NHTSA Publishes List of December 2001 Recalls

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a list of auto safety recalls announced in December 2001 and urged consumers to have the problems fixed promptly.

The list identifies the make and model of the vehicle or equipment involved, with a brief description of the safety problem.

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 72 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.

Consumers can get up-to-the-minute information on safety recall campaigns, or information on the recall history of a particular make and model of car, truck, motorcycle, or child safety seat, by calling the agency's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236), or by accessing NHTSA on the Internet at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov . The Hotline also can be used to report safety problems.

                           SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGNS
                                December 2001

    VEHICLES:

    CARS, VANS, LIGHT DUTY TRUCKS AND MOTORCYCLES


American Honda Motor Company

Models: Honda Accord Years: 2000-2001

Honda Civic Years: 2000-2001

Number Involved: 16,459

Dates of Manufacture: July -- September 2000

Noncompliance: Some sedans and coupes fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 209, ``Seat Belt Assemblies.'' Certain rear seat belt buckles were improperly manufactured. The rear seat belts will work properly and provide protection in a crash, but the owner may experience difficulty unfastening the belt after the crash. Only buckles that are marked (on the back side of the buckle) with an assembly number beginning with 00185, 00186, or 00187 have the problem.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the vehicles and replace the seat belt assemblies that were improperly manufactured. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V380)
  • DaimlerChrysler Corporation
  • Models: Jeep Liberty Year: 2002
  • Number Involved: 102,000
  • Dates of Manufacture: January - November 2001
  • Defect: In the event of a frontal offset collision in these sport utility

vehicles, sharp edges on the power steering pressure hose bracket could cut
the front impact sensor wiring insulation, causing a short circuit in the
wiring. This could delay the deployment of the air bag system, increasing the
risk of injury to the seat occupant.

Remedy: Dealers will wrap the front impact sensor wire harness with protective insulation to prevent the possibility of damage. DaimlerChrysler has not yet provided an owner notification schedule for this campaign. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact DaimlerChrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V373/DaimlerChrysler Recall No. A07)
  • DaimlerChrysler Corporation
  • Models: Jeep Grand Cherokee Year: 2002
  • Number Involved: 50,200
  • Dates of Manufacture: July - October 2001
  • Defect: On certain sport utility vehicles, the fuel inlet check valve

could stick in the partially open position. This condition could cause fuel
to spill out of the filler tube during refueling. Fuel leakage in the
presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the fuel inlet check valve. Vehicles found to have a sticking fuel inlet check valve will have the fuel tank assembly replaced. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact DaimlerChrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V374/DaimlerChrysler Recall No. A06)

    Ford Motor Company

    Models: Ford Mustang Year: 1995

    Mercury Sable Year: 1995

    Ford Taurus Year: 1995

    Number Involved: 695,260

    Dates of Manufacture: April 1994 - August 1995

    Defect: On certain Taurus/Sable vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter and 3.8- liter engines and Mustang vehicles with 3.8-liter and 5.0-liter engines, it is possible for the engine cooling fan bearing to seize. Should this occur, excessive heat could be generated, which could melt the fan motor electrical connector. Components inside the cooling fan motor could ignite, potentially resulting in an underhood fire.

    Remedy: Dealers will inspect the engine cooling fan assembly and install a circuit breaker. If the cooling fan is inoperative, the fan and motor assembly will be replaced. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V390/Ford Recall No. 01S30)

    General Motors Corporation

    Models: GMC Jimmy Years: 2000-2001

    Oldsmobile Bravada Years: 2000-2001

    Chevrolet Blazer Years: 2000-2002

    Number Involved: 506,377

    Dates of Manufacture: September 1999 - August 2001

    Defect: On certain sport utility vehicles, the multifunction switch could develop an open circuit condition that results in the stop lamps and the rear hazard lamps becoming inoperative. The center high mounted stop lamp and turn signal functions are not affected. The loss of stop lamps and rear hazard lamps could fail to warn a following driver that the vehicle is braking and/or is stopped, and could result in a crash.

    Remedy: GM has not yet provided a remedy or owner notification schedule for this recall.

    Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact GMC at 1-800-462-8782, Oldsmobile at 1-800-442-6537, or Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V364/GM Recall No. 01073)

    General Motors Corporation

    Models: Chevrolet Camaro Year: 2002

    Pontiac Firebird Year: 2002

    Number Involved: 897

    Dates of Manufacture: October - November 2001

    Noncompliance: Certain passenger vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, ``Occupant Crash Protection,'' and No. 214, ``Side Impact Protection.'' These vehicles may have welds near the lower driver's side door hinge that do not meet specifications. In a crash, an occupant could receive severe injuries.

