After aggressive litigation from by General Motors airbag malfunction recall lawyers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has expanded its probe into airbag and brake issues that could affect over two million Nissan, Ford and Volkswagen vehicles. The federal agency said it expanded these investigations after receiving additional complaints from consumers.
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The NHTSA upgraded an investigation into Murano SUV brake problems in the 2009 model to an engineering analysis, which experts say is one step closer to initiating a recall. At least 484 consumer complaints have been received by the NHTSA or Nissan including 14 crash complaints and three injury complaints. The complaints say the brake pedal is traveling closer to the floor than what is expected, but Nissan argues that the full brake system is working even though the pedal may travel lower to the floor. The NHTSA is conducting tests on the hydraulic braking control units. The automaker says that affected owners are being notified that they can take their vehicles to the dealer to have the brake fluid flushed and the anti-lock brake actuators tested and replaced if needed at no cost.
1.2 million 2010 to 2014 Passat, Eos, Golf, CC, Jetta, Tiguan and Jetta SportWagen vehicles are being investigated over airbag complaints alleging that a wiring fix from the original recall did not work or that the driver airbags in vehicles not originally involved in the investigation failed to inflate. More than 852 consumer complaints have been filed, and the automaker has received more than 3,000 warranty claims.
The NHTSA has expanded a 2016 probe to include over one million Ford Fusions, Lincoln MKZ, and Mercury Milan vehicles. The agency and the manufacturer have received 735 consumer complaints that the brake pedal in these vehicles travels further to the floor than expected which may increase stopping distance. At least 30 crashes have been reported resulting in three injuries. The NHTSA tested the brake hydraulic control unit at their factory in Ohio and found corrosion and stuck valves. Ford assured the government agency that the newer units have a different coating.
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