Suzuki Recalls Nearly 19,000 SX4 Vehicles for Power Steering Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – November 30, 2018 – Suzuki Motor America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2012-2013 Suzuki SX4 vehicles due to potential seizing of the power steering pump. The potential number of units affected is 18,673.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Recall Report, under cold start conditions in cold weather conditions, the power steering pump internal pressure may rise, resulting in seizure of the pump. Seizure of the power steering pump can result in a sudden loss of steering assist, increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

In April 2016, SMC received an initial Field Technical Information Report (“FTIR”) from its Canadian distributor that indicated that there is no power steering assist when turning the steering wheel at low speed. It was confirmed that the vehicle in question had a replacement power steering pump (PS pump) installed for the 15V-587 recall (Suzuki VS recall for PS pump failure), reported to NHTSA in September 2015. SMC collected the PS pump from the Canadian distributor and asked the supplier to investigate the failure.

The following investigation results confirmed that there was seizure of the cartridge sliding surface inside the PS pump. It was identified that for the VS recall countermeasure PS pump, the lower limit of the spool clearance value was changed and 11.6mg of contamination was found inside of the PS pump, exceeding the supplier manufacturing process contamination control value of 5 mg or less. SMC could not identify the reason why the cartridge sliding surface seized.

SMC subsequently received a second, third and fourth FTIRs from its Canadian distributor with more or less the same results and no ability to identify what cartridge sliding surfaces seized. From January to March 2018, SMC received 15 additional FTIRs from Canada and 9 FTIRs from the United States. SMC confirmed that all of the vehicles involved had the VS recall correction. From April to June 2018, SMC received 3 additional FTIRs from Canada and an additional 9 FTIRs from the United States, and from June to August 2018, SMC received 2 additional FTIRs from the United States. SMC had received a cumulative total of 42 FTIRs.

SMC began to coordinate with a supplier of competing PS pumps to request an evaluation test of the VS recall countermeasure PS pump, but despite low temperature accelerated tests of the VS recall countermeasure PS pump the cause of the PS pump seizure could not be identified. In October 2018, SMC continued conducting the investigation and in November, 2018 SMC decided to report the existence of a safety-related defect. SMC is still working to identify the root cause of the PS pump failures, and to determine a recall countermeasure.

The Solution

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-800-934-0934. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-804.

Sean ReyesSuzuki Recalls Nearly 19,000 SX4 Vehicles for Power Steering Issues

Ford Recalls Nearly 35,000 Vehicles Due to Missing Seat Brackets

Laguna Hills, CA – November 30, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2018 Lincoln Navigator, and Ford Expedition vehicles due to missing brackets in the center row seating. The potential number of units affected is 34,946.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the second row center seat track assemblies may be missing one or both of the J-Channel reinforcement brackets, possibly allowing the seat to move in the event of a crash. In the event of a crash, a seat that moves may not properly restrain the seat occupant, increasing their risk of injury.

This recall includes all vehicles produced with this seat configuration (second row bench [40/20/40]), which was a new design for the 2018 model year. The second row bench center (20%) seat is adjustable and can be positioned 70mm further forward than the outboard seats. The owner’s manual states the seat should be adjusted to its rearward position when it is occupied by older children or adults, including children in booster seats.

Timeline of Events

On August 30, 2018, Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group (CCRG) reviewed a concern regarding missing J-channel reinforcement brackets on certain 2018 model year Expedition and Navigator second row bench center (20%) seats. This seat track assembly design, which was new for 2018 models, contains two J-channel reinforcement brackets, one left-hand and one right-hand. CCRG requested an assessment of center seat structural integrity with one or both J-channel bracket reinforcements missing.

During September and October 2018, directional CAE analysis was conducted on a rigidified body sheet metal structure with the second row center seat in the full rear and full forward seating positions, and a more detailed analysis simulating actual body sheet metal structure was performed under crash conditions to determine if the missing brackets presented a risk.

The in-depth CAE analysis, simulating the production vehicle design, indicated that the seat track missing one or both J-channel reinforcement brackets may peel or tear when the seat is adjusted in the fully forward or near fully forward position. This could lead to increased risk of injury during a crash, particularly for children seated in the middle row seating.

