911 Carrera S and Carrera S Cabriolet Coupe and Convertible Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 10 Jan 2006)
Certain 2 door coupe and convertible passenger vehicles may have been supplied with a tailpipe that may have been produced with a weld located between the fastening clip and exhaust pipe, which is inadequately dimensioned. If the weld completely fails, the exhaust pipe can detach from the vehicle, which could startle the driver resulting in a crash.

Jayco 2006 Escapade, Granite Ridge and Greyhawk Motor Homes (Mon, 09 Jan 2006)
Certain motor homes may have U-Joint retaining clips missing or not installed properly. If the retaining clips are not installed properly, the U-Joint may become dislodged from the yoke and the drive shaft will become disconnected from the drive train. This condition, if not addressed, could result in a crash, injury or death.

Nissan Model Year 2003-2006 Murano Sport Utility Vehicles (Mon, 09 Jan 2006)
Due to the location of the forward edge of the fuel tank, in the event that a vehicle front tire runs over a small, sharp object in the road, catches it and propels it towards the rear of the vehicle, it may strike and puncture the fuel tank. A punctured tank could increase the risk of a fire. Dealers will install protectors in front of the tank free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on March 21, 2006.

Prolumen 9006, 6007, H1, H3 and H4 Replaceable Lighting Capsules (Mon, 09 Jan 2006)
Certain Umnitza replaceable lighting capsules branded as Prolumen HID kits, P/Nos H1, H3, H4, 9006, and 9007. The replacement kits may put out a higher than allowed amount of glare to oncoming traffic which fails to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. Oncoming traffic may experience higher than normal amount of glare which could diminish visibility, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash.

Thomas Built 2006 HDX Buses (Fri, 06 Jan 2006)
Certain 2006 Thomas Built HDX school buses manufactured between July and November 2005. The front spring eyes may crack from embrittlement due to an improper heat treat process. Vehicle steering control may be reduced if abnormal front suspension noises are ignored, possibly resulting in a crash and personal injury.

National 2006 Islander, Tradewinds and Tropi-Cal Motor Homes (Wed, 04 Jan 2006)
Certain motor homes were not equipped with the proper number of seat belts. In the event of a crash, a seat occupant will not be properly restrained increasing the risk of personal injury.

DaimlerChrysler: 216,299 Model Year 1999-2000 Cirrus, Dodge Stratus, and Plymouth Breeze passenger Vehicles equipped with 2.4 liter engines (Wed, 04 Jan 2006)
The high pressure power steering hose may prematurely heat age and develop a leak. Power steering fluid leakage in the presence of an ignition source may result in an underhood fire. Dealers will replace the high pressure power steering hose free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. This recall was the subject of a Preliminary Evaluation, PE05-036, conducted by the Office of Defects Investigation.

Kawasaki BN125 Motorcycles (Tue, 03 Jan 2006)
On certain motorcycles, the pinch bolt hole on the left side of the lower front fork triple clamp was not threaded to the full design depth. This allowed the pinch bolt to be tightened to its designed torque value, but did not provide sufficient clamping force on the left fork tube. This condition could cause steering problems and create the potential for a crash resulting in injury or death.

AAC Machanical Fuel Pump (Tue, 03 Jan 2006)
Certain Automotive Accessory Co. (AAC) mechanical fuel pumps, P/Nos. N577 and N588, and fuel castings P/N AAC712, sold for use as replacement equipment on various passenger vehicles. The fuel pumps and fuel castings were shipped between May 9 and December 22, 2005. These fuel pumps contain defective velve housing that could allow fuel to leak. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

Blue Ox TC35160 and TC35270 Trucenter Steering Control Units (Tue, 03 Jan 2006)
Certain Blue Ox Trucenter steering control units, model numbers TC35270 and TC35160, manufactured between October and December 2005. The affected units are identified by serial numbers that begin with the first four digits of 1005, 1105, and 1205. Foreign material can cause the tubes to gall and eventually bind together. This condition may cause loss of driver steering ability which could result in a vehicle crash.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:27 PM

January 05, 2006


Organizations representing state legislators and attorneys general have reacted sharply to a proposal by NHTSA to modify FMVSS 216, the roof crush standard. The proposal would preempt lawsuits against car companies by injured people in roof crush accidents if the involved vehicles complied with the modified standard.

In comments filed with NHTSA the National Conference of State Legislatures , said that it is deep1y troubled that the proposal would infringe upon traditional areas of state sovereignty and threaten our dual system of government. Pointing to the provision preempting lawsuits, which would impinge on state common-law rights, it charged that no federal statutory basis exists for such a preclusion, and criticized NHTSA for failing to consult state officials prior to publishing the proposals.

