BMW Motorcycles Suffer Loose Bolts

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Jan. 31, 2017 – BMW has announced that it will recall two motorcycle models due to defects that may result in loose rear suspension bolts. If not addressed, these issues could result in worse handling while on the road.

The Defect

BMW will recall model year 2016-2017 BMW S 1000 RR motorcycles manufactured between June 8, 2016 and Nov. 16, 2016, as well as model year 2017 BMW S 1000 R motorcycles manufactured on Oct. 12, 2016. According to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it appears that one of the bolts connecting the rear suspension deflection levers could become loose during operation. Either the bolts connecting these levers to link struts – or the bolts connecting them to rear wheel swing arms – may have been tightened improperly during the manufacturing process.

Timeline of Events

  • Dec. 8, 2016 – An internal quality report from within a motorcycle assembly plant alerted BMW to the possibility that the connector bolts may not have been built properly. BMW then conducted reviews of motorcycle production records and determined the dates on which these bolts may not have been tightened according to their specifications.
  • Dec. 20, 2016 – BMW determined that the problem could result in a safety issue if left undressed. Though no accidents and injuries related to the defect have been reported, the company announced a voluntary recall.

Resolution

Owners of affected motorcycles will be notified beginning in February. Loose bolts will be replaced and tightened according to specifications. This work will be done free of charge.

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Ford Trucks Risk Fuel Leak

Recall Masters – January 30, 2017


Ford Trucks Risk Fuel Leak

Ford has announced that it will recall two different types of light trucks due to a fuel systems leak that could result in a fire of not addressed.

The Defect
Ford will recall model year 2017 F-250 and F-350 trucks manufactured between Aug. 10, 2016 and Sept. 17, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of these vehicles appear to have been built without a necessary frame reinforcement bracket attached to the front fuel tank strap. Without this component, regular wear and tear to the vehicle will eventually cause the fuel tank strap to separate from the frame, which could cause the tank itself to move and possibly hit the ground. Any resulting damage could lead to a fuel leak and possibly a fire…

Read the entire article on the Recall Masters website

Sean ReyesFord Trucks Risk Fuel Leak

Ford Trucks Risk Fuel Leak

Dearborn, Mich. – Jan. 30, 2017 – Ford has announced that it will recall two different types of light trucks due to a fuel systems leak that could result in a fire of not addressed.

The Defect

Ford will recall model year 2017 F-250 and F-350 trucks manufactured between Aug. 10, 2016 and Sept. 17, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of these vehicles appear to have been built without a necessary frame reinforcement bracket attached to the front fuel tank strap. Without this component, regular wear and tear to the vehicle will eventually cause the fuel tank strap to separate from the frame, which could cause the tank itself to move and possibly hit the ground. Any resulting damage could lead to a fuel leak and possibly a fire.

Timeline of Events

  • September 2016: A frame supplier notified Ford that a pickup frame had been manufactured without the necessary fuel tank strap reinforcement. Further inspection revealed that out of about 4,000 uninstalled frames, 58 were improperly built. At the time, it was not yet clear if any defective frames had been installed on vehicles and sold.
  • October 2016: Further analysis allowed Ford to pinpoint the dates on which the defective frames were built. The manufacturer confirmed that some had indeed made it onto vehicles that were shipped.
  • December 2016: Ford’s Field Review Committee approved a recall.

Resolution

Ford will notify affected owners by mail and will advise them to bring their vehicles to the nearest Ford or Lincoln dealers for inspection. If the trucks lack reinforcements brackets, replacements will be installed, free of charge.

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Takata Recall Continues As DOT Pushes Faster Schedule

Warren, Mich. – Jan. 26, 2017 – The recall of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata air bags appears to have no end in sight. Most recently, automakers recalled more than 652,000 vehicles in the U.S., according to a report by NBC News.

The Defect

Takata air bag inflators contain an ammonium nitrate-based propellant that does not contain a chemical drying agent, according to Consumer Reports. This means that temperature fluctuations, humidity and age can cause them to ignite without warning, in some cases spraying shrapnel at high speed toward drivers and occupants. In the U.S. alone, this defect is believed to be responsible for 11 deaths and about 180 injuries.

The most recent recall involves 13 automakers: Audi, Nissan, Jaguar-Land Rover, Subaru, Daimler Vans, Tesla, Mitsubishi, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Mazda, McLaren and Karma. All will need to replace front passenger inflators in numerous vehicle models.

