Hello, Siri? Please don't crash the car

Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road? You could still be distracted while driving.

Voice-recognition software that many automakers tout as a safer alternative to handheld devices can still divert drivers’ attention, a new study published by AAA found.

Researchers noted that workload ratings were the highest on their scales when participants in the study used Siri.

The technology is alluring because it allows drivers to do things like change the radio station or compose a text message without removing their hands from the wheel or their gaze from the road. But many of those tasks increase a driver’s cognitive workload. Depending on the situation, that can be dangerous.

“It’s especially problematic, because you can be distracted and not know it,” J. Peter Kissinger, president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, told Autoblog. “That’s the nature of mental distraction. It’s hard to appreciate. … Often, you don’t know you’re distracted until it’s too late.”

There’s significant variation in the results of the study. Simple, single-task car commands for operations like changing the radio station caused minimal increases in workload, about the same as listening to an audio book. Composing information using speech-to-text technology was more burdensome, and using menu-based functions caused a high level of cognitive workload.

Siri-based interactions posed the highest levels of distraction, according to AAA. Researchers noted that workload ratings were the highest on their scales when participants in the study used Siri, and two of the three simulator crashes they observed during the study of 36 participants came while the subjects were interacting with Siri. The subjects weren’t looking at nor making contact with their iPhones during these interactions.


“Common issues involved inconsistencies in which Siri would produce different responses to seemingly identical commands,” the researchers wrote. “In other circumstances, Siri required exact phrases to accomplish specific tasks and subtle deviations from that phrasing would result in a failure. … Some participants also reported frustration with Siri’s occasional sarcasm and wit.”

It wasn’t just the complexity of the task that caused variations in level of distraction – the variations could also be dependent on the particular make and model of the car being tested. In a companion study, AAA evaluated the cognitive distraction caused when using voice-recognition software in six of the most popular infotainment systems.

Perhaps not surprisingly, users performed the best on the systems on which it took the shortest amount of time to complete a task.

“We survey motorists and two out of three still believe that hands-free is safer than hand-held, and that’s partly because that’s what they keep hearing from the manufacturers.”
– J. Peter Kissinger

The best of the bunch was Toyota’s Entune, AAA found. Researchers say the voice-based interactions with Entune actually posed a lower workload on participants than listening to an audio book. The other five systems all caused increases in cognitive workload. AAA called the results for Toyota “a best-case scenario.”

Toyota studies cognitive distraction at its Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor, MI, and has established partnerships with several universities to understand the links between cognitive demands on driving behavior. “We are pleased to see that Toyota’s goal of simple design interfaces with low demands has scored well in this study,” the company said in a written statement.

On the other end of the spectrum, AAA says the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system’s voice-recognition technology imposed significantly more mental burden on its users and its users performed the poorest.

“We believe that this high level of workload was elicited by system errors and prolonged duration of the task,” researchers wrote. “In many circumstances, participants were unable to complete the music functions task at all during the drive. For many of the drivers, the first reaction was to simply give up trying.”

“Given the circumstances, this is perhaps the safest decision. We feel that it is unrealistic to expect drivers to persist in failed attempts to use their voice to achieve a goal which can be accomplished manually by the flick of a switch and the press of a button.”

A General Motors spokesperson did not return a request for comment on MyLink.

Overall, Kissinger says the studies join a growing body of research that suggests that, just because these tasks are hands-free, does not mean there are not heightened risks involved. He suggests manufacturers need to pay far more attention to hands-free distracted driving than they have in the past, and that motorists need to exercise caution in using any of these devices, hands-free or not.

“We survey motorists and two out of three still believe that hands-free is safer than hand-held, and that’s partly because that’s what they keep hearing from the manufacturers,” he said. “Motorists need to know this remains a serious problem.”

Image Credit: AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety

Category: Safety, Technology

Tags: aaa, chevy, distracted driving, siri, toyota, toyota entune

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Pete Bigelow

NHTSA will investigate some Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ models for power steering issue

Ford Fusion

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation into the 2010-2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ, the 2012 MKZ Hybrid and 2011 Mercury Milan because the agency has hundreds of complaints of electric power steering failure in these models.

