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Cadillacs, Kias Called Back for Possible Safety-Belt Problems

Restraints might be faulty in some DeVilles, Sephias and Sportages. NHTSA also lists other recalls.

September 25, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Cadillac has begun the recall of 269,000 of its 2000 to 2002 DeVille sedans because of a potential safety-belt problem.

General Motors Corp.'s luxury unit said the front lap and shoulder-belt retractors in DeVilles built from May 1999 to May 2002 might not remain locked in certain crash situations.

The company reported the problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this month and said it had not yet determined the proper remedy and did not expect to begin notifying affected customers of the recall until December.

In a second major seat-belt recall this month, Kia Motors Corp. said it is pulling in about 200,000 Sephia sedans and Sportage sport utility vehicles from the 1995 through 1998 model years to fix belts that may not latch properly.

NHTSA said it has received 32 complaints, including five reports of injuries, related to the problem. The seat-belt buckle might not be latched when the driver or passenger thinks it has been closed, the agency said.

"We recalled all of the vehicles just to be sure that the seat belts were addressed," Kia spokesman Kim Custer said. The South Korean auto maker hasn't yet decided how it will fix the belts and doesn't expect to find many defects, he said.

Separately, NHTSA has issued its monthly "reminder" list of significant recalls. The list covers recalls initially announced a month or so earlier and is intended to alert vehicle owners who might have missed the original alert or who have not yet been notified by the manufacturer about their vehicle.

Those recalls are:


34,869 X5 SUVs from the 2000 and 2001 model years, built from August 1999 to February 2001, to repair a possibly faulty brake pedal pivot shaft that can separate from its support bracket, causing the braking system to become inoperable. Owner notification began last month.

3,531 Mini Cooper coupes, 2002 models built from September 2001 to May 2002 and equipped with manual transmissions. The transmission shift cable can detach from the transmission linkage, locking the car into the last gear selected. Owner notification began last month.


88,000 Chrysler Sebring convertibles from the 1996 and 1997 model years, to inspect and repair frayed throttle cables on models with 2.5-liter V-6 engines.

The frayed cable can cause the throttle to bind or stick, resulting in loss of throttle control and increasing the risk of a crash.

Chrysler said it began notifying owners last month.

General Motors Corp.

525,000 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVS and Silverado pickups and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs and Sierra pickups, 2000 models built from February 1999 to February 2000, to repair a potentially faulty air bag system that could keep the front-seat air bags from deploying in a crash.

Owner notification began last month.

80,000 Chevrolet Trailblazer and other 2002-model sport utilities recalled to fix fuel-filter assemblies that could become disconnected. The problem can cause a spill or result in the engine stopping for lack of gasoline, NHSTA said.

Owner notification is scheduled to begin this month.

Honda Motor Co.

17,551 of its 2003-model Honda and Acura vehicles recalled to inspect and repair an improperly machined water-pump pulley that can cause the timing belt to rub against the engine, fray and possibly fail.

The recall includes Honda Accord sedans, Odyssey minivans and Pilot sport utilities, as well as Acura CL coupes, TL sedans and MDX sport utilities, Acura spokesman Mike Spencer said.

Honda began notifying owners this month.

Kia Motors

25,000 Sephia sedans, 1998 models built from September 1997 to April 1998, because of a potentially faulty electrical contact that can result in inoperative hazard or turn signal lights. Owner notification began last month.

Rolls-Royce Motors

2,025 various Rolls and Bentley models from the 1999-2002 model years, to fix a potentially faulty low pressure brake fluid feed pipe that can trap air, causing excessive brake pedal travel and reducing the effectiveness of the primary braking circuit. Owner notification began last month.

Toyota Motor Co.

154,593 Toyota Highlander SUVs from the 2001 and 2002 model years, built from November 2000 to May 2002, to correct an improperly installed vapor recovery valve hose clamp that could cause a fuel leakage in certain frontal crash conditions.

Owner notification is to begin this month.

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