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January 29, 2007


Consumer Reports has made national headlines, many of them unwanted, by releasing a report claiming defective, hazardous crash-test failures by leading child restraint systems. CU has since sent out a retraction and a letter of apology to its members after having been roundly criticized by NHTSA and manufacturers for testing faults, and the media has been criticized in some quarters for giving allegedly misguided attention to the story.

However, CU’s report also suggested that European crash-test standards for child restraints are tougher and better than U.S. standards – an issue that appears to have validity and hopefully will be addressed by NHTSA and manufacturers in the future.

Here are links to the major developments in the CU child restraint test episode:

CU’s original release, with the headline, “Safety Alert: What If This Were Your Child: Most Infant Car Seats Fail Our New Front- and Side-Crash Tests,” accompanied by alarming photos and video of child seats misperforming in impact tests. The Evenflo Discovery seat was criticized in the first paragraph of the release, which said, “You’d think that in a car crash, infants in their cozy car seats would be the most protected passengers of all. But you’d be wrong, our tests reveal… When we crash-tested infant car seats at the higher speeds vehicles routinely withstand, most failed disastrously. The car seats twisted violently or flew off their bases, in one case hurling a test dummy 30 feet across the lab.”

Note: CU may have removed this page from its website. If so, a Google search may find other copies of the original release.

● The widely-carried AP story on the CU test-result claims, “Most Infant Seats Flunk Crash Test”.

● A report from ConsumerAffairs focusing on parents whose children were harmed in alleged failures of car seats involved in the CU tests. Headline: “Infant Fatalities Illustrate Car Seats' Shortcomings: U.S. Seats Built to Lower Standard than European Seats.” The report pointed out that, “Many infant seats sold in Europe undergo more rigorous testing than do models sold in the U.S. Indeed, when CR crash-tested an infant seat purchased in England, the Britax Cosy Tot, it was the best in the tests. An infant seat sold in the U.S. by the same manufacturer, the Companion, failed CU's tests.”

Evenflo’s response, expressing “deep concern” that CU had published its test results without consulting with child seat manufacturers, and stating, “…the magazine's test conditions and protocols appear to conflict with the collective experience of car seat manufacturers, NHTSA and the scientific community. Rigorous tests conducted by NHTSA and Evenflo have consistently shown that both the Evenflo Discovery® and Evenflo Embrace(TM) exceed government standards.”

● A statement by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association on behalf of “leading manufacturers of infant child restraints in the United States,”: “The scientific validity of Consumer Reports' conclusions is highly questionable… there is no evidence that infant child restraints would protect children better in real world crashes if they were designed to meet a crash test conducted at higher speed. Moreover, design changes needed to meet a higher crash speed may result in designs that are less effective in lower speed collisions, or harder to install properly, leading to decreased safety in the vast majority of crashes. The fact remains that child restraints are highly effective at reducing death and serious injury in the real world. To the extent that the Consumer Reports story undermines confidence in use of these restraints it does the public a disservice.

● A statement by DaimlerChrysler defending and urging the use of child safety seats.

● Two releases from Consumers Union, one withdrawing the report and the other, apologizing for it.

● A release from the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, an industry group, criticizing CU for not sharing its test details with other organizations, and stressed that child restraints provide improved safety for youngsters.

● Criticism of the media because, it was alleged by the Business & Media Institute, networks downplayed their own role in promoting “panic” over the CU test results. “While ABC, NBC, and CBS all covered the retraction on their January 19 morning news programs, they downplayed or ignored the role they had played in hyping the story,” it added. Consumer Reports was also chided for failing to “report the name of the testing firm” in its release (it was Calspan), and the media was chided for failing to “question the methodology of the study and the reputation of the testing firm that conducted it.”

● A NHTSA statement welcoming CU’s retraction and stating that the agency’s initial review of the CU testing procedures “showed a significant error in the manner in which it conducted and reported on its side-impact tests. The organization’s data show its side-impact tests were actually conducted under conditions that would represent being struck in excess of 70 mph, twice as fast as the group claimed. When NHTSA tested the same child seats in conditions representing the 38.5 mph conditions claimed by Consumer Reports, the seats stayed in their bases as they should, instead of failing dramatically.”

● In the New York Times, an op-ed by the head of Public Citizen calling the debacle “a whopper of a mistake that jeopardizes [CU’s] well-earned credibility,” but also criticizing NHTSA: “…the safety administration should devote its resources and energies not just to pointing out the grave mistakes of others, but to fulfilling its own mandate” to set tougher standards for child restraints and other vehicle safety components.

