Fuel Problems Lead to Ferrari Recall [Video]

Maranello, Italy — January 28, 2016 — Last month, Ferrari recalled more than 300 vehicles for fuel line issues. A manufacturing problem may trigger a fuel evaporation leak, eventually leading to a fire risk.

As always, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration features a safety recall report on the action. According to this document, the risk comes from incorrect fuel pipe treatment produced by Dytech. This supplier has already developed a remedy component that remove the chance of a fuel vapor leak. The issue affects two different models of Ferrari vehicle: the California T and the 488 GTB.

The leak was determined as a safety defect this past November. The dealer network received a “Stop Sale” notice and the new low pressure fuel line assembly parts were put into production on November 6.

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Government Clarifies Jeep Hacking Vulnerability

Washington D.C. — January 27, 2016 — Concerns over whether a hacker could remotely take control of a vehicle in motion grew in 2015, but the government is trying to stem fears. Despite reports that this sort of technology could pose a serious operational hazard, officials are clarifying which brands are most at risk and which are safe from the defect.

“The issue is limited to Fiat Chrysler vehicles.”

According to the Associated Press, more than 1 million vehicles were included in Jeep and Chrysler recalls last year, which were designed to fix possible hacks that could override vehicle systems. In tests conducted by hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the manufacturer discovered that individuals could influence important systems like the brakes and transmission.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now says that the issue is limited to Fiat Chrysler vehicles. Audi, Bentley and Volkswagen vehicles that contain the same infotainment systems as the hacked Jeeps are not at risk.

In a piece for Wired published last July, Andy Greenberg explained that the central Uconnect system is what made the vehicles targets in the first place.

“All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone,” he wrote. “Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs, and trucks, controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot.”

Investigation EQ 15-005 into this issue officially closed on January 4 2016. Harman International produced the vulnerable units and submitted information to the Office of Defects Investigation to help aid the review of affected units.

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Hyundai Elantras Recalled to Fix Stability

Fountain Valley, CA — January 26, 2016 — Hyundai will launch a recall for thousands of Elantra vehicles that could lose engine power as a result of a faulty control system. While owners will officially be notified on February 19, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already posted information on the reasons behind the action, including what users can expect to see when this issue is present.

The recall concerns 155,000 sedans, all of which were built between the Octobers of 2010 and 2011.

“Due to an electronic stability control (ESC) sensor malfunction, the brakes for one or more wheels may be applied unexpectedly and the engine power may be reduced,” the organization’s recall summary states. “These symptoms will be accompanied by illumination of the ESC indicator lamp in the instrument cluster.” This statement also mentions the risk that comes with applying brakes “inappropriately,” which could make it harder to correctly steer the vehicle.

According to Edmunds.com, the recall concerns 155,000 sedans, all of which were built between the Octobers of 2010 and 2011. The source advised owners to start contacting dealers even before the recall launches in case of serious issues. The model years for the affected vehicles are 2011 and 2012, and there are currently no injuries connected to this problem.

The ESC is especially at risk of malfunction in these vehicles when users attempt to make a turn. Normally, the sensor will activate the control to counter sliding in an improper direction, but in this case, the system activates unnecessarily. The remedy will involve an inspection and update, in which dealers change the calibration as needed. Earlier Hyundai recalls included 2011-2013 Elantras for difficulties with the headliner support brackets.

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Takata Airbag Recall Numbers to Grow Beyond 19 Million Vehicles

Washington, D.C. — January 25, 2016 — According to the Detroit Free Press, more than 19 million vehicles have been included in the Takata airbag inflator recalls so far. Future efforts could see even more vehicles added to that number, as Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hinted in recent remarks delivered at the Automotive News World Congress. These pronouncements follow on a previous statement that the recall completion rate was moving at a stronger pace than before.

The NHTSA previously announced a special monitor for the airbag manufacturing company.

In a December 23 announcement, the NHTSA announced a special monitor for the airbag manufacturing company. This person, law partner John Buretta, will use a team to ensure that Takata remains compliant and follows the orders laid down by the agency.

Rosekind didn’t solely focus on Takata in his remarks at the Congress, but he did mention this recall in conjunction with recent attempts to make drivers safer.

