Most Americans are aware of Toyota’s troubles involving the Camry’s alleged acceleration problems that prompted a series of recalls that began in October 2009, but what about the other automobile manufacturers? Were you aware that there were other automotive recalls in 2010, as well? Did you know that on September 28, 2010, Aston Martin recalled certain 2007 and 2008 models for suspension related problems? Probably not. Main-stream media outlets didn’t seem too interested in informing the general public that the pricey speedster screaming past you might lose control and crash. Maybe because not many Americans are fortunate enough to have even seen an Aston Martin much less own one. What about Volvo? On October 13, 2010, Volvo, the automaker with the great reputation for vehicle strength and passenger safety, recalled certain models because of a potential air bag malfunction. Also in October 2010, General Motors recalled certain models of their popular Chevrolet Impalas because the seat belt webbing ‘may not have been properly secured…’ Huh? The seat belt isn’t secured properly? Gees! Let’s take a closer look into this and other automotive recalls of 2010:
Toyota, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, recalled certain model year 2005-2010 Avalon, model year 2007-2010 Camry, model year 2009-2010 Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Rav 4, model year 2010 Highlander, model year 2008-2010 Sequoia, and model year 2007-2010 Tundra vehicles. These vehicles were recalled due to the manner in which the friction lever interacts with the sliding surface of the accelerator pedal inside the pedal sensor assembly. After a combination of a variety of factors, the accelerator may become harder to depress, slower to return, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position. The consequences being that the accelerator pedal may become stuck in such a position that your likelihood of a crash is increased. Beginning on February 5, 2010, Toyota dealers began installing a reinforcement bar in the acceleration pedal which allowed the pedal to operate smoothly. The service was provided free of charge and was scheduled to have been completed on March 15, 2010. My research shows that there were not any serious delays and it appears as though the corrections have been made.
There were other, less drastic, recalls with Toyota vehicles as well during 2010. I personally had to return to my local dealer for a replacement sticker. The previous one did not properly list the correct load carrying capacity for my tires. Altogether, these recalls potentially affected millions of vehicles. For more information on Toyota’s recall issues visit the U.S. Department of Transportation website or call TOYOTA at 1-800-331-4331.
Furthermore, on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, The U.S. Department released a statement about a third Toyota recall involving 2010 Prius hybrids and Lexus HS 250h vehicles for brake system problems. Also mentioned in this news release, some 2010 Camry models were recalled for potential brake fluid leaks. The saga seems to have ended for Toyota’s recall dilemmas, at least temporally. We’ll see. As a Camry owner, I am keeping ears and eyes open and my fingers crossed.
Aston Martin recalled certain model year 2007 and 2008 DBS Coupe, DB9 Coupe, DB9 Volante, V8 Vantage Coupe, and V8 Vantage Roadster models because the ‘front bottom suspension arm cam bolt could crack along its shank allowing the lower control arm to move.’ It potentially affects a little more than 1,000 of the high-performance vehicles, possibly causing the driver to lose control of the more than $200,000.00 vehicle. The dealer will replace the lower arm cam bolts free of charge. Call 1-888-923-9988 for additional information.
Volvo dealers began installing a metal shim in the driver’s air bag clockspring wiring connector on October 20, 2010, after it was determined that there ‘may be an intermittent fault’ in the connector for the supplemental restraint system. The recall involved certain model year 2010-2011 S80, XC70, model year 2011 XC60 and model year 2010 V70 vehicles. The remedy is free of charge and Volvo owners may contact Volvo at 1-800-458-1552 for information. The defect potentially affected 9,746 cars.
Potentially, 303,100 Chevrolet Impalas are affected by an improperly secured seat belt. On October 13, 2010, General Motors issued a recall for certain model year 2009-2010 Impalas for failing to comply with ‘seat belt assembly anchorages’. The front safety belt webbing may not have been properly secured to the lap belt pretensioner which may not restrain the occupant as intended during a crash. And that possible defect could in-turn result in injury to the occupant. An inspection is required to ensure that the anchors are installed properly and, if necessary, reinstall the anchors to the pretensioners. The inspection and repairs are free of charge and began on October 26, 2010. Impala owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438 or at the owner center.
Automotive recalls were definitely on the minds of everyone in 2010, whether or not you actually owned one of the vehicles being recalled. Highway safety is important and the vehicles traveling on the nation’s highways and roads must meet certain requirements to operate on them. When they are found to be hazardous, recalls are issued to resolve the safety defects. More importantly, vehicle owners need to be proactive when it relates to our vehicles. Routinely inspect your vehicle. Have them serviced by a trained professional regularly. Read the owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to monitor your tire pressure and just be courteous and alert when operating a motor vehicle. The life you save could be your own!
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)