Automotive Product and Tire Recalls

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates vehicles and tires and has the authority to investigate consumer complaints regarding safety issues. In 2009, the NHTSA recalled a variety of automotive products, including various Ford, Toyota and Lexus vehicles, due to safety hazards. These automotive recalls would prove to be two of the most significant automotive recalls of 2009.

On Oct. 26, 2009, Ford recalled a variety of models furnished with the Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch (SCDS). The SCDS could leak internally, possibly resulting in a vehicle fire. The models involved in the Ford recall included:

  • 1995-2003 Windstar
  • 2000-2003 Excursion
  • 1992-2003 Econoline
  • 1995-2002 Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
  • 1995-1997 & 2001-2003 Ranger
  • 1994 F53

To fix the problems with the SCDS, Ford dealers installed a fused wiring harness for the switch.

A month prior to the Ford recall, Toyota announced the recall of several Toyota and Lexus vehicles due to unwanted acceleration issues. The September 2009 Toyota recall affected 3.8 million vehicles. The Toyota recall was issued after complaints that the floor mats could become entangled with the gas pedals, resulting in a sudden, unwanted acceleration.

Several Bridgestone/Firestone tires were also recalled in 2009. The recall involved more than 127,000 FR380 size P235/75R15 tires that were made without sufficient tread base gauge. Bridgestone announced that continued use of the recalled tires could lead to vibration and groove cracking. In the most serious cases, Bridgestone warned, tread distortion or separation could occur, leading to a possible loss of control.

For more information on automotive and tire recalls, please visit the website of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

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By H. Scott Bates

Writer

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