NHTSA Publishes List of November Recalls

21 January 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 02-00
Thursday, January 20, 2000 Contact: NHTSA, Tim Hurd, (202) 366-9550


NHTSA PUBLISHES LIST
OF NOVEMBER RECALLS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a list of auto safety recalls announced in November 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
NOVEMBER 1999

VEHICLES:

CARS, VANS, LIGHT DUTY TRUCKS AND MOTORCYCLES

Bayerische Motoren Werke

Models: BMW M3 Years: 1997-1999

Number Involved:  17,000

Dates of Manufacture:  March 1997 - August 1999

Defect:   These vehicles are built with a side air bag system consisting of door-mounted thorax air bags (rear door air bags are optional), a Head Protection System (HPS) for front occupants, a central electronic safing sensor and diagnostic system, left and right satellite impact sensors, and associated wiring. This system is unduly sensitive to certain non-crash impacts, such as contacting large potholes or curbs. This could cause the side air bag and HPS to deploy without an actual side crash. In addition, the Battery Safety Terminal (BST) could also activate, disconnecting the starter cable from the battery. In this case, the vehicle's electrical system could continue to operate and the engine would continue to run, but after stopping, could not be restarted.

Remedy:  Dealers will reprogram the central computer control module that regulates the performance of all of the vehicle's occupant protection systems. Owner notification is expected to begin during January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact BMW at 1-800-831-1117.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V063.001]


Daewoo Motor Company

Models: Daewoo Lanos Years: 1998-2000

Number Involved:  2,811

Dates of Manufacture:   October 1997 - September 1999

Defect:   On certain passenger vehicles equipped with alloy wheels, the wheels were manufactured without the steel bushing inserts around the wheel bolt openings, causing increased friction between the wheel bolt seats and the wheel bolts. This can result in the bolts loosening during hard braking. The wheels could detach from the vehicle.

Remedy:  Dealers will re-torque the wheel bolts and will update the owner's manual wheel bolt torque specification. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Daewoo at 1-877-463-2396.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V336]


DaimlerChrysler Corporation

Models: Jeep Grand Cherokee Year: 2000

Number Involved:  1,075

Dates of Manufacture:  August 1999

Defect:  Some steering gear units were assembled with internal end-of-travel-stops that missed the heat treat process, resulting in soft internal travel stops. This could result in sticking, binding, or seizing of the steering gear.

Remedy:  Dealers will replace the steering gear on involved vehicles. Owner notification is expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V312/Chrysler Recall No. 854]


DaimlerChrysler Corporation

Models: Plymouth Prowler Year: 1999

Number Involved:  542

Dates of Manufacture:  May through August 1999

Defect:   Some aluminum castings used in the manufacture of the vehicle frame may have missed the required heat treatment operation resulting in soft frame castings. Some of these frames could fracture under vehicle operating conditions, resulting in loss of vehicle handling or vehicle control.

Remedy:  Dealers will replace these vehicles. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not have their vehicles replaced within a reasonable time should contact Chrysler at 1-800-992-1997.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V313/Chrysler Recall No. 855]


Ford Motor Company

Models: Ford Windstar Year: 1995

Number Involved:  93,654

Defect:   Minivans which were originally sold, or are currently registered, in the following hot weather states, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California (10 southern counties), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada (Clark County only), Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, can develop cracks in the fuel tank in the forward strap area of the standard 20-gallon tank due to a combination of factors that are present in certain very hot areas of the country. These cracks could result in fuel leakage if they propagate through the wall of the tank.

Remedy:  Dealers will install a brace assembly at the strap bolt hole location and replace the tank strap with a revised, longer strap. Dealers will also inspect the tanks for leaks. If a leak exists and is the result of a crack in the fuel tank, the tank will be replaced in addition to the installation of the brace assembly and longer strap. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V309/Ford Recall No. 99S33]


Ford Motor Company

Models: Ford Explorer Years: 1993-1995

Number Involved:  475,000

Defect:   On certain sport utility vehicles, the hydraulic lift cylinder bracket welds could fracture. With a broken bracket weld, there is a potential for the lift gate bracket to gradually bend inward allowing the lift cylinder ball stud to disengage.

