Honda Recalls 2016 Vehicles for Tail Light Issues

Torrance, Calif. — Sept. 30, 2016 — Some Honda vehicles could fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards guideline 108 – “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Assoc. Equipment.” The original acknowledgement, dated for Aug. 10, stated that some 2016 Honda Civic vehicles may potentially come with faulty lights.

The manufacturer reported the issue Jul. 8, and it could affect 11,846 2-door vehicles. In these autos, the source said, circuit board damage could affect the lights and make vehicles harder to see. All of the included vehicles were produced between Feb. 23 and May 20.

According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, the first vehicles with these issues were discovered May 24 as part of a vehicle quality check. The discovery led to the June 30 decision to conduct a recall, after circuit boards were possibly damaged in transit.

No specific signs for determining if the problem was present were listed. The remedy requires dealers to inspect Honda tail light assemblies. The report also said that there were no injuries related to this defect as of June 23.

The affected component comes from supplier Automotive Lighting LLC, based in Auburn Hills, Mich. Owner notification was scheduled Aug. 8, almost a full month after dealer notification on July 9. The report said that owners would be notified by mail if they were subject to this recall.

An instruction document from the manufacturer goes into greater detail about the procedures needed to repair the vehicles. Both the right and left taillight assemblies may be necessary for the remedy, depending on the specific case. The procedure will have dealers remove the trunk rear side trim panels to install either one or both taillights.

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FCA Recalls Ram Pickup Trucks for Transfer Case Fracture Risk [Video]

Auburn Hills, MI — September 29, 2016 — Some Ram pickup trucks may accidentally put drivers in danger. According to Autoblog, some trucks produced during the past couple of years are a possible danger due to manufacturing problems.

In total, nine hundred and thirty vehicles are potentially part of this recall. However, the original Safety Recall Report dated for June twenty-eighth said that six hundred and fifty-eight vehicles were involved. Of these, just one percent are estimated to have the defect.

Main output shafts in the transfer cases of these vehicles could fracture, the report said, possibly disabling park for two wheel drive.

Visit our blog for more on the latest FCA recalls, and thanks for watching.

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New Suspension-Related Recall is Third for Several Toyota Vehicles

Jacksonville, Fla. — September 28, 2016 — The Los Angeles Times recently wrote about a recall that affects thousands of Toyota RAV4 SUVs and Lexus HS250 hybrid sedans. According to the source, the issue affects vehicles of these two makes from the model years 2006 to 2011.

Rusty suspension arms in these automobiles could eventually detach from affected vehicles and leave occupants in danger. Before this most recent action, the same vehicles had been reportedly recalled twice for loose suspension issues. The source said dealers will address the problem by replacing the defective suspension-arm assemblies.

Other Toyota recalls have affected the 2011 RAV4 as well. A June recall included RAV4 units with model years ranging between 2006 and 2011 for a seat-heater electrical wiring problem. According to the source, compressing seat cushions in these vehicles could damage the wiring and increase the risk of fire.

This action included 13 other Toyota vehicles and the total affected model years included vehicles dating as far back as 1987 and as recent as 2012. The component manufacturer involved in the case, Marketing World Wide, Inc, is no longer in business, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safety Recall Report.

The remedy for this wiring problem involved using a “copper strand heating element” to disconnect the heaters. The original owner notification date was planned for the 15-day period between July 14 and 29.

As of this writing, the NHTSA recall database only lists the current suspension recall for the Lexus HS250 hybrid, although it originally dates it back to 2012. Updated instructions show that only a certified Chassis Expert, Master and Master Diagnostic Technicians can perform the necessary repairs.

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GM Recalls Buick Verano Vehicles for Fuel Line Problems

Warren, Mich. — September 27, 2016 — In recent GM recall news, some 2016 Buick Verano autos may be subject to a fire hazard due to fuel line defects. The Part 573 Safety Recall Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website stated that affected autos have a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and were manufactured between Feb. 16 and May 12, 2016.

This source said that fuel lines in these Buicks could fail if they make contact with heated sections of the engine. This could lead to a fire if the lines in question are worn away enough, causing fuel to leak out. A total of 189 vehicles are potentially involved in this action, and all 100 percent of them are estimated to have the defect.

