Volkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

 

Herndon, Va. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2015 Passat, 2015-2016 Eos, 2015-2017 CC, 2016-2017 TT Roadster, TT Coupe, 2017 Audi R8 Coupe, and R8 Spyder vehicles. This is part of a vast and ongoing scheduled recall of vehicles with Takata air bags. The potential number of units affected is 119,394.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed Jan. 11, the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate used as a propellant in the air bag inflators in the passenger side airbags of these vehicles poses a risk at some point in the future for all vehicles thus equipped.

If the driver’s frontal air bag deploys, the defective inflator could potentially rupture. The degrading ammonium nitrate present in the propellant wafers may explode under excessive internal pressure in the event of a crash which causes deployment of the driver’s frontal air bag.

In very rare cases, the explosion might mean that metal fragments could pass through the air bag cushion material and go flying into the interior of the vehicle from the passenger front side, potentially striking the vehicle occupants and conceivably resulting in serious injury or death.

This recall is part of a massive worldwide recall of vehicles with Takata airbags that is being conducted in waves starting with the vehicles that are at highest risk of propellant degradation (older vehicles and vehicles in Zones 1, 2, and 3.)  All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from regions subject to high absolute humidity.

Timeline of Events

The filing was made as required per the NHTSA Coordinated Remedy Order. The date of determination for Audi was Jan. 2, and the date of determination for Volkswagen was Jan. 9, 2019. Volkswagen will cooperate with NHTSA to prioritize and stagger vehicle repairs by joining NHTSA’s coordinated remedy program. The remedy components for this defect are not ammonium-nitrate based accelerant air bag inflators.

According to Consumer Reports, the investigation began in 2008, after reports of exploding air bags and flying metal shrapnel surfaced. The cause turned out to be degraded propellant wafers in the air bag inflators manufactured by Takata, which were installed in millions of cars between 2002 and 2015. Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled in what may turn out to be the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.

The Solution

The recall is expected to begin in March 2019. Volkswagen will notify owners by mail, and be instructed to take their vehicle to an authorized Audi dealer. Dealers will replace the driver’s frontal air bag inflator with an alternative part, free of charge. Audi and Volkswagen are excluding reimbursement for costs associated with replacement of air bag inflators. The Audi recalled component description is 4S0.880.201, and the Volkswagen’s part numbers are 3C8.880.201 and 561.880.201

Volkswagen owners may contact customer service at 1-800-893-5298; Audi owners should call 1-800-253-2834. The number for this recall is 69S8 (Audi) and 69Y5 (Volkswagen). Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for these recalls is 19V014000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Nearly 300,000 More 2010-2017 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Defects

 

Sandy Springs, Ga. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain Coupe, Cabrio, 4Matic and RWD vehicles that were sold or every registered in “Zone A”, “Zone B” or “Zone C”.  A total of 288,779 units may be affected:

• 2010-2011 C300 vehicles
• 2010-2014 C300 4Matic, C350, C63 AMG and E350 Coupe vehicles
• 2010-2015 GLK350 4Matic and GLK350 RWD vehicles
• 2011-2014 C300 4Matic, C350, C63 AMG, E350 Cabrio, E350 Coupe, SLS AMG Coupe, and SLS AMG Cabrio vehicles
• 2011-2017 E550 Cabrio and E550 Coupe vehicles
• 2012-2014 C250, E350 4Matic Coupe and SLS AMG Cabrio vehicles
• 2012-2015 C250 Coupe, C350 4Matic Coupe, C350 Coupe and C63 AMG Coupe vehicles
• 2013-2015 GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic vehicles
• 2014-2015 C250 Coupe, C350 4Matic Coupe, C350 Coupe, C63 AMG Coupe and GLK 350 vehicles
• 2015-2017 E400 4Matic Coupe, E400 Cabrio and E400 Coupe vehicles

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed on January 9th, non-desiccated ammonium nitrate was used in the air bag inflators in the passenger side air bags of these vehicles. The inflator, if deployed in a degraded state, can explode, with its debris potentially striking any occupants and leading to injury or death.

The issues with these Takata air bags have been well documented, and this latest Mercedes-Benz announcement is part of a massive worldwide recall of vehicles with Takata air bags, deployed in segments, with vehicles at highest risk being recalled first. The potential for rupture can be affected by climates that are extreme in regard to heat and humidity, particularly in the southern U.S. states and territories.

Degradation speed may also be affected by other factors, including the specific environment in which a vehicle is kept and operated, the individual inflator and propellant configuration, and manufacturing variability from facility to facility. The common thread is the inflators housed in the Takata airbags and installed in the passenger side of the front of the car.

