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September 29, 2006


NHTSA has published its long-awaited rulemaking proposal to require Electronic Stability Control systems on future new vehicles, and has also released a detailed technical report, “Development of ESC Performance Criteria” describing the test methodologies it has developed for evaluating ESC compliance with the proposed rule. The technical report points out that ESC systems are designed to be partially or fully disabled by drivers, and that these settings can make large differences in their effectiveness, including comparative effectiveness between vehicle makes and models.

The new rulemaking proposal, which would require auto manufacturers to install ESC as a standard feature on all new passenger vehicles, has the potential to save more than 10,000 lives every year, NHTSA said. It would require all manufacturers to begin equipping passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds with ESC starting with the 2009 model year and to have the feature available as standard equipment on all vehicles by the 2012 model year (September 2011).

“ESC systems use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to help the driver maintain control in situations where a vehicle without ESC would skid out of control and likely leave the road. Nearly all rollover crashes occur after a vehicle leaves the road,” NHTSA said. The agency estimates that ESC will save between 5,300 and 10,300 lives annually and prevent between 168,000 and 252,000 injuries. ESC will prevent between 4,200 and 5,400 of the more than 10,000 deaths that occur each year as a result of rollover crashes. Since 2004, NHTSA has urged manufacturers to voluntarily add ESC as standard equipment on vehicles. As a result, it says, almost 29 percent of all 2006 models - 57 percent of SUVs - are already equipped with ESC.

For an update on which vehicles already have ESC, visit an in-depth report recently published by the Detroit Free Press.

Posted by MVHAP at 01:01 PM


An in-depth investigative project at ConsumerAffairs.com entitled “Certified Dangerous: Used Cars’ Airbags”, has concluded that some rebuilders of used and junked cars are endangering occupants’ lives by failing to restore or replace the vehicles’ airbags which they were previously deployed or damaged. The report, which interviewed crash injury victims who said they believed their cars’ airbags were in working condition, also looked at the role of insurance companies in creating or permitting such defects.

The investigation “led us into a seedy world where unscrupulous individuals haphazardly rebuild severely damaged vehicles and then sell them as safe and ‘certified’ used cars, trucks, minivans, and SUV's,” the report said. “We learned these unsavory ‘rebuilders’ often disable the airbags when they put the wrecks back together. And in some cases, they don't even bother to replace the deployed airbags… These shady rebuilders conceal all signs of previous damage to the vehicles -- and their titles. Unsuspecting consumers who buy them have no idea they're getting a rebuilt wreck -- until it's too late.” The report points out that unlike new vehicles, rebuilt vehicles are not covered by federal vehicle safety performance standards governing airbags and other restraint systems.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:54 PM


IIHS announced results of tests of four 2007 model vehicles with side airbags: Toyota FJ Cruiser and Ford Freestyle (midsize SUVs); Ford Fusion (midsize moderately priced car) and Ford Crown Victoria (large family car). It said the FJ Cruiser and Freestyle earned good ratings for protection in side crashes. But IIHS reported that “the Fusion is rated acceptable, and the Crown Victoria is marginal. Side airbags are optional in the FJ Cruiser and Crown Victoria. The Fusion has been upgraded to standard side airbags for the 2007 model year. The Freestyle will have standard side airbags in 2007s built after September.”

Ford had requested that IIHS run the tests after its vehicles without side airbags did poorly in earlier IIHS impact results. "Manufacturers may request a test because they've made changes to improve a vehicle's performance or they have a new vehicle they think will earn a good rating," IIHS said.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:52 PM


Window stickers required under NHTSA’s new labeling requirement for 2008 model year and subsequent new cars not only will provide “star ratings” for crashworthiness and rollover propensity, but also will carry alert notices in cases where the agency believes that car buyers should be warned in advance of “safety concerns” not related to the ratings, according to a NHTSA announcement. Consumers will be able to measure the ratings information, which is based on front and side crash tests and non-crash rollover tests - by the number of stars on the sticker, with five stars being the safest.

