GM Recalls Chevrolet Impalas Over Faulty Sensors

Warren, Mich. — July 29, 2016 — One of the latest General Motors recalls concerns approximately 289,254 2009 and 2010 Chevrolet Impala vehicles. These units might put occupants in danger because the passenger presence sensor wire might deteriorate and accidentally deactivate the passenger air bags when they’re needed.

According to the official Part 573 report for this recall, the PPS module wiring could get damaged if the front passenger seat frame rubs against it. While this might not happen in all vehicles – and only 1 percent of the recalled population are believed to have the defect – the problem is still considered potentially serious. Affected vehicles were produced between April 25, 2008 and February 16, 2010.

The damage has to be severe to prevent the air bags from functioning properly. If owners notice the air bag telltale light, the air bag status indicator or the service air bag message switched on, then this could indicate a possible problem. The same sensor issue might also affect alerts within the vehicle. The first employee indication of this issue dates back to a March 8 report through the company’s Speak Up for Safety program.

To update impacted cars and correct this problem, affected wires will be updated with anti-abrasion tape. This should help strengthen the wires and keep them from wearing down as easily. Though the report was submitted June 29, the same date planned for dealer notification, the accompanying recall acknowledgement wasn’t dated until July 20. No owner notification date was included.

In a Global Safety Field Instructions note also released June 29, the manufacturer announced that the GWM Investigate Vehicle History screen would be scheduled for a July 1 update. The statement also lists the passenger presence sensor and instrument cluster malfunction as the prompt for the recall.

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Mitsubishi Corrosion Issues Prompt New Recall

Cypress, Calif. — July 28, 2016 — Mitsubishi Motors North America recently recalled four different models over a period of 11 model years, according to an acknowledgment statement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Report. The statement said that approximately 174,382 vehicles are part of a new effort to address problems from possible corrosion in these vehicles.

Exposure to salt water, particularly through road salt, could wear away at sections of the suspension, as the NHTSA source said. If this occurs, the front control arm could detach completely, making it more difficult to control the vehicle.

Impacted models include the Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Lancer Wagon and Outlander, all of which are light four-door vehicles. The recall specifically applies to a range of 22 states and Washington D.C., including locations in New England and the Midwest. The regional distribution is important, because it indicates the areas where high salt density is especially problematic.

The Part 573 Report said that the first indication of this problem came from Canada in 2014. After this initial indication, the company began a two-year investigation culminating in the official recall decision itself June 13.

Though the report didn’t list a specific owner notification date, it did say the automaker would encourage owners to get their vehicles inspected. Corroded cross members will be replaced, while less severe instances may just require a sealing/anti-corrosion agent. Even though this recall was issued this summer, it follows the possible dangers of snow melt water on vehicle exteriors.

Dealers should identify the condition during an inspection. However, the report didn’t list any sign of the problem that owners would be able to tell on their own, meaning a dealer inspection might be necessary to determine if the issue exists.

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New Chrysler Vehicles Part of Seat Belt Related Recall [Video]

Chrysler has a new recall on its hands for some recently produced vehicles. More than thirty-five hundred twenty seventeen Pacifica autos may feature fragile seat belt parts.

Official documents stated that some of the stow clips could break in affected models. If so, the occupants would not be able to use the seat belt as intended. The recalled vehicles were made between February and April twenty sixteen.

The broken stow clips were first discovered earlier this year as part of a March twenty-sixth inspection at the FCA Windsor Assembly Plant. The manufacturer itself did not launch a recall until June twenty-first.

Learn more about the latest Fiat Chrysler recalls by reading our blog, and thanks for watching!

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Audi Recalls Vehicles Across the Country [Video]

Washington, D.C. — July 21, 2016 —The Takata air bag recalls are based in part on specific regions of the country. Some environments may make the dangerous inflators more likely to rupture than others. As such, Audi’s recent recalls address vehicles in several states.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration splits the map of the country into three zones, known as A B and C. According to a recall report, Audi is targeting groups of the A four and A six models in all three areas: two in Zone A, two in Zone B and one in Zone C.

