NHTSA Publishes List of March Recalls

1 May 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 24-98
Friday, May 1, 1998 Contact: Tim Hurd


Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

NHTSA PUBLISHES LIST
OF MARCH RECALLS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a list of auto safety recalls announced in March 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, 70 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). The Hotline also can be used to report safety problems.



SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGNS FEBRUARY 1998

VEHICLES: CARS, VANS, LIGHT DUTY TRUCKS AND MOTORCYCLES


Chrysler Corporation

Models:
Jeep Wrangler Years: 1996-1997

Number Involved: 1,600
Dates of Manufacture: January 1996 - July 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V046
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: In manual steering Wrangler vehicles, the driver's side air bag "clock spring" wiring harness can break when turned to the "full lock" turn position. Then, in the event of a vehicle crash, the air bag would not deploy, increasing the risk of serious injury to the occupant.
Remedy: Dealers will replace the clock spring harness in these air bags.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.



Chrysler Corporation

Models:
Plymouth Prowler Years: 1997

Number Involved: 245
Dates of Manufacture: January - December 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V047
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: Some of the frame welds that affect vehicle control and crashworthiness were omitted in six areas of the frame. Loss of vehicle control can occur, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect the vehicles for the presence of the critical welds. Any vehicles missing welds will be corrected by teams of welders in the field.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.



Chrysler Corporation

Models:
Jeep Wrangler Years: 1998
Jeep Cherokee Years: 1998

Number Involved: 1,900
Dates of Manufacture: January 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V048
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The front seat belt shoulder anchors were not properly heat treated and are not properly hardened. In the event of a vehicle crash, the front seat occupant may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of serious injury.
Remedy: Dealers will replace the front seat shoulder belt turning loop on these vehicles.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.



Chrysler Corporation

Models:
Chrysler Cirrus Years: 1995
Dodge Stratus Years: 1995

Number Involved: 91,544
Dates of Manufacture: July 1994 - May 1995
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V063
Noncompliance: The rear seat belt anchors will not withstand the loading required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No.210, "Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages." Failure of a seat belt anchor will result in the loss of seat belt protection, which could lead to serious injury or death in the event of a crash.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect the rear seat belt outboard anchor floor attachments for proper positioning. If the anchor was improperly oriented, the orientation will be corrected.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began March 30, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.



Ferrari North America

Models:
Ferrari F355 Years: 1995 - 1997

Number Involved: 760
Dates of Manufacture: July 1995 - September 1996
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V057
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: These vehicles are fitted with single fuel pumps. The fuel injection line fitting can fracture if the aluminum nut attaching the lines is tightened excessively. If the fuel line fractures, fuel leakage can occur. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire.
Remedy: Dealers will remove the fuel injection lines that have aluminum nuts and replace with new lines containing steel attaching nuts.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began during March 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ferrari at 1-201-816-2651.



Ferrari North America

Models:
Ferrari F355 Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 649
Dates of Manufacture: September 1996 - September 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V057
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The fuel injection line can wear from interference with the water hose clamp on the coolant pipe. If the fuel line fractures, fuel leakage will occur. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect and rotate the incorrectly fitted water hose clamps.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began during March 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ferrari at 1-201-816-2651.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford Taurus Years: 1997 - 1998
Mercury Sable Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 328,100
Dates of Manufacture: June 1997 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V028002
Vehicle Description:
Noncompliance: The text and/or graphics for the vehicle headlamp aiming instructions provided in the owner manuals are not sufficiently clear. This does not meet the requirements of FMVSS No. 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment." If the headlamp assemblies are replaced, customers may be confused by the aiming instructions provided in the owner manuals, causing the headlamps to be improperly aimed.
Remedy: Owner manual inserts containing revised aiming instructions will be mailed to owners of these vehicles.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began April 6, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free owner manual inserts within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford F350 Truck Years: 1998

Number Involved: 720
Dates of Manufacture: November 1997 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V055
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The affected vehicles are Supercab F350 pickup trucks with extended cabs, dual rear wheels, and a wide frame. The jacks provided with these vehicles are too large to be stowed securely under the rear seat as intended and were placed loose on the floor in the rear of the cab. The jacks can move about the passenger compartment creating the potential for personal injury during a crash or sudden stop.
Remedy: Dealers will replace these jacks.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began Feb. 29, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford F350 Truck Years: 1999

