If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

Certain Kias and Hyundais from model years 2011 through 2014 are vulnerable to spontaneous fires. Vehicles affected include the Kia Sorento SUV and Kia Optima sedan, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and Hyundai Sonata sedan. While the fires have not been associated with any crashes, it’s estimated that six persons have suffered injuries from the fires. Petition Submitted to NHTSA The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has petitioned Deputy Administrator Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of the fires. The petition, submitted June 11, 2018, noted that the NHTSA has on file 120 complaints of fires where no crash occurred, as well as 229 filed complaints that mention melted wires, smoke, and odors indicating something was burning. When the number of Hyundai and Kia reports was compared with other competing makes and models, the CAS discovered only 22 reports on file that mentioned fires without collisions for all other competing vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata had the most complaints at 47, with 10 for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Sixty-three fires were reported to the NHTSA for the two Kia models. Dangerous Fires The CAS petition mentioned several fires, including the following ones:[…..]

Unrepaired Recalled Vehicles Could Put You at Risk

Car Crash Recall Lawyer

In the market for a newer car, planning to buy used? Be mindful of cars with unrepaired (“open”) recalls that a private owner—or even a dealer—might be selling. Carfax, a supplier of vehicular history information since 1984, believes that greater than 20 percent of vehicles in the United States have an open recall against them. That’s more than 57 million motor vehicles. Many of them could be a risky purchase because the open recall means they could be dangerous to drive. Who’s Not Fixing Their Car? The current research, announced in late March, 2018, reveals that those living in the southern U.S. are more likely to let recalls remain unrepaired. Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas are home to some of the highest open recall percentages. It’s been estimated that one out of three Texas vehicles is being operated with an open recall. States with the greatest number of vehicles with open recalls are California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The types of vehicles that are most likely to stay unfixed are the ones typically used by families and businesses, such as minivans, SUVs, and light trucks, suggesting that it may be an issue of not having[…..]

Playing Used Car Roulette

CarMax Logo

For the average American trying to make ends meet, 2014 has been quite a challenge. Unemployment is high and, not surprisingly, household debt is high. One way folks try to save money is by purchasing used cars rather than new ones, whether they’re replacing an older model or adding another vehicle to their fleet for a teenager coming of age. They often head on down to their local CarMax used car dealer. That company’s no-haggle pricing strategy has made it one of the most successful used-car dealers in the US. The company recently reported revenue of $3.75 billion for the second quarter of 2014, some of that coming from the seven stores in Maryland and the ten in Virginia. But the economic success of CarMax is not the only reason it’s in the news lately. Eleven consumer safety groups have petitioned the Federal Trade Commission urging them to investigate the practices and policies of CarMax and take action against them for using false advertising and deceptive sales practices. You may have seen one of the ads in which CarMax states that each one of its used vehicles is “CarMax Quality Certified” and has undergone a thorough and rigorous inspection. What[…..]

GM Ignition Recalls Continue

GM logo

If you thought you were safe because your GM vehicle wasn’t among the 3.1 million recalled in February for ignition switch problems, think again. Now, in mid-June, the manufacturer has recalled an additional 3.2 million vehicles with similar defects. The problem lies in ignition switches that may easily and inadvertently be moved out of the “run” position and into the “auxiliary” position, resulting in immediate loss of power, steering, braking, airbags and lighting. Even the weight of other keys on the keyring can cause the ignition switch to turn. GM Recalls & Wrongful Death General Motors acknowledges 13 deaths and numerous injuries in dozens of accidents linked to defective ignition switches. They have hired Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw claims arising from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, to handle a compensation fund for victims of ignition switch accidents. In the meantime, Congress is investigating why it took GM so long to address the problem and whether they deliberately hid the defect rather than spending money to correct it. So what GM vehicles are now covered under the recall? 2005-2009 Buick Lacrosse 2006-2014 Chevy Impala (previous-generation) 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville 2004-2011 Cadillac DTS 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne 2004-2005 Buick Regal 2006-2008 Chevy[…..]

Big Brother is Riding With You

Accident Tracking

George Orwell’s classic science fiction novel 1984 has in many ways come to seem prophetic. The recent controversy stirred up about the NSA’s tracking of cellphone usage has spurred comparisons to Orwell’s Big Brother, the entity controlling the populace by constantly reminding them that “Big Brother is watching you.” No matter which side of the political issue you come down on with regard to the NSA, you’ll probably be glad to know that certain functions of your car are being continuously monitored. That’s right – Big Brother is riding with you. A young woman in Anne Arundel County recently benefited from the information gathered by her Chevy’s air bag control module. Last year she pulled onto the highway from a shopping center, into the path of a motorcycle, killing the cyclist. A witness said he saw the woman texting and that she did not slow down before the crash. The data recorded by the air bag control module showed, however, that her car came to a complete stop. The manslaughter charges were dropped and she has been allowed to plead guilty to one count of negligent driving. I’d say she was glad to have Big Brother along for that ride.[…..]