The entire combined Audi recalls include two hundred and seventeen thousand vehicles. The recall report did not mention a specific timeline for user or owner notification.

Read our story from June the second to learn more about the latest Takata air bag recall news.

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Toyota Recalls Several Vehicles for Load Carrying Labels

Jacksonville, Fla. — July 20, 2016 — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently published documents about a label-related Toyota recall. The official Recall Safety Report from this source said that 2,520 vehicles could potentially bear an incorrect load-carrying-capacity modification label.

This needs to be accurate to within 1 percent of an auto’s weight, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110 S10. The Report stated that the vehicles involved in this recall do not meet this standard.

All of the recalled models have either 2015 or 2016 model years and were produced between May 6, 2014 and May 13, 2016. The issue may be present in Toyota Camry, Highlander and Tundra light vehicles from these years, as well as Scion FR-S and tC units.

A closer look at the issue

The report defined the origin of the incorrect labels. According to that source, Southeast Toyota submitted incorrect weight figures for certain accessories. The manufacturer first noticed discrepancies after an audit on May 9, 2016.

All units involved in this recall are thought to have the defect. Whether or not a manufacturer needs to add these labels depends on whether additions were made to the vehicles before sales. Incorrect load-bearing information may lead owners to misjudge how much their vehicle can carry, leaving them at risk of a crash or injury if they add too much weight.

The recall remedy

This report was submitted on June 7, several days after the planned dealer notification dates of June 2 and 3. Owners will not be notified until July 14 and 15, and Southeast Toyota is currently working to determine the correct owner addresses.

The manufacturer has taken other steps to enforce proper practices during this action. In statements distributed to dealers, the company reminded locations to avoid selling any vehicles that may not comply with regulations.

Part of this includes using Inspection Reminder Hang Tags, which could help distinguish which vehicles are in need of an impending inspection. Dealer associates with the proper certification are expected to follow the technical instructions for installing the correct weight labels.

One person at least has to verify the quality of the repair, the statement said. Customers should receive the right Accessory Weight addendum label, but replacement labels can be made if the Vehicle Identification Number can be confirmed.

Other Toyota recalls for the same models

As of June 20, the 2016 Toyota Camry has only been part of one other recall: an April 2016 effort concerning occupant classification systems. Incorrect calibration led to possible noncompliance with the FMVSS on multiple counts.

Due to this error, some air bags would not deploy in certain situations, leaving passengers in increased danger. The remedy requires dealers to recalibrate the system themselves. As with the most recent recall, Toyota discovered this issue during an audit, and found that the problem occurred in some 2016 Toyota Avalon vehicles as well.

While the 2016 Toyota Highlander is not involved in any other recalls so far, the 2015 Toyota Tundra underwent a similar recall for bearing the wrong tire inflation information more than a year ago. The Recall Acknowledgement letter on this action said that 144 of these vehicles were in danger of failing FMVS 110.

The 2015 Tundra tire label recall

The tire placards in this case may display incorrect pressure information, causing drivers to potentially leave the tires underinflated. As the owner notification statement said, the pressure information became inaccurate after Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires were added to the vehicle.

The notice, dated June 30, 2015, also prioritized residents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, saying that they should visit their dealers immediately, as opposed to those living in other states. Repair was said to take “30 minutes or less,” as the dealers installed the correct placard instead.

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Software Glitch and OCC Problems Inspire Infiniti Recalls

Franklin, Tenn. — July 19, 2016 — Vehicle owners around the world could be affected by the new Nissan recalls affecting thousands of Infiniti vehicles.

Reuters reported on this new effort, which could affect vehicles in China and Canada as well as the U.S. A steering-related software glitch could reportedly trigger a malfunction, resulting in more difficult handling for drivers trying to use the adaptive steering functions.

At the time of this writing, few official details about the recall have been released. The manufacturer will include around 60,000 Q50 vehicles in the total from all impacted countries, as the company works to address the risk level.

Reuters spoke to Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. and senior vice president of Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., about upcoming plans for new steering systems. Nissan and Infiniti apparently want to integrate autonomous driving functions at some point in the future.

