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9 automotive recalls due to electronics blunder

29 Aug 2014  | Alison Dorantes-Garcia

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 Unintended acceleration

Figure 3: Unintended acceleration: Honda admits "it's the software" (Image: WikiCommons)

Honda Motor Co. is recalling all 175,000 Fit and Vezel hybrid cars sold in Japan since last year because of a software flaw in the electronic control unit that causes unintended acceleration.

 Ignition switches: mechanical flaws meet sensing

Figure 4: Ignition switches: mechanical flaws meet sensing (Image: GMC)

Earlier this year GM recalled many vehicles due to faulty ignition switches. The ignition switches can easily be knocked out of the "run" position into "accessory" or "lock" position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine. Power loss could mean the airbag wouldn't deploy.

The timing of the key movement out of the "run" position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes. – letter from GM to NHTSA

The problem affects Saturn Ion (2003-2007 models), Saturn Sky (2007-2010), Pontiac G5 (2007-2010), Pontiac Solstice (2006-2010), Chevrolet Cobalt (2005-2010), and Chevrolet HHR (2006-2011). Reuters has a good timeline and reports that 107 death claims have been filed.

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