As Minnesota residents may know, Hyundai has recalled almost 205,000 Elantras for power steering problems. The National Highway Safety Administration announced the recall that includes four-door models manufactured from the beginning of June 2008 to the end of April 2010 and touring hatchbacks manufactured from the beginning of November 2009 through the end of April 2010.
Minnesota residents might be aware of the millions of vehicle recalls that occurred because of unsafe air bags, and a Houston man was the latest to be killed by the faulty product made by the Takata Corporation. Some Takata airbags were recalled because of a defective driver's air bag inflator, and the 35-year-old man died on Jan. 18 when metal from the airbag in his 2002 Honda Accord sliced into his neck.
Nissan has settled a class-action lawsuit regarding faulty brakes in certain 2004-2008 models. The settlement could reimburse Minnesota drivers of the vehicles mentioned in the suit with up to $800 apiece. Nissan filed the settlement on Dec. 5 with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In a development that may be of interest to Minnesota residents who own General Motors vehicles, new emails have surfaced that show the Detroit automaker was ordering parts to fix its faulty ignition switch in December 2013, nearly two months before it publicly announced the part's recall. The newly uncovered emails detail GM's efforts to quickly obtain at least 500,000 replacement switches from Delphi Automotive weeks before it officially recalled the ignitions, which have been linked to 32 fatalities. This could be significant because federal law requires automakers to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of safety defects within five days. GM announced the recall on Jan. 31, 2014, and notified the NHTSA on Feb. 7.
There are only so many things that a driver can do in order to avoid getting into an accident in Minnesota. We can wear our seat belts, stay focused on the road and obey traffic laws, but sometimes an accident is caused by something out of our control. In some cases, the fault lies with another driver who was negligent. But in other cases, an accident happens because of something that has gone wrong with our vehicle.
Minneapolis residents might find it interesting to know that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is investigating the safety of the Tesla electric car after the occurrence of a second fire. Both fires resulted from battery damage received after the car struck metal fragments in the road, but both drivers were warned of the damage by the cars and escaped injury. A third Model S post-collision fire happened in Mexico in October. Since the second fire, Tesla stock has dropped 37 percent.
In an action limited to 20 states, including Minnesota, Kia will recall nearly 80,000 Sedona minivans from model years 2006 to 2012 due to a problem with the cars' steering wheel. When asked whether the carmaker would help owners in states not covered by the recall, a Kia spokesperson was silent.
Many Minnesotans have been discussing and debating the issues currently plaguing the U.S. government. But unless you have been furloughed from your job as a direct result of the current partial government shutdown, you may not realize just how much it can affect you.