    Remedy: Dealers will install structural rivets. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020 or Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V381/GM Recall No. 01072)

    General Motors Corporation

    Models: Chevrolet Venture Year: 2001

    Pontiac Aztec Year: 2001

    Pontiac Montana Year: 2001

    Oldsmobile Silhouette Year: 2001

    Number Involved: 75,816

    Dates of Manufacture: April - October 2000

    Noncompliance: Certain minivans and sport utility vehicles built with second row 50/50 split bench seats or captain's chairs fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 225, ``Child Restraint Anchorage Systems.'' The seat latch anchor wire diameter is greater than 6.1 mm, potentially inhibiting the installation of child restraints.

    Remedy: Dealers will inspect the latch anchor wires and repair those with an improper diameter. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification is expected to begin during March/April 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737, or Oldsmobile at 1-800-442-6537.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V383)
    • General Motors Corporation
    • Models: Saturn Vue Year: 2002
    • Number Involved: 327
    • Noncompliance: Certain sport utility vehicles fail to conform to the

    requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 210, "Seat Belt
    Assembly Anchorages." Some vehicles were produced with rear outer seat belt
    shoulder guide anchor bolts that were incorrectly installed. If these bolts
    were incorrectly installed, the bolts would not withstand the load
    requirements of the standard. If an anchorage failed in a crash, the occupant
    would not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of injury.

    Remedy: Dealers will replace the rear shoulder guide anchor bolts. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification began during December 2001. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Saturn at 1-800-553-6000.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V386/GM Recall No. 01076/Saturn Recall No. 02-C-04)
    • Hyundai Motor America
    • Models: Hyundai Santa Fe Year: 2001
    • Number Involved: 15,241
    • Dates of Manufacture: March 2000 - February 2001
    • Defect: On certain sport utility vehicles equipped with 2.7-liter V-6

    engines, improperly manufactured crankshaft position sensors (CPS) were
    installed. The CPS cases were improperly manufactured and did not meet
    dimensional specifications. Internal gaps within the cases allowed epoxy to
    contact the printed circuit board, which resulted in cracking of the circuit
    board capacitor. A damaged CPS capacitor could result in engine stalling.

    Remedy: Dealers will replace the CPS. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V388)
    • Mazda (North America), Inc.
    • Models: Mazda MPV Years: 2000-2001
    • Number Involved: 19,000
    • Dates of Manufacture: April 1999 - November 2001
    • Noncompliance: Certain minivans without anti-lock braking systems (ABS)

    fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard
    No. 135, "Passenger Car Brake Systems." Due to inappropriate brake pipe
    layout, these vehicles do not meet the partial failure brake stopping distance
    requirements of the standard. If partial failure occurred in the braking
    system, the stopping distance of the vehicle could increase, increasing the
    risk of a crash.

    Remedy: Dealers will modify the brake system. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500, Option #4.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V382/Mazda Recall No. 0502A)
    • Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc.
    • Models: Mercedes Benz C Class Years: 1998-1999
    • Number Involved: 65,731
    • Dates of Manufacture: April 1997 - June 1999
    • Defect: On certain passenger vehicles equipped with Hoppecke batteries,

    the battery maintenance schedule could be less than needed to maintain proper
    electrolyte levels. Low electrolyte levels increase the potential for inter-
    cell rupture and sparking, which could result in a battery explosion.

    Remedy: Dealers will inspect the batteries, including fluid levels. Some batteries may be replaced if necessary, on a case-by-case basis. In addition to the battery inspection, the addition of labels in the vehicle owner's manual and engine compartment will be included to conspicuously remind owners as well as dealer and service personnel of the need to perform battery maintenance. Mercedes-Benz has not yet provided an owner notification schedule for this campaign. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V366)
    • Nissan North America, Inc.
    • Models: Nissan Sentra Years: 2000-2001
    • Number Involved: 81,393
    • Dates of Manufacture: January - October 2001
    • Noncompliance: Certain passenger vehicles fail to comply with

    requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "Lamps,
    Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." Vehicles produced during this
    period were missing tamperproof caps that prevent horizontal headlamp
    adjustment.

    Remedy: Dealers will install a tamperproof cap over the horizontal adjustment screw for both headlamps. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

    • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V376)
    • Toyota Motor Company, Ltd.
    • Models: Lexus ES300 Year: 2002
    • Number Involved: 1,697
    • Dates of Manufacture: September - October 2001
    • Defect: On these passenger vehicles, the left front brake tube may have

    been deformed prior to vehicle delivery due to improper installation of a coil
    spring spacer that was installed to prevent damage to the vehicle during
    transportation. If the brake tube is deformed significantly, it could contact
    the inner fender panel, and eventually cause damage to the tube due to
    vibration during driving. Brake tube damage could also lead to brake fluid
    leakage after extended use of the brakes. This could cause increased stopping
    distances during braking, increasing the risk of a crash.

