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December 31, 2006


Pressure is building on NHTSA to issue a substantially strengthened standard (FMVSS 216) governing the ability of roofs to withstand crush in rollovers. The issue is critically important, especially for SUVs, which have hazardously high rollover propensities and are especially in need of roof structures and seat belts that optimally prevent occupants from being injured. Safety groups are opposed to proposed NHTSA rulemaking to slightly upgrade the standard, while car companies complain that the proposals are unreasonably stringent. (Search earlier Current Developments archives for “FMVSS 216” or “roof crush.”)

Recent developments in the rollover-roof crush debate have included these:

● At a Washington press conference, two safety advocacy groups, the Center for Auto Safety and Public Citizen, demonstrated a test device, the Jordon Rollover System, for “analyzing vehicle roof strength and rollover crash protection under real-world conditions.” The dynamic test involves dropping an axis-mounted rotating vehicle on a section of roadway moving underneath; the roof strikes the road as it would in a real-world rollover. “JRS tests are realistic and highly repeatable,” the safety groups noted. “Dynamic tests – those that put a vehicle in motion to mirror real-world crashes – provide the best measure of a vehicle’s capability of protecting occupants in a rollover… The JRS also can test the effectiveness of seat belts, side curtain air bags, window retention and door latching, and can lead to better vehicle design to prevent ejection of occupants.” NHTSA uses dynamic tests for frontal and side crash standards, but for its roof strength standard uses only a static test in which pressure is applied to just one side of the vehicle’s roof.

● The advocacy groups released results of a JRS test of a Volvo XC90 SUV, which “has a stronger roof and performed well compared to other vehicles.” They said the tests “prove that safer vehicles are on the market that can withstand the forces of rollover crashes and protect the occupants.” Information about the XC90’s performance in rollover crashes was previously unavailable because Volvo kept its own detailed test results secret under pressure from the Ford Motor Co., which purchased Volvo in 1999, the groups said. A spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying said the safety groups hadn't provided any scientific data to back up their claims for the JRS dynamic test performance. "We agree with NHTSA's conclusion that there's no scientifically acceptable, dynamic roof strength test procedure that's superior to the current procedure," he said.

● The Volvo report, “Rollover According to Volvo,” that had previously been kept secret under pressure from Ford, was released by the Center for Auto Safety and submitted to NHTSA. The report expresses Volvo’s design goal for roof crush prevention and restraint system performance in rollovers as, “No contact between roof and occupant.” Volvo earlier had claimed that the report, despite being made public in a lawsuit, was protected and therefore should not be placed in NHTSA’s public docket, but it has dropped its objection to the report’s release.

● GM and Ford, both of which have faced numerous lawsuits for injuries sustained in rollover-roof crush incidents, have announced initiatives suggesting they are paying greater attention to the need to reduce rollovers. Stories in the Detroit News and on ConsumerAffairs.com, among others, report that, for instance, GM opened a new rollover crash-test center and announced plans to provide rollover airbags in future car models, while Ford said it planned to strengthen roofs in its rollover-prone models: “Ford, which is facing more than $250 million in lawsuits involving SUV rollovers since 2004, told NHTSA that some versions of 11 models of its vehicles will have roofs 20 percent stronger than required,” ConsumerAffairs said.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:56 AM


In April, under pressure from Congress, NHTSA published a rule which it said “enhances the safety of power window switches to prevent child deaths and injuries caused by inadvertent closing of car windows… The measure requires that all passenger vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States, on or after October 1, 2008, be equipped with a safer switch. The rule prohibits ‘rocker’ or ‘toggle’ switches in favor of pull up-push down switches.”

But the rule fails to require power window designs that automatically reverse the window’s direction when it meets resistance, such as pressure from a child’s head, neck or extremity. That is what is needed to substantially reduce power window deaths and injuries to children, say some safety advocates, including Consumers Union and Kids and Cars. Legislation to mandate such designs was allowed to languish in the last session of Congress, but almost certainly will be revived in January.