In its comments opposing the preemption provision, the National Association of Attorneys General, on behalf of more than thirty-five of its members, warned NHTSA that its preemption position impinges directly on state court jurisdiction in an area traditionally and historically reserved for the states. The state common law court system serves as a vital check on government-imposed safety standards. Vehicles and equipment can contain hazardous features and still meet federal minimum safety standards. NHTSAs proposal is likely to erode manufacturer incentives to assure that vehicles are as safe as possible for their intended use. State Attorneys General represent state agencies that may have common law tort claims against vehicle or parts manufacturers for injuries suffered by state employees operating state owned vehicles. States may also have reimbursement claims against vehicle or parts manufacturers for Medicaid funds paid for injured citizens. NHTSAs assertion would be a significant impediment to recovery in these cases.

Earlier stories on the FMVSS 216 proposal and reaction will be found in the Current Development archives listed in the left-hand column. For historical documents concerned with rollover and roof crush hazards, visit the Rollover section of Collections.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:45 AM


NHTSA has published a notice in the Federal Register rejecting recommendations by the Government Accountability Office that it revise its New Car Assessment Program to improve ratings information. In April, in a report to Congress entitled Vehicle Safety: Opportunities Exist to Enhance NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program, GAO noted that while NCAP has been successful in encouraging manufacturers to make safer vehicles and providing information to consumers, it has reached a crossroads where it will need to change to maintain its relevance.

The usefulness of the current tests has been eroded by the growing number of larger pickups, minivans, and sport utility vehicles in the vehicle fleet since the program began. In addition, NCAP scores have increased to the point where there is little difference in vehicle ratings. As a result, the program provides little incentive for manufacturers to further improve safety, and consumers can see few differences among new vehicles. Opportunities to enhance the program include developing approaches to better measure the interaction of large and small vehicles and occupant protection in rollovers, rating technologies that help prevent crashes, and using different injury measures to rate the crash results. NHTSA also has opportunities to enhance the presentation and timeliness of the information provided to consumers.

In October, NHTSA issued a request for comments on possible plans to improve the ratings program along the lines suggested by GAO. According to NHTSAs new notice , a review of comments indicated that there is no single prevailing opinion as to the future direction that should be pursued in revising the frontal NCAP. While Public Citizen and the Advocates [for Highway Safety] favored an increase in the test speed, the auto companies and IIHS were all opposed. Incorporation of an offset frontal test was favored by a number of the commenters, including the IIHS, but several auto manufacturers raised various concerns. Likewise, most comments did not favor changing the star rating limits, although Public Citizen did recommend revisions to increase the stringency of the star ratings. There were also widely divergent views regarding incorporation of different dummies into the frontal NCAP test program. One area in which there seemed to be some agreement was in support of adding more injury measures to the rating system.

NHTSA added that further research and analysis is needed to establish a new frontal NCAP that complements existing FMVSS and drives the market towards improved safety for frontal occupant protection without unintended consequences. Accordingly, we will conduct the additional analyses necessary for the development of a new frontal rating program.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:40 AM


In a Toronto Globe and Mail update called UnLocking the Riddle of the Ratings Game, CTVs Car/Business hosts tried to make sense out of US car safety ratings for a confused listener. They discussed strong and weak points of ratings from NHTSA and IIHS (the latter won by a hair) but finally recommended a vehicle the Volvo V70 which wasnt even rated by IIHS. Confusion over car rating systems is sure to continue.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:37 AM


On both the litigation and regulatory fronts, problems surrounding Volvo electronic throttle failures are generating increased attention. In on-going litigation against the manufacturer, lawyers have fought to keep Volvo from withholding internal documents that purportedly show that the company has known about the defect yet has resisted taking steps to remedy it. For details, go HERE.

