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Recalls

While airbags can be a major safety asset in the event of an accident, crash test data and real-world incidents have shown that front airbags can actually be dangerous for younger, lighter children. Many newer vehicles now have sensors that turn off the front passenger airbag when the occupant doesn't meet weight requirements, but the sensor may not work in some 2007 and 2008 Kia Sorento models.

Toyota has announced that it will voluntarily repair 650,000 Prius models for a fault in the hybrid cooling system. According to Reuters, a glitch in the vehicle's coolant pump could cause the vehicle to overheat and lose power, though no accidents or injuries have been reported in association with the problem to date. It's worth noting that this isn't an official recall in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's a service action.

Toyota has announced that it will voluntarily repair 650,000 Prius models for a fault in the hybrid cooling system. According to Reuters, a glitch in the vehicle's coolant pump could cause the vehicle to overheat and lose power, though no accidents or injuries have been reported in association with the problem to date. It's worth noting that this isn't an official recall in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's a service action.

Honda Element – Click above for high-res image gallery

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 MINI Cooper S

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

You might remember a bout of fires consuming a handful of Ford trucks, SUVs and cars that was due to a faulty cruise control switch that could ignite even if the vehicles were parked. General Motors is apparently having a similar issue, and although it doesn't involve the same cruise control system, the potential outcome – a car fire – is the same.

Toyota passes Ford as second largest automaker in the U.S.; Mazda grows the most in 2007

click above for more high-res images of the gorgeous Audi R8

Those of you rolling in a 2005–2008 Acura RL take note: Honda has issued a recall for your power steering hose and being the educated consumer that you are, you won't have to wait by the mailbox to know about it.

Mercedes-Benz is confusing the blog out of us with its nomenclature. Sure, it's usually pretty straightforward: one letter for the class, three numbers for the (approximate) engine displacement. Tack on 4Matic for all-wheel-drive, chop off a zero and add AMG for the performance models. But they just about lost us on this one.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did its worst to the new Scion xD, and after performing both the frontal offset test and a side impact test with the standard front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat torso airbags, the xD came away with ratings from "good" to "average."

Click the image above for live and press shots of the Honda CR-Z concept.

Click the image above for more high-res images.

click above image to view gallery of 20th Anniversary HSV Clubsport R8

click the above image to view more random, funny and cool stuff from Frankfurt

You didn't think we forgot to report the numbers, did you? We imagine some automakers wish we had, for instance Jaguar and Mercury, which share our Biggest Loser honor this month by dropping an identical 20.2% in sales. Another of Ford's brands, Land Rover, was the Biggest Winner, jumping 32.2% in sales last month versus August 2006.

BusinessWeek has trolled the NHTSA files to find out which automakers have had to recall their brand new 2007 models the most, and the winner is Volkswagen thanks to a recall of just over 1 milion 2007 New Beetles because of potentially faulty brake light switches. Of course, Ford announced a major recall of 3.6 million vehicles earlier this month for defective cruise control switches, but none of the vehicles affected were 2007 models and so don't count for this list.