Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective seat belts [Video]

Hello and welcome to another Recall Masters video blog.

Mercedes-Benz U-S-A has recalled more than one thousand two hundred vehicles possibly equipped with defective seat belt assemblies. The campaign affects 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, GT C, GT R and GT S coupes produced between October 25, 2016 and December 11, 2017. The automaker suspects one hundred percent of the vehicles referenced in the action include the defective components.

The recalled models are likely to contain seat belt assemblies prone to binding within the restraint guidance loop. This creates extra slack, leaving occupants loosely restrained and vulnerable to injury during accidents.

Mercedes-Benz plans to notify dealers this month and owners in February. The car manufacturer plans to replace the defective features free of charge.

Thanks for watching and be sure to stop back by for more recall updates!

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2018 Alfa Romeos Face Recalls over Brake Fluid Contamination

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 16, 2018 – Chrysler Fiat America recently announced a recall of more than 300 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans, citing concerns over contaminated brake fluid that could degrade over time, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the brake fluid in these vehicles may have come into contact with a type of oil that is not compatible with it, which could cause it to degrade over time and reduce braking performance. That, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of accident or injury.

All 307 of the Giulia sedans in the recall are expected to carry this defect, and were produced from Nov. 14 to Nov. 23, 2017.

The Defect

The brake fluid in affected vehicles were limited to the 10-day period in question, before and after which point the contaminated barrels of oil were not present in the factory where the vehicles were put together.

When the brake system is affected by the contaminated fluid, its components will likely be damaged and lead to a decline in overall performance of the vehicle’s braking capabilities. There would be no way for drivers to determine that this was happening, and could therefore result in a crash before the problem could be addressed, unless there was a brake failure during operation. In that case, a warning light in the dashboard would come on to alert the driver about the issue. However, the recall report called this warning “limited.”

Timeline of Events

Two vehicles being tested as part of a Customer Product Audit failed a routine examination on Nov. 23 when they suffered a loss of clutch pressure. This prompted a small population of vehicles to be put on hold. On Nov. 28, Alfa Romeo officially opened an investigation into the issue, and conducted further lab analysis on the vehicles that failed the audits. This analysis found the contamination of the brake and clutch fluid that led to the recall, and determined through internal records that they had both been manufactured at a time when a pallet of brake and clutch fluid, as well as oil, had been used starting Nov. 13. The next day, all vehicles at the plant were held and tested for oil contamination.

Alfa Romeo was able to create a bypass to only use uncontaminated barrels in further production starting Dec. 5.

Then, on Dec. 13, FCA Italy finally decided to issue the formal safety recall.

The Solution

FCA is encouraging owners to get their vehicles’ brake systems inspected and replaced as necessary, as part of the recall. It will fully reimburse owners who incurred any associated costs with repairing the issues.

Consequently, the automaker asks that owners send original receipts or other proof of payment to confirm the cost of the expense.

Fiat Chrysler will notify owners and dealers about the recall starting on or around Feb. 8, 2018.

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Toyota Recalling Many Vehicles for Incorrect Load Labeling

 

Plano, Texas – Jan. 18, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing recently issued a recall of nearly 650 vehicles across a number of its most popular models over concerns that a software error led to incorrect information being printed on capacity labels, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall includes the following types of Toyota vehicles:

  • 4Runner light SUVs produced in the 2017 and 2018 model years, produced from July 11 to Oct. 6, 2017.
  • Highlander SUVs from the 2018 model year produced between Oct. 24 and 26, 2017.
  • RAV4 light SUVs from the 2018 model year produced from Sept. 11 to 25, 2017.
  • Sienna minivans from the 2017 model year, produced on Oct. 12, 2017.
  • Tacoma trucks from the 2017 model year, produced from July 11 to Nov. 2, 2017.
  • Tundra trucks from the 2017 and 2018 model years, produced from July 11 to Nov. 4, 2017.

The recall also includes Lexus GX460 SUVs from the 2018 model year, produced from Aug. 9 to Oct. 20, 2017.

