Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 31, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Automotive news from the desk at 'America's Car Show'

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Not rated for pursuit duty, police cruisers powered by the engine would instead be intended for “special service” use - detective work, for example. Ford calls it the Special Service Police Sedan, but it’s essentially a modified version of base Ford Taurus, which uses the same engine mated to the same six-speed automatic gearbox. 

The consumer version of the 2.0-liter Taurus is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway and will be rated at 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque.

“Not every police officer needs a pursuit-rated vehicle,” Ford police marketing manager Jonathan Honeycutt said in a statement. “As agencies look to replace older, V8-equipped cruisers with more efficient cars, Ford is ready with the most fuel-efficient - yet still very capable - full-size police vehicle.” 

Honda recall

Honda is recalling the 2003-04 Honda Odyssey for a problem with its airbags. According to Detroit News, the recall also includes 2003 models of the Acura MDX. The flaw stems from a faulty computer chip used in the system that deploys airbags. Chips from the same supplier have caused recalls of other vehicles, including the Jeep Liberty and Jeep Grand Cherokee last year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least six complaints of Odyssey airbags deploying without a crash, and another 41 consumers have complained about the airbag warning light being illuminated. Thankfully, no crashes or fatalities have been associated with the issue.

The solution to the problem lies in preventing electrical interference with the airbag system. Honda says that it will repair recalled vehicles by installing an electrical noise filter next to the control unit that contains the flawed chip.

In all, some 374,000 vehicles are affected by the Honda/Acura recall — 318,000 Odysseys and 56,000 MDXs.

Honda hasn’t yet published a timeline for the recall. If you own one of the vehicles listed above, contact your local Honda dealer for details, or call Honda Customer Service at 800-999-1009.

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