While the NHTSA has determined that all Takata air bags with this defect will eventually become dangerous, the defect is not considered high-risk until degradation occurs, which can take years even in climates with temperature cycling and absolute humidity. All manufacturers have agreed to comply with the recall in stages to allow new air bag supplies to be manufactured and distributed to dealers.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 2, 2019, Takata filed another Defect Information Report with NHTSA according to the previous schedule in the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the Coordinated Remedy Order, announcing a defect in some of the subject inflators. Daimler AG (“DAG”), the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has not been made aware of any confirmed field incidents with the subject Takata PSPI-2 inflators in their vehicles.

Nonetheless, based on the information provided and the long term investigation and subsequent recalls, and out of an abundance of caution, DAG is voluntarily conducting a recall of the vehicles equipped with the subject Takata PSPI-2 inflators in zones A, B, and C in the United States and its territories, in accordance with the 3rd Amendment to the Consent Order and as previously planned in conjunction with Takata and the NHTSA.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz is in the process of notifying owners . An interim letter was mailed between Feb. 1 and March 8, and a second letter will be sent when parts are available. Authorized dealers will then replace the passenger-side front air bag modules in the potentially affected Mercedes-Benz vehicles, at no cost. In the cases of owners who have already addressed this defect by paying out of their own pocket, Mercedes-Benz will provide notice regarding reimbursement to owners in the customer letter.

Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for these recalls is 19V010000.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Nearly 300,000 More 2010-2017 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Defects

Subaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List

 

Camden, N.J. – February 27, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2010-2013 Forester, 2010-2014 Tribeca, WRX, Outback, Legacy, and 2010-2011 Impreza vehicles sold or ever registered in specific regions, in two separate but related recalls. The range of vehicles included specific models and years, and is confined to potentially hot and humid regions. The total potential number of units affected is 373,514.

Vehicles being recalled are from the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,  Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed on January 9th, all the recalled vehicles are equipped with Takata air bag inflators with propellant wafers that contain non-desiccated ammonium nitrate. The injectors are part of full passenger frontal air bag modules which have been utilized over many years as original equipment and replacement equipment. Takata’s investigation to date has revealed that the propellant wafers can degrade over time, especially when exposed over long periods of time to high absolute humidity and drastic temperature cycling.

This degradation can lead to explosive combustion in the event of a crash that triggers deployment of the passenger frontal air bag. Excessive internal pressure when the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated can cause the inflator to rupture, causing metal fragments to pass through the air bag. As the sharp metal fragments exit the air bag module at high speed, they can enter the vehicle interior and strike the front seat passenger, driver or other occupants of the vehicle, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

On November 3, 2015, the NHTSA and Takata entered into a Consent Order surrounding the defective airbag issue. On May 4, 2016, the NHTSA and Takata forged an amended agreement on the basis of testing and analysis conducted by Takata (and further independent testing by third party unaffiliated research organizations). Due to the results of those tests, the NHTSA concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will, at some point in the future, reach an unstable and dangerous threshold level of degradation. NHTSA then ordered Takata to file certain defect information reports (DIRs) which Takata submitted. On May 20, 2016, Subaru determined to launch a voluntary recall.

Subsequently, further DIRs were submitted by Takata in January of 2017, 2018 and 2019 in accordance with the schedule outlined by the NHTSA to roll out waves of recalls in order of priority and highest risk, and to allow time for manufacture of appropriate replacement parts to stock dealers in preparation for the recall. Subaru has issued regular recalls for subsequent series of vehicles in cooperation with the Takata DIR filings.

The Solution

The recall began January 25, 2019. Subaru is notifying owners to take their vehicles to dealerships where dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs. In the owner letters, Subaru has warned owners not to allow passengers to ride i the front passenger seat until the defect has been remedied. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614.

Subaru’s numbers for these recalls are TKA-19 and TKB-19. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Campaign Numbers for these recalls are 19V007000 and 19V008000.

Sean ReyesSubaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List

Toyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

 

Toyota, Japan – Feb. 27, 2019 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain vehicles equipped with Takata air bags containing inflators that can become hazardous over time. Affected vehicles cover units in a range manufactured between 2010 and 2017, from areas determined to be most at risk for propellant degradation. This includes most Southern, Mideastern and Midwestern states (classed as Zones A, B, and C) as well as U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The potential number of units affected is 1,299,448. Vehicles affected may include:

• 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner vehicles
• 2011-2015 Scion xB vehicles
• 2011-2015 Toyota Sienna vehicles
• 2010-2014 Lexus IS350C and IS250C vehicles
• 2011-2015 Lexus IS-F vehicles
• 2014-2017 Lexus GX460 vehicles
• 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla vehicles
• 2011-2013 Corolla Matrix vehicles

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed Jan. 9, the subject vehicles all are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators of the Takata PSPI-6 designation. These airbags contain a non-desiccated, phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant. It has been determined that propellant degradation is certain to occur at some point in time after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity or temperature.