He also referenced the cooperation between the NHTSA, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and 10 vehicle manufacturers in agreeing to work towards safer auto technology last year.

“The fact that this crisis festered so long, and that some made efforts to obscure its seriousness and delay action, sobers all of us at NHTSA and should sober everyone in the industry,” he said of the Takata issues. At the same time, he also called the response from the industry “proactive safety,”  as well as “a model of how NHTSA hopes to work with industry in the future, and it’s going to protect the lives and safety of millions.”

The statement specifically mentioned some of the safety features that may become more common with advancing technology, such as crash avoidance and a way to detect how intoxicated a driver is.

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Steering Gearboxes in BMW Vehicles Could Lead to Damage

Westwood, NJ — January 22, 2016 — BMW of North America is recalling just two vehicles for steering gearbox concerns, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted. As the official recall acknowledgement states, one of these is a MINI Cooper and the other is a BMW X1.

Both of the recalled vehicles were produced in 2015.

While both of these were produced in 2015, the MINI Cooper has the model year 2016. The gearbox in these vehicles could contain incorrect parts and lead to a dangerous malfunction, launching the recall effort proper on December 28, 2015.

The solution for this error involves replacing the gearbox entirely, which the manufacturer will do for free. In a pair of manufacturer notices to dealers BMW of Anchorage and MINI of Manhattan, the company urged these locations to not “sell, lease or deliver any vehicle covered by this notification until the recall repair has been performed. This means that centers may not legally deliver new motor vehicles to a consumer until it is fixed or use/sell replacement equipment/parts subject to a Recall.”

Back in October, BMW recalls began to address air bag module concerns in 2016 MINI Cooper two-door and four-door vehicles. This recall included more than 6,070 vehicles and the NHTSA notice stated that the air bag defect violated the Occupant Crash Protection requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

The particular air bags cited in this recall were located in the frontal side passenger of the vehicle. Because of manufacturing problems, the vehicles may not deploy airbags correctly when a crash occurs, specifically during what the statement called “a low speed crash.” That recall was originally scheduled for November 20.

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Hyundai Recalls New Genesis Vehicles

Fountain Valley, CA — January 20, 2016 — As of late last month, Hyundai will recall more than 11,140 vehicles to address an issue in the tire sidewall. Tire sidewall in the affected vehicles could lose air as a result of cracks and rupture, and the manufacturer will officially begin the action on February 19. Dealers will fix the problem by simply replacing the factory-issues Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 tires.

The Genesis vehicles targeted in this recall, number 138, were produced between March 2014 and February 2015, with the 2015 model year, according to a press release included with an article in Autoblog. Owners are encouraged to contact the manufacturer’s customer service line for more information.

This possible danger comes at a conspicuous moment for Hyundai, given the important predictions made for the Hyundai line in the coming years. A different article from Autoblog reports that Hyundai expects to expand the Genesis line over the next few years. Autoblog’s Steven Ewing describes the company’s plans for this brand.

“The official transition from Hyundai Genesis sedan to Genesis G80 happens this summer, with the 2017 model year car,” he said. “We don’t expect the G80 to be too different from the existing 2016 sedan, though Hyundai officials tell us some more Genesis announcements will take place at the New York Auto Show in March.” The upcoming G80 is said to be a new version of the current Hyundai Genesis, and the G90 is considered the first vehicle in the new seris.

Vehicles that suffer the sidewall cracks associated with this recall could be more likely to lose control, sending the occupants into danger.

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FCA Recall Affects Jeep Hose Clamps

Auburn Hills, MI — January 20, 2016 — On December 23, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received report of a recall from Chrysler concerning 60,107 Jeeps from 2015. According to this statement, both Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass vehicles may contain improperly placed power steering hose retention clamps, which could trigger a fluid leak and fire risk if not corrected.

Improperly placed power steering hose retention clamps could trigger a fluid leak.

Although the risk of fire was noted as being “rare,” it nevertheless makes this a crucial act for the manufacturer to prevent possible injuries. Only one percent of the recalled vehicles are believed to suffer the defect.

The investigations into this issue began this past October, when the manufacturer decided to look closer at Compass and Patriot vehicles that had suffered fires. The fault was traced back to the hose clamp on October 21.