The recent power-window strangulation death of a three-year-old girl in the Detroit area has brought home the importance of the issue. According to reports, the child, who was not restrained, died when her head became trapped between the top of the window and the frame. The vehicle was a Pontiac Vibe SUV. Janette Fennell of Kids and Cars told the Detroit Free Press that statistics about power-window injuries or deaths are hard to find because the U.S. government counts only accidents involving moving vehicles, and most window injuries occur in parked cars. “Still, she said an estimated 500 injuries are reported from such accidents every year, half involving children. In 2003, eight children nationwide died after being trapped by power windows, she said.” The Detroit News editorially opposed adoption of new safety standards for power window operation, stating that “knee-jerk, emotional reaction” to child deaths did not justify federal rulemaking.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:52 AM


Much to nobody’s surprise, a series of IIHS front, side and rear crash tests of “minicars” – the smallest models in the market, which are increasingly popular due to their good gas mileage – showed the vehicles to offer the least protection to occupants. Only the Nissan Versa, which actually is larger than a true “minicar,” earned a high overall rating. In side impact tests, three minicars failed to pass: the Hyundai Accent, Scion xB, and the Toyota Yaris without its optional side airbags. The Chevrolet Aveo was “marginal.” The Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris with side airbags did well in the frontal and side tests, but not the rear impact test.

“Crash test results indicate which vehicles in each weight category afford the best protection in real-world crashes, and this round of tests reveals big differences among the smallest cars. But results of real crashes show that any car that's very small and light isn't the best choice in terms of safety. Driver death rates in minicars are higher than in any other vehicle category. They're more than double the death rates in midsize and large cars,” IIHS said. It released details crash tests results for each of the tested minicars, along with fuel consumption figures for these and other, larger vehicles.

Reaction to the IIHS test results announcement was swift and predictable. Opponents of higher fuel economy standards cited the tests to claim that such standards would compromise safety. The Competitive Enterprise Institute said in a statement that the test results “undermine” demands for tougher fuel economy standards. It alleged that existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirement (CAFE) ”contributes to about 2,000 deaths per year through its downsizing effect on cars.”

Meanwhile, ConsumerAffairs.com reported that the “Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa are low-priced choices in a small-car market that is up 42.2 percent compared with a year ago... At the same time, the overall automobile market is down 2.5 percent.” Despite IIHS’s findings, it said, “Consumers keep snapping up the tiny units… Discounts on the economy subcompacts are the smallest in five years but the tiny cars are selling in an average 29 days, less than half the time it normally takes to sell a vehicle.”

Dr. Leon Robertson, former senior scientist at IIHS, recently pointed out in a paper in the American Journal of Public Health (see October “Current Developments" Archive) that the federal government has the authority to balance crashworthiness, size, weight and fuel economy requirements for cars so as to minimize their hazardous disparities in crashes and thereby substantially reduce highway crash deaths, but has not so far done so.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:48 AM


It has long been known that tire aging represents a hazard, whether for in-use tires or spares. Now, attention is being drawn to the issue from a number of directions:

• NHTSA is expected, after much delay, to adopt tire aging requirements sometime next year. An agency study group has published an extensive set of findings and recommendations that would provide the basis for the requirements. One of the recommended tests “likely will involve subjecting a tire to high temperatures -- up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit -- for 8 or 10 weeks in a high oxygen environment,” the Detroit News reports in an analysis of the proposals. “A separate durability test endorsed by the working group would run tires at high speeds -- about 75 miles an hour for more than 30 hours.” The newspaper noted that safety advocates have urged NHTSA to set tire expiration dates but NHTSA “is yet to rule on those. Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies, submitted details Wednesday of 108 accidents linked to tread separation of tires more than 6 years old that resulted in 85 deaths.”
• Thanks to run-flat spare-tire technology and tire pressure monitoring systems required on new cars, the old-fashioned “fifth wheel” spare tire is becoming obsolete, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press. “Representatives from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group said they are looking at alternatives to spare tires, including using tires that are safely drivable when flat or equipping cars with some sort of temporary repair kit. Currently, only 40% of new vehicles in the United States and Canada are equipped with a full-size spare tire and that number will drop to 36% by 2011…” In addition, government rules have “reduced the need for spare tires” by “requiring vehicles to have tire pressure monitoring systems, which signal the driver when there's a significant decrease in air pressure.” By model year 2008, all new vehicles must be equipped with the monitoring systems.

