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Pontiac is defunct but General Motors might soon be facing ghosts of a brand past because an estimate 550,000 G6 cars are under a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation.
If the government gives you $601 million to dole out for highway safety improvements, you’re expected to see that money put to good use.
Earlier this month, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) filed a petition with NHTSA regarding the Ford Escape’s unintended acceleration issue and now the safety group is calling for the American automaker to be fined.
After a series of complaints about seats failing to latch properly in 2004 Ford Windstars and Mercury Monterey minivans, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is upgrading its inquiry of the 63,000 vans from an investigation to an engineering analysis.
Normally, any story about car fires, recalls and safety hazards has the same content: “fill-in-the-blank automaker is recalling fill-in-the-blank cars because they might explode, fall apart or some other terrifying nonsense.”
Not this time. Instead, Ford is dodging a maelstrom of bullets after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that there is no need to recall roughly 1.1 million Ford E-series vehicles over faulty switches. The investigation, which lasted 27 months, began after 1,036 complaints were filed over blower motor control switches failing and causing fires.
At the time, Ford was already carefully monitoring customer feedback as well as online forums as well to better understand the issues concerning the transmission.
While only 3 percent of all transmissions were effected, Ford has found that most of the issues were related to cold shifting, a clutch plate bolt defect, clutch stay out, and 5th gear synchronization. Ford assures that none of the issues found will cause a safety risk.
Of the issues reported, 44 percent were related to higher than expected shift efforts in cold ambient temperatures when the car first starts. Initially, the MT-82 transmission was given a thicker, higher viscosity transmission fluid to address gear noise. However, customers are allowed to request a lower viscosity fluid to minimize shift efforts.
Next a clutch plate bolt issue reportedly caused gear selection to become more challenging over time. Complaints indicated notchiness and grinding noises as a primary concern. Ford found that this attributed to clutch fasteners that got loose over the duration of the vehicle’s operation. A revised fastener was designed and put to production in October 19, 2010 to fix the issue and a special service message number was issued to aid technicians in identifying this concern.
Clutch stayout attributed to 24 percent of all transmission complaints. Clutch stayout is used to describe a situation where rotating inertia of the clutch components are higher than the spring force provided by the clutch pedal. Most often present when engine speeds are greater than 4,000 rpm, the clutch will reengage once the rpm returns to a lower speed. Replacement clutch pedal parts are available and Ford’s revised spring design has been implemented.
Finally a new grinding and notchy sensation is experienced when the vehicle engages fifth gear. This problem is not in relation to any of the previous concerns. Ford has investigated and identified component quality issues regarding synchronizers and corrective action has been taken.
According to Ford, diligent monitoring of many customer feedback sources allowed the automaker to quickly respond and address issues concerning their vehicles. Ford is committed to continually follow up on these complaints and provide the highest level of customer satisfaction possible.
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 120,000 BMW 7-Series vehicles. The issue is regarding the car not shifting securely into park and rolling away. The affected model years include 2002 to 2008, after receiving a complaint regarding a 2006 model that rolled away after the owner parked and exited the vehicle. The car that rolled away was equipped with BMW’s electronic access and ignition system, and an electronic transmission shifter with a gear selector mounted on the steering column. A BMW spokesman said the automaker is unaware of accidents or injuries related to this issue.
A preliminary investigation is the first step in a process that may lead to a recall if the NHTSA determines that there is a safety concern. NHTSA said no issues have been identified yet for any incident reported.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 170,000 2005 through 2007 model year Ford Freestyle’s after 18 crashes caused by “lunging.” No injuries have been attributed to the abnormal vehicle behavior, however.
The Ford Freestyle abnormally lunges forward even when drivers didn’t have their feet on the gas pedal says the reports. Hitting the brakes will stop the lunging, however.
The unexpected lunging has been tied to having the steering wheel turned hard left or right, as well as an apparent increased occurrence if operating the vehicle’s air conditioning system. The lunging reportedly only occurs at low speeds in both reverse and forward gears.
The investigation will not include the refreshed Ford Taurus X that replaced the low selling Freestyle in 2008. The lunging only occurs with the Freestyle’s 3.0-liter V6, and not with the Taurus’ 3.5-liter V6.
[Source: Left Lane News]
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]