The first engine fire associated with this problem occurred June 20 in the car of a GM employee, according to the Report. As of Aug. 10, this was the only fire caused by this defect that had been seen in the field.

Dealer Notification was planned for Aug. 10, and the remedy requires the dealer to replace the fuel line assembly entirely. Since the defect comes from improperly assembled fuel lines, the new replacement assemblies will have the proper engine compartment routing. GM found out that the vehicle issue stemmed from “poor operator training” on July 18.

A recall bulletin from the manufacturer listed all of the parts needed to complete the recall’s system replacement. This list includes eight parts total, such as a fuel-feed pipe and charge air cooler inlet air tube adapter seal for each vehicle.

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Kia Recalls Sorrento Vehicles after Improper Welding Found

Irvine, Calif. — September 26, 2016 — A bad weld in some 2016 Kia Sorrento vehicles could leave occupants at risk of crashing.  Just 1 percent of the total recalled population is estimated to have this defect, according to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That report also stated that 7,901 of these vehicles could potentially see a weld break and impact both vehicle performance and safety. The source traced the problem back to supplier Hwashin America Corporation, which oversaw the improper welding process that left an assist arm bracket disconnected from the vehicle’s rear crossmember. Owners may be able to tell that their vehicle has this problem if they hear “a popping or clunking noise” from the breaking tack welds.

To prevent this problem from happening in the future, the supplier reportedly used an air pressure valve and limit sensor to correct the welding process. The vehicles addressed in this recall make up two distinct ranges of production years: one between May 29 and Nov. 16, 2015, and the other spanning Jan. 14 and Feb. 11, 2016. Dealers can replace the crossmember assembly as needed, the report added.

A July 21 safety bulletin from the manufacturer urged owners to locate their nearest Kia dealer and have a professional inspect the assembly. The bulletin said that the inspection alone (without the replacement) would require approximately one hour to complete.

Owners who have already paid to treat this issue could potentially be eligible for reimbursement under Kia’s General Reimbursement Plan, the statement added. The original report listed the dealer notification date as July 15 and the owner notification date as July 21.

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After Fuel Concerns, Mitsubishi Recalls Outlander Sport Vehicles

Cypress, Calif. — September 23, 2016 — Some improperly placed transmission hose clamps have launched a Mitsubishi recall. The manufacturer’s new action addresses a possible fire hazard, though there have been no confirmed reports of such as of this writing, according to Autoblog.

The recall includes exactly 45,731 potentially affected vehicles, as documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. All of the concerned units are 2015 Outlander Sports produced between June 24, 2014 and Nov. 25, 2015. The continuously variable transmission fluid hoses in these vehicles may reportedly feature clamps that aren’t securely attached.

This, in turn, could allow the hose to detach and leak transmission fluid, potentially hurting the transmission as well as causing a fire hazard. The report said that each of these vehicles contains 10 susceptible hose clamps. Drivers can look for a warning light on the dashboard as a possible sign of this defect, along with possible shaking.

Because the problem centers around the included clamps, no outside component manufacturer was associated with this issue. According to the Part 573 Safety Recall report, dealers can look at each of the ten clamps and release them if necessary.

The manufacturer decided to conduct this recall on July 14, 2016. The first warranty claim related to this issue dates back to Dec. 16, 2015, when an Outlander Sport suddenly came to a stop after a transmission hose disconnected. Other claims came in March, May and June 2016: Of these, the vehicle with the highest mileage was identified March 3 and had accumulated 18,446 miles.

No recall notification schedule was listed for owners or dealers in the 573 report, though the did say it would update these later.

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Authorities Approve of Some VW Recall Fixes in Germany

Germany — September 22, 2016 — The emissions-related Volkswagen recalls have prompted actions both within the U.S. and abroad. The most recent news comes from Germany, where lawmakers are granting the manufacturer permission to address those of its vehicles that use a 1.2-liter EA189 TDI engine, according to Fortune.

The source also said that the remedy will apply to 460,000 vehicles. It will update system software to comply with auto emissions standards. The larger recall stems from revelations last year that the company had used “defeat devices” to distort diesel emissions on them during tests.