In addition, some stickers will carry a notice flagging a “safety concern” and advising buyers to contact NHTSA for more information. While NHTSA declined to provide an “exhaustive list” of “safety concern” examples, it said such concerns in past have included “fuel leaks in excess of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 301, door openings greater than six inches, injury values (not reflected in the star ratings) that exceed thresholds set forth by corresponding FMVSSs, and structural failure or nonintended performance of vehicle components during testing.”

NHTSA safety ratings can be seen at: www.safercar.gov . The “Stars on Cars” rule can be seen HERE.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:46 PM


NHTSA has refused to investigate charges brought by a California research group that some Ford Explorers were manufactured with substandard roofs that failed to meet federal crush resistance requirements. A Detroit News article reported that the agency denied a petition by Safety Analysis and Forensic Research that sought the investigation.

“The group, which does work for lawyers suing automakers, based its findings on two roof strength tests Ford conducted in 1999, which the company said were to test a prototype windshield design that was never put into production,” the newspaper reported. “SAFE Research contends that the tests -- on a minor proposed design change -- showed that many Explorers built during that time period may have failed. Ford redesigned the Explorer and the Mountaineer in 2002.” But, it said, NHTSA concluded that “the windshield modifications that Ford was considering when it modified and then tested these vehicles in 1999 never became part of production vehicles.”

Posted by MVHAP at 12:44 PM


In a lengthy policy statement published on its website, Volvo has set forth what it calls “cutting edge solutions and visions to further enhance automotive safety today long into tomorrow.” Noting that “the issue of safety has defined and differentiated Volvo Cars” since the Swedish company’s start, the statement observed that, “The motoring environment grows ever more complex, with more and more things fighting for a drivers attention, both outside and inside their cars, putting extra pressure on their ability to cope with what’s happening around them.”

Volvo’s “new safety paradigm,” it said, “builds on the belief humans are already suffering information overload in our intense traffic environments and the only way forward is to provide ‘sophisticated, advanced automated driver support programs in addition to Volvo’s traditional passive and active safety approach’.” The “visionary answer for Volvo Cars is to equip its vehicles with highly sophisticated ‘intelligent’ systems that not only enhance the physical perception of drivers, but can even take over direct control of the car in critical situations where a driver is not responding sufficiently fast enough to avoid an emerging crisis.”

A company engineer, Jan Ivarsson, is quoted as saying that the company’s challenge now is to “deliver software and hardware approaches that serve as a sympathetic ‘co-driver’ for the motorist.” Volvo believes the answer to crashes caused by driver error is to “provide driver alert functions designed to reduce overload by providing technologies that can anticipate an upcoming problem and help solve it, either by alerting the driver or in the ultimate case by temporarily taking over control of the vehicle.” The statement provides details of design approaches developed by the company to reduce driver overload.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:43 PM


According to a Washington Post report, health and safety advocacy groups are preparing to fight hard against the Bush Administration’s attempt to name Susan E. Dudley to head the Office of Management and Budget. OMB is the gatekeeper for much federal regulatory activity – a clearinghouse that some feel have been antagonistic to regulations favoring consumer health and safety that have drawn corporate opposition.

"We believe she is unfit," the Post article quoted Joan Claybrook , president of Public Citizen, as saying. It added that “…the Bush administration fired back at Public Citizen on Dudley's behalf,..‘When a fringe group like this one criticizes Susan Dudley, I think it's a good indication that she's actually squarely in the thoughtful mainstream along with most Americans,’ said Scott Milburn , press secretary at the OMB. ‘She's very well suited to . . . keep our regulatory process on track.’” (Public Citizen has created a web page that criticizes Dudley’s record and her views on leading safety issues: “She said that air bags shouldn’t be mandatory – because if we really wanted them, the market would have already provided them.”)

“To some degree,” the Post story said, “the dispute over the Dudley nomination reflects inherent tensions in the federal regulatory system. The OMB reviews major agency regulations and can send them back to agencies for more justification. Agencies say their rules flow from laws, do not need more justification and sometimes are backed up by federal courts. The hue and cry increases during Republican administrations, which public interest groups see as tilting policy in favor of big business.”

