A group of car owners in Pennsylvania have filed suit against Ford Motors, claiming the company’s Fusion hybrid models don’t meet fuel-efficiency claims. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs state the hybrids provide “significantly worse fuel economy than the advertised 47 miles per gallon.” Tests done by Consumer Reports show the Fusion hybrid models got up to 21 percent less miles per gallon than Ford advertises. The suit is asking for damages of at least $5 million.Sophia Pearson, Houston Chronicle
Honda Motor Co. will recall 204,500 CR-V crossovers, Odyssey minivans and Acura RDX crossovers to fix shifter issues. Honda discovered that in freezing temperatures it could be possible to shift the vehicle’s transmission out of the park position without depressing the brake pedal.
Chrysler Group will recall more than 200,000 vehicles from its Ram, Dodge and Jeep lines due to a variety of problems. The largest portion of the recall will be 120,000 Chrysler 300s, and Dodge Challenger and Chargers due to issues with airbags. The company will also recall Dodge Nitro, Jeep Liberty and Patriots and Dodge Rams over various issues.
Jerry Hirsch, LA Times
A group of U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants have filed lawsuits against Customs and Border Protection Agents in Texas, alleging they were forced to sit in “freezing holding cells” for days near the Texas border. The suits claims the some of the plaintiffs were forced to stay in “bed-less, toilet-less” cells called the “icebox” for six days before being shipped off to other facilities. Others, including a 63-year-old woman, were forced to sit in the back seat of a car for up to eight hours without food or water before being released. From USA Today 03/13/2013
Subaru has announced a recall of 215,000 of its most popular model vehicles, including the 2005-9 Outback wagon and Legacy sedan. The reasons Subaru cited for the recall is a corrosion of the brake lines. According to the NHTSA’s website, Subaru discovered that a section of the brake lines were vulnerable to corrosion and could eventually leak brake fluid. The recall is being conducted in many northeastern states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. No related automobile crashes or personal injuries have been reported by Subaru.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of more than 5,500 battery-operated scooters with Monster High graphics due to increased fall hazard. The company said the scooters, which are sold exclusively at WalMart, can accelerate suddenly, causing the rider to lose control and fall off. There have been nine reports of scooters suddenly accelerating, including three incidents with minor injuries. from, PR Newswire 02/28/2013
USA Today (3/13, Meier, 1.71M) reports, “Nissan, which lately has been advertising its spate of models redesigned for 2013, has just recalled a bunch of them. The cause is a potentially faulty sensor that could cause the front passenger airbag to fail to deploy in a crash. The sensor is supposed to enable the bag if the seat is occupied, disable the bag if it is not.” According to documents posted by the NHTSA, “the recall covers certain of Nissan’s redesigned 2013 Altima mid-size sedan, the Pathfinder crossover SUV and the Sentra compact. … Also covered are certain of the 2013 Nissan Leaf electric car and the Infiniti luxury unit’s JX35 crossover SUV, a new product just introduced in 2012.”
The Los Angeles Times (3/13, Hirsch, 692K) also notes that “in a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan said it hasn’t determined the number of vehicles that will need to be recalled. But the Altima is Nissan’s hottest seller. It was narrowly the fourth best selling passenger car last month, just 150 cars behind the Ford Fusion.”
Also reporting on the recall are Reuters (3/14), the AP (3/14), and Cars (3/13).
Medscape reports, “undermining a talking point of organized medicine about tort reform, premiums for medical malpractice insurance for 3 bellwether specialties dropped for the fifth straight year in 2012, according to a new report published in Medical Liability Monitor (MLM).” According to the article, “the American Medical Association and other medical societies have argued that a broken medical liability system boosts insurance premiums for physicians.” Medscape notes, however, that “rates for obstetrician/gynecologists, general internists, and general surgeons decreased on average by 1.7% in 2012, following declines of 0.2% in 2011, 0.5% in 2010, 2.5% in 2009, and 4% in 2008, according to MLM’s annual rate survey.” However, these declines are overshadowed by annual premium increases that topped 20% in 2003 and 2004.
Cars (3/25, Williams) reports, “Nissan is recalling 18,880 model-year 2012 and 2013 NV commercial vans due to a problem with the transmission lever, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” Cars notes, “The transmission lever gear selector plate lock clip may have been installed incorrectly, and normal road vibration could make the gear position indicator not match the gear-shift lever position. If this happens, the gear indicator may falsely display that the vehicle is in park, allowing it to roll away unexpectedly and increasing the risk of a crash or injury.”
Honda has issued a recall of more than 76,000 Acura TSX vehicles, model years 2004-2008, due to a stalling issue. The vehicles recalled were only sold in salt-belt states, and the company says road salt that gets into the floor of the car may damage the electronic control unit in the vehicle. The automaker said it has not received any reports of accidents related to the recall. From The New York Times