Toyota recalls models with faulty tie rod assemblies

 

Plano, Texas – June 29, 2017 – Toyota Motor North America has recalled more than 1,700 vehicles with defective tie rod assemblies, according to a company news release. The campaign affects 2017 Lexus ES 350 sedans.

The Defect

The vehicles named in the recall could contain improperly installed right-hand tie rod assemblies, according to Toyota. This defect, which often creates noise, can cause the vehicles to drift left or right while operating.

Additionally, in severe cases, drivers may experience loss of steering control. Both events can increase the likelihood of an accident. However, Toyota has not received reports of any injuries or wrecks related to the defective tie rod assemblies.

Timeline of Events

Toyota has not released details into the events or internal inquiry that led to the recall campaign.

The Solution

The car company has ordered dealers to inspect the tie rod assemblies on affected vehicles, specifically the right-hand-side lock nut. If this fixture is lose, dealers are to replace it, along with the steering gear and tie rod assemblies, at no cost to owners.

Toyota is expected to send out owner notifications via first-class mail later this month. However, the organization encourages owners who suspect they might have vehicles involved in the recall to check by entering their vehicle identification numbers at the Toyota recall portal or the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s site, Safercar.gov.

Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Toyota customer service at (800) 331-4331 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

 

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Ford Issues Safety Recall For Around 400,000 Transit Vehicles

 

Dearborn, Mich., June 28, 2017—Ford Motor Company has recalled about 400,000 of its 2015-17 Transit van or bus vehicles in North America, with 370,630 in the U.S. alone. These models have chassis cab/cutaways with medium wheelbases and medium, long and extended wheelbases.

The Defect
Ford field testing showed that once the affected vehicles reach 30,000 miles, the driveshaft flexible coupling deteriorates. This issue can lead to driveline separation. As a result, the Transit can move while in park without the parking brake applied or lose motive power while driving. Damaged fuel and brake lines are also possible if the driveshaft separates from the transmission.

So far, Ford has not associated any accidents or injuries with the defect, although such incidents are possible.

Timeline of Events 
All the recalled vehicles originated from the company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant, with dates of manufacture ranging from Jan. 17, 2014 to June 15, 2017. Ford announced the recall June 28, 2017.

The Solution
Ford recalled the vehicles to replace the driveshaft flexible coupling. This interim repair is not necessary for affected models that have fewer than 30,000 miles. Additionally, the fix is not required for vans or buses with more than 30,000 miles that have had the coupling replaced within that mileage span.

Until a final repair is available and complete, affected vehicles will need a replacement coupling every 30,000 miles. Ford will send mail notifications to owners, who can receive repairs at Ford or Lincoln dealers at no cost. When available, the permanent fix will also come at no cost, and Ford will again send a mail notification instructing owners to schedule a repair appointment for their Transit vehicles.

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General Motors recalls vehicles with faulty front seats

 

Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2017 – General Motors has recalled more than 760 vehicles that may be equipped with unsafe front seat head restraints, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2016-2017 Buick Envision sport utility models produced between May 16, 2017 and May 27, 2017. GM estimates that 45 percent of the cars named in the campaign contain the defective equipment.

The Defect

The vehicles mentioned in the recall could feature front head restraints that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 202a, which mandates that all restraints attach securely to seat backs, according to the U.S. Government Publishing Office. Buick Envision models come with backseat tablet computer holders that hook to the front seat head restraints. These devices could prevent restraints from fully engaging with seat backs, posing a serious safety hazard to drivers. However, GM has not received any accident or injury reports connected the defect.

Timeline of Events

On March 21, 2017, a GM employee and Envision owners filed an internal report alleging that the tablet holder prevented the head restraint on his vehicle from connecting properly with the seat back. The car company launched an official investigation May 11. GM engineers corroborated the report with the dealer that had sold the vehicle. The dealership also confirmed the tablet holder had been installed in multiple Envision models, some of which had been sold.

