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1.37 million Honda, Toyota and Ford vehicles investigated for defects

NHTSA probes could lead to recalls; two of the inquiries have been ongoing since last October.

By Exhaust Notes Feb 25, 2013 11:54AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into problems that could affect more than 1.37 million vehicles made by Honda, Toyota and Ford.

NHTSA runs several dozen defect investigations at any given time, all stemming from public complaints and petitions. A recall can be issued if the agency deems there is sufficient evidence of a widespread problem, although this does not always happen.

 

On Thursday, the agency updated its investigation reports regarding the three automakers.

About 724,982 Ford Escape and Fusion models from the 2009 to 2011 model years are under investigation for failing electronic throttle bodies that could cause the vehicles to stall or surge unexpectedly. The sister Mercury Mariner and Milan models are also included. The investigation follows an October petition that urged NHTSA to investigate 1.6 million Escape SUVs from the 2005 to 2012 model years for the same alleged problem.

In total, NHTSA and Ford have found 1,448 instances relating to the throttle body, which controls vehicle acceleration. Faults with the throttle body caused many of the vehicles to resort to a "limp home" mode, which restricts vehicle speed and engine revs to protect failed components from damaging the powertrain.

The various "limp home" modes can cause the vehicle to surge or appear to stall, even though the engine is still running, the report said. Ford said it had 27,505 warranty claims relating to repair or replacement of the throttle bodies.

The agency has also received requests to investigate the 2001-2004 Escape and the 2000-2003 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable models for alleged stuck throttles, although no action has been taken.

The 2004-2009 Toyota Prius is being investigated for excess wear on a coupling joint of the steering shaft. About 561,000 vehicles may be affected, although the investigation is based on one complaint and the defect may have been resolved through an earlier recall.

In November, Toyota recalled 670,000 second-generation Prius models from 2004-2009 that had intermediate extension shafts that were of "insufficient strength" and could snap. The shafts connect the steering wheel near its gear box inside the cabin. Toyota said that the shaft could break if drivers turn the steering wheel to its full left or right positions at low speeds, such as when parking, or if a tire were to hit a curb at low speeds.

In June 2011, Toyota recalled 52,000 models of the first-generation Prius to fix a power steering problem that could make the car difficult to turn.

NHTSA engineers are looking into the 2005 Honda Pilot for unexpected emergency braking and stability control intervention on as many as 87,803 vehicles. The agency has recorded 185 instances of Pilots applying the brake assist function, which automatically applies full braking force when the pedal sensors detect a panic stop, without reason.

Some owners alleged that the car applied the brakes without the pedal being pressed. Twenty complaints allege the Pilot's stability control system intervened without reason, which caused the vehicle steering to pull by application of individual brakes.

Honda has identified problems with the yaw sensors and algorithms used to determine if the vehicle is in a slide or other emergency situation.

[Source: NHTSA]

145Comments
Feb 25, 2013 3:30PM
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I bought my ex wife a Pinto wagon with Firestone 500's and I haven't heard from her since.
Feb 25, 2013 2:22PM
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none of my 7 cars are on the list. my newest car is a 67n impala.aint no eletronic crap on none of my cars. they all can be fixed with out a 10,000 dollar computer to tell you a whats wrong.my daily driver is a original galaxie 500 with a 352cid engine.drive that old girl everywhere...
Feb 25, 2013 5:26PM
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Im a technician working on Ford and GM vehicles everyday. ALL of the parts that I replace on the GM vehicles are made in China now! ALL of them. I am talking AC Delco and GM parts, not aftermarket! Parts that were made in Mexico, Indonisia and here are made in China! So explain to me how us as americans are benefiting from bailing out GM!!!
Feb 25, 2013 2:50PM
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Just replaced throttle body on a 2007 Chevy HHR today after a couple of months of ongoing "limp home" or in GM jargon "engine power reduced" problems, and heard from the service person that the same manufacturer was producing these parts for GM, Ford and Chrysler and they have all had problems. Definitely sounds like a recall is needed, maybe I could get my $425 back from today, that would sure be nice
Feb 25, 2013 1:57PM
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and people complain about the problem Boeing is having?