CAE was able to confirm that a seat adjusted in the full rearward seating position did not present this concern. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall; at this time, Ford was not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this issue.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the second row center (20%) seat inspected to determine if both J-channel brackets are installed. If one or both J-channel brackets are missing, dealers will replace the center seat frame assembly. There will be no charge for this service. Until the vehicle is serviced for this concern, customers are advised to adjust the center seat to its full rearward position. The recall is expected to begin December 17, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S37. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-805.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls Nearly 35,000 Vehicles Due to Missing Seat Brackets

2012-2013 Suzuki SX4: Recall Alert

2012-2013 Suzuki SX4: Recall Alert

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 18,700 model-year 2012-13 Suzuki SX4 cars

The Problem: The power steering pump may seize, causing a loss of steering assist that would require extra steering effort at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: The remedy for this recall is still under development…Read more on Cars.com

Sean Reyes2012-2013 Suzuki SX4: Recall Alert

Ford Recalls Nearly 300 Nautilus Vehicles Due to Air Bag Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – November 29, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2019 Lincoln Nautilus vehicles that are not equipped with Adaptive Front Steering, due to a defect in an air bag cover. The potential number of units affected is 268.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the driver airbag modules installed in vehicles may contain a plastic cover that was improperly injection-molded at the sub-tier supplier. A driver airbag cover that has not been properly molded may detach during an airbag deployment. If the air bag cover separates during deployment, it can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Timeline of Events

On September 27, 2018, Autoliv, the non-AFS driver airbag module Tier 1 supplier, notified Ford of a test anomaly that had occurred during a lot acceptance test (LAT) at high temperature on that day. Autoliv subsequently contained all suspect parts from that lot, and began an investigation into the cause of the failure.

In October 2018, Autoliv’s ongoing investigation discovered that the potential root cause could be attributed to the presence of knit lines in the area of the tear seam on the airbag cover substrate, and it was also revealed that the Tier 3 supplier (DEMO) made several adjustments to the cover injection-molding process without notifying the Tier 2 supplier (Eissmann) of the adjustments. These adjustments had resulted in the improper forming of the knit lines in the area of the cover tear seam.

The investigation also revealed that the injection-molding process change had been used on covers that were built into airbag module assemblies which had previously passed LAT and were subsequently installed in vehicles; therefore, an analysis to identify the release status of these vehicles was initiated. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the driver airbag module replaced. There will be no charge for this service. The recall is expected to begin in November 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S38. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-806.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls Nearly 300 Nautilus Vehicles Due to Air Bag Issue

Ford Recalls 114 Explorers Over Potential Fuel Leak

Laguna Hills, CA – November 29, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2018 Ford Explorer vehicles equipped with 2.3L or 3.5L GTDI engine for a potential fuel leak. The potential number of units affected is 114.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, some fuel pressure sensors were produced by a supplier with over-size male threads resulting in a gap between the fuel pressure sensor and the mating saddle port with the o-ring not fully seated. Potentially, some Explorer vehicles built within the suspect date range may have a fuel pressure sensor that was not properly assembled. An improperly assembled fuel pressure sensor can result in a fuel leak. Fuel leaks in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

Timeline of Events

On July 30, 2018, Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) discovered an Explorer with a 2.3L engine in the yard with fuel underneath it on the ground. The fuel leak was determined to originate from the fuel pressure sensor joint in the fuel line assembly on the top of fuel tank. CAP issued a Stop Ship on August 1, 2018, to contain all vehicles at the plant and in transit for inspection.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) subsequently reviewed this issue, beginning by inspecting held vehicles built during the month of July 2018, and initiated a Design of Experiments (DOE) to help determine the cause. The vehicle inspections identified no fuel leaks in the more than 9,000 vehicles being held; however, four sensors that were not properly assembled were identified. The four vehicles were built within a three day period between July 29, 2018, through July 31, 2018, and it was determined that the cause was over-size threads on the sensor.

Using the supplier’s records, Ford’s investigation of vehicle production records determined that 144 vehicles built at CAP during a specified three day period when incorrect parts were available were delivered to dealerships before the inspection could be completed and may or may not actually contain incorrect parts. On November 5, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a recall, being unaware of any reports of accident, injury or fire related to this condition.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the fuel line assembly replaced. There will be no charge for this service. The recall is expected to begin December 3, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S35. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-807.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls 114 Explorers Over Potential Fuel Leak

Honda Recalls Nearly 65,000 Acura MDX Vehicles for Brake Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2017-2019 Acura MDX, 2017-2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, 2018-2019 Honda HR-V and Honda Odyssey, and 2016 Honda HR-V vehicles, in order to have the rear brakes bled due to gas pockets. The potential number of units affected is 64,785.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in affected vehicles the rear brake caliper pistons may have an insufficient coating, causing gas pockets to form, reducing brake performance. A reduction of braking performance increases the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

In July 2018 the rear brake caliper supplier informed Honda of quality issues affecting some of its products. Honda subsequently launched an investigation.

From August to October 2018 Honda learned that a sub-supplier’s manufacturing process improperly trapped high levels of hydrogen on the brake piston during surface plating, and that the tempering process intended to remove excess hydrogen may not have been performed to specification.

Honda investigated the potential for FMVSS noncompliance and the range of potentially affected vehicles, and on October 25, 2018, Honda completed the investigation. The final determination was that the potential for FMVSS noncompliance exists and Honda therefore decided to conduct a safety recall.

