More inflators added to Takata air bag recalls


Washington, D.C.—July 12, 2017—The latest development in the recall for potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators sees yet more vehicles potentially affected by an action that already includes many major manufacturers and carries global implications. The latest update reportedly adds another 2.7 million units to the count, according to the Associated Press, which said 42 million vehicles have been recalled for the Takata air bag concerns so far in total.

On July 11, the source reported on the action, which comes after the company filed for bankruptcy in June. This is for a type of inflator left out of the previous recall that still poses a possible risk of rupturing and possibly affecting occupants as a result. The article also said that Takata has a 2019 deadline for safer alternative inflators with more stable material.

This deadline comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has taken extra steps to facilitate the recall. As of June 23, the total air bag repair rate is at 39.7 percent, an increase from the May 26 rate of 38.1 percent.

The NHTSA also mapped out the projected timeline for the Takata air bag recall filing date based on the locations and model years of the affected vehicles. The recall is divided in to three zones: A, B and C, with A being the most hot and humid and C being the least.

Recall actions for vehicles in humid environments have generally been the most urgent. The source said that December 31 is set to see the filing for relevant vehicles with model years as recent as 2013 in Zone A. For Zone B this maximum model year is 2010, and for Zone C it’s 2009. The filing plan for all three zones is to focus on all remaining vehicles and like-for-like replacement parts in the two years that follow 2017, the source said.

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Ford recalls vehicles in need of torque converter replacement


Dearbon, Mich. – July 11, 2017 – Ford has recalled more than 6,600 vehicles equipped with defective torque converters, according to a company press release. The campaign affects 2017 Ford Edge sport utility vehicles produced between April 25, 2017 and June 20, 2017; 2017 Ford Fusion sedans produced between May 4, 2017 and June 15, 2017; and 2017 Lincoln MKZ sedans produced between May 4, 2017 and June 19, 2017. Approximately 5,914 of the vehicles were sold in the American market, while the remainder came from dealers in Canada and Mexico.

The Defect

The models named in the recall, all of which are equipped with 6F35 transmissions, could contain torque converters with inadequate welds, according to Ford. Consequently, these fixtures might decouple from the engine flex plate while operational, resulting in an immediate loss of power.

Although other features like the electronic braking and restraint systems will continue to operate, the vehicle itself will lose function. This could increase the likelihood of an accident. That said, Ford has not received reports of any injuries or wrecks connected to the defect.

Timeline of Events

The car manufacturer did not release details on the internal investigation that precipitated the recall campaign. However, it did mention that the affected vehicles came from two different Ford assembly plants in Oakville, Ontario, Canada; and Hermosillo, Mexico.

The Solution

Ford has instructed dealers to replace the torque converters in affected vehicles, free of charge. The internal reference number for the recall is 17S16. Owners should receive notification via mail soon, CBS Detroit reported.

Those in need of immediate assistance can contact Ford customer service personnel at (800) 392-3673 or call the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4263.

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Volkswagen recalls Audi vehicles for parking brake/warning light disconnect


Auburn Hills, Mich.—July 10, 2017—In an action expected to begin this July, Volkswagen said it will recall Audi vehicles to address a possible safety issue. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration letter dated for July 6 said that the recall would include 24,754 Q3 vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years, all of which were estimated to have the defect.

The Defect

This recall concerns a defect that could go against Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which pertains to “lamps, reflective devices, and assoc. equipment,” as an NHTSA report said. Specifically, the affected vehicles may contain a software error that prevents the brake lights from turning on when the parking brake is in use.

Though the source stressed that the brake system itself was unaffected, it did note that the lack of brake lights could be a hazard. It also did not list any specific signs for owners to look out for.

Timeline of Events

  • March to November, 2016: This period included several events, such as the company’s first discovery of the issue, leading to the time when the company developed the improved software to resolve the problem.
  • February to May, 2017: After the previous efforts, the manufacturer took a closer look at the particular compliance problem to determine the right way to respond.
  • June, 2017: The above deliberation finally led to the decision that the vehicle issue did actually constitute a non-compliance concern in response to the FMVSS, with June 19 listed as the “Date of Determination” in the Part 573 Safety Recall Report.

The Resolution

Though the report didn’t include a specific date, it did state that the recall was “anticipated” for July 17. The repair effort will include a software update, using the program developed and put into use last year.

