The Drive will keep you up to speed with the latest on Twin Cities commuting.

Faulty airbags trigger recall of 4.7 million vehicles

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 21, 2014 - 10:54 AM

More than 4.7 million owners of vehicles are being urged to take their cars to their dealers and have the vehicle's airbags checked out. On Monday the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said the airbags made by Takata could be defective and to take action immediately.

The warning was most pressing for vehicle owners in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and Hawaii. High humidity could be a factor, the agency said. But the agency also said anybody who received a recall notice for defective airbags made by Takata should see a dealer.

The airbags could fail to deploy properly, the agency said.

The NHTSA has been investigating since June. So far six incidents have been reported and at least one death has been attributed to the airbag explosions.

In a statement on its website, Japanese company Takata said In a statement on its website, Takata said it is cooperating with the NHTSA and is committed to ensuring the safety and functionality of its airbag inflators and strives to avoid any malfunction.

The vehicles in question were made between 2000 and 2006 by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors.

On the website safecar.gov, consumers can search by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall or one related to the airbag problem that needs to be addressed.

Here is a list of vehicle affected by the recall issued Monday:

Toyota: 778,177 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra
2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe

Honda: 2,803,214 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl)
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL

Nissan: 437,712 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – Infiniti FX

Mazda: 18,050 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2004 Mazda6
2004 – Mazda RX-8

BMW: 573,935 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

General Motors: 133,221 total number potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana

9 a.m. update: Rush hour wrap up

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 21, 2014 - 9:01 AM

As clean as Monday's commute was, Tuesday was an absolute disaster for commuters in all corners of the metro except the southwest. Drivers in Shakopee, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka escaped most of the madness that included a semi rollover, road work and lots of crashes.

The issues continue as we end the rush with a stalled semi blocking the left lane of I-35E on the Cayuga Bridge. That has traffic jammed from Hwy. 36 into downtown St. Paul.  That section of freeway never really did get into gear Tuesday. Late lifting road work at Little Canada Road caused traffic to stack up before 6 a.m., and things never really loosened.

Motorists in Newport and Cottage Grove suffered the most. A semi rolled over on northbound Hwy. 61 at I-494 just after 6 a.m.  The truck leaked oil on the pavement and send coal spreading across the highway. Authorities shut down the road and diverted traffic onto eastbound 494.  That led to a 3-mile back up at the peak of the rush to near 80th Street in Cottage Grove.  The road is still closed at this hour.

The Crosstown dragged much of the morning, too, as a crash at Lyndale in the 7 a.m. hour kept things slow for eastbound drivers. Westbound commuters also lost time due to congestion.

Drive times past the 30-minute mark on southbound 35W from Forest Lake to downtown Minneapolis. A crash at County 10 in the 7 a.m. hour tangled traffic.

Coming up today, street sweeping begins in Minneapolis and the First Lady of the United States comes to speak at Patrick Henry High in Minneapolis.  With her visit, look for impromptu closures between the MSP Airport and the school at 43rd and Newton Avenues N.

8:45 a.m. update: Stall jams traffic on I-35E in St. Paul

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 21, 2014 - 8:44 AM

A stalled semi in the left lane of southbound 35E just past Maryland Avenue has traffic swerving to the right on the Cayuga Bridge. In turn, that has traffic slowing from Little Canada Road into downtown.

Look out for the tarp in the lanes of northbound Hwy. 100 near Duluth Street in Golden Valley.

Elsewhere, we have several crashes working. Here is the current list:

  • Southbound 35W at County Road 96. Delays back at County Road 10
  • On the ramp from eastbound 494 to 394/494 in Minnetonka
  • Northbound Hwy. 61 at 494 in Newport. The overturned semi has the highway closed until about 9 a.m. Delays kick in at 10th Street.
  • Northbound Hwy. 100 at 50th Street
  • Southbound Hwy. 169 at County Road 21
  • Southbound 35W at Diamond Lake Road in Minneapolis

8:30 a.m. update: Current drive times

Posted by: Tim Harlow Updated: October 21, 2014 - 8:32 AM

With crashes and congestion, drive times remain on the high side for this point in the rush. Here is a sampler of where you'll find crash-related delays:

  • Northbound 35W at Hennepin Avenue
  • Southbound 35W at County Road 96
  • Northbound Hwy. 61 at I-494.  Traffic jammed back to 70th Street
  • Southbound 35W at Diamond Lake Road
  • Eastbound 94 at Ruth Street
  • Northbound Hwy. 100 at 50th Street

Here are some current travel times:

North metro

Southbound 35W from 95th Avenue to downtown Minneapolis: 33 minutes

Southbound 35E from County 14 to I-94: 23 minutes.

Eastbound Hwy. 10 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 17 minutes

Westbound 694 from 35E to Hwy. 252: 14 minutes. Eastbound is 14 minutes.

West metro

Eastbound 94 from Crow River to 494: 17 minutes

Southbound 494 from 94 down to 394: 13 minutes

Eastbound 394 from 494 to 35W via 94: 14 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 169 from I-94 to Crosstown: 20 minutes

Southbound Hwy. 100 from I-94 to Crosstown: 18 minutes

South metro

Northbound 35W from County 42 to Crosstown: 18 minutes    To downtown Minneapolis: 27 minutes.

Northbound Cedar Avenue from 35E to the Crosstown: 13 minutes

Northbound 35E from County 42 to downtown St. Paul: 19 minutes

Northbound 169 from Canterbury Road to 494: 11 minutes

Eastbound Hwy. 212 from Powers Blvd. to Crosstown: 15 minutes

Westbound 494 from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 100: 17 minutes.  Eastbound 494 from Hwy. 169 to 35W: 16 minutes

Westbound Crosstown from Cedar Avenue to Hwy. 169: 15 minutes   Eastbound Crosstown from Hwy. 100 to Cedar Avenue: 18 minutes

East metro

Westbound 94 from Manning Avenue to downtown St. Paul: 12 minutes

Westbound 94 from 35E to the Lowry Hill Tunnel: 15 minutes.

Westbound Hwy. 36 from Edgerton Street to 35W: 11 minutes.

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