The Defect

Due to the programming error, which led to incorrect accessory weight calculations, labels about the vehicles’ load-carrying capacities were printed with the incorrect information. That issue, in turn, means the vehicles do not meet basic Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards requirements. Moreover, drivers who overload their vehicles based on the inaccurate information could increase their risk of a crash.

All vehicles in the recall are expected to carry this defect, but not all of them were sold in the U.S.

Timeline of Events

In late November, Toyota received information from a vehicle processing center that indicated a number of trucks and SUVs had been given load-carrying capacity labels with inaccurate information, and the issue was quickly tracked back to a software error that was corrected in short order.

The company then determined that the affected period in which the incorrect information was being printed lasted from Sept. 7 to Nov. 17, 2017 and conducted a review of affected vehicles based on their vehicle identification numbers to determine the extent of the issue and find out whether the software error resulted in noncompliance with the FMVSS.

On Dec. 14, 2017, Toyota noted that the incorrect labels did put the vehicles outside FMVSS requirements and initiated the recall.

The Solution

Toyota has already begun mailing replacement labels and instructions to owners of affected vehicles via first-class mail. Because all these vehicles were still under their New Vehicle Limited Warranties, the company would have covered any associated repair costs free of charge.

The automaker notified dealers of the recall on Dec. 20, 2017, and planned to mail the replacement labels and instructions to vehicle owners from Jan. 15, 2018 to Feb. 18, 2018.

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Mercedes recalls cars with defective brake components

 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 16, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA has recalled more than 430 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects Mercedes-Benz G 550 and G 550 4×4 sport utility vehicles produced between April 3, 2017, and May 31, 2017. The automaker is unsure what percentage of the referenced models actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could contain braking systems with defective brake booster vacuum hoses that were not produced to meet design specifications and are prone to collapse as a result. These fixtures may feature hose layers that suffer delamination over time and are therefore likely to deteriorate entirely, leading to brake booster failure. In such scenarios, drivers must exert considerably more effort when depressing the brake pedal. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a collision. However, Mercedes-Benz has yet to receive any reports connecting the defective brake booster vacuum hoses to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In August 2017, Daimler AG, the international conglomerate that oversees the Mercedes-Benz brand, received a field report detailing an instance of brake booster failure. One month later, the automaker launched an internal investigation in collaboration with multiple suppliers. The parties involved reviewed production records and field reports, and requested parts for examination. Investigators quickly determined that the vacuum hose mentioned in the initial field report came from a particular batch produced by the German supplier ContiTech Schlauch GmbH over the course of a single day.

In October, DAG began working with ContiTech to understand the events that led to the production of the defective hose and its identical cousins. Engineers for the parts supplier eventually discovered that an instance of production line maintenance had resulted in widespread oil contamination and the sullying of existing product. By the end of November, DAG and ContiTech had ascertained the extent of the impact of the defective parts via logistics data.

On Dec. 18, 2017, officials for DAG determined that owner safety was at risk and called for a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

DAG intends to replace the defective vacuum hoses in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker plans to notify both dealers and owners this month. However, vehicle service requests are not scheduled to begin until February when replacement parts are expected to become available. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can speak with Mercedes customer service representatives by calling (877) 496-3691. They can also connect with the NHTSA via the organization’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective headlamps

 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 16, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. has recalled more than 8,100 vehicles believed to be equipped with defective headlamps, according to documentation submitted to the National Highways Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, GLC 300 4Matic and GLC 43 4Matic sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 9, 2014 and Nov. 19, 2016. The automaker suspects just 1 percent of the models referenced in action actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles include skewed LED headlamps with reduced low beam ranges, putting the parts in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which stipulates that such features “must be aimed vertically so that the cutoff is on the left side, at .4 degrees down from the H-H line, or on the right side, at the H-H line.” according to the Government Publishing Office. In addition to being in violation of FMVSS 108, the defective headlamps pose a serious risk to owners, as they could reduce the drivers’ fields of vision and increase the likelihood of accidents. That said, Mercedes-Benz and its parent company, Daimler AG, have yet to receive reports connecting the problematic features to any collisions or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In November 2016, engineers at an American Mercedes-Benz assembly plant discovered recently constructed vehicles with incorrect illumination distribution readings. DAG quality assurance personnel immediately launched an inquiry, performing additional tests and collecting the resulting data for analysis. The investigation team ultimately reviewed information dating from the beginning of production to November 2016.