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GM Recalls Vehicles with Faulty Seat Belts

Warren, Mich. – July 10, 2017 – General Motors has recalled more than 40,000 vehicles possibly equipped with dysfunctional software, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The campaign affects over one dozen models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2014 – 2017 Buick Encore sport utility vehicles
  • 2014 – 2016 Buck Lacrosse sedans
  • 2015 – 2016 Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicles
  • 2015 – 2016 Cadillac Escalade ESV sport utility vehicles
  • 2014 – 2016 Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit sedans
  • 2014 – 2017 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars
  • 2014 – 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickups
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickups
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 pickups
  • 2014 – 2016 Chevrolet Spark compacts
  • 2014 – 2016 Chevrolet SS sports sedans
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility vehicle
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Trax sport utility vehicle
  • 2014 – 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 pickups
  • 2015 – 2017 GMC Sierra 2500 pickups
  • 2015 – 2017 GMC Sierra 3500 pickups
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL sport utility vehicles

GM suspects 75 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the outdated software.

The defect

Affected vehicles contain sensing and diagnostic module software that may not properly deploy front air bags and seat belt pre-tensioning features in the event of an accident.

This poses serious safety risks to drivers and passengers, as they may be left unprotected during collisions. However, the car company has not reports connecting the defective software to accidents or injuries as yet.

Timeline of events

In September of last year, GM recalled more than 3 million vehicles believed to contain problematic SDM software, according to the NHTSA. Approximately 100 percent of the cars involved in the campaign contained the defect.

GM ordered dealers to update the software in all recalled vehicles free of charge, a process that began that very month. Roughly 2.9 million were eventually serviced.

In April 2017, GM personnel conducted an internal audit, reviewing recall and repair records for recent campaigns.

Auditors discovered three instances in which dealers had failed to update the SDM software on vehicles involved in the September 2016 yet reported that the repairs had been successfully executed.

These findings prompted the auditors to evaluate additional repair records and OnStar diagnostic data for approximately 30,000 vehicles named in the aforementioned campaign.

This data indicated that many more models connected to the campaign, an estimated 41,000, might have never received the SDM software update. On May 18, the auditors filed an internal report via the GM Speak Up program.

The GM Safety Field Action Decision Authority chose to conduct an official safety recall June 30. Dealers received notification July 10.

The solution

GM has once again ordered dealers to update the SDM software in affected models. The automaker has pledged to reimburse owners for the repair, according to documents submitted to the NHTSA.

However, GM has not publicized an official notification date for owners.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

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Hyundai recalls vehicles for parking brake indicator issue [Video]

Fountain Valley, Calif.—June 9, 2017—In one of a pair of Hyundai recalls, the manufacturer is taking action on vehicles with possible warning light issues for their parking brakes. This recall concerns more than 161 vehicles, with 1 percent estimated to have the defect .

If the electrical switches in these vehicles corrode, then the parking brake light could fail to display at the right times. Some of the signs of this issue are noise, smoke or extra resistance from the parking brake.

Owner notification was set for June 30. Dealers will fix the problem by replacing the parking switch with a new one made of different material. As of June 5, the manufacturer was not aware of any accidents due to this defect.

Stay tuned for more recall updates.

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Jeep recalls vehicles with incorrect jump-starting information


Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 7, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nearly 13,000 vehicles containing user guides with inaccurate jump-starting instructions, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 17, 2016 and April 28, 2017. FCA estimates 100 percent of the models named in the recall are equipped with the faulty information.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain user guides with inaccurate jump-starting instructions. These flawed reference materials feature an image of the Jeep Compass battery terminal with reversed polarities. This not only confuses owners in need of assistance, but also creates a serious safety hazard, as attaching jump starting cables in the manner shown in the instructions may produce a dangerous electrical charge. However, the FCA has not received reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the inaccurate user guides.

Timeline of Events

On May 31, an FCA supplier reported that the user guides installed in some 2017 Jeep Compass models might contain inaccurate information. The car company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group immediately launched an investigation into the supposed issue. Roughly one week later, FCA engineers reviewed the user guides and confirmed that the instructions did indeed contain an error. The VSRC group then initiated an internal review in search of customer complaints, injury reports or warranty claims connected to the defective user guides. This review ultimately uncovered one customer complaint mentioning the inaccurate materials.

