Drive Type: 4x4
Newburgh, Indiana, United States
The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation on the 2006-11 Suzuki Grand Vitara and 2007-11 Suzuki SX4 due to issues with the airbag and seatbelt for the front passenger seat. So far, NHTSA has received 128 complaints on these vehicles for airbag warning lights, airbag off lights and seatbelt lights, on a vehicle set that totals around 205,000 units, but there is no indication as to how many, if any, injuries have reported.
Via technical service bulletins, Suzuki has already acknowledged two airbag-related issues with front passenger seats on both vehicles, including a programming error for the passenger seat load indicator on 2009 models and an open-circuit problem for the sensor mat that determines if an adult or child is sitting in the front seat. Since this latter issue would not shut off or lessen the impact of the passenger airbag, Suzuki has already extended the warranty for the seat cushion bottom to 10 years or 120,000 miles. After ceasing new-car sales in the US and Canada, potential recall repairs (which still may or may not happen) would be handled by remaining dealers as laid out in the recent court-approved bankruptcy plan.
Even though American Suzuki Motor Corporation filed for bankruptcy last year and stopped selling cars in the US and Canada as part of its reorganization, there are still plenty of countries around the world where Suzuki continues to sell autos. For those markets, the automaker is working on a compact sport-utility vehicle, called the iV-4, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Suzuki says the iV-4 "embodies the basic ruggedness of an SUV," and that its styling is modern and innovative. We'll have to take Suzuki's word on that one, though the teaser above certainly looks the part, with the grille reminding us of the one found on the Jeep Grand Cherokee (minus a few slats, of course).
Scroll down for the short-and-sweet press release, and expect the full brace of information to be revealed in September.
Thanks to a sketch of the Suzuki S-Cross concept, we can already see the styling direction that the next-generation SX4 will take, and Suzuki is still hard at work on the production version of the car as evidenced by this latest batch of spy shots. These photos look almost identical to those captured back in July, but we see a little more detail at the rear of the car and get a better idea of the next SX4's proportions.
With the baggy camouflage lifted up at the rear of this prototype, we can see that the SX4 replacement has a very Mazda-chic look to it with downward-angled taillights that stretch into the liftgate. Aside from this, the big news is that we're finally getting a sense of the new SX4's size. Suzuki's press release attached to the Paris-bound S-Cross sketch said that the SX4 replacement would be growing to the compact segment rather than being a subcompact like the current car. Recent reports indicate that the next version of this car will be sized closer to the Grand Vitara, and in these pictures, you can definitely see how much the car has grown.
Still unknown is when we can expect to see the production version of the new SX4, or what will be inside it (available turbo power?), but hopefully Suzuki will not delay things like it did with the Kizashi and its numerous concepts.