Number Involved: 720
Dates of Manufacture: October 1997 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V056
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The affected vehicles are Supercab F350 pickup trucks. The positive battery cable is taped to the negative cable which contains a clip to secure the assembly to the side frame rail. If incorrectly positioned, the positive battery cable can contact the air conditioning compressor pulley. If the cable wears, a complete electrical system failure can occur, which could cause sparking and/or ignition of flammable material.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect and/or modify the battery cable clips to ensure that they are properly located.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began Feb. 27, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford Explorer Years: 1997 - 1998
Mercury Mountaineer Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 320,000
Dates of Manufacture: August 1996 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V060
Description of Defect: The affected sport utility vehicles are equipped with 4.0-liter single overhead cam engines. The engine fuel lines can be damaged if the vehicle is jump started and the ground cable is attached to the fuel line bracket that is located near the battery. Since the bracket is not grounded, the stainless steel fuel line braid could act as a ground, potentially overheating the inner liner of the fuel line and resulting in damage to the fuel line. A fire can result if the fuel lines leak in the presence of an ignition source.
Remedy: Dealers will install a warning label on the fuel line bracket advising owners not to use it for a jump start ground. Also a revised bolt will be installed in the alternator bracket to provide a convenient jump start ground location.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began April 20, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford Econoline Years: 1995

Number Involved: 20,000
Dates of Manufacture: August 1994 - March 1995
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V062
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: There is interference between the parking brake cable and the fuel line of these full size vans which, over time, can cause the fuel line to leak. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can result in fire.
Remedy: Dealers will replace the fuel supply line. In addition, a piece of anti-abrasion insulation will be installed to prevent abrasion of the fuel line.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



Ford Motor Company

Models:
Ford Taurus Years: 1996
Mercury Sable Years: 1996

Number Involved: 400
Dates of Manufacture: August - December 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V067
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: Some of the passenger vehicles previously serviced under Ford Service Bulletin 97-17-9 were inadvertently equipped with an 18-gallon fuel tank rather than the 16-gallon as specified. The 18-gallon tank has a second valve location where a shipping plug should be installed. If this shipping plug is displaced, fuel leakage can result. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire.
Remedy: Dealers will install the correct fuel tank.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.



General Motors Corporation

Models:
Chevrolet Blazer Years: 1998
Oldsmobile Bravada Years: 1998
GMC Jimmy Years: 1998

Number Involved: 72
Dates of Manufacture: January 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V053
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The affected sport utility vehicles are equipped with 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. One or both of the attaching nuts for the right-hand lower control arm were not properly torqued. This can allow the attachment bolt to loosen and subsequently break, resulting in separation of the lower control arm from the frame. This condition can result in a loss of vehicle control and a possible crash.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect and retighten the right-hand lower control arm nuts to the proper torque specification.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began Jan. 22, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1022, Oldsmobile at 1-800-442-6537, or GMC at 1-800-462-8782.



Mazda (North America), Inc.

Models:
Mazda Miata Years: 1999

Number Involved: 8,000
Dates of Manufacture: November 1997 - March 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V066
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: Miata vehicles equipped with 1.8-liter engines are involved in this recall. As a result of the length and routing of the fuel injector harness, it can contact the manifold at the engine gas recirculation pipe. If the harness is damaged, a short circuit can occur, blowing the fuse for the fuel injector.
Remedy: Dealers will reroute the injector harness and replace those harnesses that have been damaged.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500.



Mitsubishi Motor Sales, Inc.

Models:
Mitsubishi Spyder Years: 1998
Mitsubishi Eclipse Years: 1998

Number Involved: 20,974
Dates of Manufacture: July 1997 - January 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V045001
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The dash panel pad can shift, interfering with the throttle cable control. When this occurs, the throttle will not return to idle, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Remedy: Dealers will remove a portion of the dash panel pad to prevent contact with the throttle cable control.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mitsubishi at 1-800-222-0037.



Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Caribbean, Inc.

Models:
Mitsubishi Mirage Years: 1998

Number Involved: 1,303
Dates of Manufacture: June - August 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V059
Description of Defect: This recall affects vehicles located in the Caribbean. Some of these vehicles have a poorly manufactured vacuum check valve located in the vacuum hose between the intake manifold and the brake vacuum booster. When the brake pedal is depressed, the vacuum booster check valve can stick to the valve body, causing a reduction or loss of vacuum boost and resulting in decreased brake efficiency, increasing stopping distances, and a possible crash.
Remedy: Dealers will replace the brake vacuum hose on these vehicles.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mitsubishi of Caribbean at 1-787-251-8715.