According to NHTSA’s data, it has received 508 complaints of the power steering allegedly suddenly malfunctioning and resulting in increased effort to turn the wheel. In four incidents, these failures resulted in loss of control and crashes. According to the reports, in some cases a power steering warning message came on as the fault occurred, and other times the system restored itself by turning off and then restarting the vehicle. NHTSA said it has also received further field report data from Ford, but that information hasn’t been publicly released yet.

For the moment, there isn’t a recall for this failure on these models. NHTSA is just investigating them to “assess the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect,” and the agency says an estimated 938,000 vehicles could potentially be affected.

Autoblog reached out to Ford about its reaction to this Preliminary Evaluation, and the company replied with the following statement by email: “We will cooperate with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do.” Scroll down to read the investigation notice from the regulator or download the full report as a PDF, here.

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INVESTIGATION Subject : Loss of electric power assisted steering

Date Investigation Opened: OCT 02, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14030
Component(s): STEERING
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
FORD FUSION 2010-2012
FORD FUSION HYBRID 2010-2012
LINCOLN MKZ 2010-2012
LINCOLN MKZ HYBRID 2012
MERCURY MILAN 2011
Details

Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company

SUMMARY:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified 508 complaints alleging loss of power steering assist and increased steering effort in model year (MY) 2010 to 2012 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ vehicles equipped with rack mounted Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS). Four of these complaints allege that the steering assist failure resulted in increased steering efforts that contributed to a loss of control and crash. In addition, ODI has identified related information in Early Warning Reporting field report data submitted by Ford.

Many of the complaints indicated observing a power steering warning message as the failure occurred. In some cases, the condition was corrected by turning the vehicle off and restarting. However, many reports indicate the condition returned again after restart. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect.

News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1], [2]

Category: Hybrid, Sedan, Safety, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

Tags: ford, ford fusion, ford fusion hybrid, lincoln, lincoln mkz, lincoln mkz hybrid, mercury, mercury milan, national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Chris Bruce

Jules Bianchi suffers head injury in Japanese Grand Prix crash

Safety in Formula One racing has come a long way over the past few decades, but accidents still do occur. And when they do, we’re reminded of the inherent dangers involved in such a fast-paced form of motorsport.

Our latest reminder has unfortunately come at the expense of one Jules Bianchi, driver for the Marussia team. On lap 42 of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka today, Bianchi crashed into a recovery vehicle that was evacuating Adrian Sutil’s Sauber. Sutil’s crash had prompted the race marshals to deploy double yellow flags to warn of the danger, but the warning evidently didn’t prevent Bianchi from losing control of his car at the same Turn 7 where Sutil had gone off-course.

We’re saddened to report that Bianchi suffered what the FIA has described as a “severe head injury” as a result of the crash. The injuries were diagnosed by a CT scan performed at the Mie General Hospital to which Bianchi was evacuated by ambulance from the circuit’s medical center. The 25-year-old French driver, part of the Ferrari Driver Academy development program, has undergone surgery to address his injuries, and was slated to be transferred to intensive care to monitor his progress. The race, which had seen the safety car and the red flag deployed off and on due to the severely rainy conditions, was subsequently called off early.

We wish Bianchi all the best in his recovery and will keep you updated on his progress as significant developments emerge. Watch this space as well for our full synopsis of the race, and continue on below for the full statement from the FIA.

Note to the media regarding Jules Bianchi

SUN 05.10.14

On lap 42, Adrian Sutil lost control of his car, spun and hit the tyre barrier on the outside of Turn 7. The marshals displayed double waved yellow flags before the corner to warn drivers of the incident. A recovery vehicle was despatched in order to lift the car and take it to a place of safety behind the guardrail. While this was being done the driver of car 17, Jules Bianchi, lost control of his car, travelled across the run-off area and hit the back of the tractor.

Once the marshals reported that the driver was injured, medical teams were despatched and the Safety Car was deployed. These were followed by an extrication team and an ambulance.

The driver was removed from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre and then by ambulance to Mie General Hospital.

The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and he is currently undergoing surgery. Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored.

Mie General Hospital will issue an update as soon as further information becomes available.

