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 |  Dec 28 2011, 2:30 PM

Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), revealed documents concerning a safety investigation probe by federal regulators into a severe rear wheel rusting issue afflicting 2004 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans, driven in states where the roads are salted during the winter months.

So far, NHTSA’s Office of Defects has received approximately seven complaints concerning severe corrosion, a few in which rust has actually compromised the integrity of the anchor mounts that hold the third row seats in place, causing them to fail.

In response to the probe, Ford Motor Company has already said it will fully cooperate with the Feds on the issue, according to statement by company spokesman Dan Pierce. Approximately 63,000 Ford and Mercury minivans are believed to be affected by the problem.

Besides this, NHTSA is also currently investigating another potential van rust problem, concerning GM’s full-size Chevy Express, citing some 17,165 vans from the 2003 model year. In this case, the problem concerns corrosion of the fuel filler pipe on examples driven in snow belt states, a combination of salt, debris and moisture can cause the filler neck to rust and separate, creating a potential fire hazard.

As is the case with the Ford minivans, GM has said it is fully cooperating with NHTSA on the rusty fuel filler neck issue concerning the affected Chevy Express models.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Dec 01 2011, 9:00 AM

Chevrolet‘s Volt has been in the spotlight almost since the day the first concept was revealed back in 2006. Yet the most recent round of publicity probably isn’t as positive as General Motors would like.

It focuses on the wake of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, regarding three battery fires that resulted from Chevy Volt crash tests conducted by the agency.

In response GM has sent out letters detailing the findings of the investigation to some 2,500 dealers across the US and more than 5,000 Volt owners. It has also instigated a nationwide program  of offering loaner vehicles to Volt customers who feel their vehicles are unsafe.

Yet, according to Automotive News, there hasn’t been a great deal of flag raising among concessionaires across the US, nor their existing Volt customers. One dealer, in Los Angeles, said his staff will refer customers to a GM provided on-site Volt adviser if they raise the issue concerning the battery fires, though so far nobody has expressed any concern in the matter.

Another dealer in Newport News, Virginia reported much the same scenario. Danny Lane, new vehicle sales manager at Casey Chevrolet said that while staff have been trained to handle questions from customers, “none of them so far has said anything [about the issue].”

[Source: Automotive News]