"Its Not Hot in Death Valley and It Doesnt Snow Hard In Buffalo"

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"It's Not Hot in Death Valley and It Doesn't Snow Hard In Buffalo"

NHTSA Sings the Blues for Geographic Recall Victims

You live in Buffalo NY and the engine fan on your 1995 Ford Taurus gets blocked by some of that 80" of lake effect snow for which Buffalo is famous. The fan stops rotating and overheats setting your car on fire. Your cousin in Iowa gets a safety recall notice. Or you live in Death Valley CA, one of the hottest places in the US, and the fuel tank on your 1990 Aerostar develops cracks from the heat. Then fuel and vapors leak out waiting only for an ignition source to erupt into flames. Your sister in temperate Santa Barbara gets a recall notice. What's up? Why didn't you get a recall notice? You have just become a victim of a geographic recall where only a fraction of all owners get a recall notice.

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 treats all vehicles equally regardless of where they are sold or registered. If there is a safety defect, the Act requires the vehicle to be recalled whether it is in Alaska, Florida, or anywhere in between. Given the mobility of society, cars travel from one area to another. Regional recalls make little sense if safety is a priority. Yet after 25 years of every state recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the mid-1980s gave in to automakers threats not to do any recall if they had to do the whole country. Geographic recalls reduce auto company recall costs at the expense of public safety. Many of the limitations such as Buffalo and Death Valley make little sense while others are completely inconsistent. The number of salt belt states varies from 14 to 22 depending on the recall and manufacturer. New Mexico is between hot states Arizona and Texas but is not hot.

The biggest abuser of geographic recalls is Ford Motor Company with 17 since 1994. Its Chairman, William Clay Ford, should spent less money on advertising about the good old days of Ford and more on correcting the safety defects in today's Ford vehicles.

The following are some examples of these consumer sellouts allowed by NHTSA, in which notification and remedy of a dangerous defect was provided only to a subset of the owners who deserve to know. For a complete list of geographic recalls since 1994, go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov. If you have been victimized by a geographic recall, file a complaint with the Center for Auto Safety.

Auto Company Recall ID. Number of Vehicles Year/Make/Model Recall Summary Chrysler 98V-005
99V-340
00V-136
1,216,416 1990-99 Jeep Cherokee
1990-91 Jeep Comanche Wrangler
1993-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989-91 Eagle Premier, Dodge Monaco
1993-95 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Front disc brake rotor corrodes &
separates from hub. Registered or sold in CT, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WI, DC Chrysler 01V-040 701,000 1994-99 Dodge Ram Pickup Return spring on hood secondary
latch corrodes & hood could fly up.
Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN,
IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH,
NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI,
DC Ford 97V-019 75,200 1992-94 Tempo/Topaz w/3.0L
1994 Tempo/Topaz w/2.3L
1994-95 Taurus/Sable w/3.0L
1992-95 Taurus/Sable w/3.8L
1992-94 Continental w/3.8L In high winds, heavy, blowing &drifting snow, & low temperatures engine cooling fan can be blocked or frozen by snow. Fan motor may not rotate & overheat causing fire.Registered or sold in AK, IA MN, NE, ND, SD Ford 98V-094 281,000 1993 Taurus, Mercury Sable Front coil springs corrode & break. Broken spring can puncture tire. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI, DC Ford 98V-190 140,000 1988-90 Aerostar Upper part of fuel tank develop small cracks due to extended exposure to very high ambient temperatures with fuel vapor or leakage occurring at cracks. Registered in AL, AZ, AR, CA (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Imperial, Kern Counties), FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, NV (Clark County), OK, SC, TX and in US Territories Ford 98V-323 2,697,000 1986-95 Taurus, Mercury Sable
1988-94 Lincoln Continental Rear lower sub frame mount plate nut corrodes & subframe which supports engine & transmission drops with loss of steering. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV, WI, DC Ford 01V-199
01V-255
198,583
108,000 1997-98 Windstar
1997-98 Contour/Mystique Front coil springs corrode & break. Broken spring can puncture tire Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI, DC Ford 02V-101 250,283 1995-96 Windstar Brake lines corrode & leak. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI, DC GM 00V-189 713,435 1988-91 Buick Regal,
Pontiac Grand Prix,
Oldsmobile Cutlass
1990-91 Chevrolet Lumina Front engine cradle bolts pull through corroded retainers & steering shaft separates. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI, DC GM 01V-068 129,427 1997-98 Chevrolet Malibu,
Oldsmobile Cutlass Snow & ice buildup restricts W/S wiper movement on passenger side & pivot housing breaks. Registered or sold in AK, CO, CT, DE, ID, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, UT, VT, WV, WI, WY Hyundai 98V-245 64,967 1995-97 Accent Front coil springs corrode & break Broken spring can puncture tire. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI Nissan 95V-244 747,000 1989-93 Maxima
1990-92 Stanza Fuel filler tube corrodes & leaks. Wheel housing corrodes & weakens left rear seat belt retractor anchor. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI, DC Subaru 01V-216 180,000 1995-99 Outback, Legacy Front coil spring corrodes & break Broken spring can puncture tire. Registered or sold in CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV, WI, DC Toyota 97V-156 18,756 1997 Avalon, Camry, Lexus ES300 Moisture freezes in brake vacuum hose & results in loss of vacuum assist. Registered or sold in AK, CO, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MI, MN, MT, NE, NH, NY, NV, ND, SD, VT, WI, WY VW 99V-131 12,500 1998-99 Passat,
1997-99 Audi A4 Control valve in brake booster vacuum hose sticks in very low temperatures. Registered or sold in AK, CO, CT, IL, IA, ME, MI, MT, MN, NE, NH, NY, ND, SD, VT, WI, WY

 

 

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