“With this (steering) function, we can offer what we call partial autonomous drive already, so the car above approximately 60 kilometers per hour on the highway can be driven hands free,” Kreuger said.

While no remedy was listed, Autoblog guessed that the concern could require a software update at dealerships as the manufacturer starts notifying owners.

Previous recall: Occupation Classification System issues

It’s the most recent recall to affect the brand, months after an unrelated concern prompted a different action. On April 26, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted information about a wide-reaching Nissan recall concerning the Occupant Classification System. According to the Safety Recall Report, the OCS could potentially wrongly suppress the airbag by misidentifying whether a seat is occupied.

Although the report described this case as “rare,” it did say that the misclassification could stay in place until up to 13 seconds after the vehicle has stood stationary. The system could misread a seat occupied by an adult as either containing a child or not occupied at all. In the latter case, the Passenger Airbag Indicator light will not turn on, leaving owners with no way to determine if the glitch has occurred.

The preliminary information in this report said that 2.6 million vehicles were potentially involved in this recall. In addition to 2014-2016 Infiniti Q5 models, the action also included two other ranges of Infiniti models: the 2013 Infiniti JX35 and the 2014-2016 QX60.

Another Q50 recall for steering problems

Reuters also mentioned another recall including the Infiniti Q50, this one from 2013. Other NHTSA documents confirm that the company recalled 23 model year 2014 Q50 autos, also for an adaptive
steering problem.

The Defect Information Report on this action said that freezing temperatures could disrupt the normal flow of electrical current within the steering setup. Vehicle occupants could then be at higher risk of a crash, since the mechanical backup system would take longer than usual to engage.

Nissan’s investigations into this problem dated back to 2013, when it started identifying the possibly affected Q50 vehicles. Within six days, it had decided to submit a report to the NHTSA in response to the safety defect. A later Quarterly Report showed that all of the remedies for this recall were completed by Q2 of 2014.

The future of adaptive steering

Other manufacturers are paying attention to the future possibilities of adaptive steering. Last September, Ford announced that the 2016 Ford Edge would harness this technology for both low and high speeds.

The system is said to be housed in the steering wheel, a press release from the company said, though it also adjusts the turn ratio based on the vehicle’s speed and the current conditions. The maker’s Edge Sport and Titanium were slated to use this feature, as well as the Ford S-MAX and Galaxy in Europe, before expanding to other Ford brands.

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Several Models Included in New BMW Recalls

Westwood, N.J. — July 18, 2016 — A pair of BMW recalls are addressing two separate issues in several of its models. According to Autoblog, the combined actions involve 210,161 potentially impacted units, with manufacture years spanning from 2010 to the present.

Report receipt dates for both of these recalls occurred this May, and are expected to begin this July. The company announced each recall with a corresponding press release. Neither of these problems are known to have caused any injuries as of June 15.

The first recall: Driveshaft joints

Of the two recalls, the earliest refers to a possibly ineffective driveshaft joint.  As the release stated, the front driveshaft universal joints in affected vehicles could fail if outside debris enters, possibly impacting vehicle traction or other components. As such, there are multiple possible occupant risks attached to this single concern.

Both the press release and the Part 573 Safety Recall Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this recall will affect 21,493 possibly impacted units from the 2011 model year, with 1 percent of these estimated to have the defect. The report went even further and broke the autos down into four groups. All of these are light SUVs.

The first and largest of these includes about 13,728 BMW X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive50i and X5 M vehicles. The second group consists of around 4,436 BMW X5 xDrive35d autos, the third involves approximately 3,300 BMW X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i and X6 M units. The final of these concerns approximately 29 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid hybrid electric vehicles. Specific manufacture dates for each group vary, but all range between April and November 2010.

Despite the differences among these models, the hazard described in the report is essentially the same. Drivers should be aware of possible noises or vibrations in the front drivetrain area, since this could indicate corrosion or possible debris under the joint seal. The risk of a crash or accident is even higher in some traffic conditions, the source said.

