esc control systems

Your car’s crash avoidance technologies need maintenance too!


Your car’s crash avoidance technologies need maintenance too!


Chances are that your car has some type of computer controlled crash avoidance technology onboard. Even if you car is older, (the national average is now 10.4 years) , these ststemsare designed to operate with a freshly built vehicle and get less effective the more the vehicle and its parts age and wear out.


Current Estimates show that 60% of all vehicles in service bays are four to 12 years old, and within that age range there are literally millions of ESC-equipped vehicles.


What are crash avoidance sytems in your car?

ESC- Electronic Stability control. One of the most significant automotive advances in the last decade and a half has been Electonic stability control. Often referred to as the seatbelt of the 21st century, ESC is an onboard electronic system that helps prevent spinouts and rollovers. You know that little button that usually says ESC on your dash and when you push it it sows a car in a skid? That is your ESC controller and for most people it is always in the “on” mode.


It is a proven statistic that most car accidents involving the loss of control of the vehicle, occur when the vehicle is driven beyond its traction limits, such as during oversteer or understeer conditions or driving too fast for conditions. The ESC system uses sensors in the drive train and in the steering wheel to calculate how fast you are turning into or out of a turn. When the vehicle is rolling or leaning too far or when the tires begin to lose traction the ESC will instantly reduce engine speed and apply one of the individual wheel brakes in just the right amount to maintain vehicle control. The ESC system utilizes several ride control components to keep the vehicle under control. And its operation is seamless. Electronic stability control isn’t new; it has been standard equipment on millions of vehicles dating back to the mid-1990s.


What most car owners do not realize however is that the overall performance of ESC is dependent on the condition of the car’s suspension components. Replacing worn shocks and struts can improve steering, stopping, and stability on all vehicles – whether ESC-equipped or not. And each of those three characteristics can have a significant effect on the safety of the driver and his or her passengers. In order for the crash avoidance sensors to do their job properly, they have to depend on the firmness and integrity of the suspension components. A loose suspension could send the wrong signals to the electric controller and in extreme cases, could even harm activate the system when it is not needed.


Car owners need to be made aware of the fact that the effectiveness of ESC is limited by the ability of the tires and the vehicle’s suspension. If the tires can’t grip the road, then it’s just like driving on ice, and therefore it’s important to have good tires and ride control components that aren’t worn.


ESC has been very instrumental in lowering traffic fatalities. There was a 5% reduction in fatalities during a five-year period up to 2011, which is directly attributable to the Crash avoidance system technologies. But in 2012, the number of deaths or injuries increased by about 3.3%.


There have been a number of research projects identifying the impact of degraded ride control on handling and stopping. While most consumers consider the function of ride control is to keep their vehicle smooth-riding, its real function is to keep the tires in contact with the road. When ride control begins to fail, tires begin to lose traction under turning and braking, possibly compromising safety.


Statistics show that vehicles 4 to 8-years-old are the most likely to be involved in an accident and vehicle accident fatalities are on the rise. At Orielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona, we can perform the repairs to the exterior of your vehicle after a crash, and we can mae the proper repairs to your computer systems such as ESC, to help keep you out of more accidents. However it is up to you to service your vehicle properly, and do not skip on the repairs that just could end up saving your life.


Have a car that needs suspension work? Click the button below for a free estimate.


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New study finds hands free technologies to be more distracting for drivers.

New study finds hands free technologies to be more distracting for drivers.

Even though we make our living by fixing accident damaged cars in the Tucson Arizona market, we at O’Rielly Collision Centers have a focus on keeping our customers safe and sound while behind the wheel. Whenever we hear of things related to the safety of drivers we like to bring it to your attention in our blog. When we learned of this new study on distracted driving technology and their effectiveness, we wanted to make sure that you know about it.

Chances are your car or hand held device has some form of a hands free technology. When the cell phone and other smart devices entered the mainstream market, people immediately pointed fingers at car accidents and blamed distracted driving. In fact distracted driving was not even a term in our lexicon.

In an attempt to thwart the dangers of distracted driving, many car manufacturers and third party technology companies have developed hands free assist devices for cars and trucks. I have a technology in my car developed by Microsoft and while it can be convenient to connect my phone via blue tooth, let’s be honest, aren’t these things just as distracting if not more?

Well a new study by AAA and the University of Utah found that many of today’s hands-free and voice command technologies are not doing the job of eliminated distracted driving. Even though the driver still has their hands on the wheel and their eyes firmly on the road, there still exists the condition where drivers are mentally focused away from the task of driving. In fact, the study found that the worst offending of these devices can mentally distract drivers for as long as 27 seconds.

The AAA study evaluated 10 hands-free systems currently installed in the 2015 model year vehicles as well as three common smartphone voice-activated systems (such as the iPhone’s “Siri”), and found that each increased mental distraction to dangerously unsafe levels during the moments when drivers made phone calls, queued up music, or sent texts using voice commands.

According to Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden danger that would shock most people. The test results indicate that drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the task of driving from operating a hand free device from within their cars.
AAA distracted driving chart

Take a look at the graph above. Each system tested was rated on a five-point scale, with one point serving as mild distraction (the equivalent of listening to the radio) up to four points for very high distraction that equivalent to updating social media while driving.

Of the vehicles and systems tested, the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Lacrosse scored best of all, showing a cognitive distraction rating of just 2.4. At the opposite end, the Mazda 6’s system rated as the most mentally distracting with a score of 4.6. Researchers scored Google’s smartphone voice-command system best at 3.0 when making calls or changing music, followed by Apple with a score of 3.4 and Microsoft at 3.8. The report found using the phones to send texts via voice command significantly elevated these levels of distraction.

So what then is the solution to distracted driving even with hand held and voice command systems? AAA advises all drivers to be more mindful of how distracting these technologies can really be, even if they’re designed to help. The auto club also suggests that developers need to work on simplifying these systems. Given that many of the voice command technologies are still in their infancy, the hope is that the trend will be for simple to use, and hopefully, safer driving experience

Don’t let existing auto body damage be your distraction. Click the button below for a free online autobody repair estimate.

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Where to get my airbag replaced under warranty in Tucson Arizona.

Where to get my airbag replaced under warranty in Tucson Arizona.

On October 22, 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it has expanded its investigation into defective Takata airbags. This is a subject we have written about before but once again there are some important new developments worth noting. The new scope has prompted the recall of more than 19 million vehicles manufactured by 12 automakers. The airbags sometimes explode instead of inflate, showering passengers with potentially deadly shards of plastic and metal.

One year ago, the number of recalled cars was closer to 8 million but the NHTSA investigation continues to add more airbags and potentially affected vehicles to the list. Originally, regulators focused on driver and front passenger airbags, however now they are starting to investigate side airbags and newer cars that weren’t included in the first round of the recall.

And that means they have to test even more, too. As the number of potentially affected vehicles expands, so does the type and quantity of airbags that must be analyzed. During this time that Takata has been conducting its own investigation of the root causes of its airbag failures, regulators have hired research organizations like Battelle develop their own analytics.

Battelle in particular is working on procedures that allow it to test dozens of airbags in rapid succession, instead of one-off tests, Battelle’s procedure can run through a couple thousand in a day.

To develop those large-scale tests, Battelle uses a big blast chamber in West Jefferson, Ohio. Built of concrete, its domed structure has foot-thick walls to shield workers during airbag inflations and other high-energy tests, from examining hydrogen fuel tanks to analyzing ballistics.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t explicitly tasked Battelle with identifying the root cause of the airbags’ explosive malfunction, the testing has uncovered some hints as to the root cause of the problem. That domed blast chamber is outfitted with pressure sensors and slow-motion cameras, and every inflator Battelle tests gets a CT scan before ignition.

The CT scan is perhaps most likely to reveal information about the defective inflators. The way an airbag works, involves a small charge that builds pressure, and it launches the airbag out. That charge is a small wafer of ammonium nitrate, and it’s not supposed to be explosive. It is only supposed to expand rapidly as a gas, propelling the airbag out.

But in a certain proportion of Takata’s airbags, there is some reason that that explosive charge ruptures the metal wall of the container that’s holding the charge, creating hazardous shards just a foot or two from passengers. Herein lies the danger to passengers.
During the course of creating its high-throughput tests, Battelle has noticed that wafers that are deformed or larger than usual (as they appear in those pre-test CT scans) are more likely to rupture violently.

Takata has emphasized the role of degradation in the defects; its internal tests suggest that high heat and humidity can degrade the ammonium nitrate wafers over time, potentially leading to failure. But a recent side airbag rupture in a 2015 model Volkswagen calls that explanation into question. Neither Takata nor regulators seem to know exactly what’s behind the failures—and the only path forward is lots more pyrotechnics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials said last week that the services of independent repair shops may be sought to deal with the massive Takata airbag recall, which affects nearly 23 million vehicles manufactured by 12 automakers.

How long will it take to get my Takata airbag replaced in Arizona?

When these new The Takata airbag recall has already been described by auto insiders as the most complex auto safety recall effort in US history. The recall involves the immense task of replacing millions of defective Takata airbags inflators in US vehicles.

Since the replacement of defective Takata airbag inflators underscores a mammoth effort, Stephen Ridella — the NHTSA’s director of vehicle crashworthiness research — said in an October 22 briefing that non-dealer service shops may be asked to help with the recall repairs.

The move which Ridella has hinted at would be an unprecedented one because, thus far, recall repairs can be carried out only by franchised new-car dealers.

As millions more vehicles get added to the recall list, the waiting list to get your car fixed could take months if not over a year. The move to allow independent shops to replace airbags will free up some capacity. Luckily O’Rielly Collision Center is both a dealership and an auto body repair shop. So swing in now and get that airbag taken care of.

Have a car that needs an airbag replacement? Click the button below for a free estimate.

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Free Teen Driver Safety Program Could Save Your Arizona Teen Driver’s Life

There is one statistic that we would all like to see set to zero. That statistic is automotive fatalities from car crashes. This is especially true of teen drivers, whose death statistics have not been decreasing at the rate we had hoped. In fact statistically speaking , eight teenage drivers die on the roads every single day.
At O’Rielly Collision centers we have always had an active stance in the protection of the Tucson area motoring public. We are not just in the autobody repair business; we are in the auto safety business. This week is National Teen Driver Safety week and several auto related brands have stepped up to bring teen driver safety into to public eye and to equip parents with additional resources needed to raise a safe teen age driver.

There are numerous free safety programs available with either online tools or actual national programs that travel city to city. A partial list is included here:

Safe Kids USA
Countdown2Drive helps families build trust by developing passenger agreements for teens. Setting a tone of mutual respect is the first step to a safe-driving journey. Parents can sleep better and teens can earn the respect and trust they deserve. Visit Website

Because of inexperience, many teens lack the skills and knowledge required to be safe drivers. Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) is a free, comprehensive program designed to teach newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving.Visit Website

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. is your resource for learning about distracted driving. Get the facts, get involved and help keep our roadways safe. Visit Website

Program sponsor
Impact Teen Drivers has been actively planning, developing, and delivering awareness through educational materials and programs on teen safe driving with emphasis on the dangers of distracted and reckless driving. Visit website

The It Can Wait campaign reminds teens that no text message is worth dying for. Keep your eyes on the road and take the pledge. Visit Website

Operation Click is a charitable organization that uses positive reinforcement, a signed contract, and adherence to the rules to promote safe driving habits. Each year students have a chance to win a new car donated by community dealerships and sponsors. Visit Website

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
As a parent, you can make a difference by getting involved with your teen’s driving. Take advantage of our “Parents Are the Key” tools and resources. You’ll learn about the most dangerous driving situations for your young driver-and how to avoid them.Visit Website

State Farm Insurance
Project Ignition students and their advisors have been creating impactful awareness campaigns to address teen driver safety issues for years. Are you ready to lead your school, community, and peers to save lives on the road? Gather your team and apply now. Visit Website

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
The U.S. Department of Heath & Human Services is working to promote safe driving practices for teens. Their site includes tips, facts and talking points to help you make safe driving a priority. Visit Website

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
After spending years protecting your children from all sorts of dangers on the road and off, you now face the prospect of handing them the keys to the family car. It’s time for them to learn how to drive. These resources can help mold your young adult into a safe and capable driver. Visit Website

State Farm is committed to helping end tragedies related to teen traffic injuries. This comprehensive website is filled with free tools, tips, and resources designed to help teens and parents during the learning-to-drive process. Visit Website

SADD works to prevent teens from making destructive decisions and helps them set a healthy course for their lives by providing the best prevention tools. Visit Website

National Safety Council
The NSC provides education to drivers of all vehicle types and monitors crash trends to find solutions and make accident prevention possible. The NSC is a major advocate against distracted driving and cell phone use behind the wheel. Visit Website

Teens Drive Smart is a valuable teen traffic safety resource-complete with a fun and engaging video contest. Visit Website

Toyota and Discovery Education teamed up to create Toyota Teen Driver, a comprehensive program designed to help teens avoid distractions and to help them stay safe behind the wheel. Visit Website

At many of these travelling programs, Auto manufacturers such as Kia and Ford send out professional driving instructors who provide hours of intensive hands-on defensive driving education with kids behind the wheel of cars donated by the manufacturer. Parents participate in the courses to ensure proper driving techniques are reinforced following the session. According Kia’s to the B.R.A.K.E.S. program, the first six months are the most dangerous for a new driver as their skill level is at the lowest.
If you are the parent of a new or soon to be teen age driver, we encourage you to take this week to get involved, and research the many programs available to you and your child. And as always, we wish you happy and safe motoring.

Teen driver Arizona

Safest Cars for Arizona Teen Drivers- an updated 2015 list.

Safest Cars for Arizona Teen Drivers- an updated list.

As an auto body company dedicated to the safety of our customers, O’Rielly Collision Centers is concerned about the safety of all our drivers, especially the newest ones- the teenage driver.

Each year a new group of teens come of driving age, and with that parents begin a very stressful car buying process. As adults we typically know what we are looking for in a car, Whether is is performance, size, style, utility or simply price, we search for cars with that set of criteria in mind and that is it.

But when it comes to purchasing a car for a teenage son or daughter, the criteria list is somehow more important. As a parent we want to control the safety of our children as much as possible. However when the child becomes a licensed driver, we are forced to let go of some of that control and trust the skill and discipline of our child behind the wheel. As a parent of a new teenage driver, you are facing a host of factors that put our child’s safety in jeopardy. First off there is the lack of experience that all new drivers have. It takes hours and years to master driving at the safest level, and when we had over the keys to a car, we are placing that trust in the least skilled driver in the family. We also have to contend with the temptations that all teen drivers face such as speeding, and now texting and driving. Like all parents we want a safe car four our child, one that will protect them in all driving conditions, even ones that can correct for driver error. The good news is that these cars do exist, and each year more and more affordable used cars with high end safety features enter the used car market.

The third factor that most parents have to contend with but few automotive journalists take into consideration is the teen’s acceptance of the car. Let’s face it, we are a privileged society, and no group is more vocal about their demands than teenagers. As a parent, we want to find good, safe economical car, and one that our child will not put up a fight with us to drive.

So what should a parent look for when shopping for safe cars for a new teen driver?

First off, let me say that most parents automatically think that this child will probably get some scrapes and bumps on this car so let’s just look for a cheap used car in decent shape. I cannot stress enough what a flawed logic this is. Please keep in mind that you are putting the most inexperienced driver in the family into the oldest, or least equipped car in the family fleet. Simple scrapes and bumps can be repaired as body shops like O’Rielly Collision Centers in Tucson for a lot less money than most people think. And what price do you put on your child’s safety?

Typically larger, heavier cars offer better protection in crashes than smaller, lighter cars.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its new, updated list of safest used cars for teen drivers. The list of options to parents has grown by more than 50 percent since the group’s initial report in 2014, even though the price and safety criteria haven’t changed since last year.

“Time is on the consumer’s side,” Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research, said in a statement. “It’s easier than ever to find a used vehicle with must-have safety features and decent crash test performance without spending a fortune.”

The IIHS is a nonprofit automotive testing facility in Virginia and is solely financed by the insurance industry and is famous for its crash test safety ratings. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (or NHTSA) is the government oversight group who also conducts crash testing for national safety standards, however, the IIHS crash testing is more rigours and includes more tests and data. This data is primarily used by the Insurance industry to set insurance rates however the information from these tests is also made public in the desire for a safer motoring public.

The IIHS compiled its first list of recommended used vehicles after finding that the vast majority of parents who bought a vehicle for their teen driver bought it used.

According to the IIHS, this year’s list includes higher price points for most of the vehicles they recommend for novice drivers than what a lot of people are used to spending. The IIHS encourages parents to consider paying a little more for safety if they can.

The list is a guide to choosing vehicles that have decent crash test scores from the Institute and the federal government. These vehicles all include standard crash avoidance technologies such as electronic stability control that has been proven to reduce teen driver accidents

A wide range of vehicles are organized by model type and price and designated either as “best choices,” priced under $20,000 with good ratings in the institute’s four oldest crashworthiness tests, or “good choices,” priced under $10,000 with less-than-perfect ratings in some tests.

Click here to go straight to the IIHS list.

Have a car in mind for a teen driver that needs a little “aesthetic improvement”? Click the button below for a free estimate.

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three factors takata air bag

Airbag recall expands to seven additional brands.

Airbag recall expands to seven additional brands.

At O’Rielly Collision Centers in Tucson Arizona, safety is our guiding principal. Anytime there is a public safety issue we want to bring it to your attention, just like the ongoing developments of the Takata airbag recall. The Takata airbag recall is not a new recall, but it could be expanding.

This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notified seven automakers, including Tesla Motors and Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, Suzuki Motor, Volvo Trucks and Spartan Motors that it is considering expanding the Takata airbag recall.

“It is expected that the scope of the current Takata recalls may expand as time goes on and will likely grow to include vehicles that are outside the scope of the current recalls” is one excerpt from the NHTSA letters. “The recalls may also grow to include inflator types that are not currently within the scope of the Takata DIRs (defect information reports).”

The NHTSA has increased its estimates to 23.4 million defective airbag inflators that are in U.S. vehicles.

The recall on the defective inflators alleges that they can deploy with too much force in a crash, shooting metal fragments at the vehicle’ passengers. The defective inflators have been blamed for eight deaths so far in the United States.

The NHTSA letters urge the seven new automakers to outline out how many vehicles have Takata airbag inflators and whether they are considering recalls or any other service actions related to airbag inflators.

The NHTSA has asked these seven automakers what challenges do they expect to face if NHTSA issued an administrative order expanding the scope of the current Takata recalls, either by model year or inflator type. NHTSA is holding public hearing regarding the Takata airbag recall scheduled in two weeks.

The agency has offered to work with all carmakers to develop plans for replacing faulty airbags with new ones.

On September 16, NHTSA updated its list of affected manufacturers and vehicles.

Consumers will have to wait until NHTSA is finished gathering information from these latest automakers before taking any action. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to check NHTSA’s VIN Lookup tool to see if your vehicle is included in the Takata airbag recall.

So far about 23.4 million Takata driver and passenger air bag inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million U.S. vehicles sold by 11 different companies, including Honda and Fiat Chrysler.

NHTSA said one purpose of the letters is to figure out how many additional vehicles might have to be recalled. The agency is preparing for an Oct. 22 public meeting in Washington to discuss an ongoing investigation into Takata and whether the agency will take over management of all the recalls to speed up repairs.

So far, only 4.4 million air bag inflators had been replaced. The lengthy replacement schedule has been exacerbated because car makers have had to scramble to get parts.

NHTSA is asking each of the seven additional companies to identify every model that uses a Takata air bag inflator with ammonium nitrate as the propellant. Currently, Takata’s theory on the cause of the problem is that the accelerant chemical degrades over time. According to Takata, this could potentially lead to “overaggressive combustion” or potentially cause the inflator to rupture. The NHTSA claims that time, temperature and airborne moisture contribute to the early failure of the Takata airbags.

The reason that the NHTSA has added additional manufacturers to its list of faulty airbag has to do with an investigation into a June crash involving a Volkswagen SUV near St. Louis in which the left side air bag inflated with too much force and blew apart the inflator canister. The crash between a deer and a 2015 VW Tiguan was the first reported in a Volkswagen and the first instance with a side air bag failure. Previously Takata had said the problem was limited to older designs in front and passenger air bags.
VW said at the time that the Tiguan driver did not seek medical attention, and it was working with NHTSA and Takata to better understand the problem.

Mercedes, Jaguar-Land Rover and Tesla all said the Takata air bags they use are not part of current recalls, but wouldn’t say which models had them. Mercedes and Jaguar-Land Rover said they were cooperating with NHTSA.

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Dodge truck death wobble

What you need to know about the Dodge truck “Death Wobble”

Out here in Tucson Arizona, as is the case with a lot of the Southwest, it is truck country. We fix a lot of trucks in out body shops in Tucson and Green Valley Arizona. As a result we have probably encountered, heard of, or repaired just about every kind of ailment that a truck can encounter. We also hear about recurring problems among truck owners. One such occurrence is the Dodge Ram truck and Jeep Wrangler “death wobble”.

When we hear a term like “death wobble” being uttered in the same breath as a car or truck, we become very alert to instances such as this. We pride ourselves at O’Rielly Collision Centers on being able to return any car or truck to its safest possible condition. So today we are going to discuss this particular truck ailment in detail.

Even as recently as July 17, 2015, Law firms are taking out class action lawsuits against a Chrysler, alleging that certain Chrysler-manufactured Dodge Ram trucks have a defective steering system. According to the complaint, certain 2009-2012 Dodge Ram trucks are equipped with a defective steering system that causes the trucks to shake uncontrollably and can cause the steering system to fail abruptly.

The Chrysler death wobble complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California. The case is titled Looper v. FCA US LLC, Case No. 5:14-cv-800 and is currently pending before Judge Virginia A. Phillips. There are no new developments in this case as of yet.

What is the death wobble?
Jeep Wrangler owners who experienced a similar diving abnormality in their particular vehicles originally coined the “death wobble” phrase.

When travelling at highway speeds and hitting a bump or pot-hole in the road, the front end begins to shake violently and does not stop until the driver jams on the brakes and brings the truck back down to below highway speeds.

Some people contribute this phenomenon to the worst possible downside of having a coil-sprung front suspension on a truck with a track bar. Unlike a typical suspension set up, Dodge Ram trucks will continue to shake long after hitting the bump to the point that controlling the vehicle is nearly impossible until the driver slows down.

Chrysler’s failed recalls

The current lawsuit alleges that Chrysler learned about the death wobble defect with Dodge Ram trucks in the mid-2000s but waited four years before conducting a series of recalls from 2009 through 2013. Chrysler classified the recalls as Safety Recalls, H36, H46, K28, L16, N62, N49, and N63. The recalls addressed various parts of 2009-2012 Dodge Ram trucks’ steering linkage system, including its tie rod assemblies. The complaint alleges that the recalls excluded many affected vehicles and that Chrysler provided replacement parts that were also defective, forcing Chrysler to make additional recalls to remedy prior recalls. Consumers have reported that Chrysler does not have enough replacement parts to repair all the vehicles for which it has submitted recall notices and that drivers have been put on long waiting lists for repairs.
Chrysler’s steering linkage defect and redesign

Allegedly, the ball stud is defective in the Chrysler Suspension design. The driver’s side tie-rod ball stud that Chrysler used is too weak to and is known to fracture under normal driving conditions.
The tie rod is a “crucial link” in the vehicle’s steering system. A loose tie rod can cause any vehicle to have an excess shimmy or, in cases like this, the dreaded death wobble.
The tie rod can affect front-end alignment. When the vehicle’s alignment falls out of whack, it can cause the vehicle to pull suddenly to one side of the road.

It’s important to note that beginning in the 2013 model year, Chrysler redesigned its trucks with a new reciprocating ball steering gear that provides greater durability and control. The trucks also have better steering knuckles, ball joints, and more robust linkages.

Death wobble could be a danger to consumers

In the lawsuit, the Chrysler death wobble class action complaint alleges that the death wobble is a safety hazard to drivers of Dodge Ram trucks, as well as their passengers and anyone who shares the road with these vehicles. Drivers of Dodge Ram trucks have reported that the defect has caused serious accidents and injuries, including vehicle rollover, and accidents resulting in drivers or passengers being thrown into rivers, trees, ditches, fences, telephone poles, and concrete barriers.

The lawsuit also alleges that Chrysler has acknowledged that the steering system defect has led to injuries and accidents. In a press release regarding the recalls, Chrysler stated that the company was aware of “six accidents and two injuries involving the model year 2008-2012 2500 and 3500 trucks and one additional accident with no injuries involving the remaining models.”

Dodge Ram Trucks with Death Wobble Problems

2008 Dodge Ram 1500 2006-2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2012 Dodge Ram 2500 2004-2012 Dodge Ram 2500
2012 Dodge Ram 3500 2004-2012 Dodge Ram 3500

Also included are the 2007-2012 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis, 2008-2012 Dodge Ram 4500, and the 2008 Dodge Ram 5500.

Death wobble defect causes consumers financial loss

The lawsuit further alleges that the defect in Chrysler’s steering linkage system has caused financial loss to consumers by decreasing the resale value of Dodge trucks, and that consumers have incurred out-of-pocket expenses when they have attempted to repair their trucks. Additionally, the defective steering linkage system is alleged to cause wear and tear on other parts of Dodge trucks, such as front tires, which can be expensive to repair or replace.

Does your Dodge Ram have a death wobble caused you some auto body damage? Contact us to get a free estimate for repairs by clicking the button below.

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exploded sunroof

Are Shattering Sunroof the Next National Safety Recall?

In the last two years, automotive safety recalls have taken center stage in a ways that we have never seen before. Coming on the heels of a major GM botched safety recall over its faulty ignition switches and the Takata airbag recall. Most recently Chrysler has announced a buy back program for 200,000 dodge pickups over a steering issue, and nearly 1 million Jeeps over a gas tank issue. Now the NHTSA is investigating new safety issue- Exploding sunroofs.

In sunnier areas of the United States such as right here in Tucson Arizona, more cars are sold with sunroofs than those without them. We are also exposed to more extreme sun and heat issues. So it is an alarming thought that the NHTSA has received over 400 new claims of exploding sunroofs. And the NHTSA has taken notice, calling for a National investigation into the problem.

The exploding sunroofs are not specific to one particular make or model, however recently Audi and Kia have performed small scale recalls on their sunroofs including a the Kia Sorrento from 2011 to 2013.

Types of glass used in Auto manufacture

When it shatters, it will sound like a gunshot. Unlike windshields which are made of a laminated safety glass, sunroofs are made of tempered glass, the same as your side windows and rear windows. Tempered glass is baked at high temperatures at the factory and shatters into millions of small pieces upon impact. While strong initially, the glass becomes very fragile once it is hit from a sharp object, or twisted or contorted as if in an accident. This is designed for safety, to keep the occupants from getting cut by large sharp shards of glass, and also to make glass breakage easy for rescuers and first responders.

On the other hand your windshield is actually two layers of glass, non-tempered, with a thin plastic layer sandwiched between both layers of glass. This s designed to protect you in an impact and to keep the glass shards from entering into the cabin upon impact. Laminated glass is also a structural element to modern cars.

Possible causes for sunroof explosions

Early investigation found hundreds of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the problem which lead Audi and Hyundai to issue voluntary recalls on some models.

Due to the relatively small number of complaints filed, all other manufactures so far have waived off any responsibility claiming that external impacts from rocks or other foreign objects are causing the damage.

One researcher who investigates crash scenes for insurance companies claims that the problem is that the sunroofs and the mechanical structures are too light for their purpose.
The glass in the structure around the sunroof is being made thinner in vehicles these days as part of weight savings.

Car-makers are under increased pressure from the federal government to make vehicles with better fuel mileage, and they’re doing that by using lighter metals for the frame and auto bodies.

Kia’s own investigation found no evidence of a defect, however federal regulators at the NHTSA have started their own investigation stating that the recent influx of reported incidents is concerning. That investigation that started in May 2014, and it’s still open.

How to prevent your sunroof from shattering in Arizona

Here in Arizona, where the sun and heat are very intense, experts suggest that when it’s really hot out, you should leave the shade to your sunroof open when you’re not in the car. This prevents extra heat from building up between the glass and the shade that will put more pressure on the glass.

exploded sunroof with sahde

They also suggest that getting your sunroof tinted on the inside would prevent glass from showering down on you if the sunroof did break.

You can search for your car’s make and model in NHTSA’s database online to find out how many times others have complained about this issue happen.

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