Fortune added that vehicles with these defeat devices can emit “40 times higher emissions than legally permitted” in the U.S. Fixes for this market are still forthcoming, despite the progress in Germany.

Autoblog said that the German notification will include a letter to owners directing them to visit participating dealers. Previously, the company had already contacted owners to let them know that the software update exists. This is reportedly an easier fix than is needed for other affected vehicles, since the impacted models don’t require any modified hardware.

As this progress toward repair plays out overseas, Volkswagen faces scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice. Reuters said that the company may have to buy 85,000 vehicles back as part of its response to the issue.

In addition, Volkswagen will pay $2.7 billion to address diesel emissions as part of an agreement with the American government. It will also dedicate an additional $2 billion to emissions related programs by 2026 and more than $10 billion to address the emissions issues in 2.0 liter vehicles.

Autoweek quoted the head of the American wing of the company, Hinrich Woebcken, who said that Volkswagen will not move away from diesel entirely despite these recent actions.

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Transmission Systems Recall Affects FCA Vehicles

Northville, Mich. — September 21, 2016 — A total of 505,000 vehicles in the U.S. are part of a new recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report noted that 4 percent of those 505,000 vehicles were estimated to have defective transmission control sensor clusters. Though not specifically labeled as one of the recent FCA recalls, this action does have the auto manufacturer working with transmission company ZF.

According to the report, sensor clusters produced between May 1, 2013 and July 15, 2014 could be suspect to sudden motive power loss. This is because the star-shaped connector was left with crimps that were too high and wide for proper performance. This system will reportedly give drivers no warning that the defect is currently present.

Since the issue was discovered, multiple changes have been put into place to address it. The crimping machine used during assembly will now require proper specifications to work correctly, and these were adjusted for better compression, among other things.

As Autoblog referenced, though, these fixes are actions the automakers are taking, not dealers. Remedies on the dealer level will focus more on software updates. This will either give drivers warning if the transmission is abruptly about to shift into neutral or will prevent it from doing so outright. The source said that the consistent need for software updates could be the sign of a “fundamental hardware issue” behind it all.

The Safety Recall Report did not include a specific notification schedule. Instead, it stated that affected OEMs will collaborate to come up with the official timeline for informing owners and dealers.

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New Plans May Jumpstart Volkswagen Emissions Recall [Video]

The Volkswagen defeat device recall has led to concern about future repairs. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the company may move forward with a plan to repair affected vehicles.

Since last year, Volkswagen has struggled to address the issue with its diesel vehicles. The company had previously used defeat devices to thwart emissions tests and has since negotiated possible responses.

The Journal said that the California Air Resources Board was making progress on possible fixes. The leader of the organization, Mary Nichols, said that Volkswagen may be able to reduce emissions by as much as 90 percent in target vehicles.

Read more about the Volkswagen recalls in our July post.

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Door Latch Problems Reason for New Ford Recalls

Dearborn, Mich. — September 19, 2016 — According to The Associated Press, new Ford recalls target several different vehicle brands due to an issue with door latches. The source said that some of its autos have door-latch problems that could open unexpectedly, especially in hotter climates.

The AP also said that the recall takes place in 16 states as well as Mexico. The target states will take the priority during the recall, with dealers replacing all of the latches in vehicles in these areas, while other states will simply see dealers replace latches as needed. Affected model years range from 2012 to 2016, and vehicle types include C-Max and Focus cars as well as various vans and SUVs.

Altogether, the recall reportedly concerns around 830,000 vehicles across all countries. Some of the vehicles involved in this action have been subject to other Ford recalls in recent years, such as the 2015 C-MAX and Ford Focus.

Both of these were part of a 2015 recall concerning Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 114. This standard targets “Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention.” In this case, vehicle owners were warned that the engine could run even if the ignition was stopped. This would have left the 374,781 potentially affected units at greater risk of a crash.

The 2013 C-MAX was part of an even earlier effort in 2014 meant to draw attention to Restraint Control Modules that could short-circuit, setting off the air bag warning lamp. The C-MAX autos included in this recall were produced between Jan. 9, 2012 and Nov. 21, 2013. Multiple systems were thought to be hurt by this defect.

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