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Recall roundup: Honda, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Toyota

By Claes Bell ·
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Posted: 8 am ET

Yeehaw! It's time for another rootin'-tootin' recall roundup, and it looks like the 2011 models are looking to get a head start on potentially dangerous quality defects: Three auto manufacturers are already announcing recalls on 2011 models, and it's not even New Year's.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna is being recalled for a braking defect.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna is being recalled for a braking defect.

Anyway, there's a whole herd of recalls to cover here, so let's get along, little doggies.

  • Honda is recalling 143,083 2007-2008 Honda Fit hatchbacks over a faulty wiring harness that can cause the car's headlights to go out unexpectedly, something that can be especially inconvenient in the dead of winter when much of the country goes dark around 5 p.m.
  • Chrysler is recalling 367,350 2008 Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. The problem: a water leak caused by improperly assembled air-conditioning drains could produce an "inadvertent air bag deployment" on the passenger side of the vehicle.
  • One more for the Mopar contingent: Chrysler is recalling 76,122 2010-2011 Dodge Ram trucks over the Hydroboost brake system in diesel models, which can build up excessive vent pressure, causing brake lights that are slow to extinguish and increasing the risk of a crash.
  • General Motors is recalling 97,843 2011 Cadillac SRX, Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs over a safety belt buckle anchor that could fracture in an accident, making it probably less effective as a safety device, I would imagine.
  • Volkswagen announced a recall of 377,000 2007-2009 Golf, Jetta and Jetta SportWagen models, 2006-2010 New Beetles and 2007-2009 Rabbits. The issue is a fuel line prone to chafing against a small plastic tab, causing a fuel leak, which is bad, apparently. From the recall announcement: "Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire."
  • Last, but not least, what recall roundup would be complete without a Toyota recall? Luckily, the company is recalling 94,126 2011 Sienna minivans over the placement of the switch that shuts off the van's brake lights. That could cause it to be damaged, leaving the brake lights on even when the brake pedal is not being pressed down. Worse still, the brakes could inadvertently become partially engaged, degrading brake performance.

That's all for now, folks. Does anyone own any of these vehicles? Does seeing a lot of recalls for a brand make you less likely to buy one of its cars? Happy trails!

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February 09, 2011 at 11:27 am

I always find it interesting that Toyota's problems coincide with the bailout of a particular car maker.

In looking over the safety issues, which would be worse, a brake light switch that gives clear visible indication of a malfunction (and one that is non fatal) or a fracturable seat belt anchor that one would assume was found as a problem because somebody actually got hurt?

Toyota's famous sticking gas pedal was actually found to be misapplication of accelerator caused by pedal placement. Pedal placement issues are common to all makes because of crash safety requirement shrinking pedal room and fuel efficiency requirement shrinking cars.

The next item on the horizon is ABS that increases stopping distances on ice and other slick surfaces.

Claes Bell
December 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm

You're right, Jordan, Honda does have its fair share of recalls, just like any other automaker. But Toyota has had something on the order of 11 million vehicles recalled since the Fall of 2009. If Honda has anywhere near that many, I'll eat my hat. I don't mean to pick on Toyota, but the scale of their problems has meant I haven't really been able to mention vehicle recalls without having to bring up another one from Toyota. That's all I was saying.

Jordan Snyder
December 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

See I KNEW that Honda had some kind of a recall. So why are we ridiculing Toyota when there is Honda to ridicule?