Posted by MVHAP at 04:04 PM


According to an announcement by NHTSA, the agency may adopt tougher New Car Assessment Program tests as a basis for determining the consumer information ratings it gives to cars for crashworthiness performance. The proposal “could include, for the first time, ratings for crash avoidance technologies like electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems.” The proposal envisions making the requirements for front, side and rollover tests tougher;
including front crash tests to address upper leg injuries; adding a new side impact test, and adding a letter rating system (A,B,C) for advanced safety technologies not included as standard equipment on cars and trucks.

The plan was attacked by Public Citizen for its omission of four safety benchmarks: “A rollover crashworthiness test evaluating roof crush and ejection was
still not included in determining the rollover safety rating. Compatibility - the disparity in size between passenger cars and light trucks - was not considered. Offset frontal crashes will also not be tested, despite the fact that the European Union conducts them. Finally, pedestrian impact tests, which are done in the EU, Japan and Australia, were not considered or addressed.”

Reporting on the proposal, the Detroit News recalled that in April 2005, GAO issued a report that said the testing program needs to be reformed, noting that nearly all vehicles get high government crash ratings on frontal, rollover and side-impact tests. "Scores have increased to the point where there is little difference in vehicle ratings," the report noted. "As a result, the program provides little incentive for manufacturers to improve safety and consumers can see few differences among new vehicles."

IIHS president Adrian Lund told the newspaper “it's time for the agency to reform tests. They need to do something that will accelerate vehicle design improvements. If everyone gets four or five stars, that's not useful." IIHS “also is considering revising its frontal-crash test to take into account head-on crashes into telephone poles and narrow trees. Lund said NHTSA should also consider updating its frontal-crash test,” the paper said.

“While auto executives welcomed the proposals, safety advocates said they would have little effect on the 43,000 deaths on roads annually, a statistic that has changed little despite years of safety efforts,” it said. Meanwhile, the paper ran an editorial criticizing the “non-productive” proposal as being too tough. “fundamental and wholesale changes place undue burdens on the automakers and are unfair. Adding a new side impact test, for example, will immediately make it appear that many vehicles aren't safe, which isn't true. Cars and trucks are safer today than ever before.”

Posted by MVHAP at 04:00 PM


Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has rated the states and D.C. for progress in adopting “15 proven-effective laws to significantly reduce death and injury on the nation's roads” and found all of them lagging in one way or another. The group’s study found that “no state has adopted all 15 traffic safety measures, which cover five major areas of safety behavior: seat belt use, motorcycle helmet use, child booster seat use, teen driving, and impaired driving. An analysis of the extent to which the 50 states and D.C. adopted these 15 laws found nearly 300 gaps nationwide at the start of 2006, yet only 22 of these state traffic safety loopholes were closed by the end of the year.”

The "2007 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws" report divided the 15 model laws into four issue categories: Occupant Protection (2 laws) - A primary enforcement seat belt law and an all-rider motorcycle helmet law; Child Passenger Safety (1 law) - A child booster seat law from ages 4 to 8; Optimal Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program (5 laws) - A six-month "holding period" during the learner's permit phase, restricted cell phone use and other conditions, and Impaired Driving (7 laws) - Repeat offender penalties, open container ban, and other provisions.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:59 PM


Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have reported that parents with a high school education or less are among the least likely to use appropriate child restraints, “suggesting that current public education
campaigns aimed at increasing car seat use may need to be better tailored to these families at highest risk for crash injury.” Their study appears in the Traffic Injury Prevention journal and is based on information collected from parents involved in crashes reported to State Farm Insurance Companies(R) through the ongoing Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) research initiative.

"What this research shows us is that broad educational campaigns to improve child passenger safety are no longer sufficient. Many parents who want to do the best for their children still do not understand the
importance of booster seats in protecting their children," said Flaura Winston, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study and is Principal Investigator of PCPS. "In order to protect all children riding in cars, we need to develop more effective educational campaigns that provide a compelling and clear safety message which resonates with families who stand to benefit the most."

Posted by MVHAP at 03:58 PM


The Center for Auto Safety, concerned about driver distraction as a cause of crashes, has petitioned NHTSA to “take action to restrict the availability of two-way communication features through in-vehicle telematic systems while a vehicle is in motion. The purpose of this petition is to make the driving environment safer by reducing
the availability of devices that have been proven to be traffic hazards.”

