Mitsubishi recalls vehicles with defective Takata air bags

Cypress, Calif. – April 30, 2018 – Mitsubishi Motors North America has recalled more than 17,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective Takata air bag assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2004-2006 Mitsubishi Lancer sedans produced between Aug. 3, 2003, and Aug. 31, 2006.
The Japanese automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective components.
This particular recall involving Takata air bags is part of a larger safety campaign stretching back to 2014 and involving more than 37 million vehicles from 13 automakers, according to the NHTSA.
The Defect
Affected vehicles contain Takata air bag assemblies featuring defective inflators that are prone to combustion upon deployment. When exploded, the metal inflator housing fragments, sending bits of sharp throughout the cabin. Consequently, these fixtures pose a serious safety hazard to occupants. Takata air bags have killed 20 people and injured hundreds more worldwide, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Timeline of Events
Takata on May 18, 2015, submitted a Defect Information Report which advised all automakers involved with vehicles containing its air bag assemblies to expand ongoing recalls. The NHTSA relayed this information to automotive companies May 27, 2015. In response, Mitsubishi expanded an ongoing recall involving 2004-2005 Lancer sedans to include all remaining 2005 Lancer vehicles, as well as those produced in 2006 using the Takata air bag inflators.
Between May 2015 and September 2017, the automaker replaced defective air bag assemblies with temporary like-for-like replacements. During this time, Mitsubishi also developed a viable permanent replacement, which passed the final testing phase in September 2017.
Over the following months, the automaker mass-produced the parts to build of up sufficient supply for an expanded recall action addressing all of the vehicles that received temporary replacements. On March 29, 2018, Mitsubishi reviewed the matter and decided to launch a voluntary safety recall.
The Solution
The automaker will direct dealers to replace the Takata air bag assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Mitsubishi intends to notify dealers April 19, 2018, and reach out to owners via first-class mail April 26, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Mitsubishi customer service personnel by calling (888) 648-7820. Callers should use the internal recall identification code SR-18-005. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesMitsubishi recalls vehicles with defective Takata air bags

Nissan recalls vehicles with missing labels

Franklin, Tenn. – April 30, 2018 – Nissan North America has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with incorrect load carrying capacity weight modification labels, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:
  • 2016-2018 Nissan Titan pickup trucks produced between April 14, 2016, and Feb. 27, 2018.
  • 2016 Nissan Titan XD diesel pickup trucks produced between Nov. 18, 2015, and Sept. 17, 2016.
  • 2018 Nissan Titan XD diesel pickup trucks produced between Dec. 7, 2017, and Feb. 13, 2018.
The Japanese automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall were assembled without the required labels.
The Defect
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110 requires car companies to affix amended load carrying capacity weight modification labels to vehicles that receive presale modifications that exceed “the lesser of 1.5 percent of the gross vehicle weight rating or 100 pounds,” according to the Government Publishing Office. The models involved in the recall were sold without requisite labeling, putting them in violation of FMVSS 110. The vehicles also pose a safety hazard to occupants, increasing the likelihood of overloading that can, in turn, affect maneuverability. However, Nissan has yet to receive reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
Engineers at the Nissan Vehicle Preparation Center discovered a Nissan Titan pickup truck that included post-production accessories, but whose load carrying capacity weight label had not been updated. This discovery prompted the automaker to launch an internal investigation, which uncovered multiple Nissan Titan pickup trucks that had received modifications that surpassed the 100-pound threshold outline in FMVSS 110 but did not include updated labeling. Nissan determined that, because the vehicles had been modified by dealers, an official voluntary safety recall was necessary. Quality assurance and safety stakeholders initiated the action April 16, 2018, and contacted dealers the following day.
The Solution
Nissan will distribute new carrying capacity weight modification labels to owners, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker intends to contact these parties via first-class mail June 16, 2018. Those in need of additional assistance can contact Nissan customer service at (800) 867-7669. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesNissan recalls vehicles with missing labels

