Toyota Recalls Nearly 45,000 Vehicles for Potential Brake Failure

Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Toyota Tacoma vehicles due to a potential brake issue. Toyota estimates that at least 90 percent of the involved vehicles have potential to develop the failed seal condition over the lifetime of the vehicle, which could lead to the unreasonable risk to safety. The potential number of units affected is 44,121.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the vehicles contain a brake master cylinder that includes a rubber seal which seals the brake fluid within the housing as the master cylinder piston moves. Due to combinations of improper part machining operations at one supplier facility and casting variations of master cylinders at another of its facilities, there is a possibility that a master cylinder could have an edge that does not have the correct chamfer where the rubber seal is retained. If this were to occur, over time, this edge could damage the rubber seal, causing an internal fluid leak. If the vehicle continues to be operated in this condition, the brake pedal feel could change, and front brake performance could be suddenly reduced. Reduced front braking performance could increase the vehicle stopping distance and may increase the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology report issued by Toyota, in June 2018, Toyota received three field reports on 2018 Tacoma vehicles which described the brake pedal traveling to the floor and reduced braking ability. All three of these vehicles had less than 600 miles. The brake master cylinders were recovered and sent to the part supplier for investigation. In August, Toyota received additional field reports of this condition, which master cylinders were also recovered and sent to the supplier for investigation. In September, the part supplier began providing its preliminary analysis based on some of the recovered parts. This preliminary analysis indicated that an internal leak existed which was caused by a cut rubber seal, and it was observed in these cases that the channel within the bore of the master cylinder, which is designed to retain the rubber seal, had an edge that did not have the correct chamfer.

Between October 2018 – early December 2018, the part supplier reported that their testing had identified multiple improper processes completed at the U.S. machining facility. When some combination of these improper processes were applied to non-concentric castings from the supplier casting facility in Japan, there existed a possibility of producing master cylinders with edges at the channel of the bore with varying levels of incorrect chamfer. It was also determined that this would only occur on parts cast in the supplier’s Japan facility and machined at the supplier’s U.S. facility.

Additional testing on newly machined master cylinders with edges of different incorrect chamfers revealed that the seals in a number of these tests were damaged and may eventually result in an internal leak. Any parts which were cast in the supplier’s Japan facility and machined in the supplier’s U.S. facility during the production range preceding identification of a potential issue may have some level of incorrect chamfer which may damage the seal.

It was determined that a damaged seal could cause brake fluid to leak internally, causing the brake pedal feel to change, and front brake performance could be suddenly reduced. On December 7, 2018, based on the results of the above investigation, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign. As of December 3, 2018, Toyota was only aware of 5 Toyota Field Technical Reports (3 unconfirmed reports) and 37 warranty claims (28 unverified claims) received from U.S. sources which were considered in the recall decision. Toyota is unaware of any accidents or injuries.

The Solution

All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified via first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer. Toyota dealers will replace the brake master cylinder with a new one, free of charge. As the owner notification letters will be mailed out well within the active period of the Toyota New Vehicle Limited Warranty (“Warranty”), all involved vehicle owners for this recall would have been provided a repair at no cost under Toyota’s Warranty. The recall is expected to begin January 21, 2019. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are J16/J06. 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-888.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls Nearly 45,000 Vehicles for Potential Brake Failure

Toyota Recalls Nearly 170,000 More Vehicles Due to Takata Airbag Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2005 Toyota Corolla and Tundra, and 2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe vehicles due to airbag propellant degradation. The potential number of units affected is 169,481. This recall is connected to a larger recall driven by Takata, in advance of official DIRs from Takata but in accordance with preset plans.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, these vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may explode due to propellant degradation. An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

On December 7, 2018, in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators and upon discussion with the Agency, Toyota decided to conduct a campaign to replace the air bag inflator or the air bag assembly on certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Additionally, Toyota is also recalling certain Pontiac Vibe vehicles based on General Motors’ request, and in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators by them.

Not all vehicles in the affected range were sold in the U.S. The subject vehicles are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators (Takata-designated SPI, PSPI or PSPI-L) which contain a non-desiccated phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant and that were replaced as a “like-for-like” inflator under a prior recall by Takata, although Takata’s official DIRs that affect the subject vehicles will not occur until late 2019. Toyota is accelerating the launch of the remedy for these vehicles in advance of the Takata decisions.

