October 31, 2010

Nissan recalls 2 million vehicles worldwide

Nissan is recalling “2.14 million vehicles in the U.S., Japan, Europe and Asia, including the popular March and Mycra subcompacts, for an ignition problem that may stall the engine - its third-largest recall ever.” (Tokyo AP, 10/28).

Although, according to Nissan, no accidents caused by the defect have been reported, Nissan has decided to address the problem before unnecessary accidents occur.
A problem was found “in an ignition-system part called the relay for vehicles produced from August 2003 through July 2006, including small cars like the March, Cube and Note, and about a dozen other models, such as the Tiida sedan, Titan pickup and Infiniti QX56 luxury model.” In the most extreme cases, the engine will stall and not restart.

As a Chicago car and truck accident attorney, I always urge Nissan consumers to act quickly if their vehicles are affected. The dealer will replace the defective parts free of charge, and vehicle safety is critical.

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October 24, 2010

Chrysler to recall 26,000 vehicles for fluid leak

Chrysler is recalling “about 26,000 cars and pickup trucks because power steering fluid can leak onto a hot engine and cause a fire.” (Detroit AP, 10/20).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall includes both 2010 models of the Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Sebring, the Dodge Avenger, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Journey, as well as the 2011 Dodge Ram pickup trucks.

NHTSA said this week that the source of the problem is that a “power steering hose assembly can separate at the crimped end and leak fluid onto the engine.” Dealers will inspect recalled vehicles and replace the defective hoses free of charge. Any owners with questions may contact Chrysler via phone at 1-800-853-1403, and, as always, the NHTSA website is a great resource for keeping up to date on recalls.

As a Chicago area car and truck accident lawyer, I urge consumers to keep current on vehicle recalls and act quickly if their vehicles are affected.

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October 18, 2010

GM recalls 300,000 Impalas because of Seatbelt Issue

General Motors announced last week that it is “recalling more than 300,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans because the seat belts may fail to restrain people in the front seats during a crash.” (AP Detroit, 10/15).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the issue with the seatbelts is the front seat belt webbing, which may not be secured adequately to the lap belt anchor on the side of the seat nearest to the doors. These defective seat belts may not sufficiently protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision.

The recall affects Impalas from the 2009 and 2010 model years, and Dealers will inspect, free of charge, the seat belts, the seat belt anchoring, and will install additional anchors as needed.

As a car and truck accident attorney in Chicago, I strongly encourage all Impala owners to take action immediately. Seatbelts can be life savers, and it is not worth risking driving with a defective seatbelt.

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October 8, 2010

Tesla Recalling 439 Roadsters for Fire Hazard

Tesla Motors announced recently that it is “recalling 439 of its electric sports cars because of a possible fire hazard involving the 12-volt electrical system.” (10/6, NY Times Wheels, C Jensen). However, the automaker has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the defect does not effect the “electric drive main power system” that moves the vehicle. Recalled models include the 2010 Roadster 2.0 and Roadster 2.5 with “a 12 volt auxiliary cable.”

The problem lies with the use of “a small lead acid battery as a backup power source to the vehicle’s main electrical system.” The automaker learned of the problem in August 29 when a customer called and reported smoke and possibly a in the right front corner of his vehicle. This was the only incident reported, and Tesla claims it began investigating immediately.

As a car and truck accident attorney in Chicago, I encourage all consumers to stay up to date on recalls, and to act swiftly when one of their vehicles is affected.

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October 3, 2010

NTSB cites fatigue in fatal Oklahoma crash

As a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, I feel strongly that driving while exhausted is never the solution. Fatigued drivers cause many accidents annually, and most drivers do not think they are too tired to drive. Please be safe and smart when deciding whether you are or are not capable of driving safely.

Federal safety investigators say “a tractor-trailer truck driver who slammed his rig into a line of cars stopped on a stretch of Oklahoma highway last year, killing 10 people, was likely suffering from fatigue.” (Washington AP, J. Lowry, 9/28).

Investigators determined that the 76 year old driver likely had less than five hours of sleep before beginning his work day. At the time of the accident, he had already been on the road for 10 hours. The driver’s prior history of sleep apnea may have also contributed to the crash.

Inattention and fatigue caused this driver to fail to stop at a traffic jam resulting from a minor accident. These factors created a major accident, which killed 10 people. In a split second, many lives changed forever, thus proving the urgent necessity of strict regulations of truck driving work hours, sleep requirements, and possibly medical evaluations. In my opinion, serious evaluation should have been undertaken to determine if a 76 year old with a history of sleep apnea could drive long hours safely.

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