Ferrari Recalls Thousands of Vehicles Due to Takata Inflator Concerns

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — June 29, 2016 — With each month, more vehicles are connected with the Takata air bag recalls. While the latest expansion includes models from several manufacturers, much of the coverage for this new round centers on the Ferrari recalls. It is the first time the famous automaker has taken part in the ongoing action.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that the recall includes 2,820 autos across two ranges of model years: the 2009 to 2011 Ferrari California and the 2010 and 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia. Both models are light two-door vehicles with a gas power train.

A Part 573 Safety Recall Report from the organization described the hazards in these cars. As with other Takata inflators, the units in the Ferrari vehicles could potentially rupture and release metal shards dangerously close to occupants.

As with the other vehicles in the Takata recalls, the problem comes from the nondesiccated ammonium nitrate used in these devices, as well as possible environmental factors, such as exposure to humidity or changing temperatures. Ferrari’s remedy depends on the long-term solution Takata develops.

For now, the report said, the manufacturer will replace affected units with a PSPI-2 inflator. The automaker will continue to use risk factors to help guide its recall actions.

According to Car and Driver, Jeep vehicles are also newly entering the ranks of affected models. Though Ferrari has recalled cars for issues with Takata air bags before, they were reportedly unrelated to the larger inflator concerns.

Other major manufacturers, including Fiat Chrysler, Mazda and Mitsubishi have also recalled more vehicles for the same concern. Of these, Fiat Chrysler has recalled the most new vehicles, Car and Driver stated, with more than 4.3 million models now included.

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Some Chevrolet Malibu Vehicles Could Suffer Brake Module Failures

Warren, Mich. — June 28, 2016 — Among the most recent GM recalls is an action centered around brake module issues in Chevrolet vehicles. The manufacturer is recalling 66 Malibu cars from the 2016 model year, in an attempt to correct possible Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard compliance problems. The electronic brake modules could suffer a potential failure that would affect multiple aspects of the car’s standard braking functions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that memory chips in these modules would impact both the anti-lock brake and electronic stability control systems. Although the driver will still be able to operate the brakes, the loss of support systems could make normal driving more difficult.

According to the official Part 573 Safety Recall Report from the organization, owners can check the driver information center for a possible indicator of electronic brake control module failure. This system could display multiple warning lights and messages, including a “service brake system” message.

The faulty component was manufactured by ZF TRW. The first indications of this issue came March 8, after several vehicles showed a loss of electronic braking systems. The remedy requires dealers to replace the electronic brake control module with a new unit that has “accurate voltages written to memory,” as the report stated. In addition, this feature will be present in all Chevrolet Malibu vehicles built after March 12.

While the dealer notification date was listed as May 4, owners are not scheduled to be notified until June 10. In the meantime, GM is directing owners to official channels, including its own recall website and customer support service.

The 2016 Malibu has been a part of other GM recalls this year. This includes a March action that affected 3,137 vehicles, as described in an official NHTSA acknowledgment.

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Toyota Recalls Vehicles That Could Overload [Video]

Torrance, CA — June 24, 2016 — A recall first initiated in April concerns almost ninety-five Toyota light vehicles. According to an official report from the NHTSA, affected vehicles could carry the wrong load capacity information, a problem with serious potential consequences.

Vehicles with inaccurate load labels risk misleading consumers as to how much they can carry. Too much weight onboard will strain a vehicle’s capacity and make it more likely to crash. This issue also represents a noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110 S10.

The report said that the problem came from a miscommunication. Owners will be able to perform the remedy themselves by placing a correct, vehicle-specific label.

You can learn more about Toyota recalls by reading our blog. Check out our April 6 story on a stability issue that affect multiple vehicle brands.

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Fiat Chrysler Addresses Two New Issues in a Pair of Recalls

Auburn Hills, Mich. — June 23, 2016 — Two new voluntary Fiat Chrysler recalls will target issues in a range of different vehicles. In a pair of press releases published May 18, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles explained the conditions leading to each recall. Neither of these are connected to any known injuries or accidents, and both of them have repercussions outside of North America, although the majority of vehicles in each case are within the United States.

The first recall: Clockspring assemblies
This action concerns the systems that may prevent some Jeep Wrangler SUVs from deploying their air bags correctly. The statement said that exposure to contaminants could weaken the clockspring and interfere with the circuit that controls air bag function. Drivers are particularly at risk, since the driver-side air bag is the one that could be disabled through this action.

The SUVs featured in this recall have model years between 2007 and 2010, with an estimated 392,464 of these vehicles inside the United States. Owners may see a lit air bag warning lamp in their vehicles if the clockspring has been compromised. This condition could be especially prevalent inside vehicles used for off-roading, the source said.

Dealers will resolve the issue by modifying the steering wheel, installing a new steering-column shroud and back cover. Though no schedule was listed, the release did say that customers will receive notification once the recall progresses.