    Remedy: Dealers will inspect the front brake line and, if necessary, replace the line. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Lexus at 1-888-333-9376.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V371)

    Toyota Motor Company, Ltd.

    Models: Lexus ES300 Year: 2002

    Toyota Camry Year: 2002

    Number Involved: 19,587

    Dates of Manufacture: July - November 2001

    Defect: On these passenger vehicles equipped with a three-spoke style steering wheel, during air bag deployment, it is possible that the bottom seam of the front driver's side air bag module cover (horn pad) could be torn away, allowing the bottom portion of the cover to completely detach from the air bag module. If this should occur, there is a possibility that the detached bottom portion may strike the driver, causing personal injury.

    Remedy: Dealers will replace the driver's side air bag module. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Lexus at 1-888-333-9376 or Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V371)

    MEDIUM/HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS, SCHOOL BUSES AND MOTOR HOMES

    • Freightliner Corporation/Thomas Built Buses, Inc.
    • Models: Thomas MVP EF Years: 1996-2001
    • Number Involved: 57
    • Dates of Manufacture: November 1996 - November 2001
    • Noncompliance: Certain school buses fail to conform to the requirements

    of FMVSS No. 217, "Bus Emergency Exits and Window Retention and Release." A
    third roof hatch must be added to meet the standard requirements. Only
    vehicles located in the state of Washington are involved.

    Remedy: Dealers will install a third roof hatch. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Thomas Built at 1-336-889-4871.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V378)

    Freightliner Corporation/Western Star Trucks

    Models: Western Star 4800 Years: 1998-2000

    Western Star 4900 Years: 1998-2000

    Western Star 5800 Years: 1998-2000

    Western Star 5900 Years: 1998-2000

    Western Star 6900 Years: 1998-2000

    Number Involved: 3,500

    Dates of Manufacture: December 1998 - February 2000

    Defect: On certain trucks equipped with Caterpillar 3406E and C-15 engines, there is interference between the positive battery cable and the electronic control module (ECM) to the engine. Chafing can wear through the battery cable insulation allowing contact between the battery cable and the stud. This contact could cause a short circuit, which may result in a fire.

    Remedy: Dealers will inspect the vehicles, and the battery cables will be replaced or re-routed as necessary. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification will begin during February 2002. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Freightliner at 1-800-547-0712.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01V387/Freightliner Recall No. FL-387)

    EQUIPMENT

    • LMI USA, Inc.
    • Models: LMI USA Ball Joints
    • Number Involved: 2,904
    • Dates of Manufacture: December 2000 - April 2001
    • Defect: Certain aftermarket replacement ball joints for steering or

    suspension systems on 1990-1993 Acura Integra, 1986-1989 Honda Accord, 1988-
    1991 Honda Civic and CRX,

    1983-1991 Honda Prelude, Part No. 51220-SK7-013, and 1991-1995 Honda Legend passenger vehicles, Part No. 51220-SL5-003, with date codes Z OH and Y OH, have defective sealing boots. The material used in the manufacture of the sealing boot can deteriorate over time permitting foreign objects, such as water and dirt, to infiltrate the sealing boot and cause rust inside the ball joint housing, damage to the surface of the ball, or damage to the retaining ring. These effects in turn can cause misalignment of the ball joint within the housing, potentially causing it to fail. A ball joint failure could result in loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

    Remedy: LMI will notify its distributors and customers to have the ball joints replaced free of charge. The manufacturer has reported that distributor/owner notification was expected to begin during January 2002. Owners should contact LMI at 1-734-477-9700.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01E064)

    TIRES

    • Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
    • Models: Del-Nat Chaparral AP
    • Number Involved: 1,848
    • Dates of Manufacture: August - October 2001
    • Defect: Certain size P265/75R15 and P265/75R16 tires may not have

    adequate rubber coverage of the belt edge. When this condition exists, it may
    eventually expose the belt wires, which could lead to belt degradation.

    Remedy: Cooper is notifying its dealers/customers to have the tires replaced free of charge. The manufacturer has reported that distributor/owner notification began Dec. 10, 2001. Owners should contact Del-Nat Corporation at 1-800-489-7233 or Cooper Tire at 1-800-854-6288.

  • (NHTSA Recall No. 01T018)
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