>The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened an investigation into 1996-2004 Nissan Pathfinders and 1997-2003 Infiniti QX4 vehicles over corrosion issues. There have been 35 reports of failure of the front suspension with over half of the complaints saying that steering control was affected. If the investigation should lead to a recall, over 400,000 Pathfinders and QX4 vehicles could be recalled.
Consumer Reports (CR) is an American magazine published by Consumers Union since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory. Consumer Reports does not print outside advertising, accept free product samples, or permit the commercial use of its reviews for selling products. Its publisher states that this policy allows the magazine to “maintain their independence and impartiality… so that CR has no agenda other than the interests of consumers.
Every year, CR publishes their top ten automobiles in ten different categories. The choices are based on performance, reliability and safety. Below are Consumers Reports picks for the 2010 year.
The Nissan Altima has always been a popular choice as a family sedan. It’s roomy interior and comfortable ride makes the car an enjoyable drive. The 2010 version of this car offers improved looks, standard electronic stability control (ESC) and the best fuel economy in its class.
Hyundai Elantra SE:
Hyundai safety and reliability has come a long way and has made Consumer Reports top picks for the third time. The Elantra SE, offers a comfortable ride, good fuel economy and plenty of features for the price. The SE comes with standard ESC that is often not offered on similar competitors vehicles.
The 2010 Volkswagen GTI is a sporty version of the Golf. It offers excellent handling and acceleration and is a comfortable car to drive. The interior is tastefully finished with plenty of cargo space, especially with the hatchback model. Like all Volkswagen’s, the GTI offers a respectable fuel economy.
The Subaru Forester has been labeled as the SUV that offers the most car like driving experience. It offers a comfortable ride with plenty of room and excellent visibility. The Forester offers excellent reliability and an impressive gas mileage for an SUV.
Best Overall Car
Lexus LS 460L:
Lexus has always pampered it’s customers with a luxurious driving experience. The LS 460L is no exception with it’s well crafted, roomy and quiet interior. Though the price is a bit higher than some of the vehicles in its class, if you can afford it, it is well worth it.
Overall, the Traverse stands out as a family SUV. It is comfortable and responsive, and allows up to eight adults seated comfortably as well as room for cargo. Visibility is not the best for this SUV, taking into account the size of it, but Chevy offers convex side mirrors and an optional rear view camera to help.
The Infiniti G sedans are one of the highest rated sedans tested by Consumer Reports. Excellent handling, acceleration and comfort make this luxurious vehicle a pleasure to drive. Because it is a sports sedan, space and storage are compromised.
The Mazda5 offers a lot in a compact and affordable microvan. It offers the convenience of a minivan with the maneuverability and fuel economy of a wagon. The addition of standard ESC for 2010 makes this minivan safer and fun to drive.
The Toyota Prius was one to the first green cars manufactured for the public. Its overall mileage has made it the green car pick for the seventh straight year. It is a comfortable car to drive, and its 2010 redesign makes it even more appealing. Toyota has also added a dedicated EV that allows it to run longer on electric power at low speeds.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500:
This well rounded pickup offers a roomy cabin, an exellent payload capacity and a decent ride for a pickup. It is an excellent 4WD family vehicle offering a quality interior on higher end models.
Below are some of the automobile recalls for July 2010
- Chrysler is recalling some 2010 left hand drive Jeep Liberty, Dodge Nitro and Ram 1500 trucks and right and left hand drive Jeep Wrangler vehicles that may have been built with an improperly formed master cylinder to hydraulic control unit brake tube assembly end flare. This could lead to a loss of brake fluid resulting to reduced braking. Dealers will replace the brake tubes free of charge. Owners may contact Chrysler toll-free at 1-800-853-1403.
- Ducati is recalling some 2010 Multistrada 1200 motorcycles for several problems. The throttle cables may come in contact with the upper edge of the radiator, the center stand mounting screws may come loose during operation, and an incorrect screw may have been installed in the steering head. Dealers will correct these problems free of charge. Owners may contact Ducati at 1-800-231-6696.
- Ford is recalling certain 2010 Transit Connect vehicles manufactured from December 5, 2008 to May 31, 2010. The headliner retention push pin located on the headliner above the b-pillar trim on both the left and right side of the vehicles needs to be replaced because it exceeds the head injury criteria requirement standards. Ford will notify owners and dealers will repair the vehicles free of charge. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company at 1-866-436-7332.
- Harley-Davidson is recalling certain 2010 FXDF motorcycles with fork leg assemblies (LH P/N 48622-08, RH P/N 48623-08) manufactured from January 29 through February 9, 2010. The wrong springs used in these fork leg assemblies may reduce suspension effectiveness which may result in reduced traction and possibly affect parking stability. Harley-Davidson will notify owners and dealers will repair the affected motorcycles free of charge. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056.
- Jaguar is recalling some 2010-2011 XK and 2010 XF V8 5.0L gasoline engine vehicles which may experience fuel starvation due to an incorrectly activated fuel pump relay. Dealers will download revised software free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin before August 30, 2010. Owners may contact Jaguar at 1-800-452-4827.
- Kawasaki is recalling certain 2009 EX650C9F/FL and 2010 EX650CAF/FL Ninja 650 motorcycles for cowlings that can interfere with the operator’s foot while braking. This could reduce the operator’s control over braking or distract the operator, creating the potential for a crash. Dealers will install an updated footrest guard and fairing bracket free of charge. Owners may contact Kawasaki Consumer Services Department at 1-866-802-9381.