Nissan Motors Corporation

Models:
Nissan Frontier Years: 1998

Number Involved: 3,000
Dates of Manufacture: October - December 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V064
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The affected vehicles are compact pickup trucks equipped with automatic transmissions. A securing pin inside the automatic transmission control device assembly can come loose, allowing the shift lever to be inadvertently moved out of the "Park" position with the key in the ignition. This can result in a crash if the parking brake is not engaged.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect the automatic transmission control device assembly and replace it if necessary.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at 1-800-NISSAN-1 (1-800-647-7261).



Nissan Motors Corporation

Models:
Nissan Frontier Years: 1998

Number Involved: 20,000
Dates of Manufacture: September 1997 - January 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V065
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The affected vehicles are compact pickup trucks equipped with bucket seats. In frontal crashes, the front seat belt can slip between the seat and the seat back recliner handle, where it can be cut by the sharp edge of the metal portion of the seat back recliner lever. If the seat belt is severed, it can result in serious injury.
Remedy: Dealers will replace the plastic handle on the end of the seat back reclining lever with a different shape handle which will prevent the seat belt from slipping between the handle and the seat.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began during March 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ferrari at 1-201-816-2651.


SCHOOL BUSES, MEDIUM/HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS,
TRAILERS, AND MOTOR HOMES


Blue Bird Body Company

Models:
Blue Bird TC2000 Years: 1998
Blue Bird CSRE Years: 1998

Number Involved: 141
Dates of Manufacture: September 1997 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V043
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: The parking brake indicator light of these school buses can illuminate without the parking brake being set. A driver may see the parking brake indicator light on and leave the bus. The bus can then roll, increasing the risk of personal injury and/or property damage.
Remedy: Dealers will add a diode to the stop light circuit to prevent illumination of the parking brake indicator unless the parking brake has been set.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began March 12, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Blue Bird at 1-912-825-2021.



Collins Bus Corporation

Models:
Collins Grand Bantam Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 225
Dates of Manufacture: September 1996 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V061
Vehicle Description:
Noncompliance: The affected vehicles are dual rear wheel school buses built on Ford F350 cutaway chassis. The wrong front and rear axle weight ratings were listed on the certification label. Owners could overload the axles if following the rating as listed.
Remedy: Owners will be provided with a decal to be placed on the current certification plate showing the correct weight limits for the axles.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began March 2, 1998. Owners who do not receive the decal within a reasonable time should contact Collins Bus at 1-800-533-1850.



Freightliner Corporation

Models:
Freightliner All American Years: 1999

Number Involved: 7193
Dates of Manufacture: March 1997 - March 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V050
Vehicle Description:
Noncompliance: These truck-tractor cabs are equipped with center mounted rear seats in which the upper D-ring seat belt anchorages for the rear seats fail to comply to the requirements of FMVSS No. 210, "Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages." In the event of a vehicle crash, the rear seat occupant would not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of serious injury.
Remedy: Dealers will replace these D-ring anchorages.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began April 2, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Freightliner at 1-503-735-8682.



Freightliner Corporation

Models:
Freightliner All American Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 125
Dates of Manufacture: March 1997 - March 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V051
Noncompliance: The front brakes of these truck-tractors fail to comply with the brake release timing requirements of FMVSS No. 121, "Air Brake Systems." Increased braking distance can occur, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Remedy: Dealers will repair these vehicles.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began April 2, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Freightliner at 1-503-735-8682.



Freightliner Corporation

Models:
Freightliner Business Class Years: 1991- 1997

Number Involved: 10,000
Dates of Manufacture: January 1991 - June 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V052
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: Truck-tractors equipped with 26-inch 8-blade metal engine cooling fans in which the fan blades can crack from fatigue and eventually separate from the fan. Personal injury can occur if the fan blade breaks while a person is working on the engine.
Remedy: Dealers will remove the fan and replace it with a new fan which is more durable.
Owner Notification: Owner notification began April 2, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Freightliner at 1-503-735-8682.



Jayco, Inc.