Summarizing the petition, a Washington Post article said, “The systems, which include OnStar from General Motors, and Sync, which Ford introduced earlier this month, allow drivers to have wireless access to security features, navigational aids -- and increasingly a wide array of entertainment. This means they don't have to bring their own phones or music players into the car…The concern over tech gear sets up a clash between automakers who have been steadily adding electronic features and those who point to research showing the equipment is unsafe.

“No federal rules govern the use of cellphones or other personal wireless devices in vehicles. New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and the District allow only hands-free cellphone use while driving, while 11 states ban school bus drivers from using wireless phones, and eight ban teenage drivers from doing so.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:53 PM


In a detailed article accompanied by a company-by-company chart of recall activity. the Detroit Free Press has reported that automakers “slashed the number of cars and trucks recalled in the United States in 2006 by 38%, as General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. made good on pledges to reduce safety-related defects in their vehicles. A Free Press analysis of federal data suggests that automakers have become more adept at catching problems earlier in production, before they affect a large number of customers. But their systems are far from perfect: Government investigations sparked many of the largest recalls last year.”

The Free Press analysis found that the U.S. auto industry overall recalled 10.6 million vehicles in 2006, a decrease of 6.5 million vehicles from a year earlier and a third of the total from 2004. The number of recalls issued by automakers fell to 143, from 163 in 2005. “While most major automakers had fewer recalls, a few saw their defects worsen, including Chrysler, Nissan Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.

“In previous years, industry recalls fluctuated wildly as automakers, safety regulators and owners grappled with problems that often affected millions of vehicles built over several years. But as automakers have made quality control a top priority, testing and early reports of problems have limited the scope of most recalls.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:51 PM


The American Association for Justice, formerly ATLA, has told NHTSA in a docket submission that its proposed rules shielding auto companies from release of some vehicle safety information they transmit to the agency “endangers consumer safety and restricts the rights of consumers to educate themselves on the safety of future car purchases.” These “unwarranted rule changes by the federal agency charged with ensuring the public's safety allow the automobile industry to hide information about the safety of their vehicles and ultimately evade responsibility for negligence," it said, and “violate both the Freedom of Information Act and its subsequent common law interpretations.”

“Specifically, the new rules decrease public access to records (including documents that previously had been readily available to the public) and foster administrative secrecy for the benefit of the auto industry.” Under the newly proposed rules, consumer complaints and individual companies' safety data would be classified as "trade secrets" -- and thus be made unavailable to the public.

The AAJ filing with NHTSA is the latest development in an ongoing dispute over the agency’s proposed rules limiting release of safety information from the companies. See a recent analysis of the rule proposal in the San Francisco Chronicle. See the November archives for an earlier story, or search all archives for “secrecy” or “Public Citizen,” the organization leading the opposition to NHTSA’s rules change.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:49 PM


The FMCSA’s release of a new standard governing electronic on-board monitor of truck driver hours has drawn a sharp response from Public Citizen. It said, “After being rebuked by a federal court” for having no requirement, “FMCSA has again failed the public by releasing today a very weak standard for electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs). EOBRs in all trucks hold great promise for detecting - and deterring - violations of the hours-of-service rules. Hours-of-service rules are intended to protect all of us - truckers themselves, as well as everyone else on the highways - from the grave risks of having overworked, exhausted drivers on the nation's roads. But FMCSA has squandered a real opportunity to protect the public.”

FMCSA’s new proposed rule would require recorders “only for trucking companies that have been caught significantly violating hours-of-service rules. We know that many more companies violate these rules because their drivers keep fake log books (which are so legendarily erroneous that they are known in the trade as ‘comic books’), but they are not detected. Under the FMCSA rule, these scofflaws can continue to violate the law without
consequences and put the public at risk. These recorders should be mandated in an across-the-board standard that treats all companies equally.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:47 PM


A “Road Safety Audit,” or RSA, is a formal examination of the safety performance of a roadway or intersection by an independent, multidisciplinary team of transportation professionals. “RSAs are a comprehensive and effective tool for proactively improving road safety while a facility is still in the planning or design stage, or for identifying and mitigating safety issues on existing roadways. Identifying a problem before it becomes part of the infrastructure is a preferable approach,” says the Federal Highway Administration.

In a recent report, an official of FHWA says that, “Many State departments of transportation (DOTs) have shown increased safety resulting from the process,” which the agency first studied in the 1990’s in Australia and New Zealand, where it had already shown good results. "The road safety audit process looks at the roadway from a purely technical safety viewpoint without outside influences… It is a valuable process that gives an unbiased view of safety issues with support from safety experts."