The second recall: Clutch release updates
The other recall centers around gradual changes that could hurt vital transmission functions in Fiat 500 cars with model years between 2012 and 2016, but only the models that don’t use turbocharged engines. The statement mentions that approximately 39,217 vehicles are affected by this.

Unlike the other recall, this one has some reports of damage to the vehicles involved. The source said that .01 percent of the affected cars have been damaged, according to recent investigations, and that the recall notices sent out will give customers the necessary guidance for updating their vehicles as necessary.

If left unchecked, these affected vehicles can potentially see a moving clutch, which prevents the driver from using standard manual transmission functions. No specific remedy was described in this statement.

Previous related issues
In addition to these recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration features some information about other issues that could also affect the same vehicles. One complaint about a 2016 Fiat 500 filed in September 2015 stated that a vehicle suddenly shut off while the drivers were in the middle of the highway. The anonymous driver stated that the parking brake, service engine soon and transmission lights all turned on at once after the vehicle stalled.

The Jeep Wrangler has also been subject to previous recalls similar to the most recent one. A report from May 2013 described a clockspring issue in Wrangler right-hand-drive vehicles manufactured between February 2007 and October 2011. Investigations associated with that case found that dust contamination led to circuit fatigue, a condition that may have caused steering column problems and also triggered air bag warning lights.

The initial recall acknowledgment letter for this issue referenced 5,400 potentially affected vehicles. As with the newer actions, these vehicles were at risk of air bag circuit issues that could have left occupants less safe. The chronology of this action dated back to May 2011, when the NHTSA opened its investigations. The decision to conduct an official safety recall was made that October, after months in the wake of the safety issues.

Originally, the remedy for this problem involved a steering wheel dust shield and a new clockspring, both of which the dealer was slated to replace beginning in May 2013. There were no accidents or injuries traced to this condition, either.

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Vehicles in GM Recalls May Not Warn Drivers When Key is in Ignition

Warren, Mich. — June 20, 2016 — An important alarm feature may not work properly in some Chevrolet vehicles, as a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently stated. General Motors is taking measures to address a security fault that could allow drivers to leave their keys in the ignition slots for several vehicles with model years ranging from 2013 to 2016.

Three Chevrolet models, (the Sonic, Spark and Trax vehicles) are part of this action, which extends to 317,572 units. The relatively subtle flaw may go undetected by motorists but could still fail Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114, the report stated, leaving the vehicle vulnerable to theft.

The source said that the warning chime that should play when a driver leaves the key in the ignition may not do so, depending on how and when he or she opens the door. This only applies to vehicles with the Bring Your Own Media feature: In affected vehicles, the radio isn’t able to receive the command to exit sleep mode and prompt the proper alert.

Taking proper action
Though there is no official recall schedule yet, the report stated that dealers can update the included radio software to function correctly and execute the right key chime. The software in Sonic and Trax vehicles built after this April 13 and April 17, respectively, are already fixed, and the radio has been discontinued in Spark models altogether.

In addition, Autoblog’s article on this recall advised owners to take extra care to bring car keys when exiting a vehicle and not rely on the chime, in case it doesn’t work. The report lists two specific circumstances in which the chime could fail: if the driver takes more than 10 minutes to open the door after turning the vehicle off and leaving the key in the ignition, or the driver takes more than 20 seconds to open the door a second time after closing it.

The latter case could prove especially tricky, since the owner might hear a noise, but only a shortened version of the one he or she should. This is still possible evidence of the defect.

Calibration specifics
Since the official recall submission, the NHTSA has posted a pair of safety bulletins describing the necessary measures for reprogramming the systems. This notice specifically warned dealers not to program the affected control module without instruction or an updated programming tool. Other necessary precautions include reducing battery voltage fluctuations and putting the ignition switch in the correct position, as described by the Service Programming System.

Using a USB device and the vehicle’s own “infotainment display”, staff will update the necessary software and wait the required time for the changes to take effect. This same bulletin requires dealers to address all vehicles that arrive in their facility, ensuring completion for any models that might appear in dealer inventory.

FMVSS 114: A closer look
The text of this standard involves language that makes this recall a serious concern. As of 2016, FMVSS 114, which addresses “Theft protection and rollaway prevention,” requires a starting system to respond if the key is removed.

The subsections of this document allow for different possible deterrents, but removing the key must prevent the engine or motor from being activated as well as the vehicle’s steering and/or forward mobility.

While there are some exceptions, vehicles must, under this standard, feature “an audible warning” to alert the driver whenever the nearest door opens while the key is still left in the ignition. The audio alert does not need to play in certain situations, such as if the key cannot turn from its position within the starting system, though this just applies to mechanical systems.

adminVehicles in GM Recalls May Not Warn Drivers When Key is in Ignition

Steering Column Shaft Problems Prompt New Subaru Recalls

Cherry Hill, NJ — June 16, 2016 — A new Subaru recall effort will address 48,500 potentially compromised vehicles. Drivers in Subaru Legacy or Outback models from either the 2016 or 2017 model years may be in danger of crashing due to sudden steering loss.

