Automakers like GM and Ford have been recalling thousands and thousands of vehicles around the world for issues that pose a safety hazard to drivers. Motorcycle maker Harley Davidson has now issued a recall on certain motorcycles in the 2014 model year.
The recall covers 66,421 Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles that have anti-lock brakes. Harley is warning riders of these bikes that the front wheel can lock up without warning. The issue has caused five known accidents with two minor injuries reported.
The front wheel lockup happens when the brake line is pinched between the fuel tank and frame. That pinch increases the pressure of fluid in the lines and locks up the front wheel. The fix Harley will offer is to replace brake lines and add straps to hold the lines in place.
The automotive industry in the US and other parts of the world has been besieged with recalls over the last year. GM has been hit with the brunt of the recalls going so far as to tell dealers in the US that they can no longer sell the Cruze, the company's second bestselling vehicle. Ford has now issued a massive recall in North America that includes 100,610 vehicles.
The massive recall includes six different actions with about 92,000 of the vehicles having a potential issue with the front axles that may not have been installed properly. That improper installation could cause the axle to move outward and eventually disengage.
Cars covered in that axle recall include 2013-2014 Taurus, Flex, and Interceptor models along with Lincoln MKS and MKT. Also included in the axle recall are 2012-2014 Edge and 2014 Lincoln MKX models. Ford also recalled 5264 2011-2014 F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis vehicles with faulty electrical systems that could lead to a fire. 2014 Ford Escape vehicles with the panorama roof were recalled due to glass panels not glued properly during installation.
GM has been in some very hot water in the last several months with massive numbers of recalls on some of its most popular vehicles. One of the bestselling vehicles in the US is the Chevrolet Silverado truck and GM has now announced a massive recall on the vehicle.
GM has issued a recall on 475,000 2014 to 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. The reason for the recall on the trucks is a fault in the control module software that controls the four-wheel drive system on 4x4 vehicles. The fault in the software could cause the four-wheel drive system to switch into neutral automatically.
The result is that the trucks could simply roll away if the driver hasn't set the parking brake. Many drivers of vehicles with automatic transmissions don't use the parking brake. GM also announced recalls having to do with Caprice police cars and Chevrolet SS sedans due to an issue with windshield wipers.
The National Corvette Museum made headlines earlier this year when a massive sinkhole opened up under the floor of the museum and swallowed a handful of rare and expensive Corvette models. The museum had three options for dealing with the sinkhole after the cars were removed from the hole.
One of the options was to completely repair the sinkhole and replace the floor making it as if the incident never happened. The second option was to leave the sinkhole as it is. The third option, and the one that the museum chose, was to repair portions of the sinkhole and keep the remainder of the sinkhole open as a tourist attraction.
With this plan, the museum will keep a portion of the sinkhole open measuring 25-feet x 45-feet and 30-feet deep. Before the plan is official, the museum board wants information on if cars on display in the museum might be affected adversely by leaving the sinkhole open.
GM has been besieged with issues and recalls on its cars this year with many of the big recalls having to do with faulty ignition switches. GM is now facing a big issue with the airbags it uses to protect people inside some of its cars.
The automaker has reportedly told dealers in the US to stop selling the 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruze due to a potential defect in the airbag. Airbags in these vehicles could have been assembled with a problematic airbag inflation module that may use an incorrect part in the assembly.
GM doesn't build the airbags used in these cars; they were sourced from a third party. GM and the third party are working together to identify the cars facing the issue and then the Cruze cars can go back on sale after problem cars are fixed. The Cruze is Chevy's second bestselling car right behind the Silverado truck.
The NHTSA has been more prone to launch investigations and examinations of vehicles that are on the roads around the US since the GM ignition switch issue became such a point of controversy. Recently the NHTSA has started what it calls an examination of the 2011-2014 Ford Explorer SUV.
This is specifically called an examination, not an investigation. The NHTSA has received complaints from owners of 2011-2014 Ford Explorer SUVs that claim fumes or strange odors are making their way into the vehicle. These fumes and odors are believed to be coming from the exhaust system of the vehicle.
Harley-Davidson is a popular American motorcycle maker that makes some very big and loud motorcycles that you probably see on the roads every day. The thing that all those motorcycles have in common is loud, thumping V-twin engines under the seat to propel the bike around. Harley-Davidson has unveiled an all-new electric motorcycle that gives up that big a loud gasoline engine for a battery pack.
HD says that the goal of this electric bike is to appeal to younger people who are concerned about the environment. The real question in my mind is will fans of the HD brand buy a motorcycle that lacks the company's trademark sound and style? HD doesn't plan on releasing the electric bike for at least two years.
Tesla was blocked from selling cars directly to consumers in New Jersey a while back. A new bill has now been passed by the New Jersey state assembly that may allow Tesla to resume direct sales in the state. The state Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee approved A3216 this week, which is a bill that would allow zero-emissions cars to be sold directly to the public by automakers.
There would be strings attached in this bill though. Notably the automaker would be limited to only four dealerships in the state. One of the locations would have to have service facilities for repairs as well.
Ford knows that one of the only ways it will be able to reach federal fuel economy numbers in the future is by putting its cars on a diet. Ford has already proven it can do this with the new F-150 losing hundreds of pounds by moving to aluminum body panels. Ford is now showing off an experimental Fusion that uses lightweight materials in an effort to shed weight.
The Fusion uses lots of aluminum and carbon fiber material in its construction. The finished product is a Fusion that looks the same as the current car, but weighs 23% less than normal. Less weight means that smaller engines can be used to achieve the same performance while using less fuel.
Nissan has issued a recall on 211 Leaf EVs that has to do with a defect in a weld. The defect is so severe that in some cases Nissan may end up giving the owner of the recalled Leaf a new vehicle. Nissan says that some structural welds in the front section of the Leaf may not have been made to specifications.
The bad welds could mean that the vehicle has reduced protection in an accident and violates safety standards for "electric shock protection." The defect in the Leafs was discovered in March during a quality inspection conducted at an assembly plant. Nissan says that the issue was due to an isolated process error that has been addressed.