The Solution

Toyota will notify the Toyota and Lexus owners. General Motors will notify the Pontiac Vibe owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator with an alternate inflator or replace the air bag assembly that includes an alternate inflator, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 14, 2019.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371, Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987 or Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737. Toyota’s numbers for these recalls are J0A (Zone A Toyota), J0B (Zone B Toyota), J0C (Zone C Toyota), JLI (Zone A Lexus), JLJ (Zone B Lexus), and JLK (Zone C Lexus).

This recall includes vehicles that have had their air bag previously replaced under an earlier air bag campaign. General Motors will notify NHTSA separately of its repair and notification schedule and its campaign number concerning the Pontiac Vibe, and will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs according to the plan submitted by GM on May 19, 2017.

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-883.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls Nearly 170,000 More Vehicles Due to Takata Airbag Issues

Chrysler Recalls More Than 6,000 Alfa Romero Giulia Vehicles for Brake Line Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia vehicles equipped with GME 280HP engines and All Wheel Drive (“AWD”) due to a potential brake fluid leak and subsequent risk of fire.The potential number of units affected is 6,136.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, certain 2017-2018 MY Alfa Romeo Giulia vehicles equipped with GME 280HP engines and All Wheel Drive (“AWD”) may have an out of specification condition between the brake fluid line and a cooling hose clamp. The recalled vehicles may experience contact between a coolant hose clamp and a brake fluid line in the engine compartment. Over time, this contact may lead to a brake fluid leak onto the engine catalyst.

If the brake fluid line is damaged and brake fluid enters the catalyst, there is potential for an engine compartment fire which may result in an increased risk of injury to motor vehicle occupants or persons outside the vehicle. In certain circumstances, the customer may smell a burning odor or see smoke prior to an engine compartment fire. A loss of brake fluid may also result in the illumination of the brake fluid telltale lamp.

Timeline of Events

On June 8, 2018, Alfa Romeo received a field report from the Belgian market of a thermal event in a Giulia Super 2.0L GME 280HP AWD. On June 11, 2018, Alfa Romeo opened an official investigation. The dealer field report identified possible contact between the coolant hose clamp and the brake fluid line. Additionally, evidence of a small thermal event was reported, localized within the engine compartment. Between June 12, 2018 through July 31, 2018, the Alfa Romeo Product Development team performed an audit of all Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio engineering vehicles in EMEA, for evidence of contact between the coolant hose clamp and the brake fluid line within the engine compartment.

Between August 1, 2018 through November 07, 2018, FCA US field service engineers surveyed 21 vehicles to measure the clearance between the coolant hose and brake fluid line. On November 7, 2018, Alfa Romeo engineering quality concluded that the clearance issue was evident on the 2.0L GME 280HP AWD and determined the scope as vehicles built from September 7, 2016 through September 18, 2017, when a new engine layout for the cooling and brake fluid lines was introduced into production.

As of November 16, 2018, Alfa Romeo had identified approximately no CAIRs or VOQs and only 4 field reports related to this issue; total warranty is 4 claims. Alfa Romeo was aware of no accidents and no injuries potentially related to this issue, but determined on that date, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install a bracket on the brake fluid line to prevent contact with the coolant hose clamp. If damage is found on the brake line, it will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 15, 2019. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is UB9.

FCA US has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the previous cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of a field action. To ensure consistency, FCA US, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.
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-828.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls More Than 6,000 Alfa Romero Giulia Vehicles for Brake Line Defect

2017-2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: Recall Alert

2017-2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: Recall Alert

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1,000 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell electric vehicles

The Problem: Electronic control unit software responsible for monitoring voltage in the fuel cell stack may misinterpret a minor voltage variance and erroneously shut down the stack in response, which could result in an unexpected loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a crash.

Honda noted that this is a follow-up to a similar recall issued in February for 2017 models. It also noted that it has received no reports of crashes or injuries related to the issue.

