A federal safety agency has upgraded investigations into reports of front-end failures in certain General Motors pickup trucks, seat belt failures in some Chevrolet Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds and power-seat fires in certain Ford Tauruses and Thunderbirds.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also said it was intensifying two separate investigations into possible defects in the anti-lock braking systems of 1985 through 1987 BMWs and 1988 and 1989 Jaguar XJ-6s.
All five investigations were upgraded to the second highest of three levels and could ultimately lead to recalls of the vehicles.
The agency said it had 668 complaints from owners of 1987 through 1989 General Motors C and K pickups of lower ball-joint failure, which can affect steering.
The NHTSA said it had 58 complaints of short circuits in the power seats of 1987 and 1988 Tauruses and Thunderbirds.
The agency said 1984 through 1986 Camaros and Firebirds were being checked because of 136 complaints of seat belt-buckle failures.
As many as 185,000 BMWs could be involved if a recall is ordered to correct a brake-system flaw.
The NHTSA said it had 56 complaints from Jaguar owners who reported electrical failures that made their cars' brakes much harder to apply.