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NHTSA expands safety investigations for Ford, Nissan, VW vehicles

2.3 million vehicles could be affected

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DETROIT – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Monday it has widened its three investigations for air bag and brake problems that could affect more than 2.3 million vehicles from top car providers.

Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan are at the center of the safety probes, and more consumers have complained about the ongoing issues with the vehicles.

The issues stem from last year, but more models were named in January.

Those issues include the following:

  • The 2006-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, and the 2006-2011 Mercury Milan. The investigators are looking into 735 complaints to the NHTSA and Ford that the brake pedal travels more toward the floor than expected, which could increase stopping distance. The NHTSA has reports of 30 crashes resulting in three injuries, and tests at the agency's Ohio laboratory discovered stuck valves and corrosion in the brake hydraulic control unit. 
  • Eight Volkswagen models: CC, Passat, Eos, Golf, GTI, Tiguan, Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen vehicles from the 2010-2014 model years. This affects 1.2 million vehicles, and 852 complaints were reported to the NHTSA. VW has also received nearly 3,000 warranty claims. This recall was sent out to address the failure of air bag wiring in the steering wheel.
  • Nissan Murano SUVs from the 2009 model year. This also has to do with a brake problem. The NHTSA said tests for the hydraulic brake control will take place, and similar control units and brake fluid are used in other Nissan vehicles. However, Nissan maintains the brake system remains all in one piece and that full braking is available even if the pedals travel a longer distance. This affects more than 108,000 vehicles.

Nissan would not say what other models, if any, could be affected. However, it has notified affected Murano owners that dealers will flush brake fluid and test anti-lock brake actuators and replace them, if necessary, for free of charge.