• A Florida lawsuit has highlighted the hazards of aged spare tires, according to an article in the Florida Times-Union. “Anom Josil has a warning for anyone traveling the highways this holiday season: If your spare tire is more than 6 years old, get a new one. Josil, 53, saw his wife of 25 years and two friends from Orange Park killed in July when their passenger van crashed on Interstate 95 in North Carolina. The rollover was caused by the tread on what appeared to be a perfectly good tire separating from its steel belt, according to lawsuits filed in Jacksonville by Josil and families of the other victims.”

The tire looked “like it just came from the shop,” said the family’s attorney. He said the deaths could have been prevented with a simple expiration date sticker warning consumers to replace the tire if it is more than 6 years old. "All we're asking them to do is put it in plain English. If beer manufacturers can put expiration dates on bottles to help taste, tire manufacturers can put expiration dates on tires to save lives."

• NHTSA is seeking public comment as to whether tire manufacturers, retailers and car companies should be required to continue collecting and maintaining records of new-tire first purchasers. “In 1982,” according to a tire trade journal, “NHTSA instituted regulations requiring automakers and tire companies to obtain and retain for three years contact information on tire buyers. Tire dealers are required to obtain such information on a voluntary basis. Tire registration information is used to inform owners of safety-related tire recalls. NHTSA, as directed by the Office of Management and Budget, is considering whether the current system is necessary, and, if so, what changes should be considered to reduce the costs and burden of collecting and retaining registration data.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:35 AM


A NHTSA study has found that parents continue to be confused and frustrated in their attempts to properly install child restraints, despite the agency’s “LATCH” (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) requirements, which were meant to ease installation. The study blamed “a lack of eduction about the system and how to use it…”

“LATCH is an installation system that was created to standardize the way child safety seats are attached to vehicles without having to use a seat belt. LATCH consists of two lower attachments and an upper tether on a child safety seat that anchors and connects with lower anchors and a top tether built into a vehicle’s back seat,” the study explained. Yet “40 percent of parents still rely on the vehicles’ seat belts when installing their car seat” and “many parents are unaware of the existence of or the importance of the tethers when securing the seat to the vehicle and only 55 percent of parents are using the top tether.”

The agency plans to convene a meeting shortly of “LATCH stakeholders, the auto manufacturers, the car seat manufacturers, the retailers and the consumer activists… to discuss ways to make the safety system more efficient.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:33 AM


The New York Times has published a wide-ranging in-depth investigative report of possible links between trucking industry lobbying of the Bush Administration and weakened safety rules that favor the industry but can harm motorists. It points out that Federal standards governing maximum hours of driver service on the road and driver training have been loosened, despite pleas by safety groups and insurers that they be tightened.

“In loosening the standards,” the Times said, “the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was fulfilling President Bush's broader pledge to free industry of what it considered cumbersome rules. In the last six years, the White House has embarked on the boldest strategy of deregulation in more than a generation. Largely unchecked by the Republican-led Congress, federal agencies, often led by former industry officials, have methodically reduced what they see as inefficient, outdated regulations and have delayed enforcement of others. The Bush administration says those efforts have produced huge savings for businesses and consumers. Those actions, though, have provoked fierce debate about their benefits and risks. The federal government's oversight of the trucking industry is a case study of deregulation, as well as the difficulty of determining an exact calculus of its consequences.”

Noting that the Bush Administration has appointed trucking industry executives and allies to high positions in the government, including at the FMCSA, the Times said the industry has also “provided some of the Republican party's most important fund-raisers. From 2000 to 2006, the industry directed more than $14 million in campaign contributions to Republicans. Its donations and lobbying fees -- about $37 million from 2000 to 2005 -- led to rules that have saved what industry officials estimate are billions of dollars in expenses linked to tougher regulations.

