BMW recalls 40,000 motorcycles to replace rear wheel flange

A problem with the rear wheels on a wide variety of BMW motorcycles has prompted them to issue a recall for 43,426 vehicles.  In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),recall campaign number 15V141000 has been issued.   The recall notice states that  on affected motorcycles, the rear wheel flange threaded holes can crack if the wheel bolts are tightened beyond the specified torque limit when reinstalled after a service procedure.  BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the existing aluminum rear wheel flange with a steel one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 21, 2015. Please follow the links below view the official documents associated with the recall: Recall acknowledgement letter: RCAK-15V141-4032.pdf  Defect Notice Report 573: RCLRPT-15V141-9082.PDF

Previously Recalled Vehicle Remedies Not Working

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently. The recalls will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to fix the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles. The new recalls cover 2.12 million Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon models made in the early 2000’s. The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with an electronic component manufactured by TRW that caused some airbags to deploy inadvertently. NHTSA discovered through the monitoring of incoming data from consumers and automakers that some vehicles remedied under the previous recalls may have experienced inadvertent deployments. NHTSA urged all three automakers to issue new recalls to implement a more effective remedy. NHTSA has identified about 40 vehicles in which airbags deployed unexpectedly after receiving the original remedy. Action by consumers is especially important because about 1 million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in these new recalls are also subject to a recall related to defective Takata airbags that may deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or even death to vehicle occupants. Because of the dangers involved in an inadvertent deployment, and because some of the vehicles involved may also have defective Takata airbags, NHTSA urges consumers who were covered by the original recalls to take their vehicles to their local dealer for the original remedy. That remedy significantly reduces the chance of an airbag deployment that presents a safety risk. This is an urgent safety issue, and all consumers with vehicles covered by the previous recalls should have that remedy installed. Even though it’s a temporary solution until the new remedy is available, they and their families will be safer if they take the time to learn if their vehicle is covered and follow their manufacturers’ instructions. NHTSA will take a series of additional steps to ensure safety, including:
  • Seeking additional information from TRW, which made the electronic part believed to be involved in the inadvertent deployments, about the potential defect, its causes, and whether other makes or models might be affected.
  • Seeking information from the automakers about how quickly they can make the new, more effective remedy available.

Yamaha recalls 2014 YZF-R6 motorcycles

Yamaha Motor Corp. recently announced that it is recalling about a small number of 2014 YZF-R6 supersport motorcycles to replace wheels that may have not been properly hardened during manufacturing.  Although the recall notice only cites 28 potentially affected units, the bikes in question may have front and rear wheels that have not been properly treated, preventing them from achieving the correct hardness for durability and safe running.  Potential effects of the improper heat treatment are that the wheels could loosen or the tire sealing may be inadequate; either situation could increase the risk of a crash. Yamaha has already notified owners, and will replace both front and rear wheel and tire assemblies on the affected bikes free of charge. Owners may contact Yamaha customer service at 1-800-962-7926 and reference Yamaha’s recall number: 990088. As with all NHTSA recalls, owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

What’s new for Bosch CDR Version 14.2?

What’s new for CDR Version 14.2? Bosch has launched CDR Tool support for Toyota vehicles. Additionally, MY2015 vehicle support was added for many vehicles. Refer to the CDR Help File for more detailed coverage information. New Vehicle Coverage Ford (MY2015, US/Canada Markets) – Mustang – F-150 General Motors (MY2015, US/Canada Market) Added many SDM module IDs for currently supported vehicles Jeep (MY2015, all supported markets) – Cherokee – Grand Cherokee – Wrangler Lexus (MY2015, all supported markets) – RC F – RC350 Toyota/Lexus/Scion (Various MY2001 – MY2015, Japan Market) – Toyota: 86, Allion, Alphard, Aqua, Auris, Avalon, Avensis, Belta, Blade, Brevis, Camry, Celsior, Century, Comfort, Corolla, Crown, Dyna, Estima, FunCargo, Harrier, HiAce, Hilux, ISIS, ist, Kluger, LandCruiser Prado, Majesta, Mark II, Mark X, Mark X Zio, Noah, Porte, Premio, Prius, Probox, Progres, Ractis, Raum, RAV4, Rukus, Rumion, SAI, Sienna, Soarer, Spade, Succeed, Surf, Toyoace, Vanguard, Verso-S, Vios, Voxy, Wish, Yaris – Lexus: CT200h, ES, GS, GX, HS, IS, IS-F, LF-A, LS, LX, NX, RC F, RC350, RX, SC – Scion: iQ, xA, xD   The Bosch CDR system supports select airbag modules for vehicle as far back as 1996. To see if the pre-crash data from your vehicle’s airbag module can be downloaded please see the BOSCH CDR Coverage List.   Veritech engineers utilize the Bosch CDR system as an important tool to aid in performing vehicle accident reconstructions. Airbag modules are capable of recording valuable pre-crash information, such as vehicle speed, brake application and seatbelt usage, but are not capable of telling the entire story. Accident reconstruction engineers must still consider all of the available physical evidence, along with the ACM data, in to order to properly reconstruct an accident. Veritech Consulting Engineering employs Professional Engineers who are specifically trained and certified in the use of the Bosch CDR system and have performed numerous accident reconstructions utilizing airbag module information. Click on the following link for more information on “black box” technology.