As of October 25, 2018, Honda has received 170 warranty claims, 90 field reports, and no reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue. The problem does not recur after brakes are bled to remove initial gas pockets.

The Solution

Owners will be notified, and Honda or Acura dealers will bleed the brakes, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 17, 2018. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s numbers for this recall are C31 and L30. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-777.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Nearly 65,000 Acura MDX Vehicles for Brake Issues

Lotus Recalls 40 Evora Vehicles for Steering Column Problem

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Lotus Cars Limited (Lotus) is recalling certain 2018 Lotus Evora vehicles due to a potential danger in case of a crash should the steering column not collapse correctly. Vehicles affected are 2018 model year Lotus Evora (all variants). The potential number of units affected is 40.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, during a vehicle crash event, the steering column is designed to partially collapse and help dissipate a portion of the crash energy. On some assemblies, the screw securing the steering column cartridge, which supports the column during the collapse process, has been found to be finger tight only.

If the screw is loose but remains engaged in the thread, there is expected to be no adverse effect on vehicle crash performance. However, if the screw disengages from the thread, in the event of a frontal collision, the steering column may not properly collapse to absorb some of the impact energy. If the steering column does not collapse as intended in a crash, it can increase the risk of injury to the driver and possibly any passengers.

Timeline of Events

Lotus has been notified that a small number of Evora steering columns have been assembled incorrectly, which could compromise the performance of the part in a vehicle crash.

A mis-build issue of the steering column assembly fitted to the Evora model range has been identified in a small number of vehicles manufactured between 17/04/2018 to 02/10/2018. As a result, the steering column cartridge screw may not have been tightened to its specified torque of 5 Nm

The manufacturer of the steering column corrected the recall condition by re-setting the torque wrench used in the assembly process. Correctly assembled steering columns were introduced into vehicle production with effect from 10/10/2018.

The Solution

Lotus will notify owners, and dealers will correct the steering column assembly, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Lotus customer service at 1-800-245-6887. Lotus’ number for this recall is 2018/01R. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-781.

Sean ReyesLotus Recalls 40 Evora Vehicles for Steering Column Problem

Toyota Recalls Nearly 17,000 Scion xA Vehicles Due to Air Bag Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2004-2006 Toyota Scion xA vehicles for a potential internal short in the air bag module. The potential number of units affected is 16,992.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system (SRS ECU) in the subject vehicles may have been manufactured with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which are susceptible to internal shorting when exposed to the naturally high inductive electrical noise from various vehicle electrical components close to the module. In some cases, the SRS warning light for the airbag(s) could illuminate, and the airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioner (s) could become deactivated. In other cases, these systems could inadvertently deploy in the absence of an impact. An airbag that is deactivated or is deployed inadvertently can increase the risk of injury or the possibility of a crash.

Timeline of Events

In 2013, Toyota recalled approximately 890,000 vehicles in the U.S. which were equipped with generation 5.0 TRW SRS ECUs. In these ECUs, damage due to electrical noise could result in an inadvertent deployment of the airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioners. At the time, generation 5.5 SRS ECUs (that are the subject of this recall) were not included.

In June 2013, Toyota received a field report from the European market indicating the inadvertent activation of the driver, front passenger, and knee airbags while driving a CY 2006 Corolla Verso vehicle. Airbags were found to be activated as per the customer’s allegation, but there was no evidence of an impact. The SRS ECU was recovered and investigated, and damage appeared to be similar to damage from electrical noise that could have occurred on a generation 5.0 SRS ECU, recalled in 2013; however, it was judged to be an isolated case due to the differences between the 5.0 and 5.5 models.

In July 2015, Toyota received information from a dealer in the Japan market indicating the inadvertent activation of the driver, front passenger, and knee airbags while driving a CY 2006 Avensis vehicle. Similar results were found. Toyota began replication testing and recovery of working SRS ECUs of this generation from in-use vehicles and found that the generation 5.5 SRS ECUs have higher insulation against electrical noise compared to the recalled generation 5.0 ECUs. However, Toyota continued to sporadically receive similar field reports from countries outside of North America, mainly from European countries and Japan, and continued its investigation.

Toyota reviewed the difference between the Avensis and other models, and once again started the recovery of working SRS ECUs from a larger population of in-use Avensis vehicles. In August 2017, Toyota also received the first field report from the U.S. market, claiming inadvertent activation of the driver and front passenger airbags in a 2006 MY Toyota Scion xA vehicle with a generation 5.5 SRS ECU. Toyota investigated the SRS ECU and confirmed the damage of the ASIC for transmitting the signal to deploy the airbags was similar to other cases from the European and Japan markets. At that time, Toyota observed that the insulation against electrical noise found in the ASICs in the generation 5.5 SRS ECUs had an unexpectedly wide variation in effectiveness and Toyota subsequently chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign.