GM recalls vehicles with defective seat belts

Warren, Mich. – April 30, 2018 – General Motors has recalled more than 8,700 vehicles potentially equipped with defective seat belt assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Buick Regal sedans produced between June 9, 2017, and Feb. 22, 2018. GM suspects that 1 percent of the recalled models actually contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected vehicles contain rear outboard seats with improperly routed seat belts. Consequently, these safety features may not adequately restrain occupants in the event of an accident, leaving them open to injury. However, the automaker has yet to receive reports connecting the defective components to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On Jan. 16, 2018, engineers at the Opel Russelsheim assembly plant in Russelsheim, Germany discovered a 2018 Buick Regal sedan with improperly routed seat belts while conducting post-production testing. The personnel who identified the defect notified their superiors Jan. 22, 2018, through the Speak Up for Safety program. The GM Safety and Compliance Categorization Team reviewed the matter Feb. 15, 2018, and launched a field monitoring initiative. Seven days later, GM implemented new production methods at the Opel Russelsheim facility to ensure assembly teams properly routed rear seat belts.
GM engineers at the Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan uncovered another vehicle with the rear seat belt routing issue March 1, 2018. They too filed a SUFS report. One week later, GM connected with technical stakeholders for Opel, one of its European subsidiaries, and discussed the misrouted seat belts it engineers had found in multiple 2018 Buick Regal sedans. Opel dealt with the same problem earlier in the year and had issued a voluntary recall to address it. This meeting prompted GM to initiate an internal investigation, which led the GM Safety Field Action Decision Authority to call for an official recall on April 5, 2018.
GM notified dealers of the forthcoming action April 12, 2018.
The Solution
The automaker has directed dealers to correct the routing of the outboard rear seat belt assemblies installed in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. GM intends to notify owners June 5, 2018. Those in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact GM customer service by calling (800) 521-7300. Callers should use the internal recall identification number 18117. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective seat belts

Mercedes-Benz recalls vehicles with defective front seatbacks

Jacksonville, Fla. – April 26, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA has recalled more than 3,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective front seatback assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models manufactured between April 11, 2017, and Aug. 11, 2017, including:
  • 2017-2018 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG 4Matic coupes and cabriolets.
  • 2017-2018 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupes, S coupes, cabriolets and S cabriolets.
  • 2017-2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 coupes, 4Matic coupes, cabriolets and 4Matic cabriolets.
  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupes.
The German automaker is unsure just how many of the recalled vehicles contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected vehicles contain front seatback assemblies that may not lock properly. Consequently, items stored in these compartments could come loose during an accident, increasing the likelihood of occupant injury. However, Daimler AG, the automotive conglomerate that owns and operates Mercedes-Benz, has not yet received field reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
DAG in May 2017 received a report from the Lear Corporation, the parts vendor responsible for providing the seatback assemblies, revealing that a number of shipped seatbacks included backrests from a subcontractor that did not meet minimum tolerance thresholds. This subcontractor launched an internal investigation in response, eventually determining, in May 2017, that a batch of defective levers prevented the backrests from locking properly and meeting tolerance standards. The subcontractor amended its processes to prevent further error one month later.
Around the same time, DAG put into place workflow changes and began reworking the seatback assemblies installed in unsold affected vehicles.
The automotive conglomerate in August 2017 initiated internal analysis to determine the impact of the defective seatback assemblies. Within five months, engineers concluded that a micro switch within the seat locking assembly would detect intolerance of the left locking mechanism and notify post-production personnel, who could easily fix the issue prior to shipment. However, the right locking mechanism did not prompt such a warning, meaning vehicles with defective seatbacks could slip through.
DAG leadership reviewed the matter on March 22, 2018, and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.
The Solution
DAG will direct dealers to inspect the seatback assemblies and, if necessary, replace the locking mechanisms free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document.
The company plans to reach out to dealers this month and contact owners via first-class mail between May 25, 2018, and June 29, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can connect with DAG customer service personnel at (800) 367-6372. They can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz recalls vehicles with defective front seatbacks

