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Hyundai Adds More Cars to Shattering Sunroof Recall
Hyundai Motor Corp. has added 6,071 cars to its sunroof recall affecting 2012 Veloster models. The newly added vehicles, manufactured between July 4, 2011, and October 31, 2011, bring the total number of recalled vehicles to approximately 19,600 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The recall, issued through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was initially announced in December, affecting Velosters manufactured between November 1, 2011, and April 17, 2012. The addition to the recall expands the timeframe in which the panoramic sunroofs “may have been weakened during installation at the factory” according to the recall notice.
In December, an estimated 13,500 vehicles in the U.S. and Puerto Rico were recalled for the defect.
NHTSA Exempts Pilkington from FMVSS Compliance on Certain Backlites
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has agreed to Pilkington North America’s petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard on certain replacement backlites. The petition was filed by Pilkington after company officials realized they failed to label certain replacement backlites as required. The company stated that the windows still met safety standards and NHTSA granted approval of the exemption.
Approximately 206 replacement backlites (NAGS part number FB22692GTY) are impacted for model years 2006 through 2009 Honda Civic two-door coupe passenger cars, according to a notice that appeared in The Federal Register. These windows were manufactured at Pilkington’s Versailles, Ky., plant, on April 16, 2008.
“Pilkington explains that the noncompliance for the 205 replacement rear windows exists due to Pilkington’s failure to label the replacement [backlites] with the marks required by section 7 of ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996, the symbol ‘DOT,’ and its NHTSA assigned manufacturer code mark,” The Federal Register reports.
According to the report, Pilkington argued that, “The noncompliances relate solely to product monograms or markings and the noncompliant [backlites]. Pilkington has tested a number of the parts in its possession and confirmed that they meet or exceed all other applicable performance requirements in FMVSS No. 205.”
The Federal Register went on to say, “Pilkington also stated its belief that the noncompliance will not interfere with any future tracing of the windows because Pilkington is only one of three manufacturers of rear windows for this particular Honda Civic, the other two being Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) and AutoTemp Inc.
“Given that the windows produced by the other two manufacturers will be properly marked, Pilkington’s unlabeled [backlites] should easily be identified and traced, if necessary, should any future defects or noncompliances be discovered,” the report states.
In its introduction in The Federal Register, NHTSA responds, “Pilkington has provided documentation that the windows do comply with all other safety performance requirements of the standard, except labeling.”
NHTSA continues, “NHTSA believes that the lack of labeling would not result in inadvertent replacement of the windows with the wrong glazing. Broken tempered glass can readily be identified as tempered glass, rather than plastic or laminated glass. Anyone who intended to replace the window with an identical tempered glass window would have to contact Pilkington for the proper part, since tempered glass windows cannot be easily manufactured by small field facilities.” n
Lexus LF-LC Concept Closer to Production
While the Lexus LF-LC was intended as a concept car, the Japanese automaker revealed it could put it into production. However, it remains to be seen whether the car will retain the glass-to-glass roof pillar or if it will have a hybrid powertrain like the concept.
A Lexus spokesperson confirmed the model is being studied for a production launch.
Introducing the car at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of the Lexus Division, says, “Over the last few years our talented designers in Japan, France and the U.S. have worked together to bring passion and excitement to our stunning concept vehicles … the LF-LC and LF-CC and to our recently introduced production models like the GS, ES and LS.
“So, as you can see, we’ve made a dramatic change in our approach to design. Frankly, we’ve become obsessed with design and it shows in all of our new products,” he adds.
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