Ruling Expands Protections For Whistleblowers


Remember Sherron Watkins? She was the accounting executive who blew the whistle on Enron’s “creative accounting” practices, which included hiding risky investments and financial losses by creating special purpose entities and inflating assets and profits. In 2002, TIME magazine named Watkins one of its persons of the year, praising her for her “exceptional guts and sense.” Enron’s collapse led to its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a little more than 12 years ago now. The scandal also led to new regulations and legislation – the Sarbanes-Oxley Act – which was intended to “enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures and combat corporate and accounting fraud.” Sherron Watkins resigned as Enron’s vice president of corporate development in November 2002, discovering only later that then Enron Chairman Ken Lay had tried to get her fired after she met with him in 2001 to discuss her findings that the company had masked $500 million dollars of losses in 2000. We’re betting that Ms. Watkins is cheering the U.S. Supreme Court’s expansion of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by their February ruling in Lawson v. FMR. At issue in the case before the Court was whether contracted employees are given the same protections under[…..]

Hot On The Tail…Er, Trail

Toyota’s in the news again because of product defects. They have called a halt to all U.S. sales of their Camry, Camry hybrid, Avalon sedan, Avalon hybrid, Corolla subcompact, Sienna minivan, Tundra and Tacoma trucks made since August 2012 because the materials made in their heated seats do not meet federal standards for fire resistance. Talk about being on the hot seat! They say they have had no reports of injuries or fires due to the inferior fabric. And their position is that noncompliance with the fire resistance standard “is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.” They naturally would prefer that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) not force a recall of all Toyotas with heated seats that are already on the road. While it may be true that no Toyota occupants have been burned because of the flammability of the material at issue now, historically there have been many instances in which car seat heaters smoked, overheated or otherwise malfunctioned. According to an article written almost exactly a year ago for USA Today, there have been more than 1,260 complaints to NHTSA since 1984 regarding seat heaters. The reports involved injuries to 287 people and at least 512 fires.[…..]

GM Recalls Thousands of Cadillac SRX Models and Buick LaCrosse Models

Nearly 26,500 model year Cadillac SRX crossovers and Buick LaCrosse sedans are being recalled by General Motors, LLC in the U.S. due to a potential software problem.  Courtesy of MyFoxDetroit.com, and a release by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the transmission in the affected vehicles may independently and inadvertently shift to sport mode.  That takes away transmission engine braking and creates a risk of a crash. NHTSA Summary

Lighting Issue Prompts Subaru’s Recall of 634,000 Vehicles

As reported by MSN News, Subaru, a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, is recalling approximately 634,000 vehicles due to faulty accessory puddle lights. These lights are designed to illuminate the area under the vehicle’s doors. When the puddle lights themselves, or the lights’ connectors, are exposed to road spray containing road salt, the water can penetrate pins in the connectors or the circuit board. This can cause a short circuit of the puddle light system. Overtime, the heat produced could cause plastic to melt, in turn producing smoke or fire. In documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), Subaru has listed the vehicles affected and their model years: Some 2009-2012 Forester vehicles All 2010-2012 Outback and Legacy vehicles Some 2006-2012 Tribeca vehicles February2013 Start Date This Subaru recall is scheduled to begin during February, 2013. Owners will be notified to schedule appointments with their Subaru dealers to resolve the issue. Dealers’ technicians will install an additional fused-harness. The part and the labor for its installation will be free of charge. No injuries have been reported yet due to the faulty puddle lights, but Subaru states there was one report of smoke. Subaru is aware of 53,999 vehicles[…..]

Largest Recall in Toyota History Issued for Over 7 Million Vehicles, Spans Multiple Countries

A faulty power window switch has prompted Japanese automaker Toyota to issue a global recall of 7.3 million trucks, cars, and SUVs, making it the largest recall in the company’s 75-year history. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the problem centers on a defective power window switch on the driver’s side door, and Toyota reports that grease was not evenly applied to the switch during production, which can cause friction and lead to possible smoke and fire. The recall affects more than a dozen models from 2005 through 2010, including the company’s top-selling car in the U.S., the Camry. According to documents filed by U.S. safety regulators, 161 fires and nine injuries have been reported, but no fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation into the window switch problems in February after receiving a “higher than normal” amount of complaints. The recall includes 2.5 million vehicles in the U.S., including the Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia, and Scion models xB and xD. The international recall also affects an estimated 460,000 vehicles in Japan, 1.39 million vehicles in Europe, as well as vehicles in China, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. For consumers[…..]