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safety recall 74 articles

Sudden acceleration in Ford Freestyle under investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating several consumer complaints involving Ford’s Freestyle car-SUV crossover vehicles for their potential to lunge forward unexpectedly. The agency’s database says the investigation was opened on May 11, 2011, after receiving 238 complaints about problems with the vehicles’ speed control. These reports of unintended acceleration have been submitted by owners of 2005 to 2007 model-year Freestyles. Unlike many reports involving sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, which many drivers have alleged raced out of control over long distances and at violent speeds even when the brakes were fully pressed, complaints about ... Read More

Faulty steering mechanism prompts Toyota Prius recall

A potential power steering flaw that can cause steering difficulty is behind the global recall of 106,000 Toyota Prius cars, including about 52,000 in the United States. The recall affects model-year 2001-03 Priuses only. Toyota announced the recall on Wednesday. According to automaker, the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts in the steering column can loosen and “over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.” Toyota’s press release does not cite any specific cases or accidents, but a Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons told the New York Times that it has received ... Read More

Toyota Tundras recalled for electronic tire pressure monitor flaw

Toyota announced Wednesday it is recalling more than 1,600 of its full-size Tundra pickup trucks for problems related to its tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Like most Toyota vehicles, the trucks are equipped with an electronic tire pressure monitoring system that illuminates a warning signal when any of the 4 tires (5 tires, if the TPMS is fitted in the spare) are underinflated. Toyota said that that TPMS has not been properly calibrated in certain 2007-2011 Tundras, meaning drivers may not receive the warning they expect when one or more of their vehicle’s tires run low on air pressure. This ... Read More

CPSC’s product-safety database survives budget cuts, goes online

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new public database of safety information, part of the www.saferproducts.gov website, offers American consumers for the first time ever a world of valuable safety information at their fingertips. The database went online earlier March 11, but its future appeared bleak when budgets battles raging on Capitol Hill threatened to take the website down before it had a chance to prove its worth. Fortunately, the database was taken off the chopping block and the project remains safe for now. Developed at a cost of $3 million, this new database offers American consumers an easier way ... Read More

2 dead, 2 injured in Utah Toyota sudden-acceleration crash

WENDOVER, UTAH — A deadly crash involving a 2008 Toyota Camry has killed two people and injured two in western Utah, reigniting fears that defects in many Toyota vehicles may trigger sudden, unintended acceleration incidents despite the company’s massive safety recalls. The November 5 crash occurred near the Nevada border. Utah State troopers said that the Camry’s driver. Paul Van Alfen, 66, tried to stop the vehicle as it exited the interstate. The runaway car sped past the stop sign at the bottom of the ramp and through an intersection before hitting a rock wall. The collision killed Mr. Van Alfen ... Read More

Toyota sudden acceleration defect frees woman from criminal charges

LOS ANGELES–Prosecutors have dismissed charges of reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter against a Torrance, California, woman whose Lexus RX330 crashed on a Los Angeles highway, killing her passenger. Unmi Suk Chung, 62, blamed the accident on a mechanical malfunction, saying the vehicle suddenly sped out of control. The 2008 crash occurred on Interstate 10 in West Los Angeles, killing Chung’s sister-in-law Esook Synn, 69, who was riding in the back seat. Another passenger who survived said that Chung had screamed “no brakes” repeatedly as the car sped out of control. Chung could have spent up to six years in state ... Read More

Braking problems prompt another Toyota recall

Toyota has announced another large U.S. recall of 740,000 vehicles with braking systems that have the potential to leak and gradually deteriorate, leading to a loss of brake performance. The recall is the latest in a series of safety-related recalls launched by Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the last 18 months for defects related to sudden, unintended acceleration, braking problems, loss of steering, frame rust and deterioration, electrical components, electronic stability, and other problems. The current recall applies to Avalon models made from 2005 to 2006, non-hybrid Highlanders manufactured from 2004 through 2006, the Lexus RX330 ... Read More

Toyota quietly settles Saylor case, abandons co-defendant dealership

Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement with the families of Mark Saylor and his wife and brother-in-law over the high-profile crash near San Diego last year that killed all the occupants of a rented Lexus ES 350, including the Saylors’ 13-year-old daughter. According to court filings, the settlement was reached quietly sometime in June and Toyota has formally requested that the details of the settlement be kept confidential. The Saylors were killed in August 2009 after their car sped out of control on a California freeway, careening off the road and exploding. Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer, was on ... Read More

Toyota slides to third in rankings after sudden acceleration recalls

What a difference a year can make. A new report by CNBC shows that Toyota’s series of disastrous recalls will likely land the auto maker in the number-three position in the United States this year, behind Ford and Chevrolet. Before Toyota announced its first two rounds of safety recalls over potential sudden unintended acceleration defects last fall, the auto giant was ranked number one in U.S. auto sales. Toyota pushed hard to climb to the top, instituting a number of radical changes that altered everything about the company, from its administrative structure to its vehicle designs and manufacturing processes. Critics ... Read More

Toyota probe turns from sudden acceleration to sudden stalling

Just as the nation’s fixation on Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem started to fade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would intensify its investigations of another safety concern: sudden stalling. Drivers of Toyota Corolla and Matrix cars have filed more than a thousand complaints with NHTSA and Toyota alleging their vehicles suddenly lost power while in motion. The problem has been reported in 2005, 2006, and 2007 model year Corollas and Matrixes. In March, amidst the controversy surrounding Toyota’s widespread sudden acceleration defect, NHTSA received a letter from Toyota’s regulator manager Chris Santucci requesting a meeting with regulators to ... Read More