News Source: FIA

Category: Motorsports, Japan, Safety

Tags: 2014 japanese grand prix, accident, crash, f1, fia, japanese grand prix, jules bianchi, marussia, suzuka

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Noah Joseph

GM issues stop-delivery for 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

2015 GMC Canyon

2015 Chevrolet ColoradoGeneral Motors is issuing a stop-delivery order for its latest midsize pickups, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, because the driver’s side airbag might not be wired correctly. The total number of vehicles affected is still being determined.

According to the statement from GM, the problem, “affects the vehicles’ two-stage airbag system by reversing the deployment sequence and disrupting the deployment timing of the driver airbag stages.” That means in an accident the bag may not work correctly.

Most of the affected trucks are still on the assembly line, in transit or unsold at dealers, says GM. Until a way to repair the problem is found, customer deliveries are stopped. However, “a small number” of them are in the possession of buyers. GM is contacting these people by phone and by FedEx letter to have the vehicles returned to dealers. In the meantime, they’ll be given a loaner to drive.

There are no known crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this airbag problem. Scroll down to read GM’s statement on the stop-delivery, which spokesperson Alan Adler said, “reflects what is known at this time.”

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Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon stop delivery statement

General Motors has told dealers to halt deliveries of 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks. These vehicles contain driver airbag connections that were wired incorrectly during the manufacturing process. This condition affects the vehicles’ two-stage airbag system by reversing the deployment sequence and disrupting the deployment timing of the driver airbag stages. This condition will cause the driver airbags to not function as designed.

The majority of affected vehicles are being held at the assembly plant or are in transit or unsold at dealerships. GM is working to validate the correction for the condition. Once that service procedure is released to dealers, customer deliveries can resume. A small number of vehicles have been sold.

Customers are being sent a FedEx letter and being contacted by phone to bring their vehicles to dealers as soon as possible. The repair will be done at no change and free loaner vehicles will be available. A safety recall will be conducted but population and other details are not known at this time. GM is aware of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

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News Source: General Motors

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Category: Truck, Safety, Chevrolet, GM, GMC

Tags: 2015 chevy colorado, 2015 gmc canyon, chevy, chevy colorado, gm, gmc, gmc canyon, recall, stop delivery, stop sale

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Chris Bruce

GM recalling 524k vehicles over hood latches and toe link nuts

2013 Cadillac SRX

2013 Chevrolet SparkJust hours after confirming to Autoblog its intention to recall 97,540 vehicles in the US (117,651 in North America) for a possible manufacturing defect in the chassis control module of several models, General Motors is issuing two more campaigns that affect another 379,401 units in the US (524,384 in North America).

One campaign covers 290,107 US examples of the 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX and the 2011-2012 Saab 9-4X because the “rear toe link adjuster lock nuts” may be improperly torqued. If not up to spec, the toe adjuster link could separate and allow the wheel to shift while driving, making the handling unstable. GM says that it knows of three crashes and two injuries as a result of this problem. Dealers are inspecting the nuts and installing a new link assembly, if necessary. Autoblog first reported about this potential issue when it showed up on a list of recalls from Transport Canada.

The second recall is for 89,294 examples of the 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark in the US manufactured from January 17, 2012, through July 29, 2014. According to GM, “corrosion can cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position.” If this happens, and the primary latch also isn’t engaged for some reason, the hood could fly open while driving. About 13,000 of these affected Sparks are at dealers and are being held until repaired. The fix requires replacing the hood striker. GM isn’t aware of crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this problem.

Scroll down for GM’s official statement on the recalls, and the report from NHTSA about the Spark campaign.

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General Motors today announced two recalls covering 379,401 cars and trucks in the United States. The total number of vehicles recalled in North America — U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports — is 524,384.

290,107 model year 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX and 2011-2012 Saab 9-4X SUVs for torque inspection of rear toe link adjuster lock nuts. Improper torqueing could possibly result in a loose joint and worn threads that could cause the toe adjuster link to separate. Dealers will inspect for the condition and, if necessary, will remove them and install a new link assembly. Unsold vehicles are being checked for proper torqueing before being sold. A loose toe adjuster link can cause the vehicle to sway or wander at highway speed, activate the vehicle’s electronic stability control system, and cause excessive wear to the threads in the link. Additionally, the rear suspension may make loud metallic noises, particularly when the vehicle is travelling over bumps or potholes. If separation occurs while the vehicle is being driven, it would create sudden vehicle instability, increasing the risk of a crash. GM is aware of three crashes and two injuries as a result of this condition. GM reported this recall to the NHTSA on September 17.