The specific vehicle models being recalled are as follows:

Audi 

  • 2009 A4 Cabriolet, S4 Cabriolet, A6 Avant, A6 Sedan and S6 Sedan
  • 2005-2008 A4 Avant, A4 Sedan, A6 Sedan, S4 Avant and S4 Sedan
  • 2007-2008 A4 Cabriolet, RS4 Sedan, S4 Cabriolet and S6 Sedan
  • 2006-2008 A6 Avant
  • 2008 RS4 Cabriolet

BMW 

  • 2012 X5 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive48i, X5 xDrive50i, X5 M, X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i, and X6 M
  • 2009 X5 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive48i, X5 xDrive50i, and X5 M. 2008-2009 X6 xDrive 35i, X6 xDrive50i, X6 M, and 2009 X5 xDrive35d. 2007-2008 X5 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive48i, X5 xDrive50i and X5 M
  • 2008 X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i, and X6 M

Daimler Vans

  • 2012 Freightliner 2500 and 3500 Sprinter and Mercedes-Benz 2500 and 3500 Sprinter
  • 2009 Dodge 2500 and 3500 Sprinter and Freightliner 2500 and 3500 Sprinter

Ferrari 

  • 2012 California, 458 Italia, 458 Spider, and FF

Jaguar-Land Rover 

  • 2012 Jaguar XF
  • 2009 Jaguar XF
  • 2007-2009
  • 2012 Range Rover

Karma 

  • 2012 Fisker Karma

Mazda

  • 2007-2009 B-Series trucks
  • 2012 CX-7, CX-9 and Mazda6
  • 2009 CX-7, CX-9 and Mazda6
  • 2007-2008 CX-7 and CX-9
  • 2009 RX-8
  • 2005-2006 MPV
  • 2005-2008 RX-8

McLaren

  • 2012 MP4-12C

Mercedes-Benz 

  • 2012 C300 4Matic, C250, C250 Coupe, C350, C350 Coupe 4Matic, C350 Coupe, C63 AMG, C63 AMG Coupe, E350 Coupe 4Matic, E350 Cabrio, E350 Coupe, E550 Cabrio, E550 Coupe, GLK350 4Matic, GLK350, SLS AMG Cabrio, and SLS AMG Coupe
  • 2009 C300 4Matic, C300, C350 and C63 AMG
  • 2008 C300 4Matic, C300, and C350

Mitsubishi 

  • 2012 and 2014 i-MiEV electric vehicles

Nissan

  • 2012 Versa hatchback
  • 2009-2010 Infiniti M35 and M45
  • 2009 Nissan Versa
  • 2005-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45
  • 2006-2010 Infiniti M35 and M45
  • 2007-2008 Nissan Versa

Subaru

  • 2005-2006 Baja
  • 2009 Forester, Legacy and Outback
  • 2006-2011 Impreza
  • 2006 to 2012 Tribeca
  • 2009-2012 Forester, Legacy, Outback
  • 2012 WRX

Tesla

  • 2012 Model S

Timeline of Events

June 2014 – The investigation into the defective inflators initially included reviews of six incidents involving five vehicle manufacturers. All of these were located in Florida or Puerto Rico, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Oct. 20, 2016 – The NHTSA confirmed the 11th person to have been killed in a 2001 Honda Civic as a result of this defect. At the time, nine of the 11 deaths had occurred in Acura or Honda vehicles.

Dec. 9, 2016 – The Department of Transportation announced a more aggressive recall schedule that will give priority to the riskiest vehicles. At this point, almost 12.5 million air bags had been repaired. The total number may reach 69 million by the time the process ends, involving 42 million vehicles.

Resolution

Automakers will notify customers of the recall, with a preference toward those living in high-humidity areas. Replacement air bags will be provided, free of charge, though it may take some weeks for these to reach each customer following the notification. Owners are advised to use the NHTSA’s VIN lookup tool to see whether their car is involved, and to minimize driving if so until they can receive a repair.

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NHTSA Closes Tesla Autopilot Investigation

Palo Alto, Calif. – Jan. 25, 2017 – Following the death of a Tesla Model S driver who collided with a truck in Florida last May while using the car’s autopilot feature, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot program to evaluate its safety. Now, in a recent announcement, the NHTSA has said that it will close the probe and not demand a recall.

Reuters reported that the driver of the Tesla had set his cruise control at 74 miles per hour two minutes before the fatal crash, and did not apply the brakes during the accident. Further investigation of the incident indicated that the Tesla had indeed been in autopilot mode at the time, but the system did not indicate that a crash was imminent. This was the first known death that occurred during the operation of a self-driving vehicle system.

In its report, the NHTSA concluded that it “did not identify any defects” with the autopilot system, which Tesla has always maintained is still in its experimental phase. The agency added that the system was not designed to react to every possible collision scenario.

In the months following the incident, Tesla introduced a number of safety updates to the Model S, according to Autoblog. For instance, it created a lockout feature that disables autopilot if drivers don’t keep their hands on the wheel for a period of time. The purpose is to encourage drivers to remain alert, even when they are letting their cars do most of the driving.