Initial investigations into this issue started in April 2014. In July, the manufacturer began working with the NHTSA. After a rise in related consumer complaints, the company decided to officially initiate a recall in May. The original report didn’t explain the details of the remedy program, although it did state that it would involve replacing the driveshaft.

The second recall: Child restraint systems

This recall involves 188,668 potentially affected vehicles, most of which (approximately 172,984) are BMW X3 sDrive28i, X3 xDrive28i and X3 xDrive35i units produced between July 2, 2010 and April 14, 2016.

The other two remaining vehicle groups include about 4,032 2015-2017 BMW X3 xDrive28d vehicles and approximately 11,652 BMW X4 xDrive28i, X4 xDrive35i and X4 xDriveM40i units. Production dates range between March 10, 2014 and March 31, 2016 for the first of these groups, and March 3, 2014 and April 15, 2016 for the second.

In these SUVs, “excessive stresses” may damage the lower anchor bars needed child restraint systems. Users may notice the damage themselves, according to the report. If it’s present, this kind of damage could possibly lead to injury for any child passengers. To remedy the issue, the NHTSA report calls for welding a reinforcing bracket to the lower anchor bars. Owner notification is planned for July 12.

The report did emphasize a possible difference in vehicles that could impact them in this recall: LATCH-based child restraint systems may be less likely to damage vehicle anchor bars over time as part of this concern.

Since most of the child restraint systems in the U.S. use this flexible connector, the majority of drivers may feel protected. Instead, the source connected the “European-ISOFIX-type rigid-style connector child restraint system” with this risk. This may not be the dominant model in the U.S., but it is still available here.

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Loose Latches Lead to Hyundai and Kia Recalls

Fountain Valley, CA — July 15, 2016 — Two brands of vehicles are part of a pair of recalls for similar concerns. In certain Kia Sedona or Hyundai Tucson autos, a secondary hood latch could release the hood in certain circumstances after the primary latch has already been released. Drivers who aren’t expecting this could find themselves at risk of a sudden interruption or a crash.

Although the concerns are similar, each of these recalls comes with its own specific conditions.

The Hyundai recall

This action involves Tucson cars manufactured between May 19, 2015 and March 14, 2016. All of the recalled Tucsons have the 2016 model year.

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall acknowledgment is dated June 10, the manufacturer’s report date is listed as May 23http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM524200/RCAK-16V348-3508.pdf. This statement said that the recall could potentially affect 81,000 units and that the recall itself, currently listed as number 145, is scheduled to begin July 15.

While the primary latch still needs to be triggered for this to pose a concern, the remedy focuses on replacing the secondary latch. As owners wait for the official notification, the manufacturer has encouraged them to contact the customer service line for help.

The Kia recall

For Kia customers, the suspect models represent a wider model year range, from 2006 to 2014. All are Kia Sedonas and the manufacturing dates also reflect a long time span, from June 15, 2005 to April 4, 2014. The NHTSA posted documents for this action, including a Part 573 Safety Recall Report submitted May 27, 2016. The dates reportedly come from manufacturing records.

According to this document, 219,800 vehicles are possibly involved in Kia’s latch recall, although just 1 percent of these are estimated to have the defect. This report revealed more information about the source of the problem, stating that the secondary hood latch could undergo mechanical binding that prevents it from closing. This stems from corrosion on the latch that could keep it from operating correctly.

No recall history was given, though the report did mention that the components originated from Pyeong Hwa Automotive in the Republic of Korea. The dealer notification date is planned for July 21, four days before owners are notified.

Kia’s remedy depends upon how serious the case is. Dealers can simply lubricate the secondary latch if they don’t need to perform a full replacement. In addition, vehicles sold in several states, including Alaska, Illinois, Wisconsin and all of New England, will need an improved latch.

This replacement will have an enhanced coating to protect against corrosion.

Other hood latch recalls

These are not the first hood-latch-related recalls announced this year. In January, Nissan announced a recall for 856,000 possibly impacted 2013-2015 Altima vehicles, also with secondary latch issues. A press release announced that this company would also replace the affected latches. This builds on two previous recall remedies.