Prior to her nomination, it noted, Dudley directed the regulatory studies program for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The center has been active in submitting proposals to the OMB that call for modifying or eliminating regulations and has emerged as a policy player in the Bush administration and on Capitol Hill.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:32 PM


In two recent articles, Los Angeles Times reporter Ralph Vartabedian has taken a close look at safety problems associated with tires – first, the inadequacies of built-in tire pressure warning systems being mandated by NHTSA and, second, the drawbacks of low aspect ratio tires, known as “slim” tires.

Reporting on criticisms of the warning systems, Vartabedian reported that a “close look at tire pressure monitoring systems shows that, in general, they will fail to relieve car owners of the burden of closely watching their tire pressures. While they may help to alert people of dangerously low air pressure, they will generally not warn drivers of air pressure low enough to cause slow tire damage.” He recommends that car owners check their tire pressure manually at least once a month.

In another article, Vartabedian compared “slim” tires, which are popular for their “cool” look, to “rubber bands.” He noted that

“engineers and safety experts say low aspect ratio tires — which have shorter sidewalls — are more vulnerable to road hazards, such as potholes and other obstructions that can test a tire's ability to flex at high speed, than their standard counterparts. Officials from Goodyear, Michelin and Bridgestone — the three largest tire makers — all acknowledged in interviews that their low aspect ratio tires are more likely to be damaged by impacts in normal driving…

“Although consumers like the low-profile tires, safety experts are dubious about their practicality. ‘My observation, other than styling, is why have them?’ asks Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C. ‘My advice to consumers is don't buy them.’ Perhaps. But many don't have a choice. Manufacturers are offering autos with wheel wells designed to fit only a low aspect ratio tire, especially luxury cars with a sporty image.”

Posted by MVHAP at 12:11 PM


According to Automotive News, some Lexus LS460 models headed for the U.S. market probably will have different advanced safety features than those available on the luxury vehicle in other markets.

A radar-based rear pre-crash safety system available on European and Japanese models and intended to reduce whiplash won’t be provided “at all” on U.S. models. The system flashes the car's hazard lights to warn an approaching vehicle. If that vehicle doesn't slow, it then activates an intelligent headrest on the driver's seat within one second of the anticipated impact. An advanced obstacle detection system, already available on the GS430 sold in the U.S., uses radar; it pumps up the power brakes and alters the gearing ratio during driver maneuvers to evade detected objects. European models will add a dual camera to the system; U.S. models won’t . An all-adaptive speed control permits cruise-control operation over a wide range of speeds in European and Japanese models; in U.S. models the range will be limited to 40-100 kph.

Posted by MVHAP at 12:06 PM


It took NHTSA two years and considerable frustration before it finally reached its recent conclusions about the defective, fire-causing Ford cruise control switch, a New York Times in-depth article reports. “The $20 switch, which shuts off the cruise control when a driver taps the brakes, became the subject of one of the most exhaustive and complex investigations in the agency's history. It created an expensive and embarrassing problem for the Ford Motor Company, which initially disputed suggestions that the switches were starting fires. When the repairs are made to the last of 6.7 million potentially defective switches, the Ford recall may be the second largest in United States history.”

The Times said that after an investigation that involved collecting damaged cruise control switches from across the country, installing them in Ford vehicles and waiting for them to cause fires, the agency determined that the phenomenon causing the defect was creation of a small vacuum when the driver let up on the brakes. “The force of that vacuum, investigators determined, was weakening a seal in the switches installed in millions of Ford pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. With the plastic seal broken down, brake fluid was able to leak onto the electrical side of the switch and cause corrosion. Over time, that corrosion can build up, causing the switch to overheat and ignite an electrical fire.”

Ford's response to the fires -- first refusing to acknowledge that the switches posed a fire hazard, then conducting four recalls over seven years -- angered fire victims and consumer advocates, the Times said. “It does not hurt their cases that Ford was accused of dragging its feet in other high-profile recalls.”

Cars and trucks recalled for repair of speed-control deactivation switches are listed in the article as the 1994-2002 Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Ford Bronco Lincoln Navigator and Lincoln Blackwood; 1994-2002 Ford F-250 through F-550 Super Duty trucks; 2000-2 Ford Excursion; 1994-96 Ford Econoline vans; 1996-2002 E-450 Econoline vans; 1998 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer, and 1992-93 Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis.