GM reviewed the instructions provided to dealers and discovered that they most likely caused confusion at the point of installation. Specifically, many technicians probably failed to remove the button caps located on the arms at the base of the head restraints, creating a situation in which these fixtures would not lock in place with the addition of the tablet holder.

On May 17, the Brand Quality Manager for Buick notified dealers across the country of the problem and instructed them to remove restraint button caps when installing tablet holders. The GM Open Investigation Review evaluated the investigation and resulting fix June 5. On the June 8, the automaker’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority chose to conduct a voluntary non-compliance recall.

The Solution

GM has distributed updated installation instructions. Dealers will reinstall the tablet holders in affected vehicles, free of charge, according to the NHTSA. The car company has yet to provide owner notification dates. However, those in need of immediate assistance can contact Buick customer service at (800) 521-7300 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Takata files for bankruptcy after fallout from air bag inflator recalls

 

Auburn Hills, Mich.—June 27, 2017—After an extensive series of recalls and with repairs still needed, Takata is officially filing for bankruptcy. This recall, which many have referred to as the largest of its kind in U.S. history, has affected several major manufacturers and addresses a concern involving dangerous air bag inflator systems, which could rupture and has had fatal repercussions.

The Bankruptcy

The New York Times reported that the bankruptcy is a direct response to the mounting costs of the recall. Though the manufacturer plans to fix the recalled vehicles, it reportedly has as much as $50 billion in liabilities to contend with.

As a result, the major manufacturers taking part in this recall will have to pay the remaining costs, the source said, potentially offsetting what Takata is unable to complete. Takata also owes $125 million to victims of the defect.

The Takata airbag recalls have been official news for more than two years, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing the decision as far back as May 19, 2015, according to a recall timeline for the action on its website.

State of Completion

As of May 26, the NHTSA, listed more than 30 vehicle brand names as part of the Takata-related recall efforts. Of these, Honda boasted the highest completion rate, with nearly 66 percent of its driver-side air bags repaired, compared to 52 percent of its passenger side air bags, adding up to more than 58 percent of the total amount.

On the other end of the spectrum is Mercedes Benz, which had completed just 1.8 percent of its necessary repairs, which solely consisted of driver-side air bags.

More than 7.9 million driver side air bags were complete of this time. The overall repair rate for these air bags improved between April 28 and May 26, growing by nearly 1 full percentage point after increasing again by that same amount between April and March.

The passenger side air bag completion rate also grew between April and May, but unlike the driver side repair rate, dropped between March and April. The total air bag repair rate followed a similar pattern and was 38.1 percent as of May 26.

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GM recalls Chevrolet SS vehicles

 

Warren, Mich.—June 26, 2017—A new Chevrolet recall pertains to thousands of vehicles with a potential power steering issue. According to an acknowledgment statement filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers in certain Chevrolet SS models could suddenly lose electric power steering assistance while the vehicle is in motion. The specific models involved cover the years from 2014 to 2016 for the Chevrolet SS, though the recall itself comes from General Motors.

The Defect

The statement said that a power steering connector could suffer conductivity issues through fretting corrosion, possibly cutting off assistance altogether. This could in turn activate a warning light and noise to alert the driver, even though it might still technically be possible to drive the car. Estimates indicate approximately 95 percent of the 6,204 vehicles may have this issue. The affected components themselves are from Mando Corporation.

Timeline of Events

  • May 14, 2013: This was the earliest production date listed in the same NHTSA statement, applying specifically to the 2013 Chevrolet SS vehicles in the recall.
  • April 27, 2016: The production period for the 2016 vehicles involved in this recall ended on this day, making it the last of all of the included vehicles overall. The report did not list how many vehicles of each model year were included.
  • July 26, 2016: The gold-plated terminals, which were listed as part of the solution to the issue, were introduced on this date. However, the manufacturer reportedly didn’t discover this until it had begun its investigation the following year.
  • September 28, 2016: A related chronology document, also filed with the NHTSA, said that this date was when a report on steering warranty data brought the matter to GM’s attention.
  • March 23, 2017: The manufacturer began its official investigation on this day, with the actual recall decision coming on June 9.

