The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced April 23, 2018 they are widening investigations into brake and airbag problems affecting more than 2.3 million vehicles from Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan.
NHTSA investigators found more consumer complaints regarding the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ. The agency expanded a 2016 investigation to include more than 1 million of those vehicles, including the 2006-2012 Ford Fusion, 2006-2012 Lincoln MKZ and 2006-2011 Mercury Milan. WPTV reported NHTSA investigators are following up on 735 total complaints involving those vehicles.
Ford’s engineers found the affected vehicles’ brake pedals can travel farther toward the floor than expected, possibly increasing stopping distance. NHTSA has 30 reports of crashes related to the defect, resulting in three injuries.
NHTSA tests found stuck valves and corrosion in the brake hydraulic control unit potentially at fault for the defect.
The administration is expanding their investigation into defective Volkswagen airbags as well. The probe began in 2015 with 416,000 affected vehicles, but since grew to encompass 1.2 million Volkswagen CC, Passat, Eos, Golf, GTI, Tiguan, Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen vehicles from the 2010-2014 model years.
The manufacturer and the NHTSA collected 852 total complaints of airbags not inflating in crashes. The complaints include vehicles not included in the previous recall, or vehicles in which the recall repair did not work as tended. Volkswagen officials said wiring failures in the steering wheel caused the airbag failures.
NHTSA also said they are “upgrading” their investigation into 108,000 2009 Nissan Murano vehicles to an engineering analysis, one step closer to a recall. WPTV reported the administration began investigating a brake problem similar to the Ford issue in which the brake pedal travels closer to the floor than expected.
NHTSA stated 484 consumers complained either to them or Nissan about the problem, including 14 consumers who reported crashes and three reporting injuries. NHTSA officials said they plan on testing affected hydraulic brake control units, though Nissan maintains the brake system remains intact and full braking is possible even if the pedal travels a longer distance.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to assist you.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.