NHTSA Announces National Recall of Takata Airbags

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced it is calling for a national recall of vehicles with certain driver’s side frontal air bags made by Takata. This decision is based on the agency’s evaluation of a recent driver’s side air bag failure in a vehicle outside the current regional recall area and its relationship to five previous driver’s side air bag ruptures, all of which are covered by existing regional recalls.   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective driver-side airbags.  Included in the list of manufacturers are some of the premium lines of vehicles such as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.  Currently, there are over seven million vehicles involved in these recalls, which have been announced as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday.  NHTSA’s message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.   “Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.   Consumers, who are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search for recalls by their vehicle’s VIN.  Or they can visit NHTSA’s website at SaferCar.gov where they can search for recalls by vehicle year, make and model.  Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should make arrangements for the repair.   The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database   BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan 2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe 2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon 2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible 2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe 2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible   Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500 2008 – Dodge Ram 5500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango 2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota 2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300 2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen   Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2004 – Ranger 2005 – 2006 GT 2005 – 2007 Mustang   General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe 2005 – Saab 9-2X   Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2001 – 2007 Honda Accord) 2001 – 2002 Honda Accord 2001 – 2005 Honda Civic 2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V 2003 – 2011 Honda Element 2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey 2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot 2006 – Honda Ridgeline 2003 – 2006 Acura MDX 2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL 2005 – Acura RL   Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2007 Mazda6 2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6 2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8 2004 – 2005 MPV 2004 – B-Series Truck   Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2004 – 2005 Lancer 2006 – 2007 Raider   Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima 2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder 2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra 2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35 2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4 2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45   Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2003 – 2005 Baja 2003 – 2005 Legacy 2003 – 2005 Outback 2004 – 2005 Impreza   Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles 2002 – 2005 Lexus SC 2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla 2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix 2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia 2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

CPSC Proposes Stability Standards for UTV / ROV / SxS-vehicles

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Oct. 29 voted 3-2 to move forward on a proposed rule to impose a mandatory product standard for Recreational Off-Road Vehicles (ROVs) also known as Side-by-Side Vehicles (SSV) or Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV).  In its proposed rule titled: Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), the CPSC proposed rules which would require ROVs to have:
  • Lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements that specify a minimum level of rollover resistance for ROVs and a requirement that ROVs exhibit sublimit understeer characteristics;
  • Occupant retention requirements that would limit the maximum speed of a ROV to no more than 15 mph unless driver and front passenger seatbelts are fastened, and
  • A passive barrier or structure to limit the ejection of a belted occupant in the event of a rollover.
The proposed rule is part of a process that was begun in 2009 out of concern over the volume of SSV injuries. As of April 5, 2013, CPSC staff knew of 550 reported SSV-related incidents that happened between Jan. 1, 2003, and April 5, 2013; there were 335 reported fatalities and 506 reported injuries related to those incidents. CPSC is relying, in part, on a 2009 repair program for Yamaha Rhino 450, 660, and 700 models to increase the vehicles’ lateral stability and change the handling.  Yamaha’s improvement program involved the addition of 50mm spacers on the vehicle’s rear wheels (to increase the track width), and the removal of the rear stabilizer bar (to induce understeer characteristics instead of oversteer). Following the change, CPSC cites a dramatic decrease in injuries and fatalities in the repaired Rhinos. “CPSC staff believes that a minimum requirement for rollover resistance of 0.70g threshold lateral acceleration, coupled with a requirement that a vehicle model’s rollover resistance is displayed on a hang tag at point of purchase, will increase the rollover resistance of the overall ROV market and will reduce the occurrence of ROV rollovers,” according to a staff report for the commission. “CPSC staff also believes a vehicle handling requirement for understeer will reduce the occurrence of rollovers caused by sudden increases in lateral acceleration associated with ROVs that oversteer. Prevention of ROV rollovers will reduce deaths and injuries associated with ROV rollover events.”  On a per-unit basis, CPSC estimates the total cost of the proposed rule would be $61 to $94 per vehicle. In opposition to the rule proposal, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and the Americans for Responsible Recreation Access (ARRA) are urging industry professional to push back against the proposal.  The organizations argue that if approved the proposal, “would limit the ability of ROV manufacturers to design vehicles to safely provide the level of performance that is expected by OHV enthusiasts,” the MIC continued. “Page 131 of the CPSC’s briefing package emphasizes the proposed rule’s fundamental weakness: ‘Although the Commission believes that the dynamic lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements will reduce the number of deaths and injuries involving ROVs, it is not possible to quantify this benefit because we do not have sufficient data to estimate the injury rates of models that already meet the requirements and models that do not meet the requirements. Thus we cannot estimate the potential effectiveness of the dynamic lateral stability and vehicle handling requirements in preventing injuries.'”   Veritech Engineering has specific specialty in the investigation, analysis and reconstruction of ROV, UTV and ATV related accidents.  Additionally, our Powersports expert, Mark Kittel, P.E., has industry experience in the product development and testing of ATV’s and UTV’s.

