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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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.

MotorSafety.orgSoftware Issue Plagues Maserati

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

Jan. 18, 2017 –  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:

  • Model year 2005-2008 vehicles registered in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • Model year 2009 vehicles registered in  Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Model year 2012 vehicles registered in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas, as well as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For instance, Fiat Chrysler will recall more than 100,000 trucks and SUVs from the 2009 and 2010 model years that have these inflators installed, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Takata believes that prolonged exposure to high heat, humidity and multiple temperature swings can cause the propellant in these inflators to degrade. If activated, the inflators may rupture, causing metal fragments to travel through the airbag at high speeds and strike occupants. To date, as many as 16 people have been killed worldwide as a result of this defect, and about 180 have been injured.

Timeline of Events

  • Nov. 3, 2015 – Takata and the NHTSA entered into a consent order to resolve certain issues that had arisen during the ongoing investigation over the defective air bag inflators. The purpose of this order was to further identify and control risks.
  • May 4, 2016 – Takata and the NHTSA amended their consent order, based on recent findings that identified the PSAN inflators as capable of reaching dangerous levels of degradation that could result in shrapnel emanating during launch. The NHTSA ordered Takata to file defect reports.
  • May 16, 2016 – Takata submitted its reports as requested.
  • Jan. 3, 2017 – Takata completed the most recent report, specified by the amended consent order, which deals with the most recent revelations regarding defective air bags.

Resolution

In many cases, vehicles owners may not be able to have this problem resolved immediately. Takata reports that replacement parts simply aren’t available for many of the vehicles that have been affected. The manufacturer will work with automakers to ensure each vehicle gets an appropriate remedy, and will communicate with customers so they know to get replacement inflators as soon as they are available. This will be done free of charge.

In a broader sense, overall resolution of the Takata defects may take many more years. For instance, CNN Money reports that federal safety regulators think it may take until 2023 for all recalled air bags to be repaired. The main challenge is that few recalls address every single affected vehicle – while the NHTSA considers this to be the goal in this case.

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Pierce Recalls Emergency Vehicles Over Engine Trouble

Appleton, Wis. – Jan. 17, 2017 – Pierce Manufacturing, a maker of emergency vehicles, has announced a recall related to engine trouble that could result in an increased risk of fire during operation.

The Defect

Pierce will be recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Dash emergency vehicles manufactured between Oct. 17, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The specific vehicles in question contain Cummins ISL engines.

The problem is that the starter motor in these vehicles may be damaged, due to incorrect cab-lift pump brackets. This may cause holes to develop in starter motor housing, which will in turn cause contamination to enter the starter and prevent the vehicle from turning on. In addition, affected vehicles may experience electrical shorts that can cause the starter to overheat or even ignite.

Timeline of Events

  • October 2016 – During a routine service check in the field, a technician discovered a problem with a cab lift pump bracket and notified Pierce. The technician then sought more information on the implications of the defect.
  • November 2016 – Pierce conducted additional investigation into the problem and learned from suppliers that holes could develop in the starter motor housing, possibly causing additional problems.
  • December 2016 – Pierce announced that it would issue a recall.

Resolution

Pierce said that it will inspect all recalled vehicles to determine whether they have the proper brackets. Those with the wrong components will receive replacements, and any damaged starter motors will be repaired. This will be done free of charge.

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Seatbelt, Airbag Recalls Will Affect Many Automakers

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jan. 16, 2017 – A Swedish auto parts supplier that serves thousands of vehicle models will conduct a safety recall of its seatbelts and airbags, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Autoliv, Inc. has announced that it will recall products that are malfunctioning due to manufacturing defects, which could potentially lead to failure.

The Defect

Autoliv will recall A12 seat belt and air bag initiators manufactured between June 16, 2016 and Nov. 4, 2016. These may contain the wrong generant mix ratio, which means that both the air bags and seat belt pretensioners could fail to deploy during a crash. This could lead to the serious injury or death of the vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

  • Oct. 3, 2016 – Two tests that occurred at different Autoliv plants showed nonconforming results, prompting the manufacturer to open an investigation into the issue.
  • Nov. 4, 2016 – Autoliv identified the defect and a potential cause, noting that a Programmable Logic Controller had been loading the incorrect chemical ratio and needed to be reprogrammed.
  • Nov. 16, 2016 – Autoliv determined that a software programming change on the Programmable Logic Controller was ultimately responsible for the error, and used this information to pinpoint the exact dates during which the defects may have gone through.
  • Nov. 30, 2016 – The manufacturer held a meeting with the NHTSA regarding the issue and discussed next steps.

Resolution

All vehicle manufacturers that use these products have been informed, and will work to send out recall notices to those who have purchased affected vehicles.

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