Monday

Hyundai Steering Recall Hits 140,000 Sonatas

The Detroit Bureau is reporting the recall of nearly 140,000 2011 Hyundai Sonata sedans because of the risk of steering loss. This alert courtesy of Allen Lucas. Do you own one of these potential lemon cars?

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
HYUNDAI SONATA 2011

Manufacturer:
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY
Mfr's Report Date: SEP 23, 2010
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V426000 NHTSA Action Number: PE10035
Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT SECTOR Potential Number of Units Affected: 139500
Summary:

 HYUNDAI IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 SONATA VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM DECEMBER 11, 2009, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10, 2010. ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES THE STEERING COLUMN INTERMEDIATE SHAFT UNIVERSAL JOINT CONNECTIONS MAY HAVE BEEN EITHER IMPROPERLY ASSEMBLED OR INSUFFICIENTLY TIGHTENED.
Consequence:

 IMPROPER ASSEMBLY OR INSUFFICIENT TIGHTENING OF THE CONNECTIONS COULD RESULT IN A COMPLETE SEPARATION OR COMPROMISED ATTACHMENT OF THE CONNECTIONS, SUCH THAT THE DRIVER COULD EXPERIENCE A LOSS OF, OR REDUCTION IN, STEERING CAPABILITY INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Remedy:

 DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE STEERING COLUMN INTERMEDIATE SHAFT UNIVERSAL JOINT CONNECTIONS FOR PROPER ASSEMBLY AND TORQUE. IN ADDITION DEALERS WILL UPDATE THE POWER STEERING SOFTWARE.

Steering systems, that come apart, can be dangerous, to put it mildly. Hyundai quality has improved vastly over its early years, but every once in awhile, it happens. If you've got a lemon Hyundai Sonata, get your dealer to get it fixed before things get worse. If you get the run around, then call us. Getting rid of lemon cars is what we do. Since 1978.

Tuesday

Toyota Hid Evidence ?


Automotive News is reporting that "preliminary evidence shows that Toyota Motor Corp. hired a lawyer to destroy or hide incriminating safety documents from vehicle owners who sued the company according to the ruling from an arbitrator.

The former Toyota attorney, Dimitrios Biller, gives safety advocates new cause for alarm over what Biller has already said was a practice of hiding the truth at Toyota in lawsuits filed by injured consumers and dangerous Toyota vehicles. We alerted folks about that before on this blog.

Critical for consumer advocates, the ruling means that Toyota can't claim the internal documents Biller has been talking about are covered by "attorney client privilege." And that means the evidence can't be kept hidden by Toyota any longer.

Biller resigned from Toyota and was paid a hefty $3.7 million severance package that reportedly including keeping his knowledge secret about what Toyota's litigation tactics and strategies had been. Part of that included the so-called "Books of Knowledge" that Toyota kept, which were reportedly a collection of sensitive electronic records about design, testing and performance of Toyota vehicles. Withholding the "Books" from consumer lawyers enabled Toyota to avoid paying much larger damage awards to consumers injured in Toyota accidents, their former attorney, Biller, has claimed.

It seems that some consumer advocates are not surprised at Toyota's secrets, and perhaps the real surprise is Biller's integrity and conscience.

Meanwhile, the sudden accelleration cases continue to trod forward in California's federal court system while Biller slugs it out with Toyota. The California consumer cases may be the beneficiary of Biller's evidence coming to light, much to the dislike of Toyota.

Frankly, Biller deserves huge applause for allowing his conscience to get the better of Toyota's dollars.