Subaru Recall Lawsuit
Subaru Recalls 634,000 Vehicles Citing Potential Fire Hazard
On January 3, 2013, Japanese car maker Subaru announced recall of 634,000 vehicles, including sedans, crossovers, and wagons, sold in the United States, citing potential fire hazard caused by an electrical problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has confirmed to have received at least 10 reports of smoke and melting caused by short-circuit in the wiring and connectors of the puddle lamp located under doors of Subaru vehicles when exposed to electrolytic moisture. The Subaru car fire hazard recall covers all 2010 and 2011 Legacy and Outback models, some Tribeca SUVs made from 2006 to 2012, and selected Forester crossovers manufactured between 2009 and 2012.
According to Subaru, a part of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., 54,000 vehicles have this puddle lighting problem. The manufacturer is recalling 634,000 vehicles to alert owners, as there is no surety whether all of them have similar problems. The manufacturer has admitted that the fire hazard possibility emerges as moisture containing road salt enters into the lamp circuit board. The car maker will install additional fused-harness on all defective vehicles free of cost.
Earlier Subaru Car Recall
In September 2011, Subaru recalled about 490,000 vehicles for fire risk and suspension failure. About 190,000 Legacy and Outback vehicles were recalled to fix potential fire hazard. The wiper motors in these vehicles got overheated, causing fire. The NHTSA informed about recall of 300,000 vehicles, including 2012 Impreza, Legacy, and Outback models manufactured by Subaru, following 112 reports of faulty brake pedals in these vehicles. In March 2012, Subaru recalled 275,000 Forester crossovers after rear seatbelts were discovered to be faulty and prevented secure fastening of child restraint seats.
Other US Fire Risk Car Recalls
Toyota Fire Risk Car Recall
In October 2012, Toyota recalled 7.5 million cars worldwide over the risk of fire hazard caused by a faulty power window switch. The recall covered 2.5 million Toyota Camry, Scion, Sequoia, Tundra pickups, Highlander, Hybrids, RAV4 crossovers, Corolla, Yaris, and Matrix cars sold in the United States. The melting of switch assembly caused the driver’s side power window to stick during operation. When available lubricants were applied, the defective part led to fire and smoke in many cases. The recall looked imminent after the NHTSA ordered an investigation to the issue in early 2012. The leading car maker of the world also paid $1 billion in 2012 to settle all lawsuits filed following the reporting of acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles.
Honda Fire Risk Car Recall
In October 2012, Honda announced recall of 489,000 CR-V crossovers in the United States following complaints of fire hazard. The announcement was made after it was found that the master power switch on the driver’s side door was likely to be damaged when came into contact with rainwater or any liquid. It was highly possible that the damaged switch could melt when overheated and caught fire. The Honda recall included all CR-V crossovers made between 2002 and 2006. A few days earlier, the car maker issued a similar recall of 600,000 Accord cars, saying that liquid leakage caused by faulty hydraulic hose in these cars installed for power steering put drivers and passengers at the risk of fire hazard.
Ford Fire Risk Car Recall
In December 2012, Ford Motor recalled about 100,000 Escape and Fusion 2013 models over increased risk of engine fire associated with them. The defect in the engine caused it to overheat and catch fire while running. The 2013 Escape had numerous problems, such as carpet padding, broken fuel lines, and coolant leaks causing engine to overheat. In December 2010, Ford had recalled Lincoln pickups and crossovers after finding is susceptible to develop electrical short circuit caused by overheating of the body control module.
Volkswagen Fire Risk Car Recall
In October 2011, Volkswagen recalled 168,000 vehicles installed with TDI engine, as these faced a high risk of catching fire. The US car recall was for Jetta (2009-12 models), Golf (2010–12 models), Audi A3 (2010–12 models), and Jetta SportWagen (2009-12 models). The TDI engine was found to have leakage defect, and fuel seeping out of it could raise the possibility of the vehicle catching fire.
GM Fire Risk Car Recall
In August 2011, GM recalled 12,000 of its 2012 Chevrolet Impalas to fix fire risk hazard. The defective design in these vehicles caused melting of the power-steering hose when overheated. This resulted in power-steering fluid making contact with the catalytic converter and engine. This could cause the engine to burst into flames. In 2012, the car maker recalled 500,000 Chevrolet Cruz sedans to rectify a defect that allowed flammable liquids to reach the engine compartments.
In 1999, a California jury ordered General Motors to pay $4.9 billion to families of six people who died from a vehicle fire caused by manufacturing defect. The car maker later settled the case for $1.2 billion.
BMW Fire Risk Car Recall
In October 2011, BMW recalled five models, X5, X6, 5 Series, 7 Series, and Gran Turismo, manufactured between 2008 and 2011. It was found that turbocharged engines in these vehicles got overheated, leading to melting of circuit boards. This caused the electric auxiliary water pump to catch fire and emit smoke slowly. There were at least 102 reports where BMW vehicles suffered from two engine compartment fires. The BMW recall covered 32,000 vehicles.
Rolls-Royce Fire Risk Car Recall
In November 2011, Rolls-Royce issued a recall of 600 Ghost sedans following fire risk caused by circuit board overheating. These vehicles with BMW-built 6.6-liter turbocharged engines were found to be susceptible to smoldering of the water pump. An overheated circuit board caused malfunctioning of water pump installed to cool down the turbocharger, and this resulted in engine compartment or vehicle fire.