Nissan recall electric model with defective air bags


Franklin, Tenn. – May 4, 2017 – Nissan North American has recalled more than 28,000 vehicles equipped with defective air bags, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects Leaf hybrid-electric hatchbacks produced between Sept. 20, 2014 and Dec. 12, 2016, as well as Sentra sedans with production dates ranging from Sept. 25, 2014 to Sept. 22, 2016. It is unknown what percentage of these vehicles actually contain the problematic air bag assembly.

Just over 24,000 of the vehicles originated from dealers in the U.S. Roughly 2,600 were sold in unspecified foreign markets, while over 1,400 went to Canadian showrooms. Approximately 10 were shipped to Mexico.

The Defect
Vehicles named in this recall contain front passenger-side air bag assemblies with faulty components. Specifically, the inflator modules in these safety systems may hold defective coolant with diminished compression strength. As a result, the air bags may not inflate properly in the event of an accident, leaving occupants defenseless. Nissan has traced the coolant issue to two separate phenomena: oxidization due to ineffective storage methods and excessive wear from factory tooling practices. This defect obviously poses serious risk to owners. However, Nissan has not learned of any accidents or injuries connected to the faulty air bag inflator modules.

Timeline of Events
In October 2016, Nissan conducted safety tests and discovered that air bag assemblies in Leaf and Sentra models failed to fire properly. The automaker soon notified Japanese chemical firm Daicel Corporation, which supplied the coolant used in the fixtures. Daicel initiated an internal evaluation. Between November and December 2016, engineers for both companies reviewed the production workflows at the Daicel plant to determine the cause of the issue. The two teams also reached out to other suppliers involved in the production of the inflator modules, including Fuji and the Japanese vehicle design company Nihon Plast. The latter began internal testing.

Nihon Plast completed its evaluation in February 2017 and summoned Nissan officials to review the results. As this unfolded, the automaker launched field tests to pinpoint any accidents that could have been attributed to the malfunctioning air bar assembly. Nissan ultimately found none. In March, Nissan completed its review of the Nihon Plast product evaluation  and determined that a voluntary recall was necessary. The company launched the campaign April 6, 2017 but has since amended it twice – once April 28, 2017 and another time May 4, 2017.

The Solution
Nissan notified dealers April 27, 2017, requesting that they replace passenger-side air bags in affected models, free of charge, according to an internal communication submitted to the NHTSA. The car company has agreed to reimburse individuals with vehicles out of warranty for repairs. Models with active factory warranties should receive coverage for the recall work. Owners should expect to receive notification June 1, 2017. Those in need of more immediate assistance are encouraged to contact the NHTSA or the Nissan customer service department.

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Vaporizing fuel an issue in 2017 Subaru recall [Video]

Cherry Hill, N.J.—April 20, 2017—A new Subaru recall will target more than thirty-three thousand vehicles for a fuel system risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report said that the recall impacted 2017 Subaru Impreza 4D and 5D vehicles.

In these autos, drivers could have trouble starting the engine or keeping it going. This could signify an internal problem processing winter fuel. If the engine vaporizes the fuel, it could cause pressure to drop.

Although the problem concerns the fuel itself, it actually stems from the software installed within the engine control unit. The fix therefore will require new software for this system. Production for these impacted vehicles only recently ended March fifteenth, and the report estimated that all of the suspected vehicles likely had the defect.

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Audi recalls SUVs prone to gas leaks


Auburn Hill, Mich. – May 3, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group of America has recalled more than 240,000 sport utility vehicles with defective fuel pump flanges, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall, which is an expansion of two earlier campaigns, affects Audi Q7 SUVs produced between May 2012 and July 2015, as well as Q5 models that rolled off the assembly line from July 2012 to March 2017. The automaker estimates that this problem affects 100 percent of these vehicles.

The Defect
The vehicles named in the recall are equipped with defective fuel-pump flanges that are prone to cracking. Should fissures develop, fuel could leak into the engine compartment and catch fire, posing a serious risk to occupants. Owners are likely to smell fuel while operating the vehicle or standing near it when leakage has occurred. There have been no accidents or injuries linked to this defect.

Timeline of Events
Earlier this month, Volkswagen recalled a large number of Porsche Macan crossovers due to the same issue, CNET reported. However, this fuel flange problem can be traced back to a recall initiated in September of last year that included the Audi Q7 and Q5, according to the NHTSA.

In the fall of 2015, the automaker became aware of customer complaints and NHTSA filings that mentioned the possibility of fuel leakage. Engineers investigated these assertions and found that the vehicles mentioned in the reports had faulty fuel flanges that tended to develop fissures. Further evaluations took place over an eight-month period between December 2015 and July 2016. Unfortunately, inspectors were unable to discover the root cause. However, Volkswagen developed a workable solution to the problem: a butyl rubber film that could cover the fuel pump flange and seal off leaks.

In September of 2016, the Audi Product Safety Committee chose to issue an official recall. Volkswagen has since discovered the defect in other vehicles, including the Porsche Macan, and has expanded the campaign to account for new models.

The Solution
Volkswagen has ordered dealers to reinforce the fuel pump flanges on affected vehicles with protective butyl rubber film. However, models that exhibit extensive cracking will receive replacement fuel pump flanges of a new, more durable design. This latest recall extension involving the Audi Q7 and Q5 is expected to begin in July, according to Volkswagen. Owners in need of more immediate assistance prior to the official campaign launch date are advised to contact the NHTSA. Those with affected vehicles will receive notification via first-class mail.

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