GM is recalling 44,451 MY2008 Saturn Vues to repair sticking outer door handles that keep the doors from latching properly. Across town, Ford is recalling 1,357 MY2009 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators for a misadjusted brake light switch and 65 more 2008 and 2009 school buses with faulty fuel tank protection brackets.
GM just can't catch a break with the Saturn Vue. First, there was that problem with the failing transmissions. Then, there was a leaky power steering problem. Now the Vue is being recalled yet again for sticky outer door handles that could prevent the doors from latching and staying closed. If a door or doors fail to latch, it could come open while driving or during an accident, possibly causing an unbelted passenger to fall or be thrown out of the vehicle. The recall, NHTSA ID No. 09V233000, only affects 2008 Saturn Vues with body-color exterior door handles, of which 44,451 copies were made. GM will replace the door handles with chrome handles that won't bind for free. The recall will begin no later than August 18.
Over at Ford, 1,357 model-year 2009 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators are being recalled to readjust the switch that turns on the brake lights when the driver steps on the brake pedal. Misaligned switches can cause the brake lights not to activate under light braking or delay brake light activation in heavy braking. Either way, the delay or lack of brake lights could increase the chances of the vehicle being rear-ended by a following vehicle that doesn't realize that the vehicle ahead is slowing or stopping. Under NHTSA Recall ID No. 09V232000, Ford will readjust the brake light switches for free beginning next month.
Also at Ford is a persistent problem with the fuel tank on E-350 and E-450 cutaway vans with the school bus prep package. Ford already recalled these vehicles two months ago for a similar problem -- a fuel tank protection bracket that is poorly placed and can actually puncture the fuel tank in a crash, possibly leading to a fire. In this case, 65 of the vehicles may not have had the protection bracket installed at all. Under NHTSA Recall ID No. 09V231000, Ford will inspect and install the bracket for free.