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective body supports

Auburn Hills, Mich. – April 23, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 12,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective body supports, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio sport utility vehicles produced between March 20, 2017, and Feb. 14, 2018.
FCA suspects that all of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected vehicles feature A-pillar joints that are not properly sealed to adjacent heating ventilation air conditioning boxes. Consequently, moisture intrusion can occur, resulting in corrosion to the A-pillar and the body control module.
Should oxidization take place, various vehicle components may fail, including the windshield wipers, turn indicators, the horn and the exterior lighting system. Without these features, the likelihood of accident or injury increases dramatically. However, FCA has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any collisions or injuries.
Timeline of Events
The Alfa Romeo Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group on Sept. 15, 2017, launched an internal investigation after receiving a warranty claim detailing an instance of front wiring harness oxidization. More than one month later, stakeholders for the automaker, an FCA subsidiary, met to discuss the issue and the potential impact. On Oct. 26, 2017, a little over week after the stakeholder meeting, Alfa Romeo received another warranty clam outlining multiple electrical failures. This promoted a more in-depth investigation, which continued into 2018.
Between October 2017 and January 2018, the Alfa Romeo Quality and Product Development Body Engineering team attempted to recreate the outcomes described in the warranty claims in house. This involved testing the vehicle in question for water intrusion. This analysis later revealed the presence of corrosion near where the A-pillar is sealed to the heating ventilation air conditioning box.
Engineers for the automaker concurrently performed water intrusion tests on the nearby body control module, finding similar results. On March 19, 2018, Alfa Romeo concluded its investigation with validation tests performed via handheld wand and end-of-line water analysis.
Members of the Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter March 23, 2018, and decided that a voluntary safety recall was necessary. Alfa Romeo notified dealers of the impending action March 29, 2018.
The Solution
Alfa Romeo has directed dealers to install additional sealant protections in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The automaker intends to notify owners via first-class mail May 18, 2018. Those in need or more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U36. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective body supports

Toyota recalls vehicles with defective brake components

Plano, Texas – April 19, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled more than 6,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects models across multiple brands, including:
  • 2017 Lexus RX350 sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 2, 2017, and Oct. 18, 2017.
  • 2018 Toyota Camry sedans produced between Oct. 5, 2017, and Nov. 3, 2017.
  • 2018 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 4, 2017, and Nov. 3, 2017.
  • 2018 Toyota Sienna minivans produced between Oct. 6, 2017, and Oct. 23, 2017.
  • 2017 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks produced between Oct. 5, 2017, and Nov. 3, 2017.
The Japanese automaker is unsure how many of the recalled vehicles actually contain the defective components.
The Defect
Affected vehicles could come with problematic vacuum pump assemblies. These fixtures are designed to siphon oil from the engine to power brake boosters which, in turn, support optimal braking assist functionality. However, the pumps installed in the recalled models contain improperly machined rotor oil galleys, impairing their ability to extract oil from the engine and power brake boosters.
In some instances, the rotor galleys may cause other internal parts within the vacuum pumps to break, resulting in the failure of the entire rotor, the brake booster and the brake assist system. Such an event would increase the likelihood of an accident. However, Toyota has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective vacuum pump assemblies to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On Oct. 11, 2017, an engineer conducting a post-production test drive at the Toyota manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Texas encountered a vehicle with an overly firm brake pedal, according to an internal document submitted to the NHTSA. Toyota inspected the vehicle and found that the vacuum pump was not effectively powering the brake booster, resulting in pedal resistance. Additional analysis revealed that the rotor oil galley within the pump did not contain properly drilled holes, prompting the automaker to contact Magna Powertrain of Mexico, the vendor that provided the vacuum pump assembly, and initiate a joint investigation.
As this inquiry moved forward, engineers at another Toyota assembly site pinpointed other vehicles with the same braking problem, which engineering teams quickly attributed to defective vacuum pumps. Soon after these additional defective vehicles were identified, the car manufacturer discovered that the Magna production facility on Aug. 7, 2017, had suffered an unexpected power surge, resulting in significant downtime. During a shop floor reset, maintenance teams failed to properly recalibrate the drilling machine.
Consequently, Magna produced a large number of vacuum pump assemblies with improperly drilled rotor oil galley holes. Over the course of its investigation, Toyota also found that Magna’s documented maintenance policies did not direct teams to perform recalibrations following shutdowns, meaning operations most likely resumed without further process analysis. Magna ultimately made the proper calibrations during Aug. 9, 2017, but by that point, a significant number of pieces had come off the line and been shipped to customers. The company amended its maintenance procedures to address this error.
In January 2018, Toyota began testing the defective vacuum pumps in-house to determine their impact on vehicle driveability. Within a month, engineers had determined that the components could not effectively extract oil from the engine via the improperly drilled rotor oil galley holes. They also found that this, in turn, may damage the vacuum pump assembly and eventually result in the complete loss of the braking assist feature.
On March 28, 2018, Toyota safety and quality assurance officials reviewed the results of the investigation and determined that a voluntary safety recall was necessary. The automaker notified dealers April 3, 2018.
The Solution
Toyota has directed dealers to replace the vacuum pump assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The company intends to notify owners via first-class mail between May 31, 2018, and June 2, 2018. However, owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can reach out to Toyota customer service at (800) 255-3987. Callers should use the internal campaign reference code J0K/JLD. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective brake components