- Nissan is recalling certain model year 2002 Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 vehicles manufactured from August 24, 2001 through August 28, 2001. Due to an improper installation, the inflator housing may rupture, producing loose metal fragments that could injure the front passenger. Dealers will replace the front passenger air bag module assembly with a new one free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin August. Owners may contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261 and Infiniti at 1-800-662-6200.
- Subaru is recalling some 2010 and 2011 Outback and Legacy passenger vehicles manufactured from April 28 to June 23, 2010. An omitted lubrication hole prevents the transmission gears from being lubricated, which will lead to the gears eventually breaking. Owners may contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.
- Yamaha is recalling certain 2009 VMX17 motorcycles manufactured from June 2008 to March 2009. Excessive electrical resistance in the accelerator position sensors and throttle position sensors ground wire could lead to a dangerous unstable idle speed. Yamaha will notify owners and dealers will repair the motorcycles free of charge. Owners may contact Yamaha at 1-800-962-7926.
Nissan will be recalling as many as 140,000 Infiniti G35 sedans built between 2005-2006 and G35 coupes from 2005-2007 because of faulty airbags. Though there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem, Nissan found that the wire harness for the airbags may become warn, preventing the bags from deploying during an accident. The automaker says Infiniti owners who see the red air bag light come on should get to a dealer right away. Recall notices will be mailed out next month to Infinity car owners.
T.S.B’s (Technical Service Bulletins) are not recalls. They let automakers and consumers know about recurring problems experienced with various automobile models. Manufacturers do not offer payment assistance for these repairs beyond normal warranty coverage. Below is a list of some recent T.S.B’s
T.S.B. SB0151-09 issued on Oct. 14
2006-9 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 models may have a clicking noise from the rear, which requires the rear coil spring assembly to be replaced.
T.S.B. WVL-22 issued on Oct. 13
2005-8 Subaru Foresters and 2005-7 Imprezas may experience a momentary lack of fuel during cornering when the gas tank is below 1.5 gallons. The fuel pump could momentarily draw air, causing the engine to misfire resulting in damage to the catalytic converter. Removal of the one-way valve situated at the base of a small sub chamber in the tank should remedy the problem.
T.S.B. J06 issued on Oct. 12
2009 Dodge Ram 1500s’ a leaky windshield washer fluid reservoir sensor has the potential to leak fluid through to the wiring harness to the temperature sensor. This could damage the temperature sensor, preventing the fluid-level warning lamp from lighting. Replacing both sensors and the harness will stop the leak.
T.S.B. 09-19-15 issued on Oct. 5
2006-10 Focus and Escape models may have defective ignition locks that fail to turn to the start position. The problem is blamed on a bad steering column lock module which causes the keys to bind, but can be repaired by replacing the module.
T.S.B. 09-19-14 issued on Oct. 5
2010 Ford Transit Connects may have a brake knock in the rear. Ford dealers have been instructed to engage the parking brake three notches, and drive forward and then reverse for about 800 feet. If this “voodoo” doesn’t work, you can try swapping or replacing the left and right rear drums.
T.S.B. 09-18-2 issued on Sept. 21
2008-10 Ford Focus models may have problems with the front stabilizer bar, the upper front strut bearing or the lower control arm that may cause popping or clicking noises on turns or bumps. Replacing the affected parts, or tightening them to the factory-specified torque setting, should solve this problem.
T.S.B. SB0342-09 issued on Sept. 21
2006-9 Toyota 4Runners during stop and go driving or heavy acceleration, a smell of sulfur may be noticed. The replacement of the converter will eliminate the smell.
T.S.B. SB0338-09 issued on Sept. 16
2007-10 Toyota Tundras may emit a grinding noise from the front end when in 4 wheel drive. A new differential support should remedy the problem.
T.S.B. 09-023A issued on Sept. 10
2003-5 Q45s and 2004 M45s could have an electrical malfunction that deactivates one or both front side air bags and turn on the warning light. The system should be inspected, and if need be, repaired by adding a coating of epoxy to the wiring connectors and rerouting them slightly.
T.S.B. 0600309 issued on Sept. 4
2008-9 Mazda Tribute crossovers may have a popping or clunking sound from the steering column when turning. Replacing the steering shaft and the coupling joint will remedy the noise.
T.S.B. 0904509 issued on Aug. 17
2007-10 Mazda CX-7 may have a rattling sound from the bumper at highway speeds. Adding washers and new fasteners between the bumper cover and the body will quiet the noise.
T.S.B. 09-02-35-005 issued on Aug. 10
In some 2008-9 Cadillac CTS; 2005-9 Chevrolet Cobalt; 2006-9 Chevrolet HHR,2006-9 Pontiac Solstice; 2007-9 Chevy Equinox and 2007-9 Pontiac G5’s the key is difficult to remove from the ignition. Replacing the ignition lock cylinder will fix the problem.
2008-2009 Infiniti G37 -Windows will lower an inch and then rise again when someone closes the glove box. A sensor wire is plugged in at the wrong spot.
If you think your Infiniti may be a lemon, call the California Lemon Law Firm, Delsack and Associates at 888-Ex-Lemon (888-395-3666). They are specialists in the field with over 21 years experience.