A service bulletin included on the NHTSA website described the technique needed to remove and replace the latch. The source recommended that dealers use a flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic stop from the lock assembly as part of the process.

After the latch is replaced, the source advised dealers to shut the latch, then use the interior mechanism to open it again. This is so they can test the new latch by closing the hood again and pulling up on it.

In February, Subaru also addressed a hood latch concern affecting as many as 77,000 units. This didn’t center around the secondary latch specifically, instead focusing on the hood safety and lock systems as a whole. As such, the prescribed remedy required dealers to undertake a two-phase solution.

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How 3 Major Manufacturers Have Responded to the Takata Recalls

The Takata air bag recalls have been a major challenge for the auto industry, but they could also be an opportunity to learn. Owners have had the chance to consult the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, but the individual manufacturers have taken their own steps as well to enforce compliance with the law.

The following three manufacturers are addressing this specific recall online in an attempt to reach out to consumers. While they all may have the same goal, there are some differences in their approaches that make each company stand out slightly. From this, dealers can understand what these businesses are emphasizing.

General Motors

The GM Takata Safety Recall site features internal and external links, some of which jump out immediately. At the top of the page, visitors can travel to either the company’s own vehicle lookup system or the official NHTSA online center for this same recall. Using a visual layout, the site also presents several logos for related brands, giving an owner an idea of which recalled vehicles fall under which make.

That emphasis on the visual also applies to the company’s FAQs. While they look like simple links when collapsed, opening them reveals not just a list of the seven GM vehicle models affected by the Takata recall, but also a map showing the regions of the country said to have “high heat and high absolute humidity.”

These states include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, according to the GM map, and also island territories like Puerto Rico and American Samoa, as well as Hawaii.

Those owners familiar with the Takata air bag recalls will remember that the conditions in those states are likely to increase the risk in the suspect Takata inflators. At the bottom of the page is a long list of customer assistance numbers and the page contains plenty of bolded text and links to other sites.

Clearly, this layout has a strong visual bent, but it also promotes the phone lines consistently, giving readers a direct call to action to follow.

Honda

As a longtime participant in the Takata recalls and a major industry presence, it’s no surprise Honda has an online Airbag Inflator Recall Center filled with information for drivers. Like the GM site, there’s a list of affected models, although this site puts them on the home page and lists them altogether instead of grouping them under individual graphics for each logo.

While this may seem like a less visual design at first, the company does have a pair of videos at the head of the main page for owners to easily understand the impact of the recall and what the repair will involve.

Both of these feature a message from Bruce Smith, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. as well as animations showing the way that the air bag inflators are supposed to work, as well as where they sit within the steering wheel.

Finally, the site also has a section for “News and Updates” related to the Honda recalls, including official company statements. There aren’t as many numbers listed as on the GM site, but users can find contact information simply enough by clicking a header link. There’s a even information on the Honda Twitter account for customer service.

Nissan

The Nissan recall site features a lookup tool that allows owners to search their own Vehicle Identification Numbers. A button on this page brings up a static listing of all three affected Nissan models and a text-only list of the High Absolute Humidity Regions. Compared to the other selections above, this is a spare and not fully interactive offering, but Nissan also lists fewer models than the others.

All of these can serve as examples of how to address open recalls. Dealerships need to address not just recall data itself but also how it’s presented to most accurately reach the target audience.

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Takata Air Bag Recall Adds Motorcycle Models [Video]

Washington, D.C. — July 13, 2016 — Even with new vehicles added constantly, the Takata air bag recalls have never affected motorcycle models until now. A May statement changed all of that as Honda announced a new action.

A new series of Honda recalls will target two thousand, seven hundred and one Honda Goldwing bikes with faulty inflators. According to the press release, air bag inflators in some of these motorcycles could rupture, potentially hurting the rider during a crash. As with the other units in the Takata recalls, these inflators could be more likely to rupture in certain humid conditions.

The recall is confined to two specific zones. These include states in the Deep South and West Coast, such as California, the Carolinas, Florida and Alabama. Honda dealers will replace the defective units for free.

Find out more about the latest Takata recall news by reading our June 6 post.

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