89,294 model year 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark models in the U.S., because corrosion can cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position. If the primary latch is not engaged, the hood could open unexpectedly. These vehicles, imported from South Korea, were manufactured with a secondary hood latch that may prematurely corrode at the latch pivot, causing the striker to get stuck out of position and preventing the striker from properly engaging the hood latch. About 13,000 of these unsold vehicles are being held at U.S. dealerships and will not be delivered until repairs are made. Customers will be notified by letter about the recall and dealers will replace the hood striker when parts are available . GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities as a result of this condition. This recall was posted today on the NHTSA website.

RECALL Subject : Secondary Hood Latch Corrosion Report

Receipt Date: SEP 24, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V593000
Component(s):
Potential Number of Units Affected: 89,294
All Products Associated with this Recall

Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)

CHEVROLET SPARK 2013-2015

Details
Manufacturer: General Motors LLC

SUMMARY:General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark vehicles manufactured January 17, 2012, to July 29, 2014. The secondary hood latch may prematurely corrode at the latch pivot causing the striker to get stuck out of position, preventing it from properly engaging the hood latch.

CONSEQUENCE:If the secondary hood latch corrodes causing the latch to be stuck out of position, and the primary hood latch is not engaged, the hood could unexpectedly open while driving, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

REMEDY:GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the striker and latch with a new part with superior corrosion protection, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 14456.

NOTES:Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Category: Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Hatchback, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Saab

Tags: cadillac, cadillac srx, chevy, chevy spark, general motors, gm, recall, saab, saab 9-4x

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
View Original Article
Written by: Chris Bruce

Mitsubishi recalling i-MiEV models for brake problem

Mitsubishi I-Miev

Mitsubishi is issuing a recall for the 2010-2014 i-MiEV that affects 1,810 units of the little electric car, because it’s possible for the brake vacuum pump to stop working. If this happens, the result would be longer stopping distances, according to the company. The affected models were built between September 15, 2009, and March 25, 2014.

While this is just a single recall, there are actually two things that can cause this brake problem on the i-MiEV, according to Mitsubishi’s filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. First, bad programming in the EV-ECU could cause the system to “falsely judge that the relay contact point is stuck,” according to the full NHTSA defect notice PDF. Second, the vacuum pump exhaust hole could be corroded and blocked due to being splashed with road salt. However, the company says that if either fault happens, the brake warning lamp would illuminate, and there would be an audible alarm.

Depending on which issue is affecting an owner’s i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is going to reprogram the software, replace the pump or both. Scroll down to read the recall report from NHTSA.

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RECALL Subject : Brake Vacuum Pump may Stop Functioning

Report Receipt Date: SEP 02, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V522000
Component(s):
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,810
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
MITSUBISHI I-MIEV 2010-2014
Details

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

SUMMARY:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2010-2014 i-MiEV electric vehicles manufactured September 15, 2009, to March 25, 2014. Due to either software programming or corrosion caused by road salt, the brake vacuum pump may stop functioning.

CONSEQUENCE:
If the brake vacuum pump stops functioning, the distance needed to stop the vehicle may be lengthened, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and depending on the affected vehicle, dealers will either reprogram the brake vacuum pump controller, replace the brake vacuum pump or do both, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi’s number for this recall is SR-14-007.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, [2]

Image Credit: Mitsubishi

Category: Recalls, Safety, Hatchback, Mitsubishi, Electric

Tags: mitsubishi, mitsubishi i miev, mitsubishi i-miev, national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa, recall

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Chris Bruce

Dutch monster truck demonstration leaves three dead

Tragedy struck during a monster truck demonstration at a car show in Haaksbergen, Netherlands, when the massive vehicle (pictured above) seemingly lost control and crashed into spectators. The calamity resulted in three fatalities and many injuries among bystanders.

Videos of the accident seemed to show the truck rolling over several cars, pivoting and crashing into the crowd at the end of the run, as people ran away for safety. According to British newspaper The Mirror, the rescue effort was swift with hospitals opening their doors and even ambulances from nearby Germany responding to help. The driver of the monster truck was reportedly arrested.