Remedy:  Dealers will install lift gate reinforcement brackets. Depending upon the condition of the lift gate sheet metal in the area of the bracket, dealers may also install a larger reinforcement. Owner notification is expected to begin during January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V310.001/Ford Recall No. 99S34]


Kia Motors America, Inc.

Models: Kia Sephia Years: 1998-1999

Number Involved:  102,944

Dates of Manufacture:  September 1997 - May 1999

Defect:   Electrical current to the fuel pump passes through connectors. If exposed to moisture, these connectors could corrode. Over time, the fuel pump will not receive enough current to operate, causing the engine to stall.

Remedy:  Dealers will replace the existing connectors and reposition those connectors to an area where the placement is designed to prevent contact with moisture. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999/January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kia at 1-949-470-7000.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V317]


Kia Motors America, Inc.

Models: Kia Sephia Years: 1998-1999

Number Involved:  57,028

Dates of Manufacture:  September 1997 - May 1999

Defect:   The electrical circuit for the fuel pump is grounded at a connector. If the pin tension in the connector is poor, or the bolt securing the connector to the vehicle floor is not tightened sufficiently, a poor connection is made. As the fuel pump operates, the poor connection can create heat which in turn increases resistance. Eventually the fuel pump will not receive enough current to operate, causing the engine to stall.

Remedy:  Dealers will replace the existing connectors and reposition those connectors to an area where the placement is designed to prevent contact with moisture. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999/January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kia at 1-949-470-7000.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V318]


Kia Motors America, Inc.

Models: Kia Sportage Years: 1997-1999

Number Involved:  76,986

Dates of Manufacture:  August 1996 - February 1999

Defect:   The wires connected to the C123 and C124 connectors can be put under tension by movement of the engine, thus pulling the wires and connectors. This causes the connections to loosen, resulting in a loss of circuit continuity that can cause engine stalling.

Remedy:  Dealers will install spring clips to lock the connectors together. In addition, the dealers will be instructed to solder a splice in the wire harness. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999/January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kia at 1-949-470-7000.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V325]


Mazda (North America), Inc.

Models: Mazda Navajo Years: 1993-1994

Number Involved:  6,800

Dates of Manufacture:  April 1993 - November 1994

Defect:   On certain sport utility vehicles, the hydraulic lift cylinder bracket welds could fracture. With a broken bracket weld, there is a potential for the lift gate bracket to gradually bend inward allowing the lift cylinder ball stud to disengage, and the liftgate to unexpectedly fall from an open position.

Remedy:  Dealers will install lift gate reinforcement brackets. Depending upon the condition of the lift gate sheet metal in the area of the bracket, dealers may also install a larger reinforcement. Owner notification is expected to begin during January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V310.002/ Mazda Recall No. 85001]


Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc.

Models: Mercedes Benz S Class Year: 1997

Number Involved:  4,402

Dates of Manufacture:  June 1996 - July 1997

Defect:   Corrosion of the electrical ignition filament of the gas generator module can occur if the vehicle is operated in areas of high humidity. Corrosion of the ignition filament can result in the driver's air bag being deployed unintentionally.

Remedy:  Dealers will replace the driver's air bag module. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V327/ Mercedes-Benz Recall No. 1999110004]


Mercedes-Benz USA, Inc.

Models: Mercedes Benz M Class Years: 1998-1999

Number Involved:  85,970

Dates of Manufacture:  January 1997 - November 1999

Defect:  The latching mechanism on the seat belt assembly was not assembled correctly. If the plastic cover is loose during the engagement of the buckle tongue to the latch mechanism, the buckle could unlatch.

Remedy:  Dealers will inspect the seat belt buckles. If either the driver or front passenger seat belt buckle is found to be defective, it will be replaced. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V328/ Mercedes-Benz Recall No. 1999110005]


Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc.

