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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.
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.
A Ferrari FF caught fire near the Shanghai World Expo Avenue in China this past weekend.
According to China’s WZRB, eyewitnesses saw the FF cruising along until it started to smoke and eventually caught fire. The driver was notified of the hazard and turned off the road, gathering his things from the car before calling the fire department.
“They called the police, but the fire spread very rapidly, and when firefighters arrived, the vehicle had been surrounded by fire and was almost totally destroyed,” a witness told WZRB.
Worth about 5.3 million Chinese Yuan, or $840,000 USD, this is not the first FF to set itself on fire. Another FF suffered a similar fate last June, likely caused by defective heat reflectors surrounding the FF’s exhaust. Judging from the pictures from the latest incident, the same defect may be to blame.
GALLERY: Ferrari FF fire
Watch ”Wild Thang” at the National Hot Rod Racing Association spit up flames during the 2012 the organization’s Winter Nationals.
Heed our warning, if you stare to long, the video starts to have hypnotic effects. Especially if you’re a gear head.
Check out the full video below.
If Chevrolet isn’t careful they may start to be known as the “Burning Bow-Tie Brand” to some of their customers.
General Motors is recalling 15,627 Chevrolet Captiva crossovers from the 2011-12 model years because there is a chance the cars may catch fire on the road. The issue stems from power steering fluid overheating under certain conditions, leading to an engine compartment fire according to the company.
Thus far, there haven’t been any fires reported by consumers, though 3,150 of the vehicles included in the recall were distributed as rental cars in the U.S., meaning there is a good chance such a problem might rear its head given the heavy use those vehicles experience. The key message: don’t go hooning in a Captiva, not that many people would. Fires are only likely if drivers leave the transmission in first gear under manual mode for a prolonged time, causing the overheating.
It’s been a tough year for Chevy and fires. Earlier this year the NHTSA found that in some cases after a severe crash the Volt could spontaneously combust. The problem occurred after coolant around the lithium ion battery leaked and crystallized on the battery itself, causing a short circuit. General Motors offered to buy Volts back from any customer requesting such action.
General Motors is moving closer to a solution for the fires that occurred in Volts after crash testing earlier this year.
Fox News reported yesterday that, according to an unnamed source, fires sparking inside Chevrolet‘s lauded green car might be caused by coolant crystallizing on the car’s battery after a crash, leading to a short circuit.
Since then, Reuters reported that GM is moving towards a set of dealership-implemented fixes to ensure post-crash safety in the cars, though the solution isn’t finalized.
“To the best of my knowledge, we’re not discussing exact solutions at this point,” GM spokesman Rob Peterson said.
Despite that, rumored solutions continue to surface by unnamed sources. Among those unofficial fixes, it seems that GM might laminate the 400-pound battery pack as well as strengthen the casing around it. They may also take steps to better protect against coolant leakage after a crash.
While those possibilities aren’t certain, GM senior management expects a solution by the end of the week. Barring demand by U.S. safety regulators for a deeper-reaching solution, the fix is expected to cost less than $1 million, or roughly $1000 per car.
GM is also offering current Volt owners loaner cars to drive until their vehicle is bolstered against the potential disaster. The aggressive repair policy signals how serious GM is about making the Volt their symbol of future progress.
As far as the EV market is concerned, others are on the way, but for now the Volt’s sole competitor is the Nissan Leaf. The key difference between the two is that the Leaf runs solely on battery power, whereas the Volt has a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that extends driving range. The Leaf didn’t experience the same problems after crash tests, possibly because it doesn’t a use liquid-cooled battery.
Last week GM CEO, Dan Akerson told the Associated Press that GM plans to buy back Volts from any customers concerned about the cars catching fire. He also maintained that they are safe to drive and that owners shouldn’t worry about the issue.
“I think it behooves everyone including General Motors and all of our competition, but more importantly our customers, that we get it right,” Akerson said.
Getting it right definitely involves fixing hazardous issues, but how right is it that GM knew about the problem as early as May without making the public aware? In an earlier story, we reported that it’s possible both GM and the NHTSA knew about the problem but failed to disclose it until last November.
In the case of a fire in the garage of a North Carolina home where a Chevrolet Volt was being charged at the time, the Volt has been proven – not guilty.