“But to the families of accident victims, the motor carrier agency has failed to fulfill a promise to significantly reduce fatalities, exacting a tragic personal price.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:29 AM


A sled test program at the University of Buffalo’s engineering school simulating head-on collisions has underscored the hazard of unrestrained rear-seat car occupants to themselves and others. "The tests show clearly that unrestrained rear-seat passengers place themselves, as well as their driver, at great risk of serious injury when involved in a head-on crash," said the lead researcher, an adjunct assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Tests using unbelted "adult" crash dummies and dummies approximating the size and weight of a 6-year-old child showed similar results: severe chest and head trauma for both passenger and belted driver. "It doesn't matter if it's an adult-sized person seated behind you, a small child, or even if you have packages or luggage placed in the seat behind you; if they are not belted or safely secured, they can inflict fatal injuries to a driver," the researcher said. The results were published last month in the Journal of Trauma. Most seat-belt laws for adults do not require adult rear-seat passengers to buckle up.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:27 AM


A New York Times reporter has tried out systems designed to reduce incidents of cars backing over children and published his evaluations. Writing as “a parent and an owner of a sport utility vehicle” who is moved by “horrifying stories about cars backing over children or pedestrians,” he gives the pros and cons of various systems and concludes that in spite of “imperfections” in some systems, they made him “more comfortable when backing up in tight spots -- and at home where my daughter plays.” The three types of system he describes are Ultrasonic, Video and Factory-Installed Options.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:26 AM


One in three drink driving suspects who were found to be within the legal blood alcohol limit of .08, tested positive for a range of prescription and illegal drugs, according to a report in the Irish Independent. This rate was “almost twice as high as that of drivers over the legal limit - one in seven of whom tested positive for drugs.”

“The shocking new research on Irish drivers, published in the British Medical Association's journal 'Injury Prevention' today, has prompted a call for routine drugs testing of people suspected of being over the limit for alcohol,” the paper said.

The drugs found included amphetamines, metamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, opiates and the heroin substitute methadone. The most common was cannabis. Researchers from UCD School of Public Health and Population Science reportedly based their findings on 2,000 blood and urine specimens taken from drivers who had been stopped by police on suspicion of driving while "under the influence" over two years.

The researchers “warned that the role of drugs in injuries caused by road traffic is likely to be underestimated internationally, as the predominant focus has been on detecting drunk drivers. They suggested a greater focus on drugged driving and its detection, particularly among those drivers with a low alcohol reading, could prevent injuries.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:23 AM


A Bloomberg News Service article in the Detroit Free Press notes that car manufacturers, “including Chrysler, Toyota and GM, are rushing to introduce new vehicles as life cycles of vehicles shorten and consumers demand more space, features and fuel economy.” For instance, it reports that “DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group aims to cut the time it takes to develop cars and trucks by as much as 50% to react more quickly to changes in buyers' tastes.” A Chrysler official told the newspaper that the company wants to reduce development time to 12-14 months instead of 18-24 months.

“Toyota Motor Corp. said in September it also aims to slash to one year the time needed to get new models off the drawing board and into production,” the paper said. What impact the shorter lead times would have on product liability litigation against car companies for defects that have allegedly caused injuries remains unclear; a common defense claim in such cases is that long lead times make it difficult for manufacturers to provide up-to-date levels of safety in some vehicles.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:20 AM


The Detroit News says that the slogan for Ford’s new effort to change public perception about its products is, “Bolder Miles, Greener Miles and Safer Miles,” or in short, “Edgy, green and safe.” Denying that this is merely “the catchphrase of a new marketing blitz,” Ford executives told a recent meeting of employees that the company’s new “product development framework” includes “a new commitment to make all of Ford's products the safest in their class.” Following the meeting on employee said, "Overall, I liked what I saw. Ford is swinging for the fence. Either we score, or we lose."