In the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, the NHTSA notes the purpose of the remedy program. This reflects the manufacturer’s need to “conduct a voluntary safety recall, on all affected vehicles to inspect the return power steering hose for proper placement of the hose clamp, and reposition the hose clamp as needed.”

A chronology document from the same source notes that the failures all took place when the vehicles were operating at slow speeds, 50 miles or lower. This led to the discovery that the power steering hose was the cause of the problem, confirmed by later testing.

Another series of Chrysler recalls recently affected thousands of Jeep Cherokee vehicles last month for a water leak problem that could have led to a fire risk due to electrical damage.

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Honda, Subaru Models Added to Takata Recall

Washington, DC — January 19, 2016 — Honda’s involvement in the Takata airbag inflator recalls has been notable, considering the related fatalities in Honda vehicles. Late last month, the manufacturer announced that it would recall 127,000 CR-V’s with 2003 and 2004 model years, as Car and Driver reports. That month also saw the manufacturer submit a recall amendment to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which named both 2WD and 4WD models as part of the action.

Throughout 2015, the NHTSA has posted updates to efforts related to passenger side front airbag Honda recalls. CR-V’s were included among the nine models mentioned in the first recall, originally noted this past June. The amendment states that owner notification is believed to be completed by January 29.

The NHTSA also noted progress in the existing Takata airbag recall efforts

On December 23, the agency also noted progress in the existing Takata airbag recall efforts. In addition to the Honda CR-V’s, the updates to the recall include Mazda 6 vehicles from between 2005 and 2008, and Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles from the same model year period. It also appointed law firm partner John Buretta as an assistant in monitoring Takata’s further activities as the recall process continues.

“The expansions are the result of Takata ballistic testing conducted over recent months,” the statement reads. “Consumers are urged to check their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for open recalls and to contact their local dealer to schedule repairs.”

This statement also referenced nine total fatalities connected to the defect worldwide, with the most recent in a 2001 vehicle operated in a humid region. Previous reports on the recall have noted how humidity and high heat can make inflators more likely to rupture.

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Hundreds of Thousands of Ford and Mercury Vehicles Recalled for Lighting Problems

Dearborn, MI — January 18, 2016 — Both Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles with model years between 2003 and 2005 are part of a new recall, begun late last month, in response to possible problems with the lighting control module. A total of 296,004 vehicles are potentially involved with this flaw, which could leave drivers without proper lighting while the vehicle is in operation.

The components come from supplier Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.

The Part 573 Safety Recall Report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains why the module could fail. According to this document, the problem could stem from improper circuit soldering on different terminals. Although this condition will affect the headlights, it won’t necessarily impact other lighting functions in the vehicle. The components come from supplier Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.

“These solder joints may fatigue crack caused by repeated thermal cycling and/or vibration that can interrupt power to the headlights,” it reads. “The condition could be exacerbated by an insufficient amount of solder, reducing the adhesion between the solder and the terminal. Cracked solder joints on the circuit board of the LCM may result in loss of headlights while driving.”

The report also states that there have been 11 minor accidents and a single possible injury. Ford or Lincoln dealers are instructed to replace the defective modules free of charge. These recent Ford recalls come after previous investigations, closed in 2009, which determined the defects did not pose any risk to vehicle occupants. In April, 2014, the warranty for the module was extended to 15 years or 250,000 miles, the report also stated.

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New Driveshaft-Related Recall for BMW in January

Woodcliff Lake, NJ — January 14, 2016 — More than 40 BMW vehicles are subject to a new recall action beginning on January 8. Although no accidents have been traced to this issue yet, Edmunds.com reports that drivers may experience a sudden loss of power while driving defective cars.

The recall specifically centers around sedans, coupes and convertibles under the M3 and M4 make, with 2015 and 2016 model years. As of December 15, the company was also advising owners to avoid scheduling an appointment with local dealers until the necessary replacement parts have been shipped.

Affected vehicles will have less grease in the slip-joints than is necessary. Dealers will inspect and replace the driveshaft once the recall begins.

Thank you for watching. Be sure to check this blog out for more on the latest BMW recalls.

Sean ReyesNew Driveshaft-Related Recall for BMW in January