Kia recalls 2014 Kia Soul vehicles over potential loss of steering

Kia Motors Corporation is recalling certain model year 2014 Kia Soul vehicles manufactured July 21, 2013, through January 17, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the plug that secures the pinion gear to the steering gear assembly may loosen due to an improper application of thread-locking adhesive during the assembly process.

As a result, the pinion gear can separate from the steering gear assembly, causing a loss of steering, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

51,641 vehicles are affected by the recall.

Kia will notify owners, and dealers will replace the pinion plug with a new pinion plug which has properly applied thread-locking adhesive, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2014.

Ford recalls 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner vehicles

Ford Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2008-2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner vehicles manufactured August 18, 2006, through September 11, 2010. The affected vehicles have a steering torque sensor that may not be able to properly detect driver steering input. As a result, the system could remove the Electric Power Steering (EPS) assist.

As a result, if power steering assist is lost, greater driver effort would be required to steer the vehicle at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

An estimated 740,878 vehicles are affected by the recall.

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will update the software for the power steering control module (PSCM) and the instrument cluster module, free of charge. If a vehicle shows a history of a loss of the torque sensor signal or fault codes relating to the PSCM when the vehicle is brought in for the recall remedy, the affected components will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by July 25, 2014.

General Motors named in class action lawsuit over faulty steering system in GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and Chevrolet Traverse vehicles

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The class action was brought on behalf all persons in the United States who purchased or leased any 2009 through 2012 GMC Acadia, 2009 through 2012 Buick Enclave, or 2009 through 2012 Chevrolet Traverse vehicles (collectively, “Class Vehicles”) designed, manufactured marketed, distributed, sold, warranted and serviced by General Motors, LLC and General Motors Company

This action arises out of a uniform and widespread defect in the integral steering system of an entire class of automobiles that poses an extremely unreasonable safety risk not only to the driver and passengers of the vehicle, but to other drivers on the road and pedestrians on the streets.

The lawsuit alleges that the steering system in these vehicles are defective because steering may intermittently and drastically fail while the car is in motion (the “Steering Defect”), thus creating a serious safety risk.

Toyota recalls Prius model years 2004-2009 over faulty steering mechanism

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2004-2009 Prius vehicles manufactured August 5, 2003, through March 30, 2009. The affected vehicles have a steering intermediate extension shaft assembly built with metal splines that complete the connection from the steering wheel to the steering gear. These splines may have been manufactured with an insufficient hardness.

As a result, over time, the splines may wear and eventually fail resulting in a loss of steering ability, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the extension shaft and replace it if it is one with insufficient hardness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2012. Owners may contact their Toyota dealer or the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331

Toyota named in class action over defect in electric power steering of Corolla and Matrix automobiles

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The class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of current and former owners and lessees of model year 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corolla and Matrix automobiles purchased or leased in the United States (the “Class Vehicles” or “Vehicle(s)”).

As alleged in the complaint, beginning in at least 2008, Defendants designed, manufactured, distributed, sold, leased, serviced and warranted the Vehicles that are the subject of this action. The Vehicles all contain a design defect and/or flaw with the Electric Power Steering (“EPS”) system, which causes the Vehicles to wander or drift from center at highway speeds and/or suddenly veer to one direction during normal use (“Defect”).

Since 2008, Toyota has sold hundreds of thousands of Vehicles equipped with the defective EPS system and knew or should have known that the Class Vehicles are defective, not fit for their intended purpose and unsafe when they are driven within their normal and/or expected range of operation. Nevertheless, Toyota has actively concealed and failed to disclose the Defect to Plaintiffs and the Class members, both prior to and after the time of purchase.

Since at least July 2008, Toyota, through correspondence with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), its own internal research, receipt of consumer complaints, communications with its dealers and other sources, has known about the Defect, but has failed to disclose the existence of the Defect to consumers or to provide, disclose, or make available remedies  which can reduce or eliminate this extremely unsafe and economically burdensome condition.

The complaint states that on February 17, 2010, Toyota issued a statement which expressly recognized that it was aware of the numerous consumer complaints about the issue but has not recalled the vehicles

Although Toyota has denied the existence of the Defect despite knowledge of hundreds of consumer complaints, it has acknowledged a problem with the EPS system and, on June 3, 2010, issued Technical Service Bulletin TSB- 0140-10 (the “TSB”), setting forth an entirely voluntary procedure, which may be requested by consumers, to repair the EPS system. The voluntary procedure must be paid for by the consumer unless the Vehicle’s 36 month/36,000 mile warranty remains in effect. Toyota has not issued a recall with respect to the Defect or the EPS system.

Despite issuance of the TSB, Toyota has not made the repair procedure known to all affected customers or even to the dealers who would be responsible for performing the repairs. When taking their Vehicles to Toyota dealers and expressing complaints of the Defect, consumers continue to be told that there is nothing wrong with their Vehicles and that there is nothing that can be done to remedy their complaints.

Had Plaintiffs and other Class members known about the Defect at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have bought or leased the Class Vehicles, or would have paid less for them.