The Fix: Dealers will update the ECU software for free…Read more on Cars.com

Sean Reyes2017-2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: Recall Alert

Toyota Corolla Hatchback Recalled Over Transmission Issue

Toyota Corolla Hatchback Recalled Over Transmission Issue

Toyota is recalling about 3,400 of its 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchbacks because of a faulty component in the transmission. If the part fails while the car is in motion, it could cause the vehicle to lose its power. This could increase the risk of a crash—especially if the failure happens when the vehicle is traveling at a high speed, the automaker says…Read more on ConsumerReports.org

Sean ReyesToyota Corolla Hatchback Recalled Over Transmission Issue

Volkswagen Recalls More Than 500 Golf R Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Line Break

Laguna Hills, CA – December 27, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Volkswagen Golf R vehicles due to a potential fuel leak. Recalled vehicles have been manufactured with fuel lines built in a specific time period with dimensional deviations that may affect the correct function of the guiding sleeve. The potential number of units affected is 516.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, due to dimensional deviations at the fuel line, the guiding sleeve that is used in production to support the assembly of the quick connector may be distorted. If this happens, the connection may appear securely locked due to friction (caused by the distorted guiding sleeve) instead of being positively locked. Because of this defect, the underhood fuel supply hose quick connector may not be securely attached to the fuel supply line.

There is a risk that the fuel line may open at the quick connector, causing it to detach from the fuel supply line in the engine bay. This can result in a fuel leak which may cause fuel to enter into the engine compartment. A fuel leak in the engine compartment (and thus in the presence of an ignition source) can increase the risk of a fire. The customer may recognize a fuel odor in the vehicle if a leak occurs.

Timeline of Events

On June 23, 2018, the first loose connection was found in the field and analysis process started immediately with the first checks in factory conducted. On August 08, 2018, the first claimed field parts were received and deeper part analysis started. Between August 08, 2018 and November 05, 2018, there was intensive testing and analysis process carried out to identify the root cause of the issue. Simultaneously, additional checks were implemented in vehicle factory and at supplier. On November 05, 2018, the topic was presented in Pre Product Safety Committee of Volkswagen AG and further details were requested.

On November 09, 2018, the topic was presented in Product Safety Committee of Volkswagen AG, subsequent to which a detailed analysis was carried out regarding the root cause and a clear identification of potentially affected vehicles. On November 28, 2018, the topic was presented in the Volkswagen AG Product Safety Committee where determination of defect was made, and a voluntary recall decided upon

The Solution

Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the affected fuel line connection. The guiding sleeve will be removed, and a tension test will be performed to assure secure locking. This work will be performed free of charge to customers. Volkswagen will not offer a reimbursement program under this recall. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 20Bi. 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-868.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 500 Golf R Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Line Break

GM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules

Laguna Hills, CA – December 27, 2018 – General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab vehicles due to potential issues with airbag modules. The potential number of units affected is 154.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA notification, these vehicles have a retainer ring within the passenger-side airbag module that may have been damaged during the assembly process. This damage could allow gas to escape during airbag inflation and deployment, which would reduce the amount of gas available to fill the airbag. Since the passenger-side frontal air bag module in affected vehicles may have been damaged during assembly, possibly resulting in the air bag not inflating properly in the event of a crash, the risk of injury is significantly increased if a crash does occur.

Timeline of Events

On December 6, 2018, the manufacturer notified Gm of the issue. On December 17, 2018, General Motors LLC (GM) informed the NHTSA. On December 26, 2018, the recall began. This recall is not connected to the widespread Takata airbag recall which has been ongoing, and affected certain Saab, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn and GMC models.

The Solution

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger side air bag module, free of charge. The recall began on December 26, 2018. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020 and GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782. GM’s number for this recall is N182198820.

Courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in a product program and still within the warranty coverage period. 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-868.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules

Ford Motor Company Recalls Nearly 1 Million Ford F-Series Trucks

Ford Motor Company is recalling 874,082 F-150 and Super Duty trucks due to an engine block heater cable that has created a fire concern.

The recall applies to Ford F-150 and F-Series Super Duty trucks in North America, where an engine block heater is used by truck owners to help keep engines warm and start more efficiently on cold winter days. The cable hangs off of the truck and is often attached to an extension cord plugged into a house or garage.

The defect: water and other contaminants may enter the block heater cable’s splice connector causing corrosion and damage. When the heater is plugged in, prolonged corrosion can cause a resistive short and increase the risk of overheating, melting wires, and potential fire…Read more on FordAuthority.com

Sean ReyesFord Motor Company Recalls Nearly 1 Million Ford F-Series Trucks

Daimler Recalls More Than 200,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2018 Cabriolet, Coupe, 4Matic, Plug-In Hybrid and AMG vehicles equipped with Audio 20 head units and automatic child seat recognition due to issues with passenger side airbag protection. The potential number of units affected is 104,663.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, Daimler AG, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, has determined that certain C-Class and GLC vehicles (205 and 253 platforms) which have been equipped with Audio 20 head units and automatic child seat recognition, could have a potential safety risk.

