ANOTHER RECALL TO ANNOUNCE
Chrysler has announced that Dodge Ram 1500 Pickups made from 2004-2005 are being recalled due to the rear axles locking up. The recall comes after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that began in June.
The agency found 15 complaints, including seven drivers who reported that the wheels locked at speeds over 50 mph. At the time, no crashes or injuries were reported. Chrysler says in documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators that the rear-axle pinion nut can come loose. That can cause problems that make the trucks spin out of control. The recall includes nearly 257,000 trucks in the U.S., another 22,000 in Canada, 8,800 in Mexico and 400 outside North America.
Dealers will install a fix at no cost to owners. The recall will begin in February.
The affected trucks were made from Jan. 28, 2004 to Aug. 3, 2005, according to the documents.
Almost every day recalls are becoming a trend that may begin to cause consumers to be concerned. Buying a new vehicle anymore can be more of a chance than a good thing. Do these parts that are being installed on new vehicles go through an initial inspection prior to being approved for sell? Good question. What is the criteria for recalls and have can you report your vehicles problems?
I have not been able to identify whether or not vehicle parts prior to installation on new or owned vehicles if the parts indeed go through a thorough inspection. I am aware of a company in Northern Nevada call Northern Nevada Automotive Test Center where vehicles off all types experience some extreme conditions and terrain to see if not only the vehicle but the parts installed can hold up to their claim.
As for every part installed and the massive recalls over the years, I would probably say that is NO. Inferior metal, low stands of production outside the United States might be one of the reasons we are seeing so many new vehicles ending up back at the Dealership for recalls. So what does a consumer do? Wait until that make and model is a few years old to buy it? Look at the recent Air Bag recall that spanned over 15 years of vehicles and it took this long for Takata to step up and admit their product was faulty.
I guess buying a new car is like a crap shoot that you will need to wait for the dice to fall before knowing if you have a winner. I found this great article from National Highway and Traffic Safety Association.
In 2009, approximately 30,000 lives were lost on our Nation’s highways Although 30,000 reflect a 28% decrease in traffic fatalities since 2006, much can still be done to address this issue on our Nation’s highways Traffic crashes are the primary cause of debilitating injuries in the United States and the number one killer of Americans under the age of 34 In addition to staggering emotional costs, the annual economic loss to society because of these crashes, in terms of worker productivity, medical costs, insurance costs, etc , is estimated at more than $230 billion Clearly, there is a need for dramatic improvement in motor vehicle safety Getting unsafe vehicles off the road is integral to improving safety and saving lives.
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (originally enacted in 1966 and now recodified as 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301) gives the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to issue vehicle safety standards and to require manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet Federal safety standards. Since then, more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats have been recalled to correct safety defects.
Manufacturers voluntarily initiate many of these recalls, while others are either influenced by NHTSA investigations or ordered by NHTSA via the courts. If a safety defect is discovered, the manufacturer must notify NHTSA, as well as vehicle or equipment owners, dealers, and distributors. The manufacturer is then required to remedy the problem at no charge to the owner. NHTSA is responsible for monitoring the manufacturer’s corrective action to ensure successful completion of the recall campaign.
The purpose of this Motor Vehicle Safety Defects and Recalls Booklet is to answer the most commonly asked questions about how and why recall campaigns are initiated, and to inform consumers of their rights and responsibilities when a vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment is recalled. In these pages, you’ll discover how to report a safety-related problem to NHTSA, as well as how participation by citizens like you helps to keep motor vehicles as safe as possible. See the following section for comprehensive answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) NHTSA receives on recalls.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is a recall necessary?
• When a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment (including tires) does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.
• When there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for those parts of the vehicle that most affect its safe operation (brakes, tires, lighting) or that protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in the event of a crash (air bags, safety belts, child restraints, energy absorbing steering columns, motorcycle helmets). These Federal Standards are applicable to all vehicles and vehicle-related equipment manufactured or imported for sale in the United States (including U.S. territories) and certified for use on public roads and highways.
What Is a safety-related defect?
The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” A defect includes “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.” Generally, a safety defect is defined as a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that:
• poses an risk to motor vehicle safety, and
• may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.
Examples of defects considered safety-related
• Steering components that break suddenly causing partial or complete loss of vehicle control.
• Problems with fuel system components, particularly in their susceptibility to crash damage, that result in leakage of fuel and possibly cause vehicle fires.
• Accelerator controls that may break or stick.
• Wheels that crack or break, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
• Engine cooling fan blades that break unexpectedly causing injury to persons working on a vehicle.
• Windshield wiper assemblies that fail to operate properly.
• Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use.
• Critical vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing potential loss of vehicle control or injury to persons inside or outside the vehicle.
• Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting.
• Car ramps or jacks that may collapse and cause injury to someone working on a vehicle.
• Air bags that deploy under conditions for which they are not intended to deploy.
• Child safety seats that contain defective safety belts, buckles, or components that create a risk of injury, not only in a vehicle crash but also in non-operational safety of a motor vehicle.
Examples of defects NOT considered safety-related:
• Air conditioners and radios that do not operate properly.
• Ordinary wear of equipment that has to be inspected, maintained and replaced periodically. Such equipment includes shock absorbers, batteries, brake pads and shoes, and exhaust systems.
• Nonstructural or body panel rust.
• Quality of paint or cosmetic blemishes.
• Excessive oil consumption.
How can I report a safety problem to NHTSA?
If you think your vehicle or equipment may have a safety defect, reporting it to NHTSA is an important first step to take to get the situation remedied and make our roads safer. If the agency receives similar reports from a number of people about the same product, this could indicate that a safety-related defect may exist that would warrant the opening of an investigation. In order to make it convenient for consumers to report any suspected safety defects to NHTSA, the agency offers three ways to file such complaints.
Vehicle Safety Hotline
NHTSA operates the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Vehicle Safety Hotline telephone service to collect accurate and timely information from consumers on vehicle safety problems. You can call 1-888-327-4236 or 1-800-424-9393 toll free from anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to register complaints or receive recall information about a vehicle. The Hotline also has Spanish-speaking representatives and offers a dedicated number, 1-800-424-9153, for use by persons with hearing impairments.
When you call the Hotline to report a vehicle-related safety issue, you will be asked to provide certain critical information that agency technical staff needs to evaluate the problem. The information you provide is filed on a Vehicle Owner’s Questionnaire (VOQ), entered into the agency’s consumer-complaint database, and forwarded to NHTSA technical staff for evaluation.
VOQs filed through the Hotline will be mailed to you for verification of data. In addition, you will receive an explanation of how your report will be used, as well as a request for written authorization allowing NHTSA to provide your personal identifiers (e.g., name, address and telephone number) to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Note that you are not required to provide such authorization. However, sometimes sharing this information with the manufacturer can help facilitate the recall process.
You can also report a vehicle safety issue to NHTSA online at our vehicle safety Web site: www.safercar.gov. Select “File a Complaint” within the Defects and Recalls section of the home page. The information you submit via the Web site is recorded in VOQ format, entered into our consumer complaint database, and provided to our technical staff for evaluation.
When you fill out a VOQ online, you will be given the option of checking a box to authorize or not authorize the release of your personal identifiers to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Again, while you are not required to provide such authorization, doing so can sometimes help facilitate the recall process.
To report a safety complaint to NHTSA by mail, send your letter to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/chrysler-recall-257k-ram-pickup-trucks-131005334–finance.html Reference feature photo.