A copy of NHTSA’s detailed report of the defect investigation is available from the agency in pdf format.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:59 AM


A program emphasizing training of children to ride ATVs “safely” has been launched by CPSC. The agency already has rulemaking underway to influence the sales and operation of ATVs so as to reduce the exposure of children to injuries from ATV rollovers and crashes.

“ATVs are not toys, especially adult ATVs, which can travel at 60 miles per hour and weigh up to 800 pounds. Children should only ride youth model ATVs – there have been too many children killed while driving or riding as a passenger on adult ATVs,” CPSC’s chairman said in announcing the program. She said a highlight of the effort is a new website, www.ATVSafety.gov, which encourages training of children in the use of ATVs.

From 1982 through 2004, there were nearly 6,500 deaths involving ATVs. In 2004 alone, an estimated 136,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for ATV related injuries – many life-altering. In 2003, an estimated 740 people died nationwide in ATV incidents. About 30 percent of all deaths and injuries involve children younger than 16.

CPSC is encouraging all riders to “take knowledge to the extreme” by participating in a training course and following “core rules for safe riding: 1) never allow a child to operate or ride on an adult size ATV, 2) always wear a helmet and protective gear, 3) never ride tandem on a one-person ATV, 4) never ride on paved roads, and 5) never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” It noted that its proposed rulemaking among other things would ban 3-wheeled ATVs, require retailers to offer free training to all ATV purchasers and members of their immediate family; and require retailers to provide a written form to purchasers warning against the use of adult ATVs by children and giving death and injury statistics related to children riding adult ATVs. Public comments on the rule must be filed by October 24. can be e-mailed to: tstevenson@cpsc.gov.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:54 AM


NTSB’s website has posted video of the Board’s recent two-day symposium on motorcycle safety. Purpose of the symposium, the Board said, was “to gather information about ongoing motorcycle safety research and initiatives, as well as safety countermeasures that may reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents and fatalities." Panelists at the symposium were drawn from government, industry, the cycling community, emergency care and other medical specialties, insurance, and education. Panel topics included Trends and Safety Statistics, Vehicle Design, Rider Protective Equipment, Training and Licensing, Public Education/Awareness, Rider Impairment, and Future Directions.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:49 AM


Automotive News has reported that Jaguar Cars “ordered its dealers worldwide to stop selling some 2006 and 2007 XJ sedans following several massive gasoline leaks from vehicle fuel tanks.” Jaguar reportedly notified its U.S. and Canadian dealers of what it calls a ``quarantine'' prohibiting Jaguar dealers from selling any new or used XJs with vehicle identification numbers G49701 through H13209. The order followed the opening Aug. 16 of a NHTSA investigation after “several U.S. customers told the agency that their garage floors were ‘flooded with gasoline’ following recent fill-ups. Jaguar told Automotive News it was “unsure of how many affected XJs are in customer hands and what repair measures Jaguar may order,” and that “the action does not yet constitute a recall.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:43 AM


Losses from injury, collision and theft insurance claims, organized by make and model for 2003-2005 models representing 372 passenger vehicles, searchable by body style and size, have been published by IIHS. Explaining the data, IIHS said that “for vehicles that were newly introduced or redesigned during these years, the results shown in this publication are based only on the most recent model years for which the vehicle designs were unchanged — either 2004-05 or 2005 only… The results show that insurance losses for injuries, vehicle damage, and theft vary widely. Vehicle size is strongly related to injury and collision losses, but these losses also vary among vehicles similar in body style and size.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:42 AM


The Sacramento Bee reports that “as part of an ongoing probe into why wheels are falling off Hummer H2s, federal highway safety investigators have asked three major makers of rival large sport-utility vehicles for comparable information to determine if the Hummer's troubles are unique.” The paper said NHTSA directed Toyota, DaimlerChrysler and Ford to produce any reports, consumer complaints, warranty claims and lawsuits since 2003 involving the failure of a metal part called a steering knuckle on their SUVs or pickups.

According to the Bee, NHTSA said the data would be used to compare the steering part's failure rates on Hummer H2s, made by General Motors, with those on other big SUVs.

"The information obtained will be one of several things that we will evaluate as part of the ongoing defect investigation," a NHTSA spokesperson reportedly said. "It's standard operating procedure and helpful to compare. The question is: Is the Hummer failure rate excessive?" The article added that “NHTSA safety engineers also have gathered information about an additional 61 steering knuckle failures on three-quarter-ton GM Suburban and Avalanche pickups that used the same metal part, federal documents show.”

General Motors denies there is a safety problem with the steering knuckle, which holds the upper and lower steering arms in place near the front tires on the Hummer H2 and some GM trucks, the Bee said, adding a quote from NHTSA’s request to the three companies: "This phenomenon typically occurs at low speed during instances of high steering articulation," meaning “sharp turns to the far left or right.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:37 AM


Finding that teen drivers' crash rates can go down “significantly” under provisions of some graduated licensing laws, a new IIHS evaluation of graduated licensing finds a 23 percent overall reduction in the per-capita crash involvement rate of 16-year-old drivers in California. “Crashes went down more in the high-risk situations specifically addressed by graduated licensing — nighttime crash rates went down 27 percent, and crash rates with teen passengers decreased 38 percent,” IIHS said.

California legislators were among the first in the nation to enact graduated licensing, which took effect in 1998. The law increased the learner's permit period and required parents or guardians to certify that learners get at least 50 hours of practice. Once licensed, 16 year-olds still are restricted. They may not drive unsupervised at night or any time with teen passengers. IIHS noted that “similar laws that phase in driving privileges for beginning teens over time have been enacted in most states, but the requirements vary. Multiple studies of the laws in states other than California also reveal benefits, including fatal crash reductions. An exception is a study published in 2003 by the California transportation department, which found no overall effects of graduated licensing.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:32 AM


More people are traveling by car than air for shorter trips and road fatality statistics are on the increase, ConsumerAffairs.com notes in a special report, and these factors are prompting states to step up efforts to make roads safer. But “budget crunches are forcing states to find low-cost ways” to reduce crashes and injuries.

“Such solutions range from repainting roadways to substituting cable for concrete when building barriers… At least four states -- Illinois, New York, Texas, and Virginia -- are experimenting with optical speed bars, short parallel white lines perpendicular to the typical down-the-middle lines. Four other states, including Maryland, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Washington State, are trying white dots designed to discourage tailgating.

“Wisconsin officials say cable barriers - designed to prevent head-on collisions caused by motorists who cross lanes into oncoming traffic - work because they absorb impact better than concrete. They also don't cost as much. Removing roadside barriers, from trees to light poles, also helps. Many states have installed breakaway barriers, most notably on supports for overpasses, that ‘give’ when struck by a car. Georgia, reacting to figures that show three of four fatalities occur when cars hit trees, is reacting by removing roadside trees.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:29 AM


An Associated Press article indicates heightened interest in airbags and antilock brakes for motorcycles as a means of reducing cycle-crash injuries. Motorcycle crash deaths spiked last year, according to NHTSA.

“As cyclist injuries and deaths increase, motorcycle makers are installing more safety features - making greater use of antilock brakes and adding air bags while stressing safe-rider education and use of helmets,” the article said. “Honda Motor Co. added air bags in June to its fully loaded Gold Wing, an 860-pound touring bike designed for distance driving in comfort… Yamaha Motor Corp., with U.S. headquarters in Cypress, Calif., is developing an air bag system and is using a scooter with air bags for research in Japan, according to the company's Web site.”

The AP article noted that motorcycles accounted for 2 percent of all registered vehicles in 2004 but made up 9.4 percent of all highway deaths, nearly double the 5 percent in 1997, according to government statistics.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:27 AM


“Chrysler has had more recalls than any other automaker in 2006, issuing nearly 20 notices and calling back more than 1.5 million vehicles, including 826,000 Jeep Liberty models built between model year 2002 and 2006 in August for loose ball joints” notes a Detroit News article. Now, it says, some dealer lots are backed up with 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups, recalled for seatbelt and airbag problems, that “can't be sold until dealers get replacement parts” to remedy the defects.

