Jaguar recalls vehicles defective fuel gauges

 

Mawwah, N.J. – June 29, 2018 – Jaguar Land Rover North America has recalled almost 2,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel gauges, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models across the Land Rover brand, including:

  • 2017 Land Rover Range Rover sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 25, 2016, and Jan. 17, 2017.
  • 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SUVs produced between Aug. 30, 2016, and Jan. 20, 2017.
  • 2017 Land Rover Discovery SUVs produced between Sept. 28, 2016, and Jan. 10, 2017.

Jaguar suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected models contain fuel gauges that incorrectly indicate low fuel levels. In the event that the defective features misinterpret gasoline levels, sudden engine shut off may occur as the vehicles in question are designed to cease operation when the available fuel range drops below 17 miles. Such an event may increase the likelihood of an accident.

Therefore, Jaguar Land Rover believes the defect poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, the British automaker has yet to receive reports connecting the problematic fuel gauges to any accidents or injuries.

Owners of recalled vehicles will see low fuel warning lights prior to engine shut off. In some cases, owners may be able to restart their vehicles and regain motive power following such an event. However, engineers have found that the vehicles never fully regain full operability.

Timeline of Events

In April 2018, the Jaguar Land Rover Product Safety and Compliance Committee received several electronic product quality reports from dealers in the U.S. market outlining instances in which multiple Land Rover models seemed to display incorrect fuel level readings. The group reviewed these reports April 10, 2018, and decided to initiate an official investigation. Throughout April and May 2018, Jaguar engineering personnel tested 2017 Land Rover Range Rover and Discovery models and successfully replicated the issue. Technical specialists also found that the defective fuel gauges initiated engine shut off.

Following this initial inquiry, Jaguar embarked on a more exhaustive root cause investigation. This evaluation revealed that the body control modules installed in the affected vehicles were transmitting incorrect fuel levels to fuel gauges due to misconfigured microcontrollers, which were communicating incorrect fuel levels during their transitions from initialization to sleep-wake mode. The PSCC evaluated these findings May 8, 2018, and moved the issue on to the Jaguar Land Rover Recall Determination Committee.

The RDC reviewed the situation May 17, 2018, and determined that a recall was necessary due to the safety hazard posed by engine condition that accompanies the defect. The automaker informed dealers of the forthcoming recall campaign June 7, 2018.

The Solution

Jaguar Land Rover has directed dealers to install new software in the affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturers intends to reach out to owners via first-class mail on or around July 16, 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can connect with Jaguar Land Rover customer service representatives by calling (800) 637-6837. Callers should use the internal recall identification code N206. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesJaguar recalls vehicles defective fuel gauges

Toyota recalls vehicles with defective engine parts

 

Plano, Texas – June 29, 2018 – Toyota Motor North America has recalled more than 115,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine parts, according to a company press release. The campaign affects multiple vehicles across the Lexus brand, including:

  • 2007-2011 Lexus GS 350 sedans.
  • 2006-2013 Lexus IS 350 sedans.
  • 2010-2014 Lexus IS 350C sedans.
  • 2007-2011 Lexus GS 450H sedans.

The Defect

Affected models contain six-valve engines with fuel pulsation dampers whose diaphragms were constructed with faulty material and are therefore prone to cracking. Should diaphragm deterioration occur, a fuel leak may materialize, increasing the likelihood of engine fire. As a result, this defect poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, the Japanese automaker has yet to receive field reports that connect the defective engine components to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Toyota has yet to release information about the internal investigation that uncovered the defect.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has directed dealers to replace engine fuel delivery pipes in affected vehicles free of charge. The company intends to notify owners via first-class mail sometime in August 2018. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can speak with Toyota customer service representatives by calling (800) 331-4331. They can also connect with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration through the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective engine parts

GM recalls vehicles over software update error

 

Warren, Mich. – June 29, 2018 – General Motors has recalled an estimated 3,233 vehicles after a recent update to the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 could potentially disable the cell balancing function and result in a low-voltage condition. The recall affects select 2013 Chevrolet Volts, according to documents from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The estimated figure of cars with this particular defect is 2 percent.

The Defect

Vehicles that received a software updated in a service procedure from a dealer may contain an error in the software update that could prevent the batteries from balancing the voltage in singular battery cells. Under certain circumstances, this may result in a low-voltage condition in one or multiple battery cells. The vehicle will notify drivers if the battery cells fall below a certain level and if the driver continues on the road after entering reduced power mode, the vehicle may lose propulsion. This incident may increase the risk of crash and injury.