DAG ended the inquiry in mid-2017, concluding that headlamp adjustment equipment in the assembly plant had been configured incorrectly and caused the defect. The automotive conglomerate launched two additional investigations to explore the breadth of the problem. Engineers working on the first initiative found that the problem affected only GLC-class vehicles, while the team managing the second inquiry established that the defective lighting features reduced driver field of vision but did not create glare issues when used with oncoming traffic present.

In December 2017, DAG wrapped up these investigations, confirmed that the defective fixtures violated FMVSS 108 and launched a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz will direct dealers to adjust the headlamps on affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners sometime this month. Individuals with vehicles referenced in this recall who need more immediate assistance can contact Mercedes-Benz customer service personnel at (877) 496-3691. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly via its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mazda B-Series Trucks Recalled for Airbag Problem [Video]

Hello and welcome back to another recall update.

Mazda recently recalled nearly 20,000 of its B-Series trucks from the 2004 to 2006 model years.

All affected vehicles are made with Takata driver side frontal air bags, which could rupture in a crash due to propellant degradation.

Based on the air bag supplier’s investigations, this risk only arises after several years of exposure to extreme conditions.

In affected vehicles, it’s possible that an inflator rupture would launch metal fragments through the air bag at high speeds in the event of a crash, greatly increasing the risk of driver injury.

Owners of the affected B-Series trucks will be informed of the recall in mid-January, and can return the vehicles to a Mazda dealership for free replacement.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to check back again for more recall updates.

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Audi A5s Recalled for Curtain Air Bag Issue

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 12, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America recently announced a recall of more than 8,000 of its Audi A5 Coupes from the 2018 model year, citing concerns about side curtain air bags potentially not deploying properly in the event of an accident, according to a filing made with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Specifically, the head curtain air bag has a chance to get caught on the trim of the vehicle’s A-pillar and therefore may not unfold from its compartment properly.

All vehicles in the recall are expected to be affected by this defect, and were produced from Nov. 17, 2016 to Dec. 14, 2017.

The Defect

The issue arises because all air bags for these luxury vehicles were produced with excess fabric as well as a paper sleeve on the upper part of the A-Pillar.

In crashes in which the head curtain air bags are supposed to deploy, the potential for the air bag to get hung up on the A-pillar could result in injury for occupants, due to “positional tolerances.” As of Dec. 8, all Audi A5s from the 2018 model year were produced without the excess fabric and paper sleeves in question.

Timeline of Events

Prior to July 2017, testing on these vehicles showed that there was 100 percent compliance with production standards in air bag deployment issues, but at that time, testing showed certain abnormalities in deployment for air bags in the “foremost position.”

The next month, the issue came before the Audi Product Safety Committee, which ordered more testing and evaluation to be conducted on the affected vehicles. Those tests took place between August and November, 2017, which determined the factors and causes related to the air bag deployment issue, as well as what that could mean for drivers and passengers.

On Dec. 13, 2017, the Product Safety Committee determined the root cause of the defect and decided to issue the recall.

The Solution

Drivers of the affected vehicles were advised to bring their Audi A5s to a dealer, where excess fabric on the curtain air bags will be removed, as will the paper sleeves on the upper parts of the A-pillars. As these alterations are free of charge, the repairs will not require reimbursement for owners.

Both Audi dealers and affected owners will begin receiving notification in the near future, starting on or before Jan. 31, 2018.

