Over 1,600 2019 Infiniti vehicles recalled by Nissan for faulty air bag modules

 

Lilburn, Georgia – Sept. 21, 2018: Nissan North America, Inc. is recalling certain 2019 INFINITI QX50 vehicles due to an air bag module defect that increases risk of injury for passenger seat drivers in the event of a crash.

The recall includes just over 1,600 vehicles manufactured between July 4, 2018, and August 24, 2018, with the chances of any specific vehicle suffering a defect being 1 percent, according to the NHTSA safety recall report. No other INFINITI (or Nissan) vehicles are affected by this issue because the affected passenger-side knee air bag module is unique to this model and those dates of manufacture.

The Defect

In the event of a crash in very cold temperatures, the trim cover may separate unexpectedly from the passenger-side knee air bag module instead of splitting at the trim cover tear seam as designed. If the passenger-side knee air bag cover detaches during deployment, it can increase the risk of injury.

According to an INFINITI campaign bulletin, the manufacturer strongly recommends that if a vehicle is confirmed to be affected, this safety recall repair performed as soon as possible. Owners are urged to contact their retailer as soon as possible to schedule an appointment, and in the meantime to not allow passengers to ride in the front passenger seat.

Timeline of Events

In August 2018, while a supplier was conducting a low temperature lot acceptance test, the passenger-side knee air bag cover detached from the air bag module during deployment. The supplier launched an investigation, and two weeks later the plant and supplier quarantined all passenger-side knee air bag modules.

The investigation found that certain passenger-side knee air bag modules had been manufactured with an out-of-specification tear seam thickness, and the knee air bag cushion was incorrectly folded. Nissan identified the affected vehicles and chose to conduct a voluntary recall campaign to replace the passenger-side knee air bag module.

The Solution

The dealer will replace the passenger-side knee air bag module, including the module trim cover, with a new one. INFINITI will notify owners, and retailers will complete the replacement free of charge. Rental car coverage will be available up to a max of $180. The recall is expected to begin October 22, 2018, and the Campaign ID is PC644.

Owners may contact INFINITI customer service at 1-800-662-6200, or contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). Owners may also use the INFINITI recall tool to enter their VIN and find out if their vehicle is affected by the recall.

 

Sean ReyesOver 1,600 2019 Infiniti vehicles recalled by Nissan for faulty air bag modules

Nissan and INFINITI Recall More Than 200,000 Sedans and SUVs Over Fire Hazard Concerns

 

Lilburn, Georgia – Sept. 20, 2018 – Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) and the company’s luxury brand, INFINITI, are recalling more than 200,000 sedans and SUVs. The recall is designed to allow the replacement of a faulty brake component that could cause a fire if brake fluid were to leak out onto a circuit board, according to Consumer Reports.

Affected vehicles include certain 2015-2017 Nissan Murano, 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima, 2017-2018 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2017 Infiniti QX60 vehicles, according to documentation provided by Nissan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

The Defect

According to safety recall campaign bulletins from Nissan and INFINITI, the Antilock Braking System (ABS) actuator pump seal may leak brake fluid onto the control electronic circuit board, which can cause an electrical short and potentially start a fire.

If a leak occurs, the ABS warning lamp will illuminate to warn the driver. If the vehicle continues to be operated with the ongoing leak, the brake fluid may seep down onto the actuator circuit, creating an electrical short which could lead to a fire breaking out.

This is not the first issue with Nissan and/or INFINITI sedans and/or SUVs. In 2016, an almost identical issue with a faulty brake fluid seal allowing brake fluid to drip onto the ABS circuit board caused Nissan to recall 134,000 2016-2017 Maxima sedans, 2015-2017 Murano SUVs, and 2015-2016 Murano Hybrid SUVs across the U.S. and Canada.

Additionally, in 2017 nearly 57,000 Murano crossovers from the 2013 and 2014 model years were recalled by Nissan for faulty power steering fluid hose clamps, which allowed the lines to separate, causing difficulty in steering. The leaked fluid also posed a fire hazard, as if it leaked onto hot surfaces it could start a vehicle fire.

Timeline of Events

The report about this recall was officially issued on September 7, 2018.

When brake fluid has leaked onto the circuit board, the ABS warning lamp will remain illuminated for more than 10 seconds after engine start up. If this occurs, owners are advised to park the vehicle outdoors away from other vehicles or structures and to not drive the vehicle.

The manufacturer recommends parking the vehicle outside and contacting INFINITI or Nissan Roadside Assistance to have the vehicle towed to an authorized INFINITI or Nissan service department as soon as possible.

The Solution

Owners of potentially affected vehicles will be notified beginning in October 2018 and asked to bring their vehicle to an authorized INFINITI or Nissan retailer to have their ABS actuator checked and the remedial work completed if required (incurring no cost for the vehicle owner for either parts or labor.)

Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the serial number on the ABS actuator, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. Vehicles identified under the previous recall in 2016 are still covered under this recall as well. The recall is expected to begin October 15, 2018.

Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-867-7669, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. The NHTSA Campaign Number is 18V601000. Vehicle owners can also enter their VIN at nhtsa.gov/recalls.

Sean ReyesNissan and INFINITI Recall More Than 200,000 Sedans and SUVs Over Fire Hazard Concerns

Toyota Recalls 1 Million Toyota Prius Models Due to Fire Risk

 

Lilburn, Georgia – Sept. 15, 2018 – Toyota is recalling 192,000 of its 2016 to 2018 Prius hybrids that were sold in the U.S. due to a fire risk. According to a company press release, wiring in the front of the vehicle may wear over time, potentially resulting in a short circuit, which could cause a fire.