Honda recalls vehicles with defective seat features

Torrance, Calif. – April 19, 2018 – American Honda Motor Company has recalled more than 5,800 vehicles potentially equipped with defective seat features, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models across two brands, including:
  • 2018 Acura MDX sport utility vehicles produced Jan. 10, 2018.
  • 2018 Honda Pilot sport utility vehicles produced between Jan. 2, 2018, and Jan. 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks produced between Jan. 12, 2018, and Jan. 19, 2018.
The Japanese automaker is unsure exactly how many of the vehicles referenced in the action actually contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected vehicles vehicles driver and front passenger with improperly machined rivets connecting the seat slide rails to the seat feet. These fixtures could brake in the event of an accident, allowing the front driver and passenger seats to separate from the vehicle floor. The defective rivets not only pose a serious safety hazard to occupants but also violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 207 and 210. The former requires vehicle manufacturers to install secure seating systems, while the latter mandates the use of fixed restraint assemblies.
Honda has not received reports connecting the defective rivet to any injuries. However, the connectors were involved in one accident.
Timeline of Events
A tier-one vendor contacted the car company Jan. 11, 2018, after learning of an accident during which the rivets holding the front seat side rails in place in a Honda vehicle failed. The automaker launched an internal investigation in response. Engineering personnel concluded this inquiry Feb. 6, 2018, finding that AKKO Fastener, the supplier responsible for producing the rivets used within Honda front seat assemblies, had improperly machined the connective fixtures. Specifically, AKKO had deployed out-of-specification production tools, used too much material and relied upon deficient quality controls. Honda then embarked on an administrative review to understand the breadth of the impact of the production error.
On Feb. 21, 2018, AKKO completed an internal investigation into the mismachined rivets, while Honda and its other suppliers launched new downstream inquires.
The automaker reviewed the matter in its entirety March 29, 2018, and determined that a voluntary safety recall was required. Honda notified dealers of the forthcoming action April 6, 2018.
The Solution
Honda has directed dealers to replace the driver seat frame assemblies in affected Acura MDX SUVs and swap out both the driver and passenger seat assemblies in recalled Honda Pilot SUVs and Ridgeline pickup trucks, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Dealership technicians are to make these repairs free of charge.
The automotive company intends to notify owners via first-class mail May 18, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance can reach out to Honda customer service personnel by calling (888) 234-2138. Callers should use the internal recall identification codes D0S and T0T. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Sean ReyesHonda recalls vehicles with defective seat features