Models:
Jayco Eagle Years: 1998

Number Involved: 72
Dates of Manufacture: July 1997 - January 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V039
Vehicle Description:
Description of Defect: A spacer tube on the frame was omitted on these travel trailers. This spacer tube allows adequate clearance between the tire and wheel well. Contact with the wheel well damages the tire and can cause a blowout, increasing the risk of loss of control and a crash.
Remedy: Dealers will install a Dexter axle kit which will reverse the spring orientation to gain the clearance needed.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Jayco at 1-219-825-5861.


Motor Coach Industries, Inc.

Models:
MCI Renaissance Years: 1998

Number Involved: 220
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V044
Defect: The affected transit buses have six mounting bolts that pass through the torque plate and hold the caliper carrier. These bolts are loose, under-torqued, or missing. The loss of the bolts can allow the brake caliper to come in contact with the rim and affect braking performance.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect and retorque (or replace) the six caliper mounting bolts, and any related items required to make the corrections. Owner notification began the end of March 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact MCI at 1-800-241-2947.


Navistar International Transportation Corporation

Models:
Navistar 9100 Years: 1997 - 1998
Navistar 9200 Years: 1997 - 1998

Number Involved: 1,190
Dates of Manufacture: April 1996 - November 1997
NHTSA Recall No:98V068
Defect: The affected heavy duty trucks are equipped with Caterpillar C-10 or C-12 engines for which a bracket or P-clamp at the rear of the engine that supports the compressor discharge line was omitted. If the compressor discharge line fails, the brake air system could be depleted, causing the parking brakes to apply. This causes the vehicle to slow down or stop unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash resulting in property damage and/or personal injury.
Remedy: Dealers will install P-clamps and a bracket at the rear of the engine. Owner notification is expected to begin April 28, 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Navistar at 1-800-448-7825.


Thomas Built Buses, Inc.

Models:
Thomas MVP Years: 1995 - 1998

Number Involved: 100
Dates of Manufacture: October 1995 - February 1998
NHTSA Recall No.:98V054
Noncompliance: The affected school and transit buses are equipped with non-electronic Cummins B5.9-liter engines. The sliding action of the accelerator linkage lever over the hand throttle cable can cause the hand throttle wire to wear a notch in the accelerator linkage and cause the linkage to stick. This fails to comply with the requirements of FMVSS No. 124, "Accelerator Control Systems."
Remedy: Dealers will replace the existing accelerator linkage lever, or hand throttle attachment clip as necessary, and readjust the hand throttle cable. Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Thomas Built at 1-336-841-5991.


EQUIPMENT

Dana Corporation

Models:
Dana Axle Assembly Years: 1998

Number Involved: 700
Dates of Manufacture: July - August 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98E008
Defect: Aftermarket steering drag link (connecting rod) assemblies for use on 1988-1998 Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari mini vans. Incorrect nuts have been packaged and shipped with some of the drag links. Separation between the nut and the drag link can occur, resulting in a loss of steering and possible crash.
Remedy: Owners will be provided with replacement parts. Dana will compensate owners for all related charges for the inspection and replacement of these parts. Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Dana at 1-888-888-0129.


Reese Products, Inc.

Models:
Reese Trailer Hitch Years: 1998

Number Involved: 700
Dates of Manufacture: January - March 1998
NHTSA Recall No.: 98E006
Defect: Trailer converters for use on Toyota sport utility vehicles. The circuit board of the 'converter' in the wiring harness is subject to electrical shorting, causing the brake light fuse to blow and the brake light to stop working. In addition, in vehicles with automatic transmissions, the driver will not be able to shift into 'drive.'
Remedy: Dealers will replace the wiring harness. Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Reese at 1-219-264-75654.


Reynolds Machine Tool Company

Models:
Reynolds R285 Years: 1998
Reynolds R286 Years: 1998

Number Involved: 175
Dates of Manufacture: January 1996 - October 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98E007
Defect: The recall affects aftermarket luggage racks for use on BMW motorcycles. When installing the luggage rack, the charcoal cannister is moved slightly downward. When the motorcycle's suspension is fully compressed, this cannister contacts the brake line fitting at the rear brake caliper, loosening the brake fitting, resulting in a loss of brake fluid. Brake fluid leakage will reduce brake efficiency, extend stopping distances, and increase the risk of a crash.
Remedy: Owners will be provided with new, free mounting brackets for these luggage racks. Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Reynolds at 1-801-266-4391.

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