Ford recalls trucks with defective shift linkage components

Dearborn, Mich. – Nov. 30, 2017 – Ford Motor Company has recalled more than 11,700 vehicles potentially equipped with defective shift linkage components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Ford F-150 pickup trucks produced between between Aug. 23, 2016 and Aug. 9, 2017. The car manufacturer suspects just 7 percent of the models referenced in the action contain the defective features.

The Defect

The affected vehicles contain transmission shift linkages with pins that are prone to slipping out due to the presence of non-uniform gaps between the inner and outer coils. Engineers at Ford believe the pins may also feature undersized diameters, further increasing the likelihood of pin slippage. Should this occur, gear changes initiated by drivers will not register. Owners who have experienced this have reported viewing inaccurate information on the shift indicator. The condition may result in unintended vehicle movement, which poses a serious threat to owners. However, Ford has yet to receive reports connecting the defective pins to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In June 2017, the Ford‘s Critical Concern Review Group received a report detailing an instance in which the 10-speed transmission in one vehicle failed to function properly. Engineers reviewed parts from the vehicle and found evidence that the transmission shift linkage pin could come out with ease. The CCRG launched an investigation and directed production personnel to alter assembly line processes to ensure that pin diameters were correct.

Over the course of July and August, Ford reviewed numerous reports wherein customers attested to experiencing “looseness” when attempting to operate the shift lever, which failed to move the gears. Quality assurance personnel tested the problematic shift assemblies mentioned in the reports and compared them to functioning alternatives. There was an immense difference in usability, indicating that there was a significant problem.

In September, the automaker continued to review incoming field reports related to the defect while also checking production records to ascertain the extent of the issue. Meanwhile, engineering personnel conducted further tests and discovered a connection between assembly line pin insertion force and pin dislodgment susceptibility. These technical experts also found that the the problematic transmission shift linkage pins had irregular coil spacing.

On Oct. 16, the Ford Field Review Committee evaluated all of the available evidence related to the potentially defective features and decided to launch a voluntary safety recall. Ford notified dealers of the action Oct. 24.

The Solution

Ford has directed dealers to replace the defective transmission linkage pins with new parts free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to contact owners Dec.11 via first-class mail. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Ford customer service at (866) 436-7332. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 17S36. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pump housings

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Nov. 30, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 350 vehicles potentially equipped with defective oil pump housings, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles produced on Sept. 11, 2017 and Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles produced between Sept. 9, 2017 and Sept. 28, 2017. FCA estimates that just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action possess the defective features.

The Defect

The affected models include 2.4 liter engines that were constructed using cracked oil pump housings that are prone to failure. Should failure occur, the vehicle engine will stall without warning. This poses a serious safety threat to owners as an unexpected stall could result in a collision. That said, FCA has not received any reports connecting the defective feature to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 13, 2017, an oil pump supplier collaborating with FCA notified that company that cracks had been discovered in the housing for multiple oil pumps. Two days later, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance committee launched an investigation into the matter, which engineers at assembly plants in Toluca, Mexico and Belvedere, Illinois had independently confirmed via separate Product Related Issue reports.

Throughout September and October, FCA confirmed the existence of the defective components in finished vehicles through production inspections and parts data. On Oct. 5, the automaker finished gathering data and submitted the evidence to the Vehicle Regulations Committee, which decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall Oct. 17. FCA notified dealers Oct. 24.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has directed dealers to inspect and replace the oil pump housing assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. FCA plans to notify owners on or around Dec. 13. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T65. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Subaru recalls vehicles with defective floor mat brackets

 

Cherry Hill, N.J. – Nov. 30, 2017 – Subaru of America has recalled more than 2,300 vehicles potentially equipped with defective floor mat brackets, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Subaru Crosstrek sport utility vehicles produced between May 16, 2017 and Sept. 7, 2017. The automaker estimates that all of the models referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The affected models feature defective driver-side floor mat retention brackets that do not sufficiently secure floor mats. As a result, these fixtures can move out of position during vehicle operation and interfere with pedal usage, posing a serious threat to drivers. However, Subaru has yet to receive any reports linking the defective components to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Oct. 17, 2017, the automaker received a field report detailing an instance in which the driver-side floor mat in a 2018 Crosstrek slipped out of position. Over the next 12 days, Subaru engineers conducted an internal investigation, eventually determining that the floor mat retention brackets installed in the vehicle were defective. On Oct. 31, quality assurance and safety officials for the company decided that the features posed a serious hazard to owner and chose to launch a voluntary safety recall.

