Chevrolet Corvette, Acura TSX Recalled, Dodge Caliber Under Investigation
Chevrolet Corvette Recall
General Motors is recalling 40,000 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars due to an unusual steering column issue. The safety problem, which affects vehicles built between March of 2004 and January of 2006 and equipped with tilt and telescoping steering, is related to a specific type of wear which occurs to cables located within the column itself. Specifically, an internal wiring connector was designed in such a way that over time the continued movement of the mechanism designed to position the steering wheel in the most comfortable manner wears it down. This has created the possibility of the Chevrolet Corvette's steering wheel position sensor not being able to accurately determine which way the driver is pointing the vehicle.
While the actual maneuvering of the car is not affected, given the direct mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the Corvette's front wheels, another important vehicle system does fall victim to the malfunctioning sensor. In fact, the Chevrolet Corvette's Active Handling System, which is an advanced form of electronic stability control, may actually apply the brakes on one side of the vehicle or the other seemingly at random in order to fight off what it has perceived as a spin due to the faulty sensor data.
This could trigger a loss of control while driving at any speed, although so far from the 2,000 complaints that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received there have been no serious incidents. In case a dramatic pull to the left or the right isn't enough notification that something has gone wrong with the Corvette, the vehicle's driver information center will also display a warning message that reads 'Service Active Handling System' when the problem occurs.
Acura TSX Recall
Acura has also had to deal with a steering-related recall. Honda has called back just over 167,000 Acura TSX luxury sedans in order to repair a power steering hose that could potentially leak and cause a fire. The material that the hose is made out of is not able to withstand the heat underneath the Acura TSX's hood, and as a result several vehicles have demonstrated premature hose failure leading to power steering fluid leaks - directly on to the automobile's exhaust manifold, which itself reaches high temperatures in the course of normal driving. Several fires have been reported to Honda that were eventually pinned on this issue. The range of affected automobiles is quite wide, with sedans from model years 2004 to 2008 falling under the auspices of the recall.
Dodge Caliber Investigated
The final word of warning for car shoppers who want to keep track of which vehicles may or may not give them problems down the road through recall related issues comes from Dodge. A small run of 10,000 2007 Dodge Caliber crossovers could potentially display unintended acceleration as a result of a faulty gas pedal. The problem is centered around versions of the Dodge Caliber that may have had defective parts installed at the factory. These specific Dodge Caliber crossovers are fortunately outfitted with a brake override system that allows the vehicle to power down the engine if the brake is pressed at the same time as the gas pedal, which means that the risk of an accident in the event of a malfunction is slow.
The NHTSA is investigating the problem, and Dodge is offering to inspect pedal assemblies free of charge to determine if there is a need for a replacement. Since only a small number of these vehicles are affected, buyers should be extra careful when shopping used 2007 Dodge Calibers and make sure to find out if the issue has been addressed.