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Ford recalls sports cars with defective instrument clusters

 

Dearborn, Mich. – Jan. 10, 2017 – Ford Motor Company has recalled approximately 2,100 vehicles believed to contain defective instrument clusters, according to paperwork submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Ford Mustang coupes produced between March 14, 2017, and Nov. 26, 2017. Ford speculates 100 percent of the models named in the action come equipped with the defective features.

The Defect

Vehicles referenced in the recall likely include instrument clusters that may not function properly after drivers have moved them from the key-on to key-off position. Specifically, owners have found that, upon engine shutoff, the instrument cluster fails to display the gear selection menu or initiate the warning chime that is supposed to occur when the driver’s side door has been opened. Additionally, many have seen their vehicles enter sleep mode and automatically initiate park, all without generating a notification. This poses a serious hazard to owners and pedestrians, as the likelihood of vehicle rollaway increases.

The defective instrument clusters also violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 102 and 114, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The first standard requires manufacturers to produce display clusters that display the correct gear position when “the ignition is in a position where the transmission can be shifted or the transmission is not in park,” according to the Government Publishing Office. FMVSS 114 applies to theft protection and rollaway prevention technology, and stipulates that all vehicles include ignition systems that prevent “normal activation of the vehicle’s engine or motor; and either steering, or forward self-mobility” when the key is removed.

Ford has yet to receive any reports connecting the defective instrument clusters to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In early November 2017, engineers at the Ford assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, discovered a 2018 Ford Mustang that failed to display the gear selection menu and initiate the driver’s side door warning post engine shutoff. Members of the company’s Critical Concern Review Group evaluated an internal report outlining the problem on Nov. 22 and called for an engineering inquiry. Investigators found that a software error within the internal power supply voltage measurement component had caused the glitch, which put the vehicle in violation of the FMVSS.

Engineering personnel introduced amended software Nov. 27 to prevent additional vehicles from coming off the line with problematic programming.

On Dec. 11, the Ford Field Review Committee evaluated these findings and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. The automaker notified dealers between Dec. 18 and Dec. 22.

The Solution

Ford has directed dealers to update the instrument cluster software in affected vehicles free of charge. The organization intends to notify owners via first-class mail between Feb. 5, 2018, and Feb. 9, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance can speak with Ford customer service personnel by calling (866) 436-7332 and using the internal recall identification code 17C21. Owners can also speak with representatives from the NHTSA via the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

 

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Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective door locks

 

Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 10, 2017 – Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. has recalled approximately 8,700 vehicles potentially equipped with defective rear door locks, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects a number of different models produced between Jan. 3, 2017 and Aug. 8, 2017, including:

  • 2017 GLE 350 and GLE 350 4Matic sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 GLE 400 4Matic sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 GLE 550 E 4Matic hybrid electric sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 GLE 43 AMG 4Matic coupes.
  • 2017 GLE 63  and 63S AMG 4Matic coupes.
  • 2017 GLS 450 sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017-2018 GLS 550 sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 GLS 63 sport utility vehicles.
  • 2018 S 450 sedans.
  • 2017 S 550 and S 550 4Matic sedans.
  • 2017 S 550 E hybrid electric sedans.
  • 2017 S 600 sedans.
  • 2017 S 63 AMG 4Matic sedans.
  • 2017 S 65 AMG sedans.
  • 2017 S 550 and S 600 Maybach luxury sedans.

Mercedes speculates that just 1 percent of the vehicles named in the action actually contain defective door latch components.

The Defect

Affected models feature defective left rear door locks that register as locked but are actually insecure. The features not only pose a serious safety hazard to owners but also violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 206, which stipulates that “each door shall be equipped with at least one locking device which, when engaged, shall prevent operation of the exterior door handle or other exterior latch release control and which has an operating means and a lock release/engagement device located within the interior of the vehicle,” according to the Government Publishing Office.