Affected vehicles include certain 2016 to 2018 Toyota Prius cars manufactured between June 2015 and May 2018. These vehicles are part of a larger 1 million vehicle worldwide recall, with the majority of the remaining vehicles sold in Japan, as well as some located in Canada, the U.K., Europe and Australia.

The Defect

These vehicles have an engine wire harness consisting of a bundle of wires wrapped in a protective sleeve. The wire harness is connected to the hybrid vehicle Power Control Unit, which controls electricity within the hybrid drivetrain. A portion of the wire harness can potentially contact the cover at this connection and wear over time. The resulting friction can cause an electrical short circuit, which can generate heat, leading to a vehicle fire.

Timeline of Events

As noted by Consumer Reports in early September, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that Toyota discovered the defect after a dealer in Japan reported “abnormal odor, smoke, and flames” from a customer’s vehicle. To date, Toyota says that a single warranty claim in the U.S. may be related to the issue, but this has not been confirmed.

The recall covers all Toyota Prius and Prius Plug-in models built between June 2015 and May 2018, and also affects Toyota C-HR plug-in hybrid models sold in Europe, Japan, and Australia, but not in the U.S. Former Toyota recalls for Prius models over the past few years have included brake issues and software failures.

The Solution

According to Toyota, all repairs will be provided at no cost to customers. All known owners will receive a notification by first class mail starting in late October.

For all involved vehicles, Toyota dealers have been instructed to check the engine wire harness assembly to see if a wire core is exposed. If there is visible exposure, the engine wire harness assembly will be replaced with a new one that includes a stronger protective sleeve. If a wire core is not currently exposed, specialized protective tape will be installed on the engine wire harness assembly to prevent wear at the point of contact.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Customers can also access current information on open safety recalls by Toyota by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at: www.toyota.com/recall. or nhtsa.gov/recalls.

Owners may also connect with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration through the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 18V579, or get more current information on current or potential recalls by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at nhtsa.gov/recalls.

The recall is expected to begin in early October 2018. Toyota had no additional comment beyond their press release.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls 1 Million Toyota Prius Models Due to Fire Risk

Ford Recalls Nearly 2 Million 2015-2018 Year F150 Pickup Trucks for Fire Risk

 

Lilburn, Georgia – Sept. 10, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is recalling almost 2 million F150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles equipped with driver and front passenger seat belt pretensioners capable of creating “excessive” sparks, which could lead to a fire, according to a Ford company press release.

Affected vehicles include:

  • 2015-18 Ford F-150 vehicles built at Dearborn Assembly Plant, March 12, 2014 through Aug. 23, 2018
  • 2015-18 Ford F-150 vehicles built at Kansas City Assembly Plant, Aug. 20, 2014 through Aug. 23, 2018

Of the nearly 2 million affected vehicles, over 1.6 million are located in the U.S., with the rest registered across Canada and Mexico.

The Defect

Seat belt pretensioners, like many other vehicle safety devices (such as airbags), are triggered by a tiny explosive that allow only a split second to elapse between a collision and deployment of the safety feature. The explosive itself is set off by a crash, and in the case of seat belt pretensioners, the feature design allows the seat belt to instantly tighten to provide more protection for the seat occupant. The seat belts work in tandem with the airbags to reduce the likelihood of injury, securing the driver and passenger in position and limiting excessive movement.

However, Ford’s investigation found that some front seat belt pretensioners in specific F150 Regular Cab and SuperCrew Cab vehicles can generate excessive sparks when they deploy. If sufficient sparks are present, it is possible for gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar by the pretensioners to ignite. Once the gas ignites, components behind the B-pillar (including insulation and carpet) can subsequently catch fire and may lead to the destruction of the entire vehicle.

Timeline of Events

As Consumer Reports noted in early August, the NHTSA opened an investigation into the F150 after five consumer complaints about fires were filed with the agency. It was reported that the fires began inside the pillar housing the seat belt mechanism. All five vehicles had been involved in a crash immediately preceding the start of the fires. Four incidents included airbag deployment, and three of the trucks were a total loss.

Ford claims there have been 17 reports of smoke or fire in the U.S. and six in Canada, although the manufacturer says they are not aware of any injuries or additional accidents associated with the defect. It is unusual for a recall to be issued after so few reports, but the ramifications of each incident are significant enough to trigger a recall.

The Solution

According to Ford, all repairs will be provided at no cost to customers. Dealers have been instructed to remove insulation material from the B-pillar trim, remove remnants of wiring harness tape in the B-pillar area, and apply heat-resistant tape to the carpet and its insulation. Dealers have also been instructed to modify the back interior panels of Regular Cab vehicles.

F-150 owners should not stop using their seat belts, according to the automotive safety engineer at Consumer Reports, as all major incidents have occurred only after a crash, and most after a crash severe enough to deploy the airbag in the vehicle. The risk of injury from not wearing a seat belt is deemed much higher than that of a potential fire following a severe crash.

There are approximately 1,995,776 vehicles in North America affected by this recall. Of these, 1,619,112 vehicles have been identified as being registered in the U.S. and its federalized territories. An additional 339,884 are currently in Canada and 36,780 in Mexico.

Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S27. Owners may also connect with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration through the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 18V568000. The recall is expected to begin Sept. 24, 2018. Ford had no additional comment beyond their press release.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls Nearly 2 Million 2015-2018 Year F150 Pickup Trucks for Fire Risk