The Resolution

The original statement listed the dealer notification date as June 15, with no date listed for owner notification at that time. The replacements will involve the previously introduced gold-plated terminals to fix the assembly, if such a repair is needed.

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New BMW update to include previously recalled vehicles [Video]

A new BMW recall builds off of an old one for another voluntary safety action. More than forty-five thousand light vehicles are part of this effort although just one percent is expected to contain the defect.

This fault means car doors could not fully close although they appear to, leading them to open unexpectedly, possibly during transit. The recall included seven different models, with the production dates ranging between two thousand four and two thousand eight.

As of May eighteenth, BMW gave no specific remedy. However, owner notification will happen July 10.

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Mazda recall: Older vehicles may have fuel pump issue [Video]

Poor welding in some Mazda vehicles has led to a recall. In one of two recent recalls, the manufacturer plans to address problems with a fuel pump. In some vehicles, heat and bad production can fracture one of the key pipes for the existing fuel system.

Although this is a recent recall, with the first U.S. field report happening this year, the issue goes back some time. The production dates for the R-X-eight vehicles themselves fell between 2003 and 2008, and the preliminary investigation began in 2007. A total of sixty-nine thousand, four hundred and forty-seven vehicles are reportedly involved.

Dealers can fix the issue by installing a new fuel pump filter kit, and Mazda has offered the improved version since 2008.

Stay tuned for more recall updates.

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Honda recall minivans with faulty seat belts

 

Torrance, Calif. – June 23, 2017 – Honda has recalled nearly 4,000 minivans with potentially faulty seat belt assemblies, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Honda Odyssey models produced between May 9, 2017 and June 1, 2017. The car maker is unsure what percentage of the vehicles named in the recall actually contain the defective seat belt system.

The Defect

The models mentioned in the recall could contain seat belt assemblies for third-row passenger seating with mismatched tongues. Specifically, center seat belt fixtures might come equipped with tongues made for outer seat belts. In this instance, passengers would not be able to secure their seat belts, increasing their chances of suffering injuries in the event of a crash. However, Honda has not received reports of any injuries connected to this defect.

The defective seat belt assemblies are in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, which dictates that car companies offer proper passenger protection.

Timeline of Events

On May 31, 2017, Honda received a field report for a vehicle in the American market that featured non-functioning third-row center seat belts. The car maker launched an investigation soon after, which revealed that the center seat belt fixtures contained tongues designed for outer seat belts, making it impossible for passengers to securely fasten themselves. Honda closed out the internal inquiry June 22, determining that the defect violated FMVSS 208 and required immediate action. The organization initiated a non-compliance safety recall.

Dealers received notification June 23, according to the NHTSA.

The Solution

Honda has ordered dealers to replace the third-row seat belt assemblies in affected vehicles, free of charge. Owners should expect to receive notification July 24. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Honda customer service or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mazda recalls sedans with defective braking systems

 

Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled more than 227,000 sedans with potentially corrosion-prone braking systems, according to documentation failed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2014-2016 Mazda3 sedans manufactured between Jan. 6, 2014 and Sept. 2, 2016, as well as 2014-2015 Mazda6 sedans made between Oct. 25, 2012 and Dec. 1, 2014. The Japanese automaker does not know at this time what percentage of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles might feature rear brake calipers that are improperly protected and sealed, and therefore are vulnerable to water damage. Moisture may be able to enter the calipers and degrade the brake actuator shaft. This phenomenon, paired with continuous use, can increase the diameter of the shaft and inhibit its operability. In some instances, the shaft could become lodged within the brake caliper assembly and reduce parking brake stopping power. This poses a serious hazard to drivers, as the brake could suddenly disengage and cause an accidental collision.