When news first came out regarding this incident, many believed the culprit behind this fire could be the Volt, but Iredell County chief deputy fire marshal Garland Cloer says; “the source of ignition seems to be from outside the area of the vehicles.”
This fire attracted investigators from many companies to come forward to access the cause of the blaze. These included representatives from Nissan, Chevrolet, Siemens, Duke Energy and the homeowners insurance company.
The reason there were so many investigators is because at the time of the fire, the garage housed a Nissan Armada, the Chevrolet Volt, a Siemens 240-volt recharging station, and many miscellaneous items such as a electric cars for kids, not to mention gasoline and other hazardous materials.
The fire marshal said that fire usually follows a “V” path as it spreads, and according to their findings, the fire originated from another source, not the cars. Cloer said that when a fire originates from the car, things like its seats, carpets and rubber hoses are not left intact, but they were in this case, another indication the Volt was not guilty.
Total damage to the house is appraised at $800,000.
[Source: Green Car Reports]
A rite of passage of sorts for new Ferrari models, reports have surfaced of a brand new $300,000 Ferrari FF spontaneously catching fire and burning to the ground. The driver of the FF reportedly heard a bang coming from the rear following a rise of flames during his test-drive in Frankfurt, Germany. Pulling to the side of the road and escaping from the car, the driver of the FF sustained no injuries.
Last year news emerged of several Ferrari 458 Italias catching fire. Then, the cause was discovered to be an issue regarding the engine heat shields around the Italia’s V8. As the FF’s V12 engine is up in the front, one could assume that heat reflectors surrounding the FF’s exhaust may be the cause this time around. No recalls or investigations have been announced.
Check out the video of the fire below.
In this crazy video, a Los Angeles firefighter is only inches away from a burning car that explodes in his face. Perhaps more impressive is that he doesn’t even flinch – showing some serious cojones.
“As they were attacking the fire, it appears from the video, that an airbag went off, sending sparks,” LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore told NBC news. “They had their personal protective equipment on, so he was not injured.” ”As you can see in the video, he didn’t event flinch,” said Moore. “He took a step back and continued fighting the fire.”
Check out the video after the jump! It’s pretty spectacular.
A Dodge Charger police car catching fire and burning to the ground, has prompted Chrysler to replace the car and the gear inside for free. The Curry County, Oregon squad car only had 6,000 miles on it, when it burnt to a crisp/
The car was stopped to assisst in a successful search and rescue opertion in which a man named Patrick Combs, was found and taken to the hospital by ambulance. Deputy Jared Gray’s new Charger was the sole casualty, after catching fire while stopped.
Chrysler agreed to replace the cruiser, however the Sheriff’s department had to agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement(NDA). An NDA, also known as a secrecy agreement, is a legal contract, signed between the two parties that restricts access to third parties, which means the general public may never know what set the car ablaze.
The fire seemed to start in the passenger-side front wheel well and continued to reignite after fire crews continued to extinguish the blaze.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded their investigation into 60,000 the 2004-2005 MINI Cooper, regarding power steering issues linked to three fires.
519 complaints have been reviewed, alleging an unexpected loss of power steering assist while driving, has led the federal safety agency to upgrade its investigation. No injuries or serious crashes have been reported.
BMW AG has also received 4,508 warranty claims for steering issues. 2,800 claims alone were for the 2004 Copper and Cooper S models. The steering issue stems from a malfunctioning cooling fan or an undervoltage condition in the power steering system, BMW said.
NHTSA’s next step is to decide whether it will ask BMW to recall the vehicles.
[Source: Detroit News]
A Dodge Challenger was struck down far before its time at the Brampton, Ontario factory—bursting into flames right in the final stages on the assembly line.
The fire was caused by a heat lamp that had ignited some paperwork that was attached to the car. Nobody was injured and no other cars were counted as casualties, as the sprinkler system quickly put it out. “Things happen from time to time,” said Ardis Snow, CAW unit chairperson at the plant. “They need to determine if it was human error or product related.”
The photos leaked onto the Moparts forum where some believe that this was a rare 392 SRT model, noting the wheels and the hood scoop. ”Fires happen all the time in the automotive industry,” said Snow. Clearly, the folks at Chrysler are adjusting well to the foibles of Italian ownership.
