May 2013 Automobile Recalls

TOYOTA
Recalling certain 2007-2013 FJ Cruiser vehicles that were manufactured between January 25, 2006, and February 23, 2013, and equipped with Toyota Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kits mounted to the front bumper. These lamp assemblies include 55 watt bulbs and due to this wattage and mounting angle, the combination of the upper beam headlamps plus the auxiliary lamps are too bright and exceed the maximum light output allowed for an upper beam headlamp. These vehicles fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. Light intensities above the maximum allowable limit could cause increased glare for oncoming traffic and increase the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners and dealerships will replace the 55 watt bulbs with 35 watt bulbs free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late May 2013. Owners may contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

MERCEDES-BENZ
Recalling certain 2013 GL350 BlueTec, GL450 4Matic, GL550 4Matic, and GL63 AMG vehicles manufactured between May 15, 2012, through October 4, 2012, due to faulty second row seat belt anchor fitting bolts that may not be properly torqued. If the bolts are not properly torqued, the seat belt anchor bolts may loosen and if there is a crash, the belt occupant may not be properly restrained and this can increase the risk of an injury. Mercedes-Benz will notify owners and dealerships will check and tighten the bolts of the seat belt anchor fitting as needed. The recall campaign is expected to begin this month and owners may contact Mercedes-Benz at (800) 367-6372. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

BMW
Recalling certain 2002-2003 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi sedans and 325Ci and 330Ci coupes and convertibles as well as 325iT and 325xiT sport wagons, and M3 coupes and convertibles due to a passenger side frontal air bag defect. The defective air bag may produce excessive internal pressure and cause the inflator to rupture upon deployment of the air bag. In the event of a crash where the air bag is needed, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments that could strike and seriously injure the passenger or other occupants. BMW intends to issue initial recall notifications to owners informing them of the defect this month. Once replacement parts are available which will likely be in July 2013, BMW will notify owners to contact their dealerships to schedule a replacement of the passenger air bag free of charge. Owners may contact BMW customer service at (800) 525-7417. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

SUBARU
Recalling certain 2013 Outback and Legacy vehicles manufactured between February 15, 2012, and June 15, 2012, due to problems with the steering assembly. The inner and outer shafts of the steering column assembly may become disengaged from one another and this can cause the driver to lose the ability to steer the vehicle and increase the risk of a crash. Subaru will notify owners and dealerships will replace the steering column assembly with a new one free of charge. The recall began on May 14, 2013 and owners can contact Subaru at (800) 782-2783. The recall campaign number is WQI-45. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

CHRYSLER GROUP, LLC
Recalling certain 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 Trucks manufactured between June 25, 2013, and December 12, 2012, due to a coolant bypass valve problem. In the vehicles that may be affected, the coolant bypass valve may stick in a position that does not allow coolant to flow into the heater core. The vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of the Federal Vehicle Motor Safety Standard regarding windshield defrosting and defogging systems. Without a properly working windshield defrosting system, moisture can build up or ice could limit a driver’s ability to see and this can increase the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners and dealerships will replace the coolant valves along with an updated programming free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2013. Owners may contact Chrysler at (800) 247-9753. Chrysler’s recall campaign number is N26. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

Chrysler is also recalling a number of 2008-2012 Jeep Wrangler right hand drive vehicles manufactured between February 1, 2007, and October 10, 2011, due to air bag defects. The vehicles that are affected by the recall have air bag clock spring assemblies that could experience broken air bag circuits. If the vehicles that are affected crash and a need for an air bag arises, a broken electrical circuit in the air bag clock spring wiring assembly can lead to non-deployment of the driver side frontal air bag and will not be able to properly protect the driver which can lead to an increased risk of injury. Chrysler will notify owners and dealerships will replace the clock spring and add a steering wheel dust shield free of charge. The recall is expected to begin this month and owners may contact Chryser at (800) 247-9753. This recall supercedes NHTSA’s recall 11V-528. Chrysler’s recall campaign number is M31. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

Chrysler is also recalling certain 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured between February 11, 2004, and March 9, 2010, and 2006-2010 Jeep Commander vehicles manufactured between January 31, 2005, and March 10, 2010, due to a transfer case electrical failure. A transfer case electrical failure may result in unintentional shifting of the transfer case into the neutral position. If the vehicle shifts into neutral, it may roll away and increase the risk of a crash or personal injury. Chrysler will notify owners and dealerships will reprogram the final drive controller which controls the transfer case with new software free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June of 2013. Owners may contact Chrysler at (800) 247-9753. Chrysler’s recall campaign number is N23. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

GENERAL MOTORS
Recalling a number of 2013 Cadillac SRX vehicles that were built between January 31, 2012, and March 18, 2013, that are equipped with 18 inch wheels. The wheel lug nuts may loosen and if this happens, they may fall off or cause the wheel studs to fracture. As a result, the wheel can separate from the vehicle and increase the risk of a crash. GM will notify owners and dealers will remove and reinstall the wheel nuts by performing a tire rotation free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by June 3, 2013. Owners can contact GM at (800) 521-7300 and the recall campaign number is 13116. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

General Motors is also recalling 2012 and 2013 Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal as well as 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco vehicles that are equipped with eAssist. These vehicles may have a defect that causes the generator control module to malfunction. This could cause a gradual loss of battery charge and the check engine light may activate. If the vehicle is continued to be driven, the engine may stall and the vehicle may not start. In addition, there may be a burning or melting odor, smoke, and possibly a fire in the trunk. GM will notify owners and dealerships will make the necessary repairs free of charge. GM has not yet scheduled the notification. Owners can contact GM at (800) 521-7300 and the recall campaign number is 13136. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

MASERATI NORTH AMERICA, INC.
Recalled a number of 2005-2008 Quattroporte, 2008 Granturismo, and 2008 Alfa Romeo 8C vehicles because the rear tie rod assemblies may have insufficient anti-corrosion material applied which may allow them to weaken and possibly fail. Failure of the tie rods may result in a loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of a crash. Maserati will notify owners and dealers will replace the tie rod assemblies. The recall is expected to begin by the end of June 2013. Customers may contact Maserati at (877) 696-2737. The recall campaign number is 205. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for further information.

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Debbie Horowitz

Deborah L. Horowitz, an attorney who has been licensed in California to practice law for over 15 years, has dedicated her entire legal career to protecting consumer rights. She has settled over 8,000 lemon law cases and achieved excellent results for her clients.