The Mirror initially reported two deaths and 18 injuries with six people in serious condition. However, the mayor of the Haaksbergen issued a statement on September 29 that revised the total to three fatalities and five people seriously harmed. A child, man and woman lost their lives in the tragedy, but the mayor didn’t release their names or ages. A further update later said that the city would be working with investigators to find out what happened to cause the disaster.

The incident echoes a similarly devastating monster truck crash in Mexico, where eight people lost their lives. The driver in that case was later charged with manslaughter.

News Source: The Mirror, Haaksbergen [1], [2]

Category: Truck, Europe, Government/Legal, Safety

Tags: haaksbergen, monster truck, monster truck accident, the netherlands, tragedy

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Chris Bruce

Porsche 918 Spyder burns to ground in gas station conflagration

[embedded content]There’s one fewer Porsche 918 Spyder zipping along the roads of Toronto, Canada, today. A fire at a gas station over the weekend claimed one of the hybrid supercars in a massive blaze, and a portion of the inferno was caught on video.

According to our partners to the North at Autoblog Canada, the cause of the fire hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but witnesses have reportedly claimed gasoline somehow came into contact with the hot exhaust outlets that exit out of the top of the supercar’s engine bay. This was just one of two 918s believed to be in the Toronto area.

Other than a possible broken heart from the owner, the fire reportedly caused no injuries, and only the Porsche and gas pump appeared to sustain serious damage. Warning, the video of the conflagration does contain some explicit language.

News Source: Autoblog Canada, David Jenkins via YouTube, Facebook

Category: Convertible, Performance, Safety, Videos, Porsche, Canada

Tags: canada, fire, gas station, porsche, porsche 918, porsche 918 spyder, toronto, video

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Written by: Chris Bruce

NHTSA investigating power modules on Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans

Auto Sales

The Center for Auto Safety is officially petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin scrutinizing alleged problems with the totally integrated power module (TIPM) on about 24 Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans. The advocacy group claims that the part’s failure can cause affected vehicles to stall or not start at all. NHTSA is still looking into the accusations and deciding whether a full investigation is actually warranted.

The CAS petition claims at least 70 TIPM failures, but according to NHTSA, six of the complaints are for models that don’t have the modules. In 34 of the reported cases, the vehicles refused to start, and in 17 of them the engine stalled. There were also two allegations of smoke and one of a fire. However, none of these affected airbag deployment or resulted in a crash.

This petition isn’t the first TIPM-related problem for Chrysler Group. A recent report in the New York Times alleged that it found 240 complaints potentially related to the issue on NHTSA’s website alone. In September, the automaker also recalled 230,760 examples worldwide (188,723 in the US) of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango replace the fuel pump relay circuit inside of the TIPM-7 with one external to the unit. The original part could allegedly cause the models to stall without warning. Even earlier, the company also recalled about 80,000 examples of the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro in 2007 to have the module reprogrammed.

Autoblog spoke to Chrysler Group about the defect petition and was sent the following statement by email:

“In keeping with sound engineering practice and Chrysler Group’s longstanding policy of cooperation with NHTSA, the Company is actively investigating customer complaints and retrieving components from the field for closer analysis. Every Chrysler Group vehicle meets or exceeds all applicable safety standards.”

Scroll down to read NHTSA’s full explanation of the defect petition with the models CAS wants investigated, the recall notice for Chrysler’s fuel pump recall and the automaker’s statement about it.

Show full PR text
INVESTIGATION Subject : Totally Integrated Power Module Failure
Date Investigation Opened: SEP 25, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: DP14004
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle Make Mode lModel Year(s)
CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY 2008-2014
DODGE CARAVAN 2008-2012
DODGE DURANGO 2011-2013
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 2008-2014
DODGE JOURNEY 2008-2010
DODGE JOURNEY AWD 2009-2010
DODGE NITRO 2007-2012
DODGE NITRO 4X2 2007,2009
DODGE NITRO 4X4 2007,2009
DODGE RAM 1500 2009-2012
DODGE RAM 2500 2010-2012
DODGE RAM 3500 2010-2012
DODGEvRAM 4500 2011-2012
DODGE RAM 5500 2011-2012
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2011-2013
JEEP LIBERTY 2007-2012
JEEP WRANGLER 2007-2014
JEEP WRANGLER 2-DR 4X4 2007-2009
JEEP WRANGLER 2-DR 4X4 RHD 2007-2009
JEEP WRANGLER 4-DR 4X2 2007-2009
JEEP WRANGLER 4-DR 4X4 2007-2009
JEEP WRANGLER 4-DR 4X4 RHD 2009
JEEP WRANGLER SAHARA 2007
JEEP WRANGLER X RHD 4X4 2007
Details