Posted by MVHAP at 03:45 PM


Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have found that male drivers have a 77 percent higher risk of dying in a car accident than women, based on miles driven. Their study also finds that the highway death rate is higher for cautious 82-year-old women than for risk-taking 16-year-old boys, “New England is the safest region for drivers,” and “the safest passenger is a youngster strapped in a car seat and being driven during morning rush hour.”

“The analysis calculates that overall, about one death occurs for every 100 million passenger miles traveled. And it shows that some long-held assumptions about safety on U.S. highways don't jibe with hard numbers. It lists the risk of road death by age, gender, type of vehicle, time of day and geographic region”.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:44 PM


An article in the Detroit News reports that a trade association has warned NHTSA that aftermarket auto parts could affect the operation of newly required Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems meant to reduce the likelihood of vehicle rollover. The Speciality Equipment Market Association reportedly says that NHTSA’s proposed ESC mandate “could prevent owners from customizing their cars and trucks or make the stability system inoperative… The association worries that the rule will not ensure that the safety systems are compatible when other equipment is added before or after a vehicle is sold.”

Association members met with NHTSA recently to discuss the problem. One big issue is whether modifying a vehicle will activate the ESC warning light on the dashboard, the report says. “NHTSA wants ‘more evidence this is actually a problem,’ according to the federal agency's summary of the Jan. 10 meeting. But if a dealer installed equipment on a new car that made ESC inoperative, the vehicle would not meet safety standards, according to the summary.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:43 PM


A Washington Post article questions the impact on legislation that can occur when an industry lobbyist takes a job on a Congressional staff. The headline, “The Hill's Revolving-Door Rules Don't Work in Both Directions,” points to an answer.

“In November, as a lobbyist and strategist for DaimlerChrysler, Dennis B. Fitzgibbons labored to block congressional proposals to mandate the production of more cars that use alternative fuels and to stop the most aggressive efforts to force auto companies to make their vehicles more energy-efficient,” the article notes. Now, Fitzgibbons is chief of staff to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the panel charged with deciding whether automakers should be compelled to do either of those things.

Fitzgibbons plans to meet with his successor at the auto company “soon,” the article says, and notes: “If Fitzgibbons had been in his congressional job and then went to DaimlerChrysler, he couldn't be hitting up his successor so soon. But the rules are different for reverse migrations from K Street to Capitol Hill. In fact, there are no rules. ‘There really are no congressional ethics rules that bar a member or a staffer from influencing legislation in a way that would benefit their former client or employer,’ said Robert K. Kelner, an ethics expert at Covington & Burling, a law firm.”

The article goes on to say, “Government critics are appalled that lobbyists-turned-staffers can assist without restriction the industries that recently employed them. ‘The issue is whether loyalty to their former employers will impact the decisions they make in their new roles,’ said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:41 PM


A proposed law that proponents say will make selling flood cars more difficult is being reintroduced by Trent Lott, the U.S. Senate Minority Whip-elect, in the 110th Congress. Lott had proposed the legislation in the last Congress but it failed to pass, due to opposition from “several groups, including insurance companies,” the Used Car News has reported. “The bill was introduced in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the concern that about 500,000 cars destroyed in the storm could be resold without proper salvage titles.

“Lott’s bill would have directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to insist that insurers make information about the vehicles available to the public either directly, or by selling the information to companies that report vehicle histories.” Flood-damaged vehicles, the report said, cause health and safety problems due to immersion in polluted waters, and create goodwill problems for dealers who unwittingly resell them.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:38 PM


Japan’s national-circulation Asahi Shimbun, in a story picked up by the Detroit Free Press, reports that Toyota is “developing a fail-safe system for cars that detects drunken drivers and automatically shuts the vehicle down if sensors pick up signs of excessive alcohol consumption.” Cars with the system “will not start if sweat sensors in the driving wheel detect high levels of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream... The system could also kick in if the sensors detect abnormal steering, or if a special camera shows that the driver’s pupils are not in focus. The car is then slowed to a halt…” Toyota “hopes to fit cars with the system by the end of 2009.”