The NHTSA report added that Tesla’s vehicle crash rate dropped by 40 percent after these updates were installed.

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Canadian Bus Manufacturer Issues Two Recalls

Drummondville, Canada – Jan. 24, 2017 – Corp. Micro Bird Inc., a major manufacturer of school buses, has announced the recall of numerous bus models as a result of multiple defects, affecting bus operation and safety.

The Defects

Corp. Micro Bird will be recalling model year 2015-2017 Micro Bird T-Series buses. Two groups will be recalled in response to two separate defects. The first includes buses manufactured between Aug. 24, 2015 and Nov. 30, 2016. The second involves those built on Ford chassis and manufactured between Oct. 1, 2014 and Dec. 15, 2016.

The first group is being recalled as a result of a defective battery-powered wheelchair lift. These lifts contain interlocks that can be deactivated by drivers, allowing the bus to be operated while the lift is down. This may destabilize the buses as they are driven, and may also increase the risk of damage and injury to other nearby vehicles.

The second recall is in response to defective frame extension adaptors. During an accident, force that is applied to seat belts on seats installed just above the frame extension adapters will put pressure on the adapters, causing them to deform. This, in turn, can increase the chance of injury to passengers.

Timeline of Events

  • Nov. 9, 2016 – Corp. Micro Bird conducted a mandatory test of seats attached to the last rows of the affected buses, located over the frame extensions. During the test, mechanics observed significant damage to the frame extension adapters and the floors of the buses.
  • Nov. 11, 2016 – Corp. Micro Bird received pictures of results of the initial tests. However, they were not clear enough to indicate the specific causes of the damage observed.
  • Nov. 23, 2016 –  Bus chassis were sent to a Corp. Micro Bird facility for further inspection. Mechanics determined that the problem was not due to a defect in the specific vehicle, but rather a component design issue that would have affected all buses manufactured during a specific time frame.
  • Nov. 30, 2016 – Meanwhile, another routine inspection of different buses from the same manufacturer noted that some vehicles could be started even when the power-lift switches were in the off position. This prevented the lift from being operated, so that if it was stored it could not be deployed, and if it had been deployed it could not be retracted, even if the bus was moving. The manufacturer decided that this issue presented a safety ris​k that would have to be addressed by the recall process.
  • Dec. 8, 2016 – Corp. Micro Bird decided that the frame extension adapter issue posed a risk to all vehicles with a similar design, and decided that a safety recall would be the most prudent option.

Resolution

Remedy of the powered wheelchair lift issue will be the responsibility of bus owners. Corp. Micro Bird will send materials and all necessary instructions to each owner. This will be done free of charge. Meanwhile, the recall schedule for the frame extension adapter issue has not yet been determined, nor has the specific remedy. The manufacturer plans to release a recall schedule soon, and owners can contact Corp. Micro Bird for more information.

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Wheel Hubs May Fail On Volvo Trucks

Jan. 10, 2017 – Greensboro, N.C. – Volvo Trucks North America has announced a safety recall of numerous vehicle models due to overloaded wheel hubs that threaten to cause control losses and crashes.

The Defect

Volvo will recall model year 2017 VHD, VNL and VNM buses manufactured between Feb. 19, 2016 and June 21, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The front hubs on these vehicles do not support the gross axle rating of the front axles. The company revealed that hubs rated for 13,200 pounds were used along with axles rated for 14,600 pounds.

The problem is that this defect could cause hubs to fail prematurely due to the weight. If front hubs separate from front axles, drivers could quickly lose control and potentially face injury or death. Volvo views this recall as a proactive measure, as no incidents of hub failure have been reported as yet.

Timeline of Events

  • Sept. 15, 2016 – Volvo noticed that there may have been an error with hub rating identification.
  • Oct. 12, 2016 – The Volvo Product Safety Working Group opened an investigation into the issue.
  • Nov. 21, 2016 – Following this preliminary investigation, the issue was elevated to the Product Safety Committee for further consideration.
  • Dec. 13, 2016 – Volvo determined that the issue was indeed a serious safety defect.
  • Dec. 20, 2016 – Volvo notified the NHTSA of its intention to conduct a safety recall.

Resolution

Volvo will replace the hubs with those that are properly rated for the weight they need to bear. This will be done free of charge. The recall will begin in February 2017.

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Software Issue Plagues Maserati

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – Jan. 20, 2017 – Maserati North America, Inc. has announced that it will recall certain Levante S vehicles due to an engine software issue that could lead to transmission problems or even a sudden shutdown.

The Defect

Maserati will recall model year 2017 Levante S cars manufactured between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 13, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These vehicles all contain software bugs that may cause the transmission to shift to neutral or stop altogether when the car is traveling at 2 miles per hour. This significantly increases the risk of a crash, especially in heavy traffic scenarios.