This is not Ford’s first attempt to change the image of its company, which since the Ford Pinto fuel tank debacle has had problems in the area of vehicle safety and has more recently been tarnished by Ford Explorer rollover injuries. Following negative publicity generated by Explorer rollovers, Ford “made a concerted effort to protect the company and product name. The company ran a newspaper advertising campaign featuring a message from Ford President Jac Nasser stating, ‘Our goal is your safety and your trust’,” according to “False Advertising, Suggestive Persuasion, and Automobile Safety: Assessing Advertising Practices in the Automobile Industry,” a paper by Ronald Burns published in the Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice (Vol. 2, No. 2, 2005).

Posted by MVHAP at 11:16 AM


“If the car in front brakes sharply just before a speed camera and then accelerates back over the limit, it’s a fair bet that it’s being driven by a man rather than a woman,” according to a new UK study. It reportedly found that women and men view speed cameras differently: women are “more likely to comply with them, twice as likely to want more cameras in their area and more willing to believe that they save lives.

“Significantly fewer women than men — 36 per cent compared with 52 per cent — believed that the purpose of cameras was to make easy money from drivers, according to research by Brunel University. It interviewed 1,100 people, selected randomly at petrol stations, to produce the most comprehensive study to date of how gender influences attitudes to speeding. More than half (56 per cent) of women said that they complied with cameras, compared with 43 per cent of men. A quarter of women said that they slowed down only briefly for cameras, compared with 39 per cent of men. The study concluded that road safety policy was flawed because it failed to acknowledge that male attitudes to speed were the greatest problem and that men were far more likely than women to drive at well over the speed limit.”

Posted by MVHAP at 11:14 AM


Newly reported data from British police records reportedly have revealed that a quarter of deaths on British roads involve at-work drivers, with 16 people dying and 117 seriously injured every week.

“These figures demonstrate how important it is that, firstly, the Government takes corporate responsibility for at-work driving seriously and, secondly, all employers take the life-saving steps of educating employees on safe driving and effectively managing their road risk,” a spokesman for the activist group Brake said. He called for all fatal and serious injury crashes involving someone driving for work to be investigated by the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and for companies to be required by the HSE to report all at-work road crashes.

Posted by MVHAP at 11:11 AM


It’s called www.PlateWire.com, and people who might otherwise act out their anger against bad drivers in harmful ways can visit the site and vent online, by identifying the offender’s license plate number and describing his or her bad behavior. Did someone cut you off? Give you the proverbial finger? Speed in the slow lane, dawdle in the fast lane? PlateWire is the place to nail them.

At least, that’s the idea, according to a published report in the Detroit News. PlateWire was "born out of frustration from years of driving alongside drivers who seem to have no concern with anyone's safety, including their own," its founders say on the site. “The venture does raise some thorny privacy issues, not to mention the possibility of lawsuits over disputed public identification of erratic driving,” the article notes. Whether it will also help reduce anger-propelled road crashes is not discussed.

Posted by MVHAP at 09:02 AM


Automotive News www.autonews.com reports that some Chinese export vehicles are having trouble passing European Union crash tests and thus their introduction into European markets may be delayed. Brilliance Jinbei Automotive’s BS6 sedan, it says, failed the EU side impact test; “Sales of Jiangling Holding's Landwind SUV were crippled last summer after it badly failed a crash test soon after its launch.” A spokesman for Brilliance’s importer said the company is “sure we can find a solution” to the problems causing the crash-test failures.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:59 AM


According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio truck drivers have beaten back a prohibition on smoking in commercial trucks. They won a Department of Health exemption from the “second-hand smoke” rule that henceforth bans smoking in workplaces. Now, “only truck drivers who have at least one passenger would be prohibited from smoking.” No mention was made of the impact on truck safety of smoking while driving.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:55 AM


The Chrysler Group is recalling about 62,400 2007 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles on which the braking system may fail, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The recall includes Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander, Jeep Compass, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger and Dodge Caliber vehicles to reprogram a brake control computer. In affected vehicles, instrument panel warning lamps may illuminate and be followed by loss of the antilock brake system, traction control and speedometer readings.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:52 AM


ConsumerAffairs.com reported that VW is recalling 300,000 Passat sedans, 62,000 of them in North America, for “potential problems with wiper motors and braking in cold weather. Worldwide, Volkswagen is recalling 300,000 of its Passat sedans.” It said Volkswagen Passats built in 2005 and the first half of 2006 can develop a fuel leak and a 200-horse power model can develop brake problems. “Volkswagen ruled out the danger of total brake failure.”