Ford announced a recall of their trucks and crossovers – including 23,688 Ranger pickup trucks – because of a fuel line near the throttle body shield that could leak fuel and cause a fire, and an electrical system that might short out and, well, cause a fire.
Ford is recalling 8,022 Edge and Lincokn MKX crossovers, as well as the entire F-series range, because of the electrical issue. The Ranger models affected by the fuel line issue are all 2010 models, built between October 2009 and May 2010 at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota.
No problems have been reported yet, but Ford knows it’s better to be safe than sorry – especially in regards to their cars bursting into flames.
A fire at a Toyota assembly plant in Japan temporarily halted production at a facility that assembles the Prius, Camry and Scion tC. The fire broke out around 10 A.M. but was put out by now.
Toyota reports that no production equipment was damaged, but the fire did affect the factory’s ceiling. An investigation is being launched to determine the cause of the fire.
[Source: LeftLane News]
Ford is recalling both the Edge crossover and the Lincoln MKX luxury crossover due to an electrical short that could lead to a fire. The vehicles were built during a 6 day window, and also includes certain Ford F-Series trucks.
Dealers will inspect a component known as the body control module, and replace it if necessary. The recall will begin on January 10, 2011 and owners can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Despite being hailed as the vehicle that would motorize a billion-strong economic powerhouse, the Tata Nano has turned out to be a spectacular flop, with November sales totalling just 509 units, from a peak of 9,000 units in July. For comparison, Mercedes-Benz cars, far beyond the reach of a majority of India’s population, regularly sells over 500 cars a month.
Quality problems have dogged the Nano, and are blamed for the disastrous sales decline. Numerous Nanos have gone up in flames, prompting Indian consumers to stay away for the $2,257 car. Despite the Nano’s troubles, parent company Tata motors has had a phenomenal financial year, with a 100-fold increase in profit and a share price increase of 78%.
[Source: Economic 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]
Tata’s Nano city car is being investigated for a series of fires in India related to the car. A Tate spokesman said that the company was “conducting a probe” into the matter.
The Nano, which costs about $2,500, is billed as the world’s cheapest car. Initial reports of fires were said to be unrelated incidents, but further reports of smoke in the cars spurred a switch in ignition suppliers. Tata is asking Nano owners to have their vehicles checked at dealerships “to allay owners’ concerns”.
The Nano is a pivotal car for Tata Motors, and India itself, as an increasingly wealthy middle class looks to move from two-wheeled transportation into a proper car.
[Source: The National Post]
Perhaps its divine punishment for that awful, gaudy Polo shirt, but some poor shmuck’s Ferrari 458 Italia went up in flames in Paris earlier this month.
Luckily, a passer-by happened to have a fire extinguisher on hand, but that didn’t stop his left rear fender from getting a little charred. We’re not sure how this transpired, or how someone just happened to have a camera, but we’ll sit back and chuckle anyways.
Gallery: Ferrari 458 Italia In Flames
File this under the, “we could have called that” category. A Lamborghini Murcielago burned to the ground in Brooklyn last week. Not surprising, right? Those damn Italian mid-engined cars burn all the time, right? Well, yes, but look at the evidence in the photo above:
1) Cheap, ugly wheels. Anyone who puts cheapie wheels on a $300,000 ($200,000 used) car is bound to fill the car up with other cheapie aftermarket parts too.
2) The fire started in the front of the car, not in the back, where an engine fire would start.
What could have caused it? The answer is obvious: cheap wiring for some kind of A/V system in the trunk. A Jalopnik reader posted the following nugget of information:
The owner of the Lamborghini (btw, he only bought it for $200K from what I heard) took the car to the city and had a DVD player installed in it and he was taking the car home. He was getting off the bridge and at a red light started seeing smoke coming out of the hood and the dash. Basically, it was an electrical fire from the DVD player and by the time the fire department got there it was too late.
Obviously the ugly wheels had drastically hurt the poor Murcielago’s self esteem, and when it learned that the owner planned to try to pick up strippers and use it as a personal movie theater, it just gave up and committed suicide.