Feb 25, 2013 1:52PM
Feb 25, 2013 2:14PM
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Just happened to my GMC Denali....had to "limp home" doing 20mph.  The fix, had to get new throttle body.  This is happening on all cars....where is the recall!!!!!
Feb 25, 2013 3:16PM
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Glad to know my Grandsons Tonka trucks are safe. Whew!
Feb 25, 2013 1:54PM
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To quote your article, "NHTSA runs several dozen defect investigations at any given time,"  You need a story so you mention 3 of them??  Lame.
Feb 25, 2013 1:40PM
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MY 1972 VOLVO 1800S WITH 348,236 MILES NOT ON LIST.
Feb 25, 2013 2:46PM
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The 63 still humming down the road with the duals singing a sweet song ! The 40 Ford coupe, probably one of the best cars ever produced and my all time favorite to light up ones face when behind the wheel is also not having any government investigations !
Feb 25, 2013 5:03PM
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Why do people spend 20-30k on new cars. They are all crap now. I have a 97 Honda Civic with 234k that has never had weird problems. Why don't they put throttle cables back cars again instead of using ETBs I mean how much extra would it cost for safety what $5-10 bucks

Feb 25, 2013 4:04PM
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My '06 Accord just had a power steering hose recall.  However it has a ABS modulator issue that let's air into your brake lines causing the pedal to go to the floor requiring pumping them.  For that they issue a service bulletin for which means you (or should I say I) foot the bill.  The part is $1,000 alone plus labor of course.  I guess no brakes isn't a safety issue, but leaking power steering fluid is.
Feb 25, 2013 6:47PM
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 govt CAFE requirements , EPA and crash requirements , force car manufacturers to build a car that will meet the specifications or the requirements   , They , the manufacturers cut corners wherever possible to meet these standards , more plastic for weight savings and more electronics to monitor emissions , Its a law of physics , energy in / performance out , the higher they want the mpg as well as lower emissions , the more things are modified ,  lightened and reduced , it takes a certain amount of energy to have that 3000 lbs vehicle maintain 65 mph , as well as accelerate at a rate (safe) compatible with the vehicles surrounding it  .  gasoline is taken to a semi gas state and components are  lightened get mpg ,  The exhaust is incinerated to maintain emissions . So they end up selling you a vehicle that is so minimized overall in structure for weight , stressed power for mpg and emissions ,  the smallest variable can be a disaster. 
Feb 25, 2013 6:51PM
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Technology is wonderful while its working. Once it breaks and you have to flip the bill its a pain in the a**. I get by just fine without 8-way adjustable powered and heated seats. More elcectronic junk to pay an arm and a leg for when it breaks.
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Mercury alert:

1996-2002 intake manifolds in some Ford models...F-150s, Mercury Grand Marquis LSs. some Fords...cracked, because they are plastic.  They then leaked coolant onto spark plugs and coils, often blowing out plugs...plus burning up thermostats as heat increased rapidly.  The class action lawsuit was settled 2005, with recall to early 2006.  BUT!!! Ford apparently only minimally changed these manifolds.  They are still made of plastic, and still split, and still leak, and requite $800-1500 to replace with the labor.  But Ford will not replace mine on my 2007 Mercury, despite the obvious flaw, which they perpetuated.  I was told by their customer service (nice people, but just following orders) that no recall was in effect.  Since Ford has continued their shoddy workmanship, and has given the problem to unwitting consumers, this should get immediate attention with coverage from Ford.  I have notified NHTSA...but where now is my financial coverage from Ford???

Feb 25, 2013 3:16PM
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OK so my 2001 Escape went in for this issue and is still on going.  What is the deal???
Feb 25, 2013 6:29PM
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Cars have become a real piece of Sh-t to much electronics I own a Kia now that's one of the BIGGEST piece of sh-t I've ever owned great gas mileage but one of the important features don't work the inside door handle to open the Drivers door, What F-ing idiot would use what looks like a hand brake cable from a 10 speed bike to control an important function like that, Oh right a DUMB AZZ Korean, and NO I'm not a racist since I'm part Korean. This is my first Kia and my LAST. I've always owned American cars and since this Piece of Sh-t greedy oil companies have fu_ked us I have to buy high gas mileage type cars and We all know how Our American cars went the way of the dinosaurs now that's another piece of sh-t and I don't even want to go tthere, to much Monday night football is one of the problems yep that American pass time really fu_ked us, I remember when Made In America stood for the best that money could buy but those days are long,long gone and seems the new American pass time is crying about everybody else, oh well ...
Feb 25, 2013 5:40PM
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I say let's get back to the 'basic car" and get all this high dollar....computerized...crap off the market and quit letting  foreign countries make our cars and car parts.  There is no more pride and quality in making our cars anymore...it's all about quantity and crap.
Feb 25, 2013 5:25PM
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Stick with designs that have a proven track record and you won't have these problems.

Simple, Rugged, Reliable, Inexpensive and Safe.



 
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