Subaru notified dealers of the impending recall Nov. 1.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has directed dealers to inspect the floor mat retention brackets in affected and replace them, free of charge, if necessary, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Subaru began contacting owners Nov. 14. Those who need additional assistance can contact Subaru customer service at (800) 782-2783. Callers should use the internal recall reference code WTR-77. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Honda recalls vehicles with defective driveshafts

 

Torrance, Calif. – Nov. 30, 2017 – American Honda Motor Company has recalled more than 5,400 believed to contain defective right halfshafts, according to an internal defect information report submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Honda Civic sedans produced between Aug. 30, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2017, as well as Honda Civic coupes that rolled off the assembly line between Aug. 10, 2017 and Oct. 3, 2017. The automaker is unsure how many of the vehicles referenced in the action are equipped with the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected models could be equipped with right halfshafts that did not receive proper heat treatment during production and are therefore not structurally sound. As a result, vehicle load and operational stress may fracture these components, leading to the immediate loss of motive power. Should this breakage occur while the vehicle is parked without the emergency brake engaged, it could roll away.

The defective halfshafts pose a serious hazard to owners. However, Honda has not received reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries as yet.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 30, 2017, engineers at a Honda production facility conducted a post-assembly road test during which a new vehicle lost motive power due to the sudden fracture of the right halfshaft. The automaker immediately instituted a yard hold and launched an internal investigation into issue. Quality assurance personnel reviewed existing production processes and found that a parts supplier had used defective equipment to cool halfshafts following heat treatment. This oversight inhibited the parts’ structural integrity.

On Nov. 2, Honda decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall to address the issue. The vehicle manufacturer notified dealers Nov. 3.

The Solution

Honda has directed dealers to replace the halfshafts in affected models free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The company intends to notify owners via first-class mail Dec. 15. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Honda customer service at (888) 234-2138. Callers should use the internal recall reference code K0E. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Toyota recalls hybrids with defective fuses

 

Plano, TX – Nov. 30, 2017 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled more than 39,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuses, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2012-2015 Toyota Prius PHV plug-in hybrid sedans manufactured between July 20, 2011 and Jan. 8, 2015. Toyota is unsure what percentage of the vehicles referenced in the recall actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected sedans may contain electric vehicle fuses prone to fracture following excessive thermal stress. Normally, this condition develops during high-load driving maneuvers such as prolonged ascents. In instances in which the fuse fractures and subsequently opens while in operation, the vehicle may lose power or continue to function but with reduced capacity. This defect poses a serious risk to owners, as the sudden loss of motive power could increase the likelihood of an accident. However, Toyota has yet to receive reports linking the damage-prone fuse to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Toyota received a field report from the European market in August 2014 detailing an instance in which a Prius PHV sedan lost motive power, triggering interior warning lights, according to a chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. A dealer determined that the hybrid battery was the root cause of the event and installed a replacement, eventually sending the damaged original to the Toyota home office for further evaluation. Here, engineers found that the EV fuse was fractured and ultimately attributed the problem to an installation error. Toyota reviewed its production processes and eventually determined the fuse was bent during manufacturing, inhibiting its durability. The automaker updated its processes to prevent similar problems in February 2015.

In March 2015, Toyota received additional reports from the U.S. market. Engineers for the company inspected fuses from six vehicles, four of which showed signs of fracturing. Toyota began to consider that these defective parts were not the result of flawed manufacturing workflows, but the product of deeper mechanical issues, specifically excessive current generated during high-load driving. However, the car company could not replicate the issue in-house and put a hold on ongoing investigations related to the defective fuses in June 2017.

Then, one month later, another report came in outlining a situation in which an owner in Japan lost motive power in the middle of an intersection. The EV fuse installed in the vehicle was fractured. The driver told Toyota officials that he frequently drove up inclines under electric power only. Engineers attempted to replicate the problem by driving the exact same route the owner had driven but were once again unable to do so. However, they did record data that indicated prolonged large current flow. This information led them to perform additional tests during which vehicles were subjected to multiple slow-speed ascents. During these trials, the engineers were able to replicate the fuse fracture.

On Nov. 9, 2017, Toyota launched a voluntary safety recall to address the issue. The automaker notified dealers Nov. 14.

The Solution

Toyota has directed dealers to replace the EV fuses in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturing company intends to notify owners via first-class mail Jan. 8, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Toyota customer service personnel at (800) 331-4331. Callers should use the internal recall identification code H0R. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mercedes recalls thousands of vehicles with defective sunroofs

 

Jacksonville, Florida – Nov. 29, 2017 – The luxury auto maker Mercedes-Benz USA recently issued a recall for nearly 9,400 vehicles nationwide that may have been equipped with defective sunroof panels, according to a letter filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall effort affects the three different types of Mercedes-Benz’s popular GLC 300 – the standard version, the GLC 300 4MATIC and the GLC 300 AMG – produced between March 7 and Aug. 4, 2017.