Timeline of Events

A GM engineer sent in a Speak Up For Safety report on May 11 after finding that a software update used on select 2013 model-year Chevrolet Volt vehicles contained an error that could potentially prevent batteries in some of these vehicles from effectively balancing the voltage among individual battery cells, according to internal reports. Following this report’s submission, GM launched an investigation, where the investigator reviewed field data, which demonstrated elevated rates of the condition in the field for vehicles with this update.

Afterward, GM’s Open Investigation Review board reviewed the investigation June 6, and the GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority ultimately decided further action was necessary and issued a safety recall for these vehicles on June 7.

GM notified dealers of this safety recall June 14 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration June 20. Owners will receive recall details and dates will available.

The Solution

According to an internal communication, GM will notify drivers, while dealers will reprogram the Vehicle Interface Control Module module at no cost to the cars’ owners. A notification schedule has not yet been provided, but customers who own this vehicle will be notified by mail or can check their Vehicle Identification Number on GM’s website. Owners who want further information can contact Chevrolet customer service at (800)-222-1020. They can also call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888)-327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles over software update error

Nissan recalls vehicles with defective seat belts

 

Franklin, Tenn. – June 29, 2018 – Nissan North America has recalled a handful of vehicles potentially equipped with defective seat belt assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Infiniti QX30 crossover vehicles produced between Nov. 10, 2017, and Feb. 16, 2018. Nissan suspects all of the vehicles involved in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain right-hand lower seat belt anchorage components with faulty bolts. The defective fasteners were likely cross-threaded during installation, a condition that may allow lower seat belt anchorage systems to detach in the event of an accident. This defect, therefore, poses a serious safety hazard to occupants, who may be left unrestrained during collisions. It also violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Nos. 208, 209 and 210. FMVSS 208 requires vehicle manufacturers to install proper occupant crash protections, while FMVSS 209 and 210 mandate technically sound seat belt assembly construction.

Despite the danger the defective seat assemblies pose, Nissan has yet to receive field reports connecting these components to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In early 2018, engineers conducting post-manufacture vehicle inspections at the Nissan assembly facility in Sunderland, England discovered an Infiniti vehicle with loose right-hand side lower seat belt anchorage bolts. A quick investigation revealed that bolt installation specialists had accidentally cross-threaded these fasteners, making the connected anchorage systems prone to detachment. Following this finding, Nissan engineering teams implement production countermeasures to prevent recurrence. The Japanese automaker also launched a wider inquiry to determine the scope of the issue and assess FMVSS compliance.

On May 29, 2018, Nissan leadership reviewed the results of this investigation and determined that the defective seat belt parts violated FMVSS Nos. 208, 209 and 210. This prompted the company to launch a voluntary safety recall.

Nissan notified dealers of the issue June 9, 2018.

The Solution

Nissan has directed dealers to install retaining plates in affected vehicles to secure the defective seat belt anchorage components, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Dealers will perform these repairs free of charge. Nissan has yet to release a customer notification timetable. However, owners in need of assistance can speak with Nissan customer service personnel by calling (800) 662-6200. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesNissan recalls vehicles with defective seat belts

GM recalls vehicles with defective fuel system parts

 

Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2018 – General Motors has recalled almost 850 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel system components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects vehicles across multiple brands, including:

  • 2018 Buick LaCrosse sedans produced March 27, 2018, and April 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Cadillac ATS sedans produced March 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicles produced between March 26, 2018, and April 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks produced March 22, 2018, and April 27, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans produced between April 19, 2018, and April 27, 2018.
  • 2018 GMC Arcadia sport utility vehicles produced between April 5, 2018, and April 23, 2018.
  • 2018 GMC Canyon pickup trucks produced between March 23, 2018, and April 24, 2018.

GM suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain high-pressure fuel pump’s whose housings are not properly welded nearby flanges. These faulty welds could crack over time, resulting in fuel pump flange separation. Should this occur, the pump may oscillate within the engine compartment, leading to fuel leakage and, in some cases, fire. This defect therefore poses a serious risk to owners. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the problematic parts to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On April 25, 2018, Robert Bosch LLC, the vendor that supplied the fuel pumps installed in the recalled vehicles, contacted GM to disclose the potential existence of problematic housing and flange welds. The American automaker opened an official investigation into the issue May 5, 2018. While this inquiry uncovered zero occurrences of fuel leakage, GM determined, via Bosch engineering analysis, that the faulty fuel pump welds could fracture and lay the groundwork for this dangerous outcome.

Members of the GM Safety Field Action Decision Authority conducted a final review May 24, 2018, and determined that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.