Posted by MVHAP at 08:49 AM


According to Bloomberg News Service, Toyota Motor Corp.'s 2004 and 2005 Sienna minivans with power rear liftgates are being investigated by NHTSA after reports of 14 injuries when the liftgates unexpectedly closed. “The inquiry covers 142,418 of the minivans... Gas in high-pressure struts that open and close the liftgates may leak because of a faulty seal.”

Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker, is facing challenges this year to its reputation for quality. In May, the automaker recalled 987,262 vehicles worldwide, including Corollas and Prius hybrids, because of defective steering shafts, the report noted.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:47 AM


Toyota Camry 2007 Vehicles (Thu, 14 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles equipped with curtain side air bags (CSA), the CSA tether strap located in the front pillars may have been incorrectly routed during the assembly process. If the tether strap is not correctly routed, the front side of the CSA may not deploy as designed, which may result in insufficient occupant protection during a side impact crash or rollover event.

Crossroads Sunset Trail, Zinger 2006 Fifth Wheel Trailers (Thu, 14 Dec 2006) On certain fifth wheel and travel trailers equipped with Lippert axles, due to mislocated spindle welds, the spindle may partially or completely separate from the axle tube and the wheel and hub assembly may come off the vehicle. Sudden axle failure could result in a vehicle crash.

Harley Davidson 2007 XL1200C, XL1200L, XL1200R, XL50, XL883, XL883C, XL883L, XL883R Motorcycles (Thu, 14 Dec 2006) On certain motorcycles, as a result of a greater body thickness than used in previous model years, the voltage regulator may contact the front fender under certain conditions. In some cases this contact may allow the front fender to catch on the top side of the regulator body which could impede the operator's ability to steer the vehicle. This could result in a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider.

Race City HD, HDXL, ST 2005-2006 Tow Trailers (Tue, 12 Dec 2006) The LED stop, tail, turn, and side marker lamp combination package on certain tow trailers fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, 'Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.' The lamps attached to the rear (on the fenders) are not separate from the stop-tail-turn lamp combination and are not thick enough to provide the required level of visibility when viewed from the rear as required by the standard. The driver of another vehicle approaching from the rear at night might not see enough of the trailer lights to judge the presence of the trailer's full length and width and could strike the trailer.

Apexcone APX9004, APX9005, APX9006, APX9007, APXH1, APXH3, APXH4, APXH7 HID Kits (Tue, 12 Dec 2006) Certain Carfilo Apexcone HID kits, models APX9004, APX9005, APX9006, APX9007, APXH1, APXH3, APXH4, and APXH7 sold as aftermarket equipment for use on passenger vehicles. The replacement bulbs fail to conform to 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 affect driver?s vision, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash.

Harley Davidson 2006-2007 FXDWG, FXDWGI Motorcycles (Tue, 12 Dec 2006) On certain motorcycles, the internally wired handlebars have a potential to crack at the hole where the wires exit the handlebars between the handlebar clamps. Should these cracks progress to the point of breaking the handlebar into two pieces, a loss of control could result which could cause a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider.

Ducati ST3, ST3 ABS 2006 Motorcycles (Mon, 11 Dec 2006) On certain motorcycles, the fuel sending unit wiring cables installed during production could be routed incorrectly possibly coming in contact with the exhaust pipes. This condition will burn out the cables insulation and cause a possible electrical short circuit stopping the fuel pump and consequently stopping the engine. If the engine stops while the motorcycle is being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

Ferrari F430, Spider 2005-2006 Vehicles (Mon, 11 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles equipped with manual six-speed transmission, there is a non-conforming right-angle union in the clutch pump. This could cause a hair-line crack to form under normal conditions due to heat, which could result in fluid leakage from the braking/clutch hydraulic system. This leakage, in turn, will cause the braking/clutch hydraulic system fluid level warning light to illuminate and, if not remedied, could ultimately affect the functionality of the clutch control pedal. This could result in a reduction in the driver's ability to shift gears while driving, rendering the vehicle inoperable which could result in a crash.