Mercedes-Benz projects that this represents about 1 percent of the vehicles manufactured as those models.

The Defect

Specifically, the vehicles being recalled have panoramic sunroof paneling – on both the front and side panels – that does not meet bonding requirements, and could therefore detach from the vehicle while driving. That, in turn, is expected to increase the risk of crash or injury for vehicles behind the affected GLC 300s.

This issue arose because of a “supplier production deviation,” Mercedes-Benz noted.

Timeline of Events

In June, Daimler Auto Group started to investigate the issue, based upon two separate incidents in which drivers saw the paneling around their sunroofs detach. And while no damages or injuries to third parties were reported, the company determined that additional analysis of the situation was required. The following month, DAG began testing the parts with the help of a supplier, and found that the adhesive used to bond the panels to the vehicles were outside of specifications.

In August, more investigations found that only certain panoramic sunroofs were affected by the adhesive deviation, which led to a review of documents to determine which sunroofs – and subsequently, the associated vehicle models – were affected. Then in October, DAG did further analysis to identify how many affected vehicles were in the field. Finally, the company found that it could not rule out the safety risk that led to the recall in November.

The Solution

As of the start of December, local authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers are now directed to inspect the bonding on panoramic sunroof paneling on suspected affected vehicles, and rework it as needed to ensure the panel bonding is within specification once again. All those costs will be covered under new vehicle warranties. Owners will be notified starting Dec. 8.

At that point, owners will be able to call either Mercedes-Benz USA’s customer service line at 1-800-367-6372, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. They can also visit www.safercar.gov for more information.

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Honda recalls minivans with defective seats

 

Torrance, Calif. – Nov. 22, 2017 – American Honda Motor Company has recalled approximately 800,000 vehicles that could potentially be equipped with defective seats, according to a company press release. The safety campaign affects 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey minivans. The automaker has not announced what percentage of the models referenced in the action actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles are believed to contain second-row outboard seats that do not properly latch after adjustment or removal. This poses a serious risk to occupants, as the seats may lurch forward suddenly when drivers apply the brakes, thus increasing the likelihood of injury. As of now, Honda has received 46 reports referencing injuries connected to the defective seating.

Timeline of Events

The automaker has not yet released details into the investigation that led to the recall.

The Solution

Honda engineers are in the process of developing a sustainable solution to the problem. In the meantime, the car company has published reference materials that show owners how to properly lock the back seats in place and mitigate the risks associated with the defect. A video displaying the same procedures will follow soon. Honda intends to notify vehicle owners via first-class mail in late December. Individuals in possession of the recalled vehicles who require more immediate help can call customer service personnel at (888) 234-2138. Owners can also contact the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration directly using the organizations’ toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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GM recalls vehicles with defective fuel sensors

 

Warren, Mich. – Nov. 21, 2017 – General Motors has recalled more than 35,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel tank sensors, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2011-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 pickup trucks produced between May 24, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2015. GM believes all of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected models include dual fuel tank assemblies. The first of these tanks includes a defective fuel-level sensor that sometimes stalls in the lowest position, offering an inaccurate reading and increasing the likelihood of overfilling and tank expansion. This, in turn, could then allow the tank to come into contact with the moving driveshaft, creating a hole and causing fuel leakage. As a result, the defect poses a serious threat to occupants. However, GM has received no reports linking the defective component to any accidents or injuries thus far.

Timeline of Events

In April 2017, the NHTSA notified GM about a vehicle owner questionnaire it had received that detailed an instance of fuel leakage in a 2015 GMC Silverado 3500 pickup. One month later, the GM engineers familiar with the VOQ submitted a report via the company’s Speak Up For Safety program. The automaker launched an internal investigation in response to the submission on May 16.

Over the course of May, June and July, engineers evaluated field data to pinpoint the root cause of the leakage, which apparently initiated in the front fuel tank. On July 27, GM met with the NHTSA to review the results of the three-month inquiry. The two parties came to the conclusion that the fuel leaks were not developing in vehicles manufactured after 2015. In August, GM completed a design failure mode and affect analysis, and determined that the problem was confined to Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 trucks equipped with dual fuel tanks. These vehicles were manufactured without beds and other conventional pickup features, as they were intended for commercial use or modification.

GM personnel reviewed the matter in two separate sessions on Aug. 28 and Sept. 25. The NHTSA revaluated the defect on Oct. 2 as well. The GM Safety and Field Action Decision Authority looked over the issue Oct. 12 and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. GM notified dealers Oct. 19.