Meanwhile, NHTSA has expanded its investigations of the throttle failures, which now cover 1999-2000 models. According to NHTSA summaries of its investigations (PE05041), the agencys Office of Defect Investigations has received one hundred and thirty-one (131) consumer complaints alleging a variety of concerns resulting from failure of the electronic throttle control module (ETM) in the subject vehicles, including a sudden loss of speed and steering assist when driving in highway traffic and sudden and complete stall without warning. In some instances, it has been reported that the vehicles would restart, and in some cases the vehicles were towed. Some consumers allege that after having the ETM replaced the new component failed in a similar manner. A preliminary evaluation has been opened to determine the scope, frequency, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect"

A recent Associated Press article quotes a Volvo spokesman as confirming that the company has agreed to extend warranties on the throttle part so that owners can get reimbursement if and when it fails. What influence this may have on the NHTSA investigations particularly whether they might lead to recall orders remains to be seen.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:28 AM


Two years ago, major auto companies, in a collaboration with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, initiated a voluntary program to tackle part of an old and troublesome problem the lack of crash compatability between vehicles of different makes, models, sizes, years and other relevant characteristics. The companies publicly committed to establish criteria to further reduce the potential for vehicle override and underride in serious front-to-front crashes between cars and light trucks by requiring sufficient overlap between the primary energy-absorbing (PEAS) structures of the two vehicle types, and to have all new vehicles conform to the criteria no later than 2009.

In a progress report to NHTSA the companies have stated that at present, approximately 33% of 2005 model year vehicles are meeting the performance criteria established in the program for front-to-side crashes and 62% of 2005 model year vehicles are meeting the performance criteria established for front-to-front crashes. The report provides details of the compatibility test criteria and development methodologies, along with a discussion of the programs plans for 2006.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:26 AM


A new NHTSA study has found that driver cell phone use increased in 2005, with 6 percent of drivers on hand-held phones in 2005 nationwide compared to 5 percent in 2004. This translates into 974,000 vehicles on the road at any given daylight moment being driven by someone on a hand-held phone, and an estimated 10 percent of vehicles in the typical daylight moment whose driver is using some type of phone, whether hand-held or hands-free. Use increases appeared especially large among younger drivers. The study also found that 0.2 percent of drivers were dialing phones, checking PDAs, or otherwise manipulating some hand-held device while driving.

The 10 percent daylight moment use increase figure was challenged by one leading newspaper as too low. In an editorial, the Toledo Blade said called the figure hard to believe. It said, Look around in traffic. It seems that everybody behind the wheel is on the phone - far more than one in 10 anyway. The Blade cited a study of cell-phone user involvement in road crashes, authored by IIHS researchers and published in July in the British Medical Journal. That study, 1st Evidence Of Effects Of Cell Phone Use On Injury Crashes, found that crash risk is four times higher when a driver is using a hand-held cell phone.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:20 AM


Two U.S. auto company lawyers see some good things and some bad things in the movement toward global harmonization of motor vehicle safety standards. In a Comment piece in Automotive News, Kevin McDonald and Daniel Malone point to some pros and cons of the movement, in which the U.S. and NHTSA are taking an active role. The results… may include the adoption of best safety practices and lower design, engineering and production costs. On the other hand, standardization could create yet another layer of bureaucracy at the international level - minus the constitutional protections we enjoy in the United States, they write. They raise some questions as well about its impact:

1. Transparency: Are all meetings documented? Are communications by an individual country documented and available for review? Are records created in which interested parties can follow developments, proposals and comments?

2. Effect of global technical regulations: If, for example, the United States does not adopt a particular technical regulation, but other countries do, must automakers nevertheless design their vehicles to comply with that global regulation to protect themselves legally?

3. Judicial review: If someone wants to take the WP.29 to court, where should it be done and what laws govern it?

See Automotive News article for the text. Subscription may be required.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:10 AM


In a report evaluating safety information activities of DOTs Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Government Accountability Office has urged the agency to
Improve the link between education and outreach programs and agency strategic objectives and evaluate the extent to which educational information and safety audits are helping new carriers learn FMCSA requirements.

In highlights of its full report to Congress on the subject, GAO faulted the agency for lacking information on whether information on its safety requirements, provided through the Education and Technical Assistance package or during New Entrant safety auditstargeted toward truckers newly entering the industryeffectively communicate information to new entrants. This lack of evaluation makes it difficult to determine the impact the education portion of the New Entrant program has on commercial motor vehicle safety. Since FMCSA currently has little information on how its programs have affected attitudes and behavior, it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of FMCSAs effort.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:03 AM


In a newly-published Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NHTSA is proposing to amend its truck air brake standard to improve the stopping distance performance of truck tractors. It says that, Based on current safety trend data and brake system technologies for truck tractors, we are proposing to reduce the required stopping distance for these vehicles by 20 to 30 percent. We have tentatively concluded that truck tractors are capable of achieving a reduction in stopping distance within this range with existing technologies. We also discuss research and request comment concerning improving the braking performance of other types of heavy vehicles, i.e., trailers, straight trucks, and buses. The agency may address improved braking performance for these other vehicles in a future rulemaking. Comments are due by April 14, 2006.