BMW R1200 GS, R1200 GS Adventure 2006 Motorcycles (Fri, 08 Dec 2006) On certain motorcycles, the tire inflation valve hole in the rim of the cross-spoke wheel which is equipped with the optional tire pressure monitoring system (TPM) was incorrectly manufactured. A leak may develop at this location possibly causing sudden deflation of the tire. If this happened, motorcycle handling and control would be compromised, increasing the risk of a crash.

Volkswagen Passat, Passat Wagon 2006-2007 Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 05 Dec 2006) Certain passenger vehicles equipped with a 2.0L engine with 147 KW may have a vacuum line that may fracture and become disconnected at low ambient temperatures. If this happens, the brake power assist can become inoperative, and the driver will experience increased effort to apply the brakes possibly increasing vehicle stopping distance. This could lead to a crash without warning.

Volkswagen Passat 2006 Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 05 Dec 2006) On certain '6' generation passenger vehicles, the wiper motor may fail during heavy rain due to excessive moisture entering the wiper motor. If this happens, the wipers can become inoperative. This could lead to reduced visibility and potentially a crash without warning.

Ford LCF 2006 Low Cab Forward Chassis Trucks (Tue, 05 Dec 2006) On certain low cab forward chassis trucks, the unsealed injection pressure regulator connector is exposed to the outside environment due to its location on the back of the engine, and the engine's location in the vehicle. The connector has a heat insulation sleeve that may retain water around the connector. Over time, the collected water may potentially corrode the connector leads resulting in various engine performance concerns including; running rough difficult or unable to be started, or engine stall increasing the risk of a crash.

Hino ND8J, NE8J, NJ8J, NV8J 2006-2007 Vehicles (Wed, 04 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles, during the stamping process, some crossmembers were manufactured with a deformation to the lower corners due to excessive wear of the stamping die. Over time, if this condition were ignored, the structural integrity of the crossmembers could be compromised which could result in a loss of braking ability, separation of the propeller shaft and/or a loss of rear warning lamps. Any of these occurrences could result in a crash.

Compass I420 Child Seats (Sun, 03 Dec 2006) Certain Compass infant child restrains, model I420 with fabric codes of ard, fuo, or mar, manufactured between May 7 and May 15, 2006. The crotch anchor which is located on the bottom of the seat was installed incorrectly which fails to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard no. 213, Child Restraint Systems. In the event of a vehicle crash, the crotch anchor can become dislodged allowing the child to travel up the seat back causing breakage in the upper seat back and a seat back rotation, possibly resulting in serious injury to the child.

Triumph Sprint ST 1050, ABS Motorcycles (Mon, 27 Nov 2006) On certain motorcycles, the rear drag link-through bolt may bend and, if not replaced or overloaded, may fracture causing the rear tire to contact the underside of the rear mudguard. This could cause a loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Mazda Mazda5 2006 Passenger Vehicles (Thu, 30 Nov 2006) On certain passenger vehicles currently registered in the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, And Wyoming. The side door latch mechanisms may experience water intrusion allowing the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather. As a result, the door latch pawl may not return to the latch position when the door is closed, and the door could open while the vehicle is moving, allowing an unbelted occupant to be ejected from the vehicle. Resulting in death or injury.

Jaguar S-Type 2007 Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 28 Nov 2006) Certain passenger vehicles were inadvertently released after being assembled with prototype fuel tanks that were produced for test purposes only. The tanks were manufactured with processes that vary significantly from regular production. The durability of these prototype fuel tanks has not been validated and is unknown.

Triumph Sprint 5T 1050, ABS 2006-2007 Motorcycles (Mon, 27 Nov 2006) On certain motorcycles, the rear drag link-through bolt may bend and, if not replaced or overloaded, may fracture causing the rear tire to contact the underside of the rear mudguard. This could cause a loss of control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Posted by MVHAP at 08:37 AM