As a recall acknowledgment document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted, this issue comes from steering columns that don’t properly connect the steering apparatus to the wheels.

The only component listed in this statement is the column, which was reportedly machined incorrectly during manufacturing. The Safety Recall Report, also available through the NHTSA, lists the production dates for each of the affected models: They range from Feb. 9 to May 6, 2016. This condition could mean that the wrong tool setting was used on the column when it was in manufacturing.

The recall timeline
According to the NHTSA documents, this recall has a relatively short history, with the first customer-related steering issue reported May 3. Further inspections followed on May 5, with the official safety recall determination coming just four days later.

May 9 was listed as the dealer notification date, and as of this writing, no planned owner notification date is given on the amended report dated for May 12. The recall will also include a stop sale for any of the affected Subaru vehicles in the U.S. market.

Because of the manufacturer’s fast response, it has already spurred changes to prevent this issue from hindering future vehicles. New screening practices went into use May 6. To address the potentially dangerous vehicles already in use, the report suggests dealers look at steering column lot numbers before deciding whether the entire column needs to be replaced.

Unlike the faulty shafts, replacement parts are correctly machined and will comply with the intended specifications. The column comes from supplier NSK Steering Systems America, based in Michigan.

All of the affected models are classified as “light vehicles” with a gas power train. While the 2017 Subaru Legacy has a 4-door body style, all of the other models are SUVs. The updated safety recall report lists the 2015 Subaru Outback as well, stating that it may have a defective steering column due to a previous service repair. Vehicle Identification Numbers are not included in this report.

A previous action
Some of the models in this notice were subject to other recent Subaru recalls. Last November, the 2016 Legacy and Outback vehicles were involved in a different action that also resulted from incorrect manufacturing practices.

As the recall report for that case noted, the drive shafts in 3,251 potential units could detach, since the fastening nuts were not properly tightened. This could lead to a fire hazard, since the unmoored drive shafts could hit the vehicle’s fuel tank and cause a leak.

Once again, improper tool use during manufacturing was at fault, since the loose nuts were not torqued correctly during the initial production. For the vehicle to pose a true fire hazard, however, the discharged fuel would have to come into contact with a source of ignition that would spark it into a flame.

This was another case of a fast-acting recall, since the announcement came just three days after Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. discovered the issue, with dealer notification then scheduled for the same day.

Though the remedy mentioned possible replacement nuts and bolts, it also said that dealers could solve the issue by simply tightening these existing parts. A repair procedure document from the manufacturer stated that both the affected Outback and Legacy vehicle models began production on October 24, 2015. 

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Toyota’s 2014 Tacoma Truck Recall Continues On

Torrance, Calif. — June 13, 2016 — One of several Toyota recalls from two years ago is still ongoing, with some recent developments affecting the action. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall center show that this particular recall, originally concerning leaf springs in certain Tacoma autos, has been updated multiple times this year.

The first report, submitted Sept. 26, 2014, included 690,000 potentially affected Pre-Runner and 4×4 trucks produced between 2009 and 2010. These particular vehicles feature leaf springs in a certain location above the rear axle, putting it in place for several possible hazards, unlike other Tacoma models.

According to this source, the faulty rear suspension leaf springs could corrode, fracture or even puncture the fuel tank, causing a leak and possible fire hazard. While the original report didn’t feature any remedy description, later updates were announced as the procedure became available for different regions.

The most recent of these, dated for April 21, 2016, stated that the remedy was available for the San Francisco area, as Phase 10 of the entire operation. Owners that were left out of previous efforts due to location may be addressed in the later rounds.

The recall remedy
As the San Francisco update noted, dealers may have to repair and replace both the faulty leaf spring and any of the systems hurt by it. The updated number of vehicles has expanded to 711,000, with the suspected production period now stretching further back to 2004.

The notice includes two other phases currently in the interim stage, with anticipated remedy dates trailing through the end of April and into early May. One will address vehicles registered for Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas, while the second will apply to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

To actually fix these vehicles, technicians will need to meet appropriate certification requirements and may require the specially shipped leaf spring kits. The latest Technical Instructions describes the methods of removing old leaf springs and installing the new ones, as well as a description of proper shackle bushing replacement steps.

Technicians may need to inspect the fuel tank, shock absorber, brakeline and ABS wireharness for damage, in addition to the leaf springs. Even if there is no damage, the instructions direct dealers to proceed to the leaf spring replacement procedure.

Other 2014 Tacoma actions
As other NHTSA documents show, 2014 saw other Toyota recalls affect the Tacoma. This model was part of a larger action meant to address possible seat heater wiring damage as a result of front seat cushion compression.