“On Sept. 6, Chrysler recalled all of its 184,000 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups worldwide to replace the front passenger seat belt assembly. About 15,000 pickups recalled will also have their front belt assembly adjusted to properly secure child restraint systems. About 24,000 recalled pickups will have passenger airbag packs replaced and reprogrammed because they may not be compatible with some rear-facing child restraint systems,” the article said, noting that there are no reports of injuries connected to either recall.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:24 AM


Public Citizen has celebrated the fortieth anniversary of federal auto-safety regulation by publishing a list of NHTSA actions that it says are both needed and unfinished. Included in the list are the following:

• A dynamic roof crush standard;

• ejection prevention requirements (pretension belts, laminated side windows, improved door latches);

• safety standards to reduce the rollover and roof-crush hazards of 15-passenger vans:

• greater efforts to require compatibility between the crash-contact structures of vehicles; improved seats that resist injurious collapse in rear impacts;

• seat belts integrated with seats to provide greater energy management in crashes;

• a conspicuity standard to increase the visibility of trucks to car drivers and thus reduce underride and other crashes;

• improved tire pressure monitoring system requirements;

• rulemaking to address the dangers of “tire aging” caused when new tires have languished in storage for years before being sold; rear seat belt use reminders;

• standards to make car exteriors more protective of impacts to pedestrians, along the lines required by Japan and some European countries;

• action to persuade Congress that NHTSA should have more power to press for state motorcycle helmet requirements;

• built-in child restraints and booster seats in new cars;

• power window switch designs that prevent inadvertent closing and resulting injury to small children;

• requirements to force design of new-car “backover” prevention systems to protect children from being run over;

• mandated Event Data Recorder systems for all new cars;

• release of Early Warning defect-indicating information provided by manufacturers but not disclosed to the public by NHTSA;

• efforts to persuade Congress to substantially increase NHTSA’s budget.

For more information on many of these issues, search this website with one or more of the keywords from an item on the Public Citizen list.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:18 AM


Litigation consultant Linda Sherman’s newsletter has reported a new Supreme Court policy under which oral argument transcripts will be released on the Court’s website on a same-day basis. Formerly same-day transcripts required a fee, and free transcripts of oral arguments normally were not available for a few weeks. The new policy will be helpful to anyone interested in the positions being presented to the Court in key cases involving tort, injury causation and related issues, as well as the Justices’ questions.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:17 AM


Holiday Rambler Admiral, Admiral SE, Traveler; Monaco LaPalma, Monarch, Monarch SE; Safari Simba, Trek Gas 2004-2007 Motor Homes (Thu, 14 Sep 2006) On certain motor homes built on Workhorse chassis and equipped with GM 8.1L V8 engines, improper hardening during the heat treatment process can cause the fuel rail pulse damper retainer clip to fracture, resulting in inadequate retention of the damper. If the damper becomes loose, fuel could be pumped by the fuel pump into the under hood area. In the presence of an ignition source, a fire could result.

Hyundai Entourage 2007 Minivans (Wed, 13 Sep 2006) On certain minivans equipped with adjustable brake pedals, the stop lamp switch wiring harness may be out of position. An improperly positioned stop lamp switch wiring harness could make contact with the U-joint assembly of the steering column. Repeated contact may eventually cause the wiring harness insulation to chafe. Chafed insulation could cause a short of the wiring harness resulting in the loss of brake lights, engine stalling, or an inability to start the vehicle increasing the risk of a crash.

Jaguar XJ 2006-2007 Passenger Vehicles (Mon, 11 Sep 2006) Some passenger vehicles may have fuel tanks in which the fuel delivery module (FDM), jet pump module (JPM, and/or cluster valve (CV) seals are not properly retained in the fuel tank. This may result in illumination of the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), or a fuel odor. If the level of fuel is above the FDM, JPM, or CV apertures, fuel may leak out of the tank. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

Damon Challenger, Daybreak, Intruder 2006 Motor Homes (Mon, 11 Sep 2006) On certain class A motor homes, some hydraulic lines for the leveling jack system may be improperly secured or routed too close to a drive train heat source. This may cause melting of the hydraulic line resulting in leakage of hydraulic fluid, which could cause a fire.