Timeline of Events

  • Oct. 18, 2016 – Maserati received a complaint from China regarding a sudden, unexplained transmission shift during heavy traffic. Several tests were performed in an effort to replicate and isolate the problem.
  • Nov. 9, 2016 – The company successfully reproduced the issue and conducted follow-up tests to determine that it was indeed a software glitch.
  • Dec. 9, 2016 – A software re-flash solution was developed and tested to ensure that it could resolve the glitch without affecting other aspects of performance, such as emissions numbers.
  • Dec. 14, 2016 – Maserati issued its safety recall.

Resolution

Maserati made the software available to fix this bug in December 2016. Customers were notified by letter and advised to contact their local dealers to set up appointments for repairs. The new software upload is expected to take approximately one hour to complete.

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Honda, Ford, Announce Additional Takata-Related Recalls

Washington, D.C. — Jan. 19, 2016 — Of all the automakers that have been affected by the Takata air bag defects and subsequent nationwide recalls, Honda appears to have been hit the hardest.

Across the U.S., 11 fatalities and more than 100 injuries have been attributed to Takata’s defective air bag inflators, according to NBC News. These air bags can inflate with too much force, rupturing a metal canister and launching shrapnel at drivers and occupants. Honda has said that among those incidents, 10 of the deaths occurred in Honda vehicles between 2009 and 2016.

Honda announces additional recalls over air bag defects
This week, Honda announced that it will be recalling additional vehicles as a result of defective Takata air bag launchers –  and not a small amount, either. The International Business Times reported that the company will recall 772,000 Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S.

These will include the following specific models:

  • 2005-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2005-2012 Acura RL
  • 2008-2012 Honda Accord
  • 2006-2011 Honda Civic
  • 2007-2012 Honda Fit
  • 2010-2012 Honda Insight
  • 2009-2012 Acura TSX
  • 2011-2012 Acura TSX Wagon
  • 2010-2012 Acura ZDX
  • 2010-2012 Acura ZDX
  • 2005-2011 Honda CR-V
  • 2005-2011 Honda Element
  • 2012 Honda FCX Clarity
  • 2005-2012 Honda Pilot
  • 2006-2012 Honda Ridgeline

The specific problem in these vehicles appears to be the front passenger seat air bag inflators. Honda said in a press release that a specific number of inflators – known as “Alpha” inflators – have alarmingly high failure rates and will be the focus of the recall.

All told, Reuters reports that Honda has recalled 11.4 million U.S. registered vehicles as a result of this defect.

Ford expands Takata recall
Honda may be the most exposed automaker to the Takata defects, but it isn’t the only company that has boosted its recall numbers of late. This week, Ford announced that it would recall 816,000 vehicles for similar air bag issues.

Of the recalls, about 650,000 were located in the U.S., while the remaining models were located in Canada. All were built in North America. Autoblog reports that the following models will be affected:

  • 2005-09 and 2012 Ford Mustang
  • 2005-06 Ford GT
  • 2006-09 and 2012 Ford Fusion
  • 2007-09 Ford Ranger
  • 2007-09 Ford Edge
  • 2006-09 and 2012 Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln MKZ
  • 2007-09 Lincoln MKX
  • 2006-09 Mercury Milan

Ford has not identified any injuries or deaths that occurred in its vehicles as a result of the defects. It has now recalled about 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S., according to Reuters.

Government settlement will move forward
Earlier this month, there were hints that Takata would agree to settle with the U.S. government over the air bag defects. Now, Reuters has reported that this will indeed happen.

The company has made an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to pay a $1 billion settlement. This will reportedly be split into multiple parts. About $850 million will be directed toward automakers that were forced to conduct massive recalls. Another $125 million will be directed toward victim compensation. Finally, the last $25 million will take the form of a criminal fine.

In addition, Takata will be monitored by an independent third party going forward to ensure the problems that led to the defects are addressed.

Reuters added that Takata may also plead guilty to wire fraud charges, or to providing false test data to U.S. regulators. This is based on information from another settlement in 2015, in which Takata admitted to providing both automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with incomplete or inaccurate data for several years.

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Takata Announces New Inflator Recall

Recall Masters – January 18, 2017


Takata Announces New Inflator Recall

Takata Corporation has announced that additional air bag inflator modules may be faulty, leading to another set of recalls that looks poised to further extend an already lengthy process that has affected millions of vehicles in the U.S. and around the world.

The Defect
Takata will recall non-desiccated frontal air bag inflators containing phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Specifically, this will include PSPI, PSPI-1.1, PSPI-2, PSPI 6, PSPI-L and SPI model inflators. These were not included in any previous recalls.

The recall will address a significant number of vehicles from multiple automakers…

Read the entire article on the Recall Masters website

Sean ReyesTakata Announces New Inflator Recall