Timeline of Events

In April 2015, Mazda received a field service report from the Canadian market detailing an instance of brake drag, according to the NHTSA. Engineers inspected the vehicle involved, a Mazda6 sedan, and discovered that the actuator shaft in the rear brake caliper had seized. The automaker assumed that high pressure spraying around the caliper was the cause and instituted a field monitoring initiative to look for similar occurrences.

In August, Mazda received seven field reports from the U.S. referencing that same problem. The carmaker initiated an investigation. Three months later, the company identified the root cause: improperly protected and corrosion-coated brake calipers. In December, Mazda engineers reviewed the original specifications for the brake caliper protective boot and tested its corrosion mitigation capabilities. Within the two months, the carmaker had introduced new protective boots at the point of assembly. However, this production change did not apply to Mazda6 sedans produced after January 2014, as Mazda had switched from mechanical braking systems to electric alternatives with more effective corrosion protections. The carmaker issued a similar decision on Mazda3 models, which featured an improved actuator shaft design.

Over the summer of 2016, Mazda received multiple collision reports from the German and U.K. markets for Mazda3 and Mazda6 models with corroded brake actuator shafts, including some that had rolled off of the assembly line after January 2014. In August, the company received an additional nine reports from dealers in the U.S. market and decided to take action. Throughout late 2016, the carmaker conducted an additional root cause investigation and worked on designs for new brake caliper protective boots.

Mazda produced a boot replacement kit for the Mazda6 in January 2017. In February, the company introduced new manufacturing methods to address defective Mazda3 sedans. Three months later, it produced a boot replacement kit for this model. In May, the carmaker initiated a voluntary recall for both vehicles.

The Solution

Mazda will request dealers to survey the rear brake assemblies on vehicles named in the campaign and replace brake actuator shafts that show signs of corrosion, free of charge, according to the NHTSA. The carmaker plans to notify dealers Aug. 7, 2017 and contact vehicle owners Aug. 21, 2017.

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Aston Martin recalls sports cars with faulty software

 

Warwick, U.K. – June 21, 2017 – Aston Martin Lagonda of North America has recalled more than 300 sports cars with faulty software, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The campaign affects 2011-2012 Aston Martin V8 Vantage sports cars manufactured between Nov. 25, 2010 and Aug. 16, 2012. The car maker estimates that approximately 2 percent of the vehicles mentioned in the recall contain the defective software.

The Defect

Vehicles named in the campaign could be equipped with engine control and transmission software that is incompatible automatic clutch settings. This can cause the transmission to miss gearchanges in some throttle positions.

The clutch can also slip and overheat, prompting the vehicle to switch to clutch protection mode. In this instance, the Malfunction Indicator Light will illuminate and gearchanges will become abrupt. The defect is detrimental to overall driveability, putting drivers and passengers at risk. However, Aston Martin has not received reports of any collisions or injuries connected to software issue.

Timeline of Events

In 2012, Aston Martin released an update for engine control and transmission software in the V8 Vantage. After installing the updated software, technicians were supposed to delete existing automatic clutch settings and input new configurations to comport with the update. However, this did not happen.

More than five years later, in April 2017, the car manufacturer received multiple reports from V8 Vantage owners who were experiencing driveability issues. Aston Martin launched immediately launched an investigation to determine the root cause. Engineering teams were able to replicate the issues in internal tests and quickly discovered the existing automatic clutch settings were incompatible with the updated software.

Aston Martin’s Critical Concerns Review Group recommended the Recall Committee take up the matter June 15, 2017. The group met that same day and decided to conduct a voluntary recall campaign.

Dealers received notification of the action June 23, according to the NHTSA.

The Solution

Aston Martin has ordered dealers to reinstall the engine control and transmission software on vehicles named in the recall and configure automatic clutch settings to match the updated systems. Dealers are also required to replace clutch systems in V8 Vantage models with transmission damage stemming from the incompatibility issue. Technicians are to perform these repairs free of charge. Aston Martin is expected to notify owners between July 7 and Aug. 7.

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