With this recall, Tacoma model years between 2006 and 2011 were affected: Other Toyota models included the Avalon, Camry and Corolla. The original Recall Acknowledgement letter stated that a short circuit in the seat wiring could both burn through the seat and injure possible occupants.

The remedy required dealers to disconnect affected heaters, with the owners at risk found specifically in the southeastern United States, in states like Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

An even earlier recall from the same year also concerned Toyota Tacoma vehicles, this one targeting model years between 2008 and 2014, as well as FJ Cruisers vehicles with the same year range.

Tire placards in these vehicles were found to potentially display incorrect information. Each of these brands received its own set of remedy instructions: For the Tacoma, dealer staff may have needed to place a new overlay label to help make the data more accurate.

As these instructions mentioned, a display with the wrong cold tire pressure could violate the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, while also causing problems if owners attempt to inflate the tires to meet the incorrect pressure level.

In that case, the manufacturer stated it would send the correct overlay stickers to both owners and dealers to conduct the fix.

adminToyota’s 2014 Tacoma Truck Recall Continues On

FCA Recalls Wide Model Year Range of Dodge Journey Vehicles

Auburn Hills, Mich. — June 10, 2016 — A new recall from FCA concerns vehicles from a span of five different model years. As an official press release recently noted, most of the 187,436 recalled vehicles are in Canada, possibly because the action involves a condition made worse in cold temperatures.

Though this issue is not known to have caused any injuries, the source stated that drivers could face steering difficulties in affected autos. When the engine is turned on, some steering fluid could leak out, possibly disrupting the vehicle. The statement specifically noted that the problem exists when the auto is in extreme cold, putting owners in those climates at greater risk.

In the United States, the recall will affect 10,944 vehicles. The statement did not explain what the remedy would entail or when dealers and customers will be notified. It did say that the necessary replacement units “are expected to be available soon.” Impacted model years range form 2009 to 2016.

A different recall from January affected both 2009 Dodge Journey autos and two other models, Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles, both of which are from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

This action addressed occupant restraint controller functions that could interfere with the standard air bag control system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the issue could either lead to unexpected air bag deployment or prevent air bags from inflating when they need to after a collision. Like the Chrysler headquarters, the component’s supplier, Continental Automotive Systems Inc., is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The official Part 573 Safety Recall Report for that issue also advised that a lit warning lamp could indicate a possible ORC malfunction. A later amendment to this report said that final owner notification isn’t scheduled until the end of this year, and that remedy parts are estimated for 2017.

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Hyundai Recalls Cars for Second stage Air Bag Problems

Fountain Valley, CA — June 9, 2016 — A new Hyundai recall concerns several vehicles with possible air bag deployment issues. The relatively small action involves just 33 Sonata, Sonata Hybrid and Elantra vehicles from the 2015 and 2016 model years produced between 2014 and 2016. As of April 20, no injuries have been traced back to this problem.

According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report attributed to this case, there is no signal identified that could indicate the problem could occur. If the affected vehicles were not equipped with the proper chemical enhancer, the report stated, the front driver second stage air bag may not deploy. Even if the first stage unit works properly, this failure could be dangerous for drivers and leave them unprotected for more advanced dangers.

The components in question come from Key Safety Systems, based in Lakeland, Florida. In early April, Key alerted Hyundai to some air bag inflator issues. The manufacturer launched the official recall nine days later.

This planned notification date for both dealers and owners was scheduled for April 29, as the supplier made necessary changes to the affected air bag manufacturing process. The replacement air bag module units won’t be produced in the same lots as the others.

As Left Lane News reported, Kia is executing a similar recall with its 2016 Optima, which includes just 17 potentially affected units. The Kia recalls are also due to components from Key, and the replacement air bags will feature the chemical enhancer missing in the previous ones.

All of the affected Kia vehicles were produced between November 2015 and February 2016. Owners and dealers in this recall were both scheduled for notification a week earlier than those in the Hyundai action.

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Many Nissan Vehicles Affected in Sensor-based Recall [Video]

Smyrna, TN — June 7, 2016 — Just one flawed part could compromise multiple systems in Nissan vehicles. More than 3 million units are part of the company’s new recall.

This action comes from faulty Occupant Classification Systems, or OCS. A glitch means that this system could keep an air bag from deploying when it needs to. The recall includes many different vehicles, including Altima, Maxima and Pathfinder cars. Model years range from 2012 to 2017.

Although all of the remedies will be free for the customer, the fixes vary depending on the vehicle. For some vehicles, dealers will only have to reprogram the air bag and OCS electronic control unit. In other cases, they will have to replace the electronic control unit entirely.

Check out our blog for more information on the most recent Nissan recalls, such as one caused by an actuator problem that started on March 30.

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