GM notified dealers of the impending action May 31, 2018.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has yet to develop a workable solution, according to an FAQ document. There is therefore no timetable for owner notification. However, GM is working with Bosch to create a cost-free fix. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can connect with GM customer service personnel by calling (866) 522-9559. Individuals in possession of recalled vehicles can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective fuel system parts

GM recalls vehicles with defective engine software

 

Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2018 – General Motors has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine software, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 sports cars manufactured between Dec. 8, 2017, and May 31, 2018. The American automakers suspects just 1 percent of the models involved in the action contain the defective software.

The Defect

Affected vehicles come with sensing diagnostic module software that may fail when exposed to hard braking or extreme acceleration. In the event of SDM failure, crash sensing and air bag deployment functionality may be inhibited. This defect therefore poses a serious safety risk to occupants. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective software to any accidents or injuries.

Owners in possession of vehicles that have experience SDM failure will not receive airbag readiness or diver information center notifications.

Timeline of Events

GM personnel on April 30, 2018, hosted a media demonstration in Atlanta, during which a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was subjected to race-like driving conditions. Following the event, GM engineers assessed the vehicle and found that its SDM software was not operating properly. These technical specialists brought the issue to the attention of the automaker May 3, 2018, via an internal Speak Up For Safety report. GM opened an investigation in response May 8, 2018.

During this inquiry, the engineering team at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan conducted road tests involving hard braking and extreme acceleration. Following these trials, the group reviewed vehicle performance data and concluded that such maneuvers caused SDM overstress, which in turn led to complete software failure.

The GM Open Investigation Review evaluated the the matter May 21, 2018, before sending it to the Safety Field Action Decision Authority. The SFADA ultimately decided that a voluntary recall was necessary and initiated such action May 24, 2018.

GM notified dealers of the forthcoming campaign May 31, 2018.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to reprogram the SDM software in affected models free of charge, according to an internal communication. GM intends to notify owners via first-class mail June 29, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact GM customer service at (866) 522-9559. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective engine software

Nearly 250,000 minivans getting recalled due to faulty parking part

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 25, 2018 – Around a quarter million minivans are being recalled across the U.S. as a result of malfunctioning component that may cause affected vehicles to roll away despite being in the parked position, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Chrysler says its recalling approximately 240,242 Pacifica models that come equipped with a manual park release plug attached to steering column, based on an internal briefing document available through NHTSA’s website. Under normal circumstances, the pull-capable feature enables Pacifica owners to shift from “park” into “neutral” mode if the rotary shift knob malfunctions or if the vehicle won’t start. The easiest way to do this is through the use of a common screwdriver.

However, according to the Michigan-based automaker, the manual park release plug in affected vehicles may not require a screwdriver or similar device to manipulate the plug because some were installed improperly during the manufacturing process. As a result, the component can be engaged mistakenly, causing the vehicle to roll away, potentially resulting in the injury of a bystander or damage to property surrounding the minivan.

Although the automaker can’t be sure which specific Pacificas may be impacted, Chrysler says it has been able to determine where they originated. The minivans were built at the Windsor Assembly Plant somewhere between mid June 2016 and early April of this year, the model years confined to 2017 and 2018. Chrysler says any Pacificas assembled after April 6 should be in the free and clear with respect to this component problem because the MPR plugs were redesigned with a “higher pull-out force, requiring the use of a screwdriver” or similar tool.

Timeline of Events

Chrysler became aware of the instrumentation failing on March 22 during routine performance testing, according to a chronology of events compiled by NHTSA. A few days later, upon closer examination of the issue, an internal investigator discovered the problem wasn’t unique to just one Pacifica, but potentially many more, when the plug could be adjusted too easily in several other vehicles examined. Additional testing conducted over the course of a month revealed that the nature and scope of the flaw necessitated a voluntary safety recall due to non-compliance.

The Solution

Chrysler says the recall will go into effect officially on August 3, the date in which owners of the impacted Pacifica models will be notified of the plug problem by mailers sent to owners’ home addresses. Motorists are urged to take their vehicles to their nearest Chrysler dealership so the MPR can be repaired or replaced. This fix will come at no charge to the owner.

For further information regarding the recall, call Chrysler’s customer service department at 1-800-853-1403. The reference number is U50. NHTSA’s has a toll-free number as well at 1-888-327-4236, which is the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline. Its online home for recalls is www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesNearly 250,000 minivans getting recalled due to faulty parking part

GM recalls over 3,000 Volts due to software glitch affecting battery

 

Warren, Mich. – June 25, 2018 – General Motors LLC has recalled several thousand of its Chevrolet Volt models due to a software update flaw that may adversely affect the plug-in vehicle’s battery functionality, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The automaker believes the recall is warranted because affected cars may result in a crash, especially in situations where drivers need to accelerate to keep pace with the flow of traffic.