The Solution

GM has directed dealers to inspect the front fuel tanks in the affected models and either replace the rear tank fuel pumps or updated the fuel sensor software, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. These fixes, which will be ready for implementation in early 2018, are to be executed free of charge. The automaker plans send an initial notification to owners via first-class mail Dec. 18 and follow-up document in February 2018, when the remedy is ready for implementation. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020 or GMC customer service at (800) 462-8782. Callers should use the GM recall identification number 17399.

Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 3274236.

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Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective headlights

 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Nov. 17, 2017 – Mercedes Benz USA has recalled a number of vehicles potentially equipped with defective headlights, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 4Matic sport utility vehicles produced between Dec. 12-16. The German automaker estimates just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could come equipped with low-beam headlights that do not exhibit the tolerance range mandated in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which specifies numerous details for proper headlight installation, according to the Government Publishing Office. The fixtures pose a serious safety hazard to occupants as head lamp range may be reduced, increasing the likelihood of an accident in low-lit conditions. However, Mercedes has yet to receive field reports linking the defective feature to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In December 2016, Daimler AG, the international automotive conglomerate that operates the Mercedes brand, launched an internal investigation after quality assurance tests revealed that some vehicles Mercedes produced may not conform with FMVSS 108. Engineers reviewed the existing production processes and discovered that headlights in multiple vehicles deviated from federal standards due to flawed setting practices during assembly.

In March 2017, DAG personnel reviewed internal records to assess the extent of the issue. At the same time, engineers for the car manufacturer conducted tests to determine the material impact of the defective headlights. Engineering teams confirmed this data, as well as the instances of FMVSS noncompliance, in July 2017.

In October 2017, DAG chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

The automaker intends to direct dealers to inspect and, if necessary, replace the headlights in affected vehicles, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. DAG will notify owners in December 2017, approximately one week after sending notifications to dealers. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Mercedes customer service representatives at (877) 496-3691. They can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective rear axles

 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Nov. 15, 2017 – Mercedes Benz USA has recalled more than 2,000 vehicles possibly equipped with defective rear axles, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:

  • 2015-2016 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG sedans produced between Nov. 7, 2014 and May 30, 2016.
  • 2015-2017 Mercedes Benz C63S sedans produced between Nov. 4, 2014 and May 30, 2016.
  • 2017 Mercedes Benz C63S AMG coupes produced between Nov. 4, 2014 and May 30, 2016.
  • 2017 Mercedes Benz C63S AMG cabriolet convertibles produced between Nov. 4, 2014 and May 30, 2016.

Mercedes estimates that all of the vehicles named in this recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The affected models are likely to contain rear-axle mounting flanges prone to fracture. Should this occur, the rear-axle differential may fall out of alignment, leading to driveshaft failure, loss of vehicle propulsion and, finally, stalling. Consequently, the defect poses a serious safety problem to occupants, as it increases the likelihood of an accident. Mounting-flange fracture is especially likely in extreme starting situations – race starts, for instance – that necessitate multiple, short wheel spins and involve relatively high torque peaks, for the feature comes under great stress during these maneuvers.

Mercedes has yet to field reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In February 2016, Daimler AG, the conglomerate the operates Mercedes and oversees the production of the vehicles under the brand, received a report detailing an instance in which a driver experienced driveshaft failure. Over the next four months, DAG became aware of more field reports outlining similar events. In May, the German automaker initiated an investigation and requested parts for internal analysis.

Over the course of July, DAG engineers attempted to reproduce the problems mentioned in the field reports, testing vehicles equipped with returned parts on slick road surfaces while performing extreme driving maneuvers involving short wheel spins. The car manufacturers analyzed the results of these road tests in September and found that the parts installed on the test vehicles featured mounting-flange fractures. In October, DAG traced the fracturing back to the high torque peaks achieved during road testing and proposed reprogramming the on-board electronic stability control software in the affected vehicles to prevent such occurrences. The company finished the proposed software solution in April 2017 and began testing.

While engineers worked on the updated ESC software, analysts reviewed production records and found that the problem could affect models produced until May 2016, when DAG introduced a new rear-axle assembly. During May and August 2017, engineers finished and validated the improved ESC program. In September, analysts finished compiling a complete list of affected vehicles.

On Oct. 16, DAG launched a voluntary safety recall to address the issue. Dealers were notified in early November.

The Solution

The car manufacturing company has directed dealers to install the new ESC software in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document from the NHTSA. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail in December. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Mercedes customer service personnel at (817) 496-3691. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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