AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Possible engine fires in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze are being investigated by NHTSA after two have been completely destroyed.
Luckily no injuries have been reported with the fires, which Cruze owners are reporting began while the cars were moving. One complaint from a Cruze owner said, “The car was totally engulfed within five minutes of stopping, and it was only after the first sign of fire was visible that the warning light on the dashboard illuminated.” The driver was 30 miles into a 43-mile trip.
If there is indeed a recall on the Cruze, it could be a costly one depending on the defect. Chevrolet sold 177,000 2011 Cruzes and is cooperating with the investigation.
Nissan is recalling 79,275 vehicles after finding that an improperly tightened fuel pressure sensor may lead to gas leaks and an increased risk of fire.
The vehicles affected are certain 2011-12 Jukes, Infiniti QX and Infiniti M vehicles. The leak is prone to happen because of heat and vibration, loosening the sensor and allowing the leak.
Owners driving an affected vehicle can expect Nissan to contact them directly and repair the issue free of charge. If you have any concerns, you may also contact Nissan customer service at (615) 725-1000 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety hotline at (888) 327-4236.
There has been a trend of high profile NHTSA investigations recently, the most notable being Toyota‘s unintended acceleration and GM‘s Chevy Volt fire hazard. Although both cases have closed, NHTSA has announced a new case involving 830,000 Toyota vehicles for possible fire hazards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating a possible fire hazard that affects 830,000 Toyota vehicles made in 2007. This investigation consists the 2007 Toyota Camry, Solara, and RAV4. According to reports, Toyota owners have complained of a fire originating from the driver’s door. In a particular report, an owner claimed that a burning odor came from the door, then ignited in flames and destroyed the vehicle. No injuries were reported. Investigators believe it is a malfunction of the master switch controlling power windows.
Recently, Honda has also recalled a million CR-V and Fit models for defected power-window master switches that caused fires.
Before it was floor mats, now its power window switches. Sometimes the smallest components seem to cause Toyota the biggest problems.
In a very ironic story, battery maker A123 Systems Inc. has admitted to a potential safety issue in batteries it supplies to Fisker Automotive. What’s the irony in that? Well, General Motors, which is currently dealing with a fire safety issue of their own with their Chevy Volt, will be turning to A123 Systems’ batteries for their upcoming plug-in electric Spark rather than continuing to use their current Volt supplier, South Korea’s LG Chem.
A123 is reporting that the batteries supplied to Fisker had misaligned hose clamps, part of the internal cooling system, that can cause coolant to leak. The coolant leak could lead to a potential electrical short circuit. A123 also did express that only about 50 vehicles are impacted by this and fixes are already underway.
Though not as bad as a potential fire hazard, GM’s Volt issue is also being centralized around a coolant leak that causes the fires after the battery has been severely damaged.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Last month, GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the Chevy Volt’s fire hazards after the electric vehicle suffered collision. As investigations continue, GM’s Opel react by announcing the delay of Ampera deliveries throughout Europe until a solution to the defect is found.
An Opel spokesman explains that Opel is, “not currently delivering the cars to customers while we set up the process to deal with these highly charged batteries to make sure they are safe.” The Opel Ampera and the Chevrolet Volt are built alongside one another in the Hamtramck, Michigan assembly plant and share the same electric and battery technology.
However, there has been no word yet as to how long the delay will last or whether the number of Ampera deliveries in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Holland will be eligible for vehicle buy back.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman of Vauxhall confirmed that there will be no delays for its version of the Volt and the first examples of Vauxhall’s electric car will be delivered to customers by May.
The Chevrolet Volt was a big part of the restructuring deal General Motors had with the Obama Administration, when it applied for bail-out money.
Now that the vehicle is here, it is not without its problems. Sales of this plug-in hybrid have not been great, and these days, everyone is talking about the recent crash-related fires.
In the last few months, some Volt’s have caught fire and many believe it was linked to its battery system.
Now GM is working on a solution to prevent any future fire issues with the battery. The proposed solutions include laminating the circuitry in the battery, reinforcing the case around the battery pack, and better protecting the coolant system from leaks in a severe accident.
The cost of fixing the issue will cost GM roughly $1,000 per Volt, or about $9-million. This solution, if it works, will still be a lot cheaper than it would be to redevelop a new battery from scratch.
Many believe that the government knew about the risks involved with the Volt, but hid the information to give this car a chance to sell. Negative publicity is never a good thing for a new product, especially one it’s banking its future on. A U.S. Housing committee will meet in January to investigate this matter in more detail.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) said on Monday that it does not plan to change its five-star rating for the Volt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also has no plans to change its five-star rating for the Volt. Consumers look at results from both these parties to determine which vehicles are safe.
Meanwhile, GM’s CEO Dan Akerson said that the company would buy back any Volt from a concerned customer, or provide any loaner vehicle to its customer while the Volt is being fixed. Will this gesture work? Time will tell. But since the Volt wasn’t flying out of the showroom’s in the first place, the current negative publicity could really damage its future sales.
[Source: Automotive News]
NHTSA is looking into reports of possible fires in 2006 Honda CR-V’s, caused by a faulty driver’s side master power window switch. Approximately 150,000 cars may be affected by the problem.
NHTSA opened the investigation after fires were reported in three cars. Honda previously recalled 141,000 Fits from the 2007-2008 model year due to a similar problem.
[Source: New York Times]
Ferrari is quietly recalling 1,248 of its 458 Italia supercars due to a fire hazard that has seen multiple well publicized incidents of the 458 Italia catching on fire.
The fire risk has been a massive embarrassment for Ferrari as a number of blogs and even the BBC have been closely following the numerous fires with photo galleries and blog updates that brought the issue into the public’s eye.
The fires are allegedly caused by adhesive used to secure the wheel arch. The adhesive can cause the wheel arch to fall off and hit the exhaust, and high temperatures can also cause the adhesive itself to catch fire. Ferrari will replace the adhesive with mechanical fasteners.
Ferrari is attempting to do damage control by informing owners personally rather than making an announcement publicly, and will replace the burnt-down 458′s free of charge, provided the fires were started by the adhesive.
[Source: Auto Express]