Three automakers announce recalls
The three Detroit automakers announced vehicle recalls Friday, though they said none of the defects had resulted in accidents or injuries.
Ford said it was recalling nearly 1.4 million vehicles from the 2013-14 model years for an air bag malfunction and door handles that may not latch properly. The air bag issue covers about 692,500 Escape and C-Max models, including 591,000 in the United States, about 78,000 in Canada and almost 19,700 in Mexico.
The air bag problem involves what Ford calls its “safety canopy” — an air bag that deploys from the ceiling near the windows to protect an occupant’s head in a side impact crash or rollover. Ford said a computer software issue could delay the canopy’s deployment “in certain rollover circumstances, potentially increasing the risk of injury.”
The door handle defect affects 692,700 Escapes, including about 580,000 in the United States, 89,500 in Canada and 20,000 in Mexico. Ford said any of the vehicle’s door handles could malfunction and fail to latch properly, allowing the doors to open when the vehicle was in motion.
Chrysler announced two recalls, covering more than 784,000 vehicles. The company will replace window switches in an estimated 780,000 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans from the 2010-14 model years, after episodes of overheating. Chrysler will also replace the power inverter module in more than 4,000 electric cars, including some 2013-14 Fiat 500e vehicles, because a defect could cause coolant to seep onto electrical components, elevating the risk of a short circuit and power loss while driving.
In addition, General Motors is recalling almost 9,000 Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu sedans from the 2014 model year because brake rotors intended for the rear brakes may have been installed on the front brakes, the automaker said in a news release. The rear brake rotor is thinner than front rotors, and GM said that although the braking performance should not be affected when the vehicle was new, there would be “reduced brake performance” over time.
—Christopher Jensen, The New York Times
Train enforces stowaway ban, stranding migrants in Mexico
MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of Central American migrants trying to make their way to the United States have been stranded in Mexico in recent weeks after the freight-train line they ride — labeled the Beast — began enforcing a ban on stowaways, migrant advocates say.
The migrants, often desperate to leave poverty and crime in their home countries, brave riding atop the train cars, activists say, and are prey to criminals who have been accused of rape, robbery and murder.
Many of the migrants have ended up in already crowded shelters, which have reported populations now swelling beyond capacity with men, women and children. Migrant activists say that once the migrants are stranded, they face a difficult decision of whether to return home or try the journey north by foot or car, leaving them vulnerable to criminal gangs and corrupt police along the way.
Crew members of the railroad, which is featured in books and documentaries about the migration north, normally turn a blind eye to migrants scrambling to stow away on the trains.
But after the southern Mexico state of Veracruz filed a lawsuit last month accusing the railroad of complicity in the violence on the trains, the train operators began banning the stowaways, migrant advocates said. The train line is run by Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern de Mexico.
According to activists, train cars overloaded with migrants have been unhitched and left idle, and the train has skipped stops where scores of migrants waited.
—Paulina Villegas, The New York Times