Safety Agencies Investigate Hyundai, GM Recall Extended

Auto recall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that U.S. safety regulators recently opened an investigation into complaints that the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV can unexpectedly lose power. Additionally, General Motors (GM) may add nearly 5,000 cars to its recent recall of the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse, and Buick Regal.

The Hyundai investigation will be conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to complaints that the right-front axle shaft can fail its 2013 Santa Fe models. The probe will cover about 50,000 vehicles as investigators try to determine whether a full recall will be required.

Fortunately, no injuries or crashes have yet been reported to the NHTSA in connection with this issue. In the complaints that were reported, consumers said they heard a loud noise come from the front end of the SUV, followed by complete vehicle failure. All 2013 models experiencing this issue had less than 5,000 miles on them.

In related news, in May 2013, GM announced that it would recall nearly 40,000 of its 2012 and 2013 model cars due to defective generator control modules. The defective eAssist gas-electric hybrid system could stall the engine or cause fires in vehicles.

Originally, unsold cars were not part of the recall, however, federal authorities reported of at least one fire in an unsold car that was tested for the defect. As a result of this fire in an unsold vehicle, it is now possible the recall will extend to 5,000 more Chevrolet Malibu Ecos, Buck LaCrosse’s, and Buck Regal sedans. The NHTSA said the fire pulls into question whether or not the testing conducted by GM dealers can “effectively identify a defective generator control module.”

GM stated that the recall is ongoing and it is fully complying with the federal investigation. The query, however, shows that the federal safety agency is concerned about the adequacy of the recall, which involves replacing the generator control module.

This is actually the fourth time already in 2013 the NHTSA has questioned the adequacy of a GM recall. Earlier in July, for example, the agency launched an investigation into the 8,000-vehicle recall for defective brake lights.

In February, the NHTSA opened a query into the 2009 recall of Pontiac G6s. The automaker recalled Pontiac model years 2005 through 2006, however, the agency was concerned the defects extended to 2007 and 2008 models as well after it received over 200 complaints about brake light problems in those vehicles.

The two other queries occurred in June of this year; during the first, the NHTSA persuaded GM to extend a recall to 194,000 additional SUVs (model year 2005-2007) due to electrical problems. The original recall affected about 278,000 vehicles, but only in certain states. The electrical problems involved possible short circuits in the power window controls on the driver’s side. GM stated the problem kept the window and door locks from operating correctly, potentially causing odor, smoke, or fire.

The final inadequate recall involved airbag issues, for which GM initially recalled only about 7,000 vehicles. The NHTSA ultimately determined it should extend to 400,000 more, including the 2012 Chevrolet Camero, Cruze, Sonic, and the Buick Verano.

Problems with vehicles electrical circuits’, airbags and brake lights are extremely serious and cause catastrophic injuries on the road. Auto recall attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those injured by defective or recalled vehicles. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a crash caused by the negligence of an automaker or another driver, you have important legal rights, and may be entitled to significant compensation.