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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating hundreds of reports that 2004-2005 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans are fitted with defective transmissions that could dangerously fail without warning. Most alarming is that many of the transmissions reportedly fail at highway speeds. In a common complaint, the engine will suddenly surge and then all power is immediately lost. The vehicle is forced to coast powerlessly to a safe spot out of the flow of traffi

Honda subsidiary Yutaka Technologies began construction on a transmission component factory in Cullman, Alabama in January. The plant will employ about 200 people and is part of a larger strategy to build several component-supplier factories to feed Honda's US manufacturing plants. There's new facilities going up in Georgia and Ohio in addition to the Alabama plant. The Cullman plant will start supplying torque converters and exhaust components to Honda's Lincoln, Alabama assembly plant in Novem