Niagara Gazette

Features

December 19, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: GM, Dodge recalls and other automotive news

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Technically, three separate recalls are being issued:

• One, which covers 842,400 2003 through 2008 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks will involve inspection and, if necessary, replacement of mis-aligned tie-road assemblies.

• A second covering 294,000 2008-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks and 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cab trucks, will address the same concern. Chrysler says it is related to an earlier recall.

• Finally, a third recall will bring back 43,500 2008-2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 Chassis Cabs for a similar inspection. Notably, Chrysler says that parts for this particular recall may not be available until early next year.

Chrysler will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles by mail next month. The inspections (and, if necessary, the part replacements) will be handled by dealers at no cost to owners.The vast majority of the trucks are believed to be in the US and Canada.

Toyota concerned over WiFi expansion

Toyota told the federal government in Washington, D.C. last month that it is concerned that an expansion of the wireless spectrum for Internet use could pose a problem for in-car safety equipment. Speaking with the House Energy and Commerce committee, Toyota research manager John Kenney said that more testing needs to be done in order to confirm that “no harmful interference will impair the safety-of-life mission for which that spectrum is allocated.” Kenney spoke in Washington alongside representatives from Cisco, Comcast and the FCC. 

Specifically, Toyota’s concern addresses the impact of a wider WiFi spectrum on features like collision avoidance technologies. Toyota, like most other automakers, makes use of radar and camera-based technologies to scan the road ahead. The most basic systems alert drivers to potential obstacles, while more advanced systems pre-charge brakes or even automatically stop vehicles to prevent or mitigate the impact of an accident. Speaking on the government’s behalf, Nebraska Republican representative Terry Lee told the committee, “There is room for both.” 

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