The Solution

All known owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer. The dealers will replace the airbag control module with an updated one, free of charge. The owner letter will also instruct vehicle owners who have paid to have this condition remedied prior to this campaign to seek reimbursement under Toyota’s General Reimbursement Plan. The recall is expected to begin December 24, 2018. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota’s number for this recall is J0W. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-776.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls Nearly 17,000 Scion xA Vehicles Due to Air Bag Defect

GM Recalls Several Vehicles for Air Bag Deployment Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – November 27, 2018 – General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2019 Buick Encore, Chevrolet Spark, Traverse, and Trax vehicles due to a potential air bag deployment issue. The potential number of units affected is 12.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in a small number of the listed vehicles, the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) may have been left in “manufacturing mode” and not activated at the assembly plant prior to shipment. If the SDM is in manufacturing mode, the vehicle’s airbags will not deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury. Most other functions controlled by the same module, such as seatbelt reminder, event data recording and post collision notification, will also be inactive. Drivers may receive advance notice of this issue via the airbag/supplemental inflatable restraint malfunction indicator lamp on the instrument panel, which will illuminate and remain illuminated (solid or flashing) after the vehicle is turned on.

Timeline of Events

On October 3, 2018, a vehicle in GM’s Bupyeong, Korea plant was discovered to have a flashing airbag warning light after passing validation testing. GM subsequently started an investigation into the issue, which determined that the vehicle’s sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) was set to “manufacturing mode;” when in this setting, the SDM is unarmed and the supplemental inflatable restraints are disabled.

GM further determined that the condition’s root cause is an error in a software update to GM’s production process at certain plants. When the module is originally programmed during vehicle assembly, GM sets it to manufacturing mode which is designed to prevent accidental restraint and air bag deployment when the vehicle is in the assembly facility. Once full assembly is complete, all GM vehicles are subjected to a series of quality tests called dynamic vehicle tests (DVT), and at the conclusion of this process, the vehicle’s sensing diagnostic module (SDMs) is activated, which arms the restraints.

The error which was discovered in the software update can prevent the SDM from being activated in some vehicles at the conclusion of DVT. Due to this error, which only affected 12 vehicles, on October 25, 2018, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall.

The Solution

GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the SDM module to the correct mode, free of charge. The recall began November 6, 2018. Owners may contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300 and Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 18365. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-774.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls Several Vehicles for Air Bag Deployment Issues

Ford Recalls 215 Previously Recalled Vehicles for Potential Air Bag Malfunction

Laguna Hills, CA – November 27, 2018 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and 2010-2012 Lincoln MKZ vehicles that previously received a replacement passenger air bag under recalls 16V-384, 17V-024 or 18V-046. The potential number of units affected is 215.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in the event of a crash requiring deployment of the passenger air bag, the bracket that secures the air bag inflator to the module housing may deform, allowing the gas that inflates the air bag to leak out. If the air bag does not inflate properly, there is an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash. All affected vehicles were previously repaired under safety recalls using passenger airbag module service parts manufactured with stop brackets with an incorrect material thickness. Ford identified the affected vehicle population by monitoring warranty repairs using its warranty system to identify vehicles repaired with a specific part number that contained incorrect material thickness stop brackets, and issued the subsequent recall for those vehicles alone, as the issue had been fixed at manufacturing level for subsequent builds.

Timeline of Events

For production validation (PV) testing, the supplier used a stop plate component that did not follow the proper production part approval process (PPAP) and was thicker than the specified material thickness. This resulted in a “false positive” validation test. The specified material thickness utilized in production was inadequate to provide expected performance. On October 4, 2018, Joyson Safety Systems (JSS) reported a production validation test failure while validating parts on a new production line at their Monclova plant on an airbag module produced as a service part for the 2010 through 2012 model year Fusion/Milan/MKZ vehicles.

On October 8, 2018, JSS observed a Lot Acceptance Test (LAT) failure on the same part produced at their Torreon plant. Parts used for LAT testing were  also assembled using an incorrect gage thickness stop plate. JSS halted production of the affected airbag modules and quarantined stock in its control. Investigation of the test failures identified that a stop plate utilized in the module assembly provided insufficient support during airbag deployment. This defect was declared to be an issue, potentially resulting in inflation gas leakage and incomplete airbag cushion inflation in the event of a crash. The subsequent investigation of the PV and LAT test failures further identified that PV testing for the initial production line at the Torreon facility was performed using similar stop plates produced with an incorrect material thickness.

On October 16, 2018, the PV and LAT test failures were brought into Ford’s Critical Concerns Review Group, and on October 25, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the concern and approved a field action.

The Solution

Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air bag module, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late November 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 18S34. Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the vehicle’s passenger airbag module replaced. There will be no charge for this service. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-775.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls 215 Previously Recalled Vehicles for Potential Air Bag Malfunction