Timeline of Events

Engineers at a stateside Mercedes-Benz assembly plant discovered one vehicle with non-locking rear doors in May 2017. Daimler AG, the automotive conglomerate overseeing the Mercedes-Benz brand, launched an internal investigation immediately after this discovery, requesting operations personnel to collaborate with the German door latch supplier Kiekert AG to determine the root cause. One month later, the team came upon the answer: faulty riveting parameters at the Kiekert production facility in Heiligenhaus.

Over the next few months, DAG personnel and employees at the parts supplier reviewed production records to determine how many vehicles had come off the line equipped with defective rear door locks. The automaker simultaneously amended its production processes to ensure that other new vehicles would not enter the market with potentially unsafe features. Vehicles produced after June 21, 2017, include new-and-improved door latch assemblies that function properly.

In September, engineers at DAG performed internal tests to gauge the likely affects of the defective components. In December, the company found that the components violated FMVSS 206 and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Mercedes is expected to notify dealers and owners this month. However, the needed replacement parts will only be ready by February. Individuals with vehicles named in this action who require more immediate assistance are encouraged to contact Mercedes customer service at (877) 496-3961, according to a NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. Owners can also connect with NHTSA personnel via the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler Recalls Millions of Ram Pickups over Rollaway Concerns

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 9, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced a recall of more than 1.48 million of its Dodge Ram pickup trucks, from model years 2009 to 2017, over concerns about the vehicles’ potential to roll away in certain situations, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, this recall affects Ram trucks of various types, but all of which were equipped with a column shifter, rather than a floor shifter. In certain situations, the shifter can move the transmission out of “park” without a key in the ignition or the brake pedal being applied, which can lead to rollaways and, potentially, vehicle crashes or injuries.

The recall affects nearly 1.483 million Ram trucks, though only 3 percent are expected to carry this defect. The first vehicle group includes model year 2016 and 2017 Rams 3500 cab chassis with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds. These vehicles were produced from April 22, 2015.

The second group is model years 2011 to 2017 Ram 4500 and 5500 cab chassis, produced starting on Feb. 3, 2010. The third includes Ram 1500s from the model years 2009 to 2017, produced beginning on May 28, 2008. The fourth includes model years 2010 to 2017 Ram 2500s produced starting Aug. 31, 2009. The fifth includes Ram 3500s from model years 2010 to 2017, produced beginning Sept. 1, 2009. The sixth and final group includes Ram 3500 cab chassis from model years 2011 to 2017, manufactured starting on Feb. 3, 2010.

All affected vehicles had production end dates of Dec. 31, 2016, but there is a lack of field input beyond that date.

The Defect

The issue arises when the vehicle is running and in park, and the brake pedal is depressed. This energizes the vehicle’s brake transmission shift interlock. When the BTSI is energized for too long, it can overheat, causing its housing plastic to grow in size and the grease around it to degrade. That, in turn, could lead to the system’s locking pin to be stuck in the on position. When that happens, the vehicle can be shifted out of park without the brake pedal being depressed again or a key in the ignition.

Unfortunately, this defect would not be in any way detectable for consumers.

Timeline of Events

Beginning March 3, 2017, FCA’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization opened an investigation into the defect stemming from a 2016 model year Ram with a column shifter being involved in a rollaway incident that led to driver injury.

A few months later, in May, the organization began searching for customer complaints related to the column shifters in Ram trucks and began further reviewing warranty part return data in June. It was then that the potential cause of the defect – the BTSI locking pin – was first suspected.

On June 22, the VSRC was made aware of a test fleet of 240 Ram trucks, in which 72 were able to move the shifter out of park upon replicating the above conditions. Over the next several months – from June to December – the organization visited with suppliers, tested parts and conducted field surveys to determine the scope of the issue.

Finally, on Dec. 18, 2017, FCA determined that it would need to conduct a voluntary safety recall of all affected vehicles.

The Solution

The fix for the defect is currently being developed by FCA, but the company will reimburse owners for the cost of repairing the issue when applicable. It asks that owners provide the receipts for the service so they can be reimbursed in full.

FCA will begin contacting both Ram owners and dealers about the recall Feb. 8, 2018.

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