Posted by MVHAP at 10:29 AM


An ad campaign launched over the holiday season by the U.S. DOT and the Advertising Council is pitched at buzzed driving, meaning driving with blood alcohol concentrations within legal limits. According to an Ad Council announcement, the campaign is designed to correct that perception, by instilling the notion that if you are buzzed, youre too impaired to drive safely. It will inspire a dialogue about and recognition of the dangers of buzzed driving and, subsequently, motivate people to stop driving buzzed.

According to the statement, in 2004 over 15,000 people died in crashes where a driver or motorcycle operator had a .01 BAC or higher and, of those, nearly 13,000 involved crashes where the driver had an illegal BAC level of .08 or above. The remaining 2,000 would have involved buzzed driving in some fashion.

This campaign is an excellent complement to the Friends Dont Let Friends Drive Drunk campaign, and were confident that it will be a successful addition to our program efforts, said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Jacqueline Glassman.

Posted by MVHAP at 10:07 AM


(Clicking on product name at start of item will connect to the NHTSA recall file.)

Michelin Pilot Sport Tires (Tue, 27 Dec 2005) Certain Michelin Pilot Sport tires, size 255/365ZR20 97Y Extra Load, sold for use as replacement tires and also imported on some Jaguar XJ8 vehicles. All of the affected tires have DOT tire identification numbers that begin with DOT FHPNEFMX and end with the last two digits of 00, 01, 02, 03 or 05. The subject tires may develop a blister in the sidewall. The condition may result in a rapid loss of air pressure, which could lead to a loss of control and vehicle crash.

International Model Year 2005-2007 IC CE and MY 2007 BE school and transit buses (Tue, 20 Dec 2005) Passenger coat strings or carry on items can get caught between the door control bracket and the door control arm as the passenger exits the bus. If the driver is unaware of the situation, the entrance door may be closed, capturing the item in the door. Death or injury could occur to the person exiting the bus. IC will notify its owners and repair all the buses free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on February 15, 2006.

Suzuki Model Year 2005-2006 VL800 and VZ800 Motorcycles (Mon, 19 Dec 2005) The ignition switch wiring harness may have been improperly routed at the time of production. If the wiring harness is not routed properly, it can rub against the clutch cable/throttle cable. Continued rubbing may eventually lead to a short circuit which may cause the engine to stall or the lights to go out. This will increase the chance of a crash resulting in serious injury or death. Dealers will re-route the ignition switch wiring harness and replace the lock set including the ignition switch along with the clutch cable/throttle cable. The recall is expected to begin on January 6, 2006

Honda Model Year 2006 VT750C Motorcycles (Mon, 19 Dec 2005) A damaged connector in the handlebar mounted headlight switch may cause the headlight to flicker and eventually fail. If riding at night, the sudden loss of headlights could result in a crash. Dealers will install new left and right handle switch assemblies with undamaged connectors free of charge. An interim letter to owners was mailed on December 13, 2005. The recall is expected to begin on January 5, 2006

Eagle Eyes Tail Lights (Sat, 17 Dec 2005) Certain Eagle Eyes tail lights sold as aftermarket for use on 1998-2004 BMW E46 model vehicles. The subject lights were not manufactured to a proper tolerance to fit an automatic system and may cause an electrical fire which fails to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment." Consequence: personal injury or property damage can occur in the event of an electrical fire.

Toyota Model Year 2006 Lexus IS250 Passenger Vehicles (Fri, 16 Dec 2005) There is a possibility that the accelerator pedal may temporarily become stuck in the partially depressed position due to inadequate clearance between the accelerator pedal linkage and a plastic pad embedded into the vehicle's carpet. This condition may interfere with the accelerator pedal returning to the idle position, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the clearance of the acceleration pedal and carpet, replace the pedal assembly with a revised assembly, and modify the carpet. The recall is expected to begin in late December 2005

Mercedes-Benz C CLASS Model Year 2005-2006 Passenger Vehicles (Thu, 15 Dec 2005) Certain passenger vehicles equipped with sport model steering wheels fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, "occupant crash protection." During NHTSA compliance testing, in low risk deployment testing for 5th percentile female crash test dummy in out-of-position unbelted position test, irregularities were demonstrated indicating that occupants may not be properly protected in a crash. Dealers will install a new air bag inflator module. The recall is expected to begin in March 2006. This recall was the subject of an investigation, PE-208-050405, conducted by the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

Tripac Auxiliary Power Units (Thu, 15 Dec 2005) All Tripac Auxiliary Power Units (Tripac APU) Tripac Tier 1 (serial number range 023D00A001 to 065D02A022) and Tripac Tier 2 (serial number range 0453TC0001 to 1153TC5116) installed as aftermarket equipment for use on heavy trucks to reduce unnecessary truck idle and conserve diesel fuel. The APU's circuit protection is not adequate to protect against electrical faults in the APU. Inadequate circuit protection could result in the apu overheating and causing a fire.

