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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if it has been posted already, but just in case. Mods, if posted already, feel free to merge or dump :)

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators are investigating reports that the power liftgates on some 2009 Honda Odyssey minivans can suddenly close.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that it appears the gas-filled liftgate struts failed and were unable to support the liftgate when it was in the open position.

A liftgate is the hatchback door that allows access to the rear of a minivan.

NHTSA says two of the seven complaints involved injuries caused by people being struck by a closing liftgate.

Safety officials say there have been no similar complaints involving Odyssey minivans made during the 2008 or 2010 model years and equipped with power liftgates.

[Washington Post]

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3,292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
N.H.T.S.A. Investigates 20,000 Honda Odysseys for Power Liftgate Failures

Early in 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave up trying to force Honda to recall defective liftgates on its 2005 minivans. That hasn’t prevented the agency from opening a new investigation into a similar problem on 20,000 Odysseys from the 2009 model year.

After receiving seven complaints, the agency began investigating struts failing on the power liftgate on the 2009 Odyssey Touring and EX-L models. Two owners reported injuries from being struck, according to a document posted this week on the agency’s Web site.

N.H.T.S.A. previously investigated a similar problem on the 2005 Odyssey. In that case, the agency told the automaker in 2009 that it wanted a recall of almost 22,000 minivans because “the consequence of the strut failures — unexpected dropping and power-closing of the liftgate — poses an unreasonable risk of injury.”

In a rare example of automaker defiance, Honda refused, writing in a letter to the agency that it “respectfully declines the staff’s request for a safety recall of these vehicles.” Honda said the problem was nothing more than an inconvenience for owners.

The automaker’s position left the agency with two choices: Take Honda to court or back off. It chose the latter course in 2010, allowing Honda to inform owners of a problem and “provide the opportunity for vehicle owners to obtain new struts that are more robust.” At the time, Chris Naughton, a Honda spokesman, said the automaker considered the action a “product update.”

In other recent actions:

• Chrysler is recalling roughly 700 of its 2012 models because the company’s newly developed Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 may fail. Chrysler said “block debris” could cause a connecting rod bearing failure. It said the problem was discovered at the engine plant in Saltillo, Mexico. The vehicles being recalled are the Chrysler 200 and Town & Country minivan, Dodge Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Chrysler described the action as a voluntary recall, but once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem it has no choice but to immediately inform the agency of its plan for a recall.

• Yamaha said it was recalling about 2,300 of its 2009–11 motorcycles because the oil pump may fail, which could severely damage the engine. The company said that it learned of the problem through a “quality control review.” The recall covers the VMax 17YB and several variants.

• Earlier this week, the agency said it was investigating 400,000 Jeep Liberty S.U.V.’s from 2002-3 over a concern that the air bags could deploy without a crash.

[The New York Times Wheels]
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