Models:

Mitsubishi Galant Years: 1999-2000
Mitsubishi Eclipse Year: 2000

Number Involved:  101,360

Dates of Manufacture:  May 1998 - October 1999

Defect:  The steering column multi-function switch levers can become loose or break over time. Loosening or cracking of the levers can cause directional lamps that do not self-cancel or operate, head lamps that do not turn off, windshield washers that operate continuously and/or windshield wipers that do not operate.

Remedy:  Dealers will install a redesigned switch. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mitsubishi at 1-800-222-0037.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V305/Mitsubishi Recall No. 990WND0093]


Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Inc.

Models:

Mitsubishi Galant Years: 1999-2000
Mitsubishi Eclipse Year: 2000

Number Involved:  19,789

Dates of Manufacture:  May 1998 - November 1999

Defect:  On certain passenger vehicles equipped with V6 engines and Federal emission equipment, the battery cable wiring harness can become heat damaged by the front exhaust manifold which could cause grounded circuits. This circuit failure could cause any of the following to occur: (1) the engine will not start because the main fuse will blow if the power lead is grounded; (2) the low oil pressure warning lamp will illuminate if the signal wire is grounded; (3) the air-conditioning system will become inoperative if the lead to the magnetic clutch is grounded; and (4) the turn signal/hazard lamps will become inoperative if the voltage monitor lead is grounded.

Remedy:  Dealers will remove and discard a metal manifold bracket (from Galant models only - Eclipse has no such bracket). Dealers will also inspect the harness. If the harness wires show no damage, the dealer will install a heat insulator along with heat resistant harness clips. If the harness wires do show damage, the dealers will install a new harness with pre-installed integral heat protection. Owner notification is expected to begin during January 2000. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mitsubishi at 1-800-222-0037.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V333/Mitsubishi Recall No. 990GND0095]


Polaris Industries, Inc.

Models: Victory V92C Year: 1999

Number Involved:  2,000

Dates of Manufacture:  July 1998 - April 1999

Defect:  Paint on the wheel and sprocket-mating surfaces could produce insufficient clamp load on the sprocket. Rear sprocket bolts could become loose causing excessive wear and fretting at the mating surfaces allowing the sprocket bolt to fail. This condition could result in loss of vehicle control.

Remedy:  Dealers will remove the rear wheel, disassemble sprocket, inspect and deburr the five sprocket clearance holes to ensure screws pass through the holes freely, remove all paint from the surfaces, and replace wheel and/or sprocket if excessively worn, and clean threads in the wheel. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Polaris/Victory at 1-715-294-3370.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V304]


Toyota Motor Company, Ltd.

Models:

Toyota Camry Years: 1995-1998
Toyota ES300 Years: 1994-1998

Number Involved:  540,037

Dates of Manufacture:  July 1994 - July 1998

Defect:   The steering wheel set nut may not have been sufficiently tightened allowing the nut to loosen. This can cause steering vibration and looseness in the steering wheel, ultimately, resulting in separation of the steering wheel.

Remedy:  Dealers will tighten the steering wheel set nut. Owner notification was expected to begin during December 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Toyota at 1-800-255-3987.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V307]


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

General Motors Corporation

Models:

Chevrolet C6 Year: 1999
Chevrolet C7 Year: 1999
Chevrolet B7 Year: 1999
GMC C6 Year: 1999
GMC C7 Year: 1999
GMC B7 Year: 1999

Number Involved:  391

Dates of Manufacture:  January 1999

Defect:   Medium duty conventional cab trucks and B7 school bus chassis equipped with an automatic transmission may have transmission shift cable end rods that have not been crimped to the proper specification. Over time, the shift cable could be pulled out of the rod end causing the driver to lose the ability to manually change transmission gears. With this condition, the vehicle may move in a direction not anticipated by the driver.

Remedy:  Dealers will install a new shift cable. Owner notification began Nov. 30, 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020 or GMC at 1-800-462-8782.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V320/GM Recall No. 99040]

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