Due to a signal logic error, the status of the passenger side airbags may display incorrectly in the center console, resulting in the user failing to be informed correctly about the actual activation status of the passenger side airbags. A potential false passenger classification could increase the risk of injury for the passenger in case of a crash, and with an incorrect activation status shown, the user will not be warned to correct the situation for maximum safety.

If the passenger air bag is incorrectly displayed as ‘ON’ when it is not, both the driver and the front seat passenger may be unaware that the air bag will not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing their risk of injury. While there is a chance that the customer may be made aware of the issue by an incorrect display of the passenger airbag status (such as both on and off lights glowing), in other cases the customer will not receive an advance warning due to the nature of issue (the incorrect light glowing).

Timeline of Events

In late February 2018, DAG launched initial investigations based on an isolated field report which described a condition in which both the airbag off and on light were displayed at the same time. In March 2018, a second vehicle showed similar symptoms in the field, and was requested by DAG for further analysis. By late April 2018, these analyses indicated that there was a potential signal logic error between the seat mat, the head unit, and the display in the center console on the second vehicle. In May 2018, subsequent analyses were begun in an attempt to identify a possible root cause for the error.

In June and July 2018, analyses results pointed to a potential timing issue of the head unit. In August 2018, DAG and the supplier performed further testing, and the potential for both lights to be displayed at the same time, and also an incorrect light to be displayed, was confirmed. In September 2018, the potential consequences of an incorrect display of the passenger airbag status were analyzed, and in October 2018, a plant action was launched to rework first, all affected vehicles within reach of the plant at that time, and second, to rework potentially affected vehicles in the field as they were identified. In November 2018, DAG determined that the possibility of a potential safety risk existing could not be definitively ruled out and issued the recall. A change of the head unit software ensured that this issue could no longer occur from October 12, 2018, onwards.

The Solution

MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will update the audio head unit software, free of charge. All involved vehicles remain covered under the new vehicle warranty. The recall is expected to begin January 2, 2019. Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. 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-838.

Sean ReyesDaimler Recalls More Than 200,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Volkswagen Recalls More Than 1,000 Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Leak

Laguna Hills, CA – December 24, 2018 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2018 Audi TT Roadster, TT Coupe, A3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet vehicles due to a fault in the fuel line connection. The potential number of units affected is 1,104.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, recalled vehicles were manufactured between March 9, 2018 and April 13, 2018 and have received fuel lines built in a specific time period where dimensional deviations in production may have occurred. These vehicles are also equipped with a guiding sleeve for the assembly of the fuel line to the quick connector. Due to the dimensional deviations at the fuel line, the guiding sleeve may not be leak-proof at the connection point.

The underhood fuel supply hose quick connector may also not be securely attached to the fuel supply line, creating a risk that the fuel line may open at the quick connector, which may cause fuel to leak into the engine compartment. Leaking fuel in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire. The customer may recognize a fuel odor in the vehicle prior to fuel igniting.

Timeline of Events

On September 20, 2018, the U.S. market was made aware of a possible issue and began working to obtain additional information. On October 05, 2018, the U.S. market informed AUDI AG about a few single field cases on 2018 MY Audi A3 vehicles (vehicles with production dates in early April 2018). The regular fault elimination process was started. On November 01, 2018, Audi received information from Volkswagen AG about a similar issue occurring on certain Volkswagen brand vehicles. The Audi AG Product Safety Committee was subsequently informed.

Between November 5 and 27, 2018, Audi AG conducted an investigation of field incidents, and an analysis regarding root cause, scope, influences and impacts, and the results were such that on November 28, 2018, the Audi AG Product Safety Committee made the determination of a safety defect and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

The Solution

Volkswagen will notify owners, and Audi dealers will inspect the affected fuel line connection. The guiding sleeve will be removed, and a tension test will be performed to assure secure locking. The dealers will secure the fuel line connection, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2018. Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 20BK.  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-863.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 1,000 Vehicles Due to Potential Fuel Leak