How Does Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction Work?

At this point, most people have heard of the “black box” or flight data recorder that is used to reconstruct the details of an airplane accident. (But did you know that despite the nickname, these FDRs are not black at all, but are actually painted a bright orange for easier visibility after a crash? Many people also know that semi-trucks and passenger cars also have their own version of an accident recorder. These devices make it much easier to know exactly what happened in an accident. They are used by the NTSB and any other agencies looking into the accident, as well as attorneys who might be representing any involved party in a lawsuit. But what kind of forensic engineering is available in motorcycle accidents? There’s no black box recording speed, or even who hit who. For motorcycle accidents, it’s beneficial to have someone who’s an expert in motorcycle operation, construction, and dynamics to examine any physical evidence. An investigation into the causes and circumstances surrounding a motorbike accident focuses on three phases: 1. The braking stage 2. The sliding phase 3. The impact phase Every detail of the evidence is taken into consideration, including any skid marks, the state of the road’s surface, the weather conditions, and the damage sustained by the motorcycle. Damage to any other vehicles or property involved is considered an important part of the evidence as well. Along with an inspection of the accident scene, accident reconstruction experts may perform brake tests, performance tests, and even visibility studies when necessary, in the course of their investigations. Accidents happen quickly. For every person who says they saw their accident happening “in slow motion,” there are many others for whom it occurs so quickly, they cannot offer any good information about exactly what happened. Even if there are witnesses, their testimony about an accident is frequently quite varied, as we each perceive and remember things very differently. Therefore, the role of an expert motorcycle accident reconstructionist is vital to really understanding what happened.

Motorcycle Deaths and Injuries on the Rise

An insurance industry study reports that the average medical claim from a motorcycle crash rose by more than one-fifth last year in Michigan. What accounts for such a dramatic rise? The state passed a law no longer requiring all riders to wear motorcycle helmets. And many motorists took advantage of their new freedom, hitting the road sans helmet. Across the nation, motorcyclists opposed to mandatory helmet use have been chipping away at state helmet laws for years while crash deaths have been on the rise. According to the study done by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the average insurance payout for a motorcycle injury claim was approximately $5,410 the two years prior to the law being changed, when helmets were mandatory for all riders. After the new law went into effect, the average payment rose to $7,257— a 34 percent jump. The Highway Loss Data Institute is part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the losses sustained from crashes on the nation’s roads. This includes personal and property losses. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) supports this mission through scientific studies of insurance data and by publishing insurance loss results. According to HLDI’s chief research officer David Zuby, “The cost per injury claim is significantly higher after the law changed than before, which is consistent with other research that shows riding without a helmet leads to more head injuries.” This particular study is the first one to take a specific look at the consequences repealing helmet laws have on the severity of injuries as measured by medical insurance claims. Although some states have set minimum medical insurance requirements for motorcyclists, “that doesn’t even come close to covering the lifelong care of somebody who is severely brain-injured and who cannot work and who is going to be on Medicaid and a ward of the state,” according to Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. Giving an opposing opinion, Vince Consiglio of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Michigan, claimed bikers not taking the required safety courses was the real cause of the increase in injuries. According to Consiglio, bikers without motorcycle licenses make up an increasing share of fatalities and injuries. Nationwide, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise, even as many states are weakening or repealing helmet laws. The fatality rate for riders has gone up for 14 of the past 15 years. The Governors Highway Safety Association reported 5,000 deaths in 2012—14 percent of overall traffic deaths for that year.