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

SUMMARY:
In a letter dated August 21, 2014, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation into failures associated with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) installed in Chrysler SUVs, trucks, and vans beginning in the 2007 model year. The CAS alleges that TIPM failures have resulted in incidents of engine stall; airbag non-deployment; random horn, headlight, taillight, door lock, instrument panel and windshield wiper activity; failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration; and fires. The petition includes a list of 70 complaints received by CAS that are allegedly related to Chrysler TIPM failures. The petition references a class action lawsuit regarding TIPM7 module failure and 63 of the CAS complaints relate to vehicles equipped with TIPM7 body control modules (1 complaint involves a vehicle equipped with a TIPM6 module and 6 complaints involve vehicles that were not equipped with TIPM modules). This defect petition review will focus on vehicles equipped with TIPM7 modules. Preliminary analysis of the 63 CAS complaints related to TIPM7 equipped vehicles identified 51 reports alleging incidents of engine stall (17) or no-start (34). Three complaints reported incidents of smoke (2) or fire (1). None of the reports provided alleged TIPM failures resulting in airbag non-deployment or unintended acceleration and none of the complaints alleged a crash. In a supplement to the petition, CAS identified 24 crashes from NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting (EWR) database that it believes may be related to TIPM failure and requested that NHTSA review these as part of its petition evaluation. In a September 3, 2014 letter, Chrysler Group LLC notified NHTSA of a safety defect in the Totally Integrated Power Module-7 (TIPM 7) in approximately 188,723 MY 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 3.6L and 5.7L engines (Recall 14V-530). According to Chrysler, some Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles may experience a failure in the fuel pump relay within the TIPM which can result in a no-start or stall condition. Thirty-six (36) of the complaints submitted with the petition involve MY 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles equipped with 3.6L and 5.7L engines. The petition will be evaluated for a grant or deny decision. A copy of the petition will be placed in the public file (NHTSA Ref. No. 10637920).

RECALL Subject : Fuel Pump Relay may Fail Resulting in Stall
Report Receipt Date: SEP 04, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V530000
Component(s):
Potential Number of Units Affected: 188,723
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
DODGE DURANGO 2011
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2011
Details

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

SUMMARY: Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured January 5, 2010, to July 20, 2011, and equipped with either a 3.6L or 5.7L engine. In the affected vehicles, the fuel pump relay inside the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM-7) may fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning.

CONSEQUENCE: A vehicle stall increases the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel pump relay with one external to the TIPM, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on October 24, 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is P54.

NOTES: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Statement: Fuel-Pump Relay
September 20, 2014

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Chrysler Group is voluntarily recalling an estimated 230,760 SUVs to install new a relay circuit that improves fuel-pump relay durability.

A routine internal data review discovered a pattern of repairs involving fuel-pump relays in certain 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs. Further investigation revealed some relays are susceptible to deformation, which may affect fuel-pump function. Such a condition may prevent a vehicle from starting or lead to engine stall.

Chrysler Group is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.

The fuel-pump relay is located inside the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM), which also helps manage other vehicle functions. None of these other functions, including airbag deployment, is affected by the fuel-pump relay.

The recall covers an estimated 188,723 vehicles in the U.S.; 15,898 in Canada; 7,126 in Mexico and 19,013 outside the NAFTA region.

Chrysler Group will advise affected customers when they may schedule service, which will be performed at no cost.

Owners with questions may call Chrysler Group’s Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.

News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler

Image Credit: Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

Category: Minivan/Van, SUV, Etc., Safety, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram

Tags: center for auto safety, chrysler, dodge, jeep, national highway traffic safety administration, nhtsa, petition, ram, tipm, totally integrated power module

This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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Written by: Chris Bruce