Britax E9L14-Companion Child Restraint (Fri, 08 Sep 2006) Certain Britax Companion rear facing infant only child restraint systems, model E9L14, manufactured between October 31, 2003, and June 6, 2004. Due to an incorrect assembly of some of the infant carriers, tabs on the bottom of the carrier may not be properly seated. These child restraints fail to conform to the frontal impact crash requirement of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, Child restraint systems. In the event of a vehicle crash, the carrier would rotate beyond the limit required by law, possibly resulting in serious injury or even death to the child.

Kia Sedona 2006 Passenger Vehicles (Fri, 08 Sep 2006) On certain passenger vehicles equipped with adjustable brake pedals, the stop lamp switch wiring harness may be out of position. An improperly positioned stop lamp switch wiring harness could make contact with the U-joint assembly of the steering column. Repeated contact may eventually cause the wiring harness insulation to wear through leading to chaffed wires. Chaffed wires could cause a short of the wiring harness resulting in the loss of brake lights, engine stalling, or an inability to start the vehicle increasing the risk of a crash.

Four Winds Chateau, Dutchmen, Four Winds, Fun Mover, Hurricane, Infinity, Magellan, Windsport 2004-2006 Motor Homes (Fri, 08 Sep 2006) On certain motor homes built on Workhorse chassis and equipped with GM 8.1l V8 engines, improper hardening during the heat treatment process can cause the fuel rail pulse damper retainer clip to fracture, resulting in inadequate retention of the damper. If the damper becomes loose, fuel could be pumped by the fuel pump into the under hood area. In the presence of an ignition source, a fire could result.

Coachmen Epic, Santara; Beorgie Boy Cruise Master, Cruise Master LE, Landau, Pursuit 2004-2007 Motor Homes (Thu, 07 Sep 2006) On certain motor homes built on Workhorse chassis and equipped with GM 8.1L V8 engines, improper hardening during the heat treatment process can cause the fuel rail pulse damper retainer clip to fracture, resulting in inadequate retention of the damper. If the damper becomes loose, fuel could be pumped by the fuel pump into the under hood area. In the presence of an ignition source, a fire could result.

Chrysler 300; Dodge Charger, Dakota, Durango, Magnum, Nitro 4X2, Ram; Jeep Liberty 2007 Passenger and Sport Utility Vehicles and Pickup Trucks (Wed, 06 Sep 2006) On certain passenger and sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks equipped with automatic transmissions, the software programmed into the powertrain control module can cause a momentary lock up of the drive wheels if the vehicle is traveling over 40 MPH and the operator shifts from drive to neutral and back to drive. If the drive wheels locked up, loss of vehicle control could occur increasing the risk of a crash.

Dodge Ram 1500 2006 Pickup Trucks (Wed, 06 Sep 2006) On certain pickup trucks fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, 'Occupant crash protection.' The passenger air bag may deploy with excessive force when certain model rear facing child seats are installed in the right front passenger seat position. This can increase the risk of injury to a child seat occupant during certain crash conditions.

Dodge Durango 2001-2003 Sport Utility Vehicles (Wed, 06 Sep 2006) On certain sport utility vehicles equipped with front bench seats only, if fluid is spilled from the floor mounted cup holder, an unused console power outlet connector located under the seat may become contaminated. This may allow development of a high resistive short circuit in the connector, which could eventually lead to a fire.

Fleetwood Orbit, Pegasus 2007 Travel Trailers (Fri, 01 Sep 2006) Certain travel trailers may have been equipped with improperly constructed spare tire support brackets that cause the spare tire to hang too low to the ground. If the spare tire contacts the ground it can break away from its support, creating a road hazard which may result in vehicle damage and/or personal injury.

Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder 2007 Passenger Vehicles (Thu, 31 Aug 2006) On certain passenger vehicles, the metal forming part of the front crossmember may have been improperly stamped resulting in the metal becoming thinner in the cross-section than specified. This could, over time, result in breakage of the crossmember. Breakage of the crossmember may allow separation of the passenger side lower control arm, which may result in the loss of steering control increasing the risk of a crash.

National RV Dolphin, Dolphin LX, Sea Breeze, Sea Breeze LX, Surf Side 2006-2007 Motor Homes (Thu, 31 Aug 2006) Certain motor homes were not equipped with fuel fill ground cables. Without proper grounding, an electrostatic discharge could result during fuel fill up, potentially leading to a fire.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:12 AM