Meanwhile, a report from the UK says that Saab’s “AlcoKey” system is in “widespread” trials with repeat drink drivers in Sweden. It says, “Smaller than a mobile phone, the slim Saab AlcoKey module incorporates a flip-top cover with a mouth piece where the driver provides a breath sample before starting the car. A radio transmitter then sends a signal to the car's electronic control unit. This will either allow the car to be started, or keep it immobilised if the breath sample is found to contain alcohol above the permitted legal level.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:37 PM


According to the Detroit Free Press, Japan’s second largest auto maker has lost its bid to overturn a Pennsylvania court ruling that confirmed a $5.6-million verdict against the company for flawed brakes in its Sephia small car. The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas “reiterated its original judgment against Kia in the class-action lawsuit… lawyers for 9,402 Pennsylvania consumers said.” Consumers argued brakes on Seoul-based Kia's model 1995 through 2001 Sephia cars had a design flaw that led them to overheat and malfunction.

Posted by MVHAP at 03:35 PM


Deadly By Design is an expose of the weak government standard that has led to more than three decades of unnecessary fatalities and catastrophic injuries in rollover accidents. (For details see the August, 2006 issue of “Current Developments,” first item.) “Deadly by Design” is now available at the following website: http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/p88/433354.pdf

Posted by MVHAP at 03:34 PM


According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, a program to dismantle speed limit signs on gravel roads in a large part of the state is going forward because the governor vetoed a bill that would have delayed the program. “Officials from the Road Commission for Oakland County will have to remove 283 signs from gravel roads that had 25-m.p.h. postings. The county was one of a few in the state that posted speed limits on gravel roads,” the report said. “The new law allows motorists to travel 55 m.p.h. on gravel roads without speed postings.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:33 PM


According to the Akron/Tire Review, NHTSA has ruled against Foreign Tire Sales, importer of china-made truck tires, saying mislabeling on the tires posed a safety issue and that the mismarked tires could not be sold in the U.S. NHTSA agreed with a Rubber Manufacturers Association filing RMA that while the intended use of the tires may not present a safety concern if used only in multiple-load applications, “there was no guarantee that the tires may not be placed in a single load application since they are capable of being mounted and used in that manner.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:32 PM


NHTSA reportedly has ordered the recall of 81,000 2004 and 2005 model year Honda Accords because of a potentially unsafe driver's side airbag seat positioning sensor. ConsumerAffairs reported, “The seat positioning sensor detects the driver seating position and adjusts airbag pressures. On some Honda Accord wiring harnesses the sensor was attached to the seat frame in the wrong location and may malfunction. The airbag system will default to full inflation pressure regardless of seating position increasing the risk of airbag caused injury for "smaller drivers in a frontal crash.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:30 PM


The Detroit News reports that Toyota has initiated a recall of 533,000 trucks and SUVs over possible steering and suspension problems. “The latest recall includes certain 2004-2007 model year Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicles and 2004-2006 Tundra pickups sold in the United States. A ball joint in the front suspension may be wearing excessively, causing undue noise and making the vehicles difficult to steer. Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said the defect may be the cause of 11 accidents resulting in six injuries.”

Posted by MVHAP at 03:28 PM


Chevrolet Cobalt 2005-2006 Passenger Vehicles (Tue, 16 Jan 2007) Certain passenger vehicles not equipped with optional roof-mounted side impact air bags fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 201, 'Occupant protection in interior impact.' In a crash, head impact protection may be inadequate.

TYC 20-6361-00, 20-6362-00 Headlamp Assemblies for 2003-2006 Honda Accord (Tue, 09 Jan 2007) Certain TYC headlamp assemblies P/NS 20-6361-00 and 20-6362-00 sold as aftermarket equipment for 2003-2006 Honda Accord passenger vehicles. The photmetric were misaligned which does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment. Misalignment of the lights deminishes frontal illumination which could result in a vehicle crash.

Jobar JB4560 Heated Ice Scrapers (Mon, 08 Jan 2007) Certain Technobrands rechargeable heated ice scrapers, model JB4560, sold as aftermarket equipment for use in motor vehicles. These units may overheat and melt the plastic casting. An overheating unit left unattended could result in a fire.

Fleetwood Prowler Regal, Terry Quantum, Wilderness Advantage 2006 Fifth Wheel Trailers (Thu, 04 Jan 2007) Certain fifth wheel travel trailers fail to comply with the requirements of part 567, 'certification.' The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is incorrect. A misprinted label could lead to improper vehicle loading or tire inflation which could result in tire failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

Honda Accord 2004-2005 Vehicles (Tue, 02 Jan 2007) On certain vehicles, the seat position sensor (SPS) detects the driver's seating position and adjusts the air bag inflation pressure accordingly. The wiring harness for the SPS was attached to the seat frame in the wrong location and may have been over tightened. The sensor wire may break and cause the air bag warning light to be illuminated, and the SPS to fail. A failure of the SPS causes the air bag system to default to full inflation pressure, regardless of the seat position. Full deployment of the driver's air bag can increase the risk of injury for smaller drivers in a frontal crash.

