1. #1
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    Aug 2001
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    Post More Automobile Fire hazard info


    WASHINGTON (AP) - The government has upgraded an investigation
    into more than 2 million General Motors Corp. cars with 3.8-liter
    engines after 44 owners complained that the engines caught fire.
    The investigation involves 1996 through 2000 models of the Buick
    Le Sabre, Park Avenue, Regal and Riviera; Oldsmobile 88, 98 and
    Cutlass; Pontiac Bonneville and Grand Prix; and the Chevrolet Monte
    Investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration say the engine can backfire during startup and
    fracture the plastic intake minifold, which can cause a fire.
    In addition to the 44 reports of fire made to NHTSA, 565 people
    have complained to GM about the problem. It's unclear how many of
    the complaints involved a fire, but two people told the company
    they were injured.
    GM recalled 275,811 cars with the same engine after similar
    complaints surfaced in 1996.
    GM spokesman Jim Schell said the company is cooperating with
    NHTSA on the investigation. The agency's report says the automaker
    maintains the condition is not an unreasonable safety problem.
    NHTSA opens investigations with a preliminary inquiry where the
    agency and the manufacturer exchange paperwork. The investigation
    can be upgraded so that government engineers can examine vehicle
    parts for a possible defect.
    The investigation into the GM vehicles has been taken up to the
    second level.
    The agency's investigations can lead to a recall, but many are
    The GM investigation was detailed in a report of October actions
    taken by NHTSA investigators that was released on Wednesday. The
    agency also opened investigations into two other vehicles based on
    reports of engine fires.
    Thirty-five people have reported fires in 1997-2002 Toyota Camry
    cars, 28 of which started when the vehicle was on the road. Eight
    of the owners said they were traveling at more than 55 mph. Two
    crashes and one injury were reported.
    And three owners of the 2002 Nissan Altima with a 2.5-liter
    engine said the engine caught fire without warning while they were
    driving. All three vehicles were totaled and one person was injured
    while escaping the car.
    NHTSA also:
    -Closed an investigation into the 1996 Volkswagen Jetta and
    Passat after the automaker agreed to a recall and extended
    warranty. Volkswagen will recall about 10,450 Passat cars because
    an electrical problem in the ignition switch can cause the
    headlights and windshield wipers to fail. The company will extend
    the warranty on the ignition system for 104,500 additional
    1996-1997 Passat and Jetta cars from 2 years/24,000 miles to 8
    years/100,000 miles.
    -Opened an investigation into about 630,000 Ford Aerostar vans
    from the 1992-1994 model years. Ten people have complained that the
    rear hatch door will drop without warning, including three who said
    they were injured.
    -Opened an investigation into the 1999 Ford Taurus and Mercury
    Sable because of seven reports that the front suspension coil
    spring can break and puncture the adjacent tire. NHTSA said all the
    complaints came from states that use salt on the roads to melt ice.
    -Opened an investigation into 2001-2003 models of the Acura 3.2
    TL and 3.2 CL because of 35 complaints about transmission problems
    that can cause the cars to quickly lose speed and come to a stop.
    Two crashes and two injuries were reported. NHTSA estimates about
    265,000 of the cars are on the road.
    On the Net:
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  2. #2
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    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration said Wednesday it would investigate more than 3.7
    million Ford Motor Co. pickups and sport utility vehicles for a
    defect in a cruise control switch that led to a January recall.
    The agency said it would examine Ford F-150 pickups from the
    1995-1999 and 2001-2002 model years, and Ford Expeditions and
    Lincoln Navigators from the 1997-1999 and 2001-2002 model years.
    NHTSA officials said they have received 218 complaints of engine fires from the cruise control switch in those models. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
    The new investigation does not include the 2000 model years of
    the vehicles, which was covered by the January recall of nearly
    800,000 vehicles. Ford said the cruise control switch could short
    circuit and cause an engine compartment fire when the vehicle was
    parked or being driven, even if the cruise control was not being
    Ford, the nation's second-biggest automaker, said it was
    conducting its own internal investigation of the problem.
    "We're working closely with NHTSA on the issue," said Ford
    spokeswoman Kristen Kinley. "We'll continue to cooperate with the
    agency until the matter is closed."
    "Fires happen for a variety of reasons ranging from faulty
    repair, improper modification to the vehicle with aftermarket parts
    and wiring, prior accident damage, and even arson," Kinley said.
    "This is why each complaint or allegation must be reviewed on a
    case-by-case basis."
    NHTSA often conducts investigations after getting complaints
    from consumers or spotting trends in warranty claims.
    Investigations can lead to vehicle recalls.
    The recall in January affected about 792,000 Ford F-150 pickups,
    Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from the 2000 model year.
    The 2001 F-Series Supercrew trucks were also affected.
    The company began notifying owners of the recall in February and
    dealers were instructed to deactivate the cruise control switch for
    free. Deactivating the switch disabled the cruise control in the
    Kinley said replacement parts for the defect are expected to
    become available in mid- to late-April.
    NHTSA opened an investigation into the defect in November after
    receiving 36 reports of fires. All of the incidents occurred when
    the vehicle was parked and the ignition was turned off. No injuries
    were reported. The agency has received 193 complaints about the
    2000 model year vehicles.
    The F-Series pickups have long been one of Ford's best-selling
    vehicles. The company announced in late December that it set an
    industry record for full-size pickup sales in 2004, selling more
    than 912,000 F-Series pickups. It eclipsed Ford's own mark of
    911,597 pickups sold in 2001.
    Ford shares were trading at $11.04 Wednesday on the New York
    Stock Exchange, down 13 cents.
    On the Net:
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
    Ford Motor Company: http://www.ford.com

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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