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Autostart Remote Starters Recalled in United States and Canada

Aug 5, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

Autostart has recalled several of its remote starter products in the U.S. and Canada.  According to the company, it has received consumer reports that under certain conditions, the affected units could unintentionally start the vehicle's engine without the driver's awareness.

The Autostart remote starter recall involves  approximately 21,000 of  the  company's Autostart, Polar Start, Extreme, Orbit, Nordic Start and Command Start brands.  Model numbers affected by this recall are:  AS-2450vTW-FM / AS-2451TW-FM / AS-2452TW-v / CS-495iTW-FM / EX-2451TW-FM / MDL-2450v / NS-2250TW-FM / OB-3670v / PS-4451TW-FM.  The remote starters were  manufactured between August 2007 and March 2008.  A complete list of affected models and software versions can be found here.

The recalled products are sold through independent and regional retailers and mass merchandisers. Professional installation is generally performed by the selling retailer. Autostart is notifying its customers, including distributors and retailers, about this recall, and is arranging for immediate replacement of all recalled products.

According to Autostart, if a defective remote starter is installed in a vehicle with a manual transmission and the transmission is left in gear with the handbrake engaged, the vehicle could lunge forward while attempting to start. Unintended starting of the vehicle engine in a confined space could also lead to exhaust build up and pose a risk of carbon monoxide asphyxiation. These situations have the potential to cause damage to the vehicle and surrounding property or cause serious personal injury.

Autostart has determined that the root cause of the unintentional start issue is a software problem. Specifically, the main module can unintentionally enter the programming mode and if, while in programming mode, the unit receives an arrant RF signal, the vehicle could start. This problem has been corrected and does not affect units sold after the date of this notice.

Consumers with a recalled remote starter should contact their installing dealer as soon as possible to make arrangements for an inspection, so that the dealer may verify that you have an affected system and replace the unit if necessary.  Until the unit is inspected, consumers should disconnect the antenna to prevent RF signals. The antenna can be found mounted on the windshield, often behind the mirror, and can be disconnected by disengaging the antenna cable plugged into the antenna.


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