Kawasaki EX250F18L, EX250F19, EX250F19L, EX250F6F, EX250F6FL, EX250F7F, EX250F7FL 2004-2007 Ninja Motorcycles (Tue, 02 Jan 2007) On certain Ninja motorcycles, the fuel tank may have been punctured or weakened by a fairing mounting screw or manufacturing operation. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

Jayco Seneca 2005-2007 Motor Homes (Tue, 02 Jan 2007) On certain motor homes, the distance from the rear cap to the hitch receiver encourages the use of longer ball mounts and/or extensions. The longer the ball mount and/or extensions used, the greater the forces that are applied to the fasteners that attach the hitch to the main chassis rails. These increased forces exceed the allowable forces permitted in the fasteners. When this happens, the fasteners may stretch, loosen, or break causing an unsafe towing condition or separation of the hitch from the motor home. This could result in separation of the towed vehicle from the motor home which could result in a crash, injury or death.

Vance Leathers All Black/HC2101, Black Eagle/HC2108, Black Flame/HC2106, Black Race Day/HC2107, Boneyard Blue/HC2104, Boneyard Burgundy/HC2103, Boneyard Silver/HC2105, Chrome Flame/HC2102, Double Eagle/HC2109 Motorcycle Helmets (Wed, 27 Dec 2006) Certain Vance Leathers brand motorcycle helmets sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, fail to conform to the chin strap stitching requirement of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No 218, motorcycle helmets. In the event of a crash, the chin strap could fail causing the helmet to separate from the wearer, possibly resulting in serious injury.

Chrysler Sebring 2007 Vehicles (Fri, 22 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles equipped with automatic temperature control (ATC) only, the software programmed into the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) module may cause the windshield defrosting and defogging functions to become inoperative. This can decrease the driver's visibility under certain driving conditions and result in a crash without warning.

Chrysler 300, Sebring; Dodge Caliber, Charger, Magnum, Nitro; Jeep Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Wrangler 2007 Vehicles (Fri, 22 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles, the antilock brake system (ABS) control module software may cause the rear brakes to lock up during certain braking conditions. This could result in a loss of vehicle control and cause a crash without warning.

Newell 2003-2005 Motor Homes (Fri, 22 Dec 2006) On certain motor homes, the steering box mounting bolts may not have been properly tightened during production process. Excessive play in the steering and possible separation of the steering box could occur, resulting in loss of steering control and increasing the risk of a crash.

Mercedes Benz M-Class, R-Class 2007 Vehicles (Fri, 21 Dec 2006) On certain vehicles, the accelerator pedal might not have been fully fastened to its mounting studs. Over time, the pedal may not maintain a consistent pedal position, which could make it more difficult to operate the accelerator.

Dutchmen / T@B 2003-2006 Recreational Trailers (Thu, 21 Dec 2006) On certain recreational trailers, a furnace vent was not installed. The lack of an exhaust vent allows furnace combustion products containing carbon monoxide fumes to vent into the trailer. This could result in serious injury or death to the occupants of the trailer.

2004 - 2007 Toyota Sequoias, 2004 - 2006 Toyota Tundras (Thu, 18 Dec 2007) On certain trucks and mini vans, due to possible improper finishing of the front suspension lower ball joint, some ball joints may experience an incidental deterioration of the internal lubrication. This may cause the ball joint to wear and loosen prematurely, which could result in increased steering effort, reduced vehicle self-centering, and noise in the front suspension. In extreme cases, if the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, the lower ball joint may separate from the knuckle and could cause a loss of vehicle control.

Delta Esteem Touring, Majectic A/S; National XT Renegade Tires (Fri, 15 Dec 2006) Certain Del-Nat tires of various models listed above manufactured between August 6 and August 19, 2006 (DOT serial weeks 3206 and 3306.) Some of the subject tires may have been produced with non-conforming belt wire coat stock. If placed in service, the subject tires may develop a belt separation due to a reduced ability to prevent corrosion of the steel wires in an instance where moisture reaches the steel belt. A belt separation could result in a vehicle crash.

Posted by MVHAP at 01:38 PM