Hundreds of thousands of cars made by major manufacturers have been recalled this year. The most outrageous of these is among the smallest. Chrysler recalled 4,459 Dodge Challenger V-6 models because their engines may actually catch on fire. The vehicles affected are 2013 models, and only 2,500 are on the road. The balance are held by dealers. The news shows just how wrong things can go with very modern cars, and that the risk of very dangerous cars, made dangerous by the car companies, continues to exist.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) recently recalled 183,000 Pilot and Acura vehicles made in 2005 and 2006. These have a potentially dangerous brake defect. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) recalled 209,000 FJ Cruiser models because of seat belt issues. Chrysler had another recall - much larger than the Challenger one - last month. This one involved 370,297 pickups and SUVs in which there could be rare axle problems. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recalled about 6,000 Escape, C-Max and Focus models because of possible child lock problems. And, at the luxury end of the market, where the cars sold should be nearly perfect, BMW recalled 75,000 cars because of electrical problems that could cause the vehicles to stall.
None of these recalls are related insofar as the parts of the cars or defaults measured. That means that the points of failure on very modern cars can be across a very broad spectrum. Consumers cannot take any comfort in this. Any and every part of their cars, SUVs, crossovers or pickups might be at risk. No matter how good quality control is supposed to be among large manufacturers, it fails to catch relatively basic flaws.
So far, there have been no major injuries among people in the cars recently called back to the dealers. But, as recalls proliferate, the companies and drivers may not be that lucky.
An engine fire is pretty serious stuff.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos Tagged: F, featured, HMC, TM