The Defect

Earlier this month, GM recalled approximately 3,233 Chevrolet Volts – with 2013 model years – after dealers performed a software update of the plug-in hybrid’s on-board battery, specifically its Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 or HPCM2. The update was meant to improve the life and sustainability of the HPCM2, but some of the software updates were corrupted, the company believes, potentially resulting in a voltage imbalance situation between the individual cells that give the plug-in hybrid the energy it needs to operate. Should the voltage dip below a certain threshold, the vehicle may enter a reduced power mode, thus preventing motorists from accelerating.

Although General Motors suspects just 2 percent of the 3,200+ Volts are affected, the automaker contends the recall is warranted because motorists operating the Volts with the flaw are at an increased risk for a crash due to a loss of propulsion that impacted vehicles may experience. No known crashes, injuries or deaths have been linked to the improper cell balancing defect.

Timeline of Events

The issue first came to light in May, when a GM engineer discovered the problematic software and informed GM of the issue after filing a Speak Up for Safety report, based on a chronology of events submitted to and published by the NHTSA. GM subsequently launched an investigation, although the automaker was already looking into a similar but unrelated issue relating to low-voltage output. The investigation revealed that the likelihood of Volts losing propulsion seemed to depend upon whether the vehicles had received a software update.

By June 7, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority determined that a safety recall was appropriate out of an abundance of caution.

The Solution

GM says it will inform owners of 2013 Volts about the software glitch, who can then go to their nearest dealership to have their HPCM2 reprogrammed for free, according to an NHTSA internal briefing document. The reprogramming will entail an update to the Volt’s vehicle interface control modules. However, GM didn’t say when the notifications would be sent out or how motorists will be informed. All of the affected Volts were sold within the continental U.S.

Owners who believe they may be impacted may get in touch with their Chevrolet dealer by dialing the toll free number at 1-800-222-1020. The reference number for this specific recall is 18215.

Alternatively, drivers may also go to NHTSA’s website at www.safercar.gov or call the Department of Transportation Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls over 3,000 Volts due to software glitch affecting battery

VW Recalls Over 54,500 Atlas Models Due to Seat Belt Buckle Defect

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 21 – Volkswagen is recalling vehicles for one of its popular product lines due to seat belt buckle and miscommunication issue that may increase the risk of an injury in the event of a collision.

On June 15, Volkswagen Group of America notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that some of its 2018 Atlas models are equipped with seat belts that may not function as they’re intended if seats aren’t used for their intended purpose, a problem that may affect more than 54,500 passenger vehicles.

The Defect

According to documentation submitted to NHTSA, the vehicles subject to the recall include owner’s manuals with insufficient information regarding the child restraints attached to the seats in the second row. Some of the owners’ manuals fail to provide specifics about what size of child can fit in the center position without potentially compromising the adjacent seat belt buckles. If seat bases or boosters wider than 12.6 inches are installed, the seat belt buckles may fail to latch, potentially resulting in a passenger’s injury in the aftermath of a collision.

The affected cars have vehicle identification numbers ranging between 1V2NR2CA2JCT00090 and 1V2KR2CA8JC577159.

Timeline of Events

The German automaker first became aware of the issue back in May of last year, when a Volkswagen employee happened upon a damaged safety belt buckle in the second row of an Atlas vehicle, based on a chronology of events compiled by NHTSA . What at the time was believed to be an isolated incident proved otherwise, as by September, Volkswagen received numerous complaints from owners experiencing the same seat buckle issue. This spawned an investigation as to the source of the problem, which was determined through crash testing procedures and an internal review. The Volkswagen AG Product Safety Commission determined the defect and insufficient owner’s manual information warranted a recall as of May 30.

The Solution

Motorists affected by the recall are urged to take their Atlas vehicles to their local Volkswagen dealership, cautioned the NHTSA recall document. Additionally, the German automaker says that no later than August 3, it will proceed with notifying all owners and dealers to inspect the second row center seat belt buckles for signs of a potential flaw and schedule a repair. Owners will not have to pay for the fix if they coordinate with their dealer. Alternatively, owners can get in touch with Volkswagen directly by dialing 1-800-5298 and use 69X1 as a reference code.

Seat belts have proven to save thousands of lives in the millions of accidents that occur in the U.S. each year. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, motorists’ buckling up saved an estimated 14,668 lives, according to NHTSA. An additional 2,456 lives would have been saved had everyone who was in an accident in 2016 strapped themselves in.

For more information on seat belt safety and the Volkswagen recall, visit NHTSA’s recall website.

Sean ReyesVW Recalls Over 54,500 Atlas Models Due to Seat Belt Buckle Defect