Volkswagen will be contacting the owners of certain later model VW cars, regarding airbags affected by phase three of the Takata airbag recall. The vehicles involved include:

  • 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC
  • 2010-2011 Volkswagen EOS
  • 2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf
  • 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat
  • 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon

As reported by Takata, due to high temperatures and humidity, airbag propellant could degrade over time and cause the airbags to deploy with too much force. In the event of an airbag rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, seriously injuring or killing occupants.

Those receiving notices will be instructed to return to their dealers to have the driver’s frontal air bag inflator replaced. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 69Q9 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-148. Note: This recall partially supersedes recall 16V-078.

Jaguar will be contacting the owners of certain Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles equipped with 2.0L gasoline engines, about a fuel safety issue. According to the defect report, inconsistencies in the brazing of the fuel rail end caps could result in fuel vapor and fuel leaks over time. Owners may notice fuel odors while driving and when the hood is lifted.

The vehicles affected by this recall include:

  • 2018 Jaguar E-Pace
  • 2018 Jaguar F-Pace
  • 2018 Jaguar F-Type
  • 2018 Jaguar XE
  • 2018 Jaguar XF
  • 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport
  • 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  • 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Dealers will correct the problem by replacing the fuel rail. For more information about the problem, owners can contact Jaguar customer service at 1-800-452-4827. Jaguar’s number for this recall is H081 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-090 and 18V-087.

As the NHTSA launches phase three of the Takata air bag recall, an additional 3.3 million inflators will be added to the list. Approximately 34 million vehicles are currently under recall for approximately 46 million defective Takata air bags that can explode when the air bag deploys. The phased recall, which began in May 2016 and is expected to continue through December 2019, will affect a total of 65-70 million airbags.

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The owners of certain 2013-2016 Honda Accord vehicles will be contacted by the manufacturer regarding a problem affecting the electrical system battery sensor. According to the defect report, the battery sensor case may allow moisture to enter, causing corrosion, an electrical short and a potential fire.

Dealers will inspect the battery sensor and replace faulty or corroded sensors as necessary. If the sensor is in good condition a temporary repair will be made until more parts become available. Owners wanting more information about the problem can contact Honda customer support center at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is KG0 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-418.

The Center for Auto Safety along with five other consumer and safety groups have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its recent decision to permit dealerships to advertise a vehicle as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) despite having open recalls. The FTC reached an agreement last year with General Motors and two other dealerships, allowing them to advertise automobiles as “certified pre-owned” even though they might have an issue related to a safety recall that still needs to be fixed. The agency did require the companies to disclose any uncompleted safety recalls to the buyer.

The groups suing the FTC say that dealerships could previously sell vehicles with dangerous, unaddressed safety recalls, but allowing them to designate them as CPO will permit unscrupulous auto dealers to engage in false and deceptive advertising about the safety of the vehicles they are selling.

Buying a used car has become a complex ordeal. Franchised and independent dealers, rental companies, leasing companies, car superstores, and online sellers compete to bring in customers by promising the best prices, better warranties, and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. In most cases, CPO vehicles have been subject to a rigorous, multi-point inspection and can be expected to operate almost as good as new. Certified pre-owned can mean different things to different dealers, but a manufacturer CPO usually has higher standards than most independent used car lots.

New changes in the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) used car rules could mean that a CPO vehicle may not always be safe. Last months changes will make it easier to label vehicles as “Certified Pre-Owned,” even if it is under recall and has not been fixed. These changes came as a result of the Takata airbag defect and its unprecedented 60 million airbags recalled. The lack of replacement parts has dealers first replacing airbags most likely to cause harm, while others may have to wait years before they can get repairs done. Given the situation, the Federal Trade Commission said dealers may advertise used vehicles as certified even if their airbags were under recall, as long as the problem has been disclosed to the buyer. Continue reading

An investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S autopilot system has safety regulators warning drivers to not use semi-autonomous cars as if they were fully self-driving. The investigation began after a driver using autopilot in a 2015 Tesla Model S died when the car failed to spot a tractor trailer crossing its path. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) blamed the driver of the vehicle because he ignored the manufacturer’s warnings to maintain control even while using the driver-assist function. The NHTSA said it found no defects in the vehicle and would not issue a recall.

Just last year, the NHTSA released guidelines to ensure vehicle safety without slowing the development of semi-autonomous and self-driving cars. The agency says self-driving features could dramatically reduce traffic deaths by eliminating human error, which plays a role in 94 percent of fatal crashes. Although Tesla has maintained that autopilot was not responsible for the drivers death, it issued a number of over-the-air updates to the software to increased use of radar sensors and have added a feature that would disable autopilot if drivers took their hands off the wheel too many times.

A settlement between US regulators and Volkswagen will have the automobile manufacturer buying back approximately 20,000 VW, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter diesel vehicles. The scandal began last year when Volkswagen was caught fitting their vehicles with software used to fool emissions tests. The U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement with VW for 475,000 2.0-liter diesel cars, giving owners the option to choose a buyback for the full trade in price and reimbursing owners $5,100 to $10,000 each, depending on the age of the car and if they owned it prior to Sept. 18 of last year.

This recent settlement concerns the remaining 80,000, 2009-2016 VW, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter diesel vehicles. According to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the settlement will include a buyback option for approximately 20,000 owners and a substantial compensation on top of any repairs or a buyback. Volkswagen said they believe they can modify the other 60,000 vehicles into compliance with pollution regulations and will not offer a buyback if they can.

In total, Volkswagen will spend up to $10 billion compensating consumers. This includes $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and $2 billion to promote zero-emissions vehicles. In a separate court filing, Volkswagen has agreed to add at least three additional electric vehicles in California by 2020 and must sell an average of 5,000 electric vehicles annually through 2025. Volkswagen also agreed to pay California’s state air board compensation for $25 million.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has agreed to delay a recall of certain General Motors vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata air bags. The decision will give the manufacturer time for additional testing to prove that their devices are safe. The vehicles under investigation are certain 2007 to 2011 trucks and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

The case first began when Takata filed papers with the NHTSA declaring that 40 million inflators from 17 auto manufacturers were defective and should be recalled. The addition pushed the number of recalled inflators to about 70 million, making it one of the largest auto recalls in the United States. In the petition to delay the recall, GM said its trucks and SUVs have experienced 52,000 airbag inflations with no ruptures. The company also said Takata tested 1,475 GM inflators and all worked as designed. According to General Motors, bigger vents, stronger steel end caps and solar-absorbing glass that reduces cabin temperatures has resulted in their airbags deploying safely.

If the 2.5 million truck recall is canceled, GM will likely seek the same decision for 4.3 million more trucks with the same inflators that are due to be recalled starting next year.

The Department of Transportation continues to ask for the news media and public’s assistance to find vehicles with unrepaired Takata airbags, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed a crash fatality in Riverside County, California is tied to a rupture of a recalled Takata air bag inflator.

The victim died after suffering injuries in a crash on Friday, Sept. 30. The vehicle involved was a 2001 Honda Civic first recalled in 2008. Records show that the recall repair was never completed. The vehicle is included in a list of Honda and Acura vehicles which have been identified as being a substantially higher risk. These airbag inflators in these vehicles have a manufacturing defect which increases the potential for a dangerous rupture upon deployment. These ruptures are more likely to happen in vehicles that have spent significant periods of time in areas of high humidity such as Florida, Texas, parts of the Gulf Coast and Southern California. These vehicles show rupture rates as high as fifty percent in a laboratory setting.

The higher-risk inflators are in the following 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles:

  • 2001-002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura 3.2CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot