NHTSA investigates Ford Crown Victoria, Porsche 911, Dodge Viper

Article by Anita Panait, on May 2, 2013

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting three separate defect probes on older model Ford Crown Victoria police cars, Porsche 911 and Dodge Viper sports cars. Although NHTSA’s defect investigations are not recalls, these could lead to them. NHTSA has launched an investigation into model years 2005-2008 of Ford Crown Victoria police models for a potential steering issue.

NHTSA said that a link between upper and lower shafts of the steering column may have failed, causing separation of the shafts. The probe covers 195,000 vehicles involved, many of them in fleets of police vehicles around the US.

According to papers filed by NHTSA, there have been 15 warranty claims or reports, for an incident rate of about eight per 100,000 vehicles. NHTSA is also investigating around 10,000 Porsche 911 models equipped with GTI engines (model years 2001 to 2007) over possible failure of a cooling hose fitting. A loose hose can result to drastic loss of coolant without warning, which could disable the vehicle and cause a slick on the road.

NHTSA received 10 complaints from Porsche owners. One of the complaints claims that spilled coolant caused loss of rear tire traction, leading to a spin-out by the Porsche 911.

There were no incidences of injuries reported to NHTSA. The regulator is also probing Dodge Vipers (model years 2005 and 2006) over possible failure of the rear suspension knuckle. Two complaints were filed with the NHTSA resulting in crashes. The probe covers around 2,500 of the Dodge Vipers in the US. One of the crashes resulted in an injury, NHTSA said.

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