On June 30, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the findings and recommended an immediate voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will order dealers to distribute accurate user guides containing correct jump-starting directions. The automaker has pledged to reimburse owners for the amended instructions, provided they can submit proof of purchase in the form of a receipt or other documentation. FCA plans to notify dealers and owners Aug. 21, 2017. Individuals in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service at (800) 853-1403 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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New Jaguar recalls pertain to XJ air bag issues


Mahwah, NJ—July 6, 2017—In a new recall, Jaguar has addressed airbag software in thousands of its XJ vehicles. According to a posting on Car Complaints, the affected autos were from the model years of 2010 and 2011, and the software in the restraint control module was said to not allow them to function properly. The recall follows an investigation into the calibration of these systems, which changed after an improper update.

The recall is set to begin this August and will, as the source said, make up for the fact that the warranty period has expired in these vehicles. Fixing these vehicles will involve updating the software to reflect the correct calibration, and therefore help reduce air bag deployment issues in the event of impact.

Earlier this year, the Jaguar XJ was part of a different air bag-related recall. A piece on the action said that these vehicles were produced between September and October in 2016 and had issues with the deflators instead of the software.

In both cases, the danger arose from a possible flaw that would keep the airbag from expanding correctly, and the earlier recall specifically involved the passenger side air bag. This recall had a manufacturer number of J080 and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall number of 16V943000.

Unlike the more recent recall, this previous one, submitted to the NHTSA on Dec. 22, 2016, only pertained to 16 vehicles, though 100 percent of these were estimated to have the defect, according to a Part 573 Safety Recall Report for the action.

The France-based manufacturer of the key recall component was NCS Pyrotechnie et Technologies SAS, and the original owner notification date was given as Feb. 20, almost a month after the initial dealer notification date of Dec. 28.

Rebecca RandNew Jaguar recalls pertain to XJ air bag issues

BMW recalls models with faulty occupant detection features


Westwood, N.J. – July 6, 2017 – BMW North America has recalled more than 2,100 vehicles potentially equipped with defective passenger detection features, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Association. This campaign, which is an amendment to an earlier recall conducted in November 2013, affects a number of BMW models, including:

  • 2006 325i, 325xi, 330i and 330xi sedans
  • 2006 325xi station wagons
  • 2006 525i, 525xi, 530i, 530xi and 550i sedans
  • 2006 530xi station wagons

BMW estimates that 6 percent of the total vehicles named in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

The vehicles included in this recall may come equipped with occupant detection mats susceptible to microcracking. These structural fissures could interrupt the conductive pathways within the mats and cause complete fixture failure. In this scenario, passenger safety features such as air bags would fail to deploy in the event of a crash. This poses serious risks to passengers, who could be left unprotected should a serious accident occur.

BMW has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In 2008, BMW conducted recalls in Canada and the U.S. to address nonworking passenger detection mats, according to internal documents submitted to the NHTSA. The car company also introduced new mat models featuring alloy into production facilities. Four years later, the Canadian transportation department contacted BMW regarding customer complaints surrounding the improved detection mats. From November 2012 to March 2013, BMW engineers reviewed the complaints and the associated vehicles and determined that the alloy mats were defective. In April of that year, the automaker initiated a recall campaign in Canada.

One month later, it launched an investigation in the U.S. to determine if American owners were also dealing with problematic passenger detection mats. While initial NHTSA database surveys yielded low numbers of warranty claims related to the defect, a more exhaustive review conducted in August 2013 revealed claim rates similar to those in the Canadian market. With this data in hand, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall in the U.S.

In April 2017, the NHTSA reached out to BMW and requested information on models named in the 2013 recall. The agency realized that some of these vehicles had been mentioned in recent customer complaints regarding passenger detection mats. BMW and the NHTSA came to the conclusion in May that some 2006 models had been left out of the 2013 campaign. Over the coming weeks, both parties analyzed production data and assembled a definitive list of vehicles whose passenger detection equipment needed to be replaced.

On June 28, BMW launched a voluntary safety recall to address these remaining models. The car company notified dealers July 6.

The Solution

BMW has ordered dealers to replace the passenger detection mats in affected vehicles free of charge. The automaker will reach out to owners Sept. 1 via first-class mail. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact BMW customer service at (800) 524-7417 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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