Triple E RV 2005-2006 Commander, Embassy, Empress and Signature Motor Homes (Mon, 12 Dec 2005) Certain motor homes fail to comply with the requirements of Part 567, "Certification." Vehicle seats that do not have a seat belt must have a decal on the seating location that states: "This seat not for occupancy while vehicle is in motion." These labels are missing. In the event of a crash, a seat occupant may not be properly restrained if using seats which do not have seat belts, increasing the risk of personal injury.

GM Model Year 2003-2006 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size passenger, cargo, or cutaway vans (Mon, 12 Dec 2005) The front and rear seat belt buckles will not latch or will not unlatch. A seat occupant may not be properly restrained increasing the risk of personal injury. Dealers will inspect the buckles and, if found to be inoperative, the entire buckle assembly would will be replaced. For buckles found to be operative, dealers will replace only the upper buckle cover. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule for this campaign.

Kia Model Year 2003-2005 Rio Passenger Vehicles (Fri, 09 Dec 2005) For failing to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 225, 'Child Restraint Anchorage Systems.' Certain child restraint anchors will not fully latch onto the lower LATCH anchors located between the rear seat back and rear seat cushion because of interference between the child seat anchors and a metal wire located in the frame of the rear seat back. Until the recall repair is completed, follow the instructions provided by your child seats manufacturer on how to properly install the child seat with your vehicle's rear safety belts rather than using the LATCH system. In the event of a vehicle crash, if the child seat is not properly installed, personal injury or death could occur. Dealers will replace the lower anchors. The recall is expected to begin during January 2006. This recall was the subject of an investigation, PE-225-051005, conducted by the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance

(Fri, 09 Dec 2005) On certain motor homes, the hitch receiver may have missing reinforcing plates. When a load is applied to the hitch, it may become partially detached from the frame if these plates are missing. This condition, if not addressed, could result in a crash, personal injury or death.

DaimlerChrysler Model Year 2006 Dodge Durango Sport Utility Vehicles with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) (Tue, 06 Dec 2005) The ABS control module software program may cause the rear brakes to lock up during certain braking conditions. This could result in a loss of vehicle control and a crash could occur without warning. Dealers will reprogram the ABS control module. The recall is expected to begin on December 12, 2005

Big Dog Motorcycles BDM230 Aftermarket Pillion Pads (Mon, 05 Dec 2005) Certain aftermarket pillion pads, Big Dog Motorcycles P/N BDM230-00195, BDM230-00194, and BDM230-00081, when used on primer-finished motorcycles. The subject pillion pad may be incompatible with the primer paint finish. The suction mounts of these pillion pads may not adequately adhere to this paint finish. This condition could lead to slippage or inability for a passenger to maintain a stable seating position, which could result in a fall from the motorcycle and possibly an injury.

Monaco Coach 2005 Signature Motor Homes (Mon, 05 Dec 2005) On certain Class A motor homes built with Cummins ISX 600 HP enginges, the straps that hold the U-joints onto the rear end and the transmission can loosen. The lock washer on the straps can spread out and allow the mounting bolts to work loose. This can allow the driveline to separate from the transmission and fall off the motor home. Loss of control of the vehicle may occur, which could result in a crash.

GM Model Year 2006 Buick Rainier, Terraza, Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Colorado, Express, Silverado, SSR, Suburban, Tahoe, Trailblazer, Trailblazer EXT, Uplander, GMC Canyon, Envoy, Savana, Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL, Hummer H2, H3, Saturn Relay, Isuzu Ascender Trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (Mon, 05 Dec 2005) Fail to conform to the requirements of hte Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110, " Tire Selection and Rims." These vehicles were shipped with tire and loading information labels listing an inacccurate vehicle capacity weight. A misprinted label could lead to improper vehicle loading specifications or tire inflation which could result in a tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash. Owners will be provided with corrected labels and installation instructions. At the customerâ??s option, a dealer can install the label for them. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule.

Posted by MVHAP at 10:00 AM