If a non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated during a collision, it may result in a rupture of the inflator, which can subsequently cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior. The high speed deployment of the fragments can cause severe injury or death to vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 2, Takata filed Part 573 reports in accordance with terms specified in the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order between Takata and the NHTSA. Based on Takata’s Part 573 reports, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall about a week later to identify the subject vehicles and replace the air bag inflator or assembly. Toyota has, however, stated that it does not, by this action, fully endorse the content of Takata’s Part 573 reports.

Based on Toyota’s defect information report, the automaker is unable to provide an estimate of the percentage of vehicles that are an immediate danger. As noted in the May 2016 Amendment to the Takata Consent Order, the length of time that a non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflator will have reached the point where they pose an unreasonable risk to safety could be quite long and is dependent on the age of the inflator and environmental exposure, among other factors. The recall is being deployed in phases with vehicles deemed most at risk – as well as those located in hot and humid regions – being prioritized.

The Solution

The recall began Feb. 15. By March 10, all known owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will have been notified of the recall by first class mail, and instructed to return their vehicles to a Toyota or Lexus dealer, as applicable. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will either replace the front passenger airbag inflator only, or replace the entire airbag assembly, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are “Zone A” – Toyota: G0P, Lexus: GLG; “Zone B” – Toyota: G0R, Lexus GLH; “Zone C” – Toyota: H0A, and Lexus: HLA. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V005000.

Sean ReyesToyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

Ford Adds Nearly 800,000 More Vehicles to Takata Airbag recall List

 

Dearborn, Mich. – Feb. 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling a range of vehicles from the years 2010-2014 that have been sold or registered at any point in certain states or territories of the U.S. This is part of the wider ongoing Takata air bag recall, and is in regard to the vehicles determined to be most at risk from the potential hazard. The potential number of units affected is 782,384. Vehicles include certain:

• 2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles
• 2010-2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2010-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2010-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2011-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2014 Ford Mustang vehicles

Territories affected include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, most states affected are those in areas designated Zones A,B, and C for the purposes of Takata-associated recalls.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed on Jan. 7, the vehicles in question were originally equipped with a Takata air bag that included an ammonium nitrate powered inflator within the assembly of the passenger frontal air bag module. (The air bag inflators were also used as replacements, so vehicles which have had the air bag replaced may still have a faulty device.)

If a vehicle which is so equipped is involved in a crash and the front passenger airbag deploys, there is a significant risk of the inflators exploding. This is due to propellant degradation, which typically occurs in response to long-term exposure to weather in hot and humid environments.

If an inflator explodes out of the front of the airbag, flying pieces of metal can strike passengers and the driver and cause serious injuries or death.

The Zones designated for the Takata recall are being prioritized as their climate leads to more rapid degradation, and vehicles are being recalled in waves with the oldest makes and models first, do to the higher risk involved for such vehicles and the pace of production for replacement air bags being limited by the sheer number needed to replace all in service.

Timeline of Events

On May 3, 2016, an Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order was filed after the NHTSA evaluated the rate at which propellant degradation may occur in non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators. It was adjudged that there was significant variation based on geographic factors affecting both environmental heat and humidity. The department further concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will reach a threshold level of degradation at some point, at which time the inflator has a significantly increased risk of becoming unreasonably dangerous.

According to previous filings, other than inflators already under recall, Takata is not aware of any test ruptures in ballistic testing or confirmed field incidents related to the subject non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators. On Dec. 17, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided to issue the next phase of this recall to cover vehicles from the priority zones and years covering 2010 to 2014.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail with instructions to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have their passenger frontal air bag inflator replaced, free of charge, with one that utilizes an inflator without ammonium nitrate. According to the owner letter from Ford, an appointment must be scheduled in accordance with parts and scheduling availability at the chosen dealer. The recall began Feb. 18, 2019. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall 19S01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V001000.

Sean ReyesFord Adds Nearly 800,000 More Vehicles to Takata Airbag recall List

Ferrari Adds More Than 11,000 Vehicles to the Takata Air Bags Recall List

 

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – February 26, 2019 – Ferrari North America (Ferrari) is recalling certain Ferrari vehicles nationwide. This is part of the larger international Takata air bag recall, which affects a wide range of vehicles (models, makes, and years) across multiple manufacturers. The potential number of units affected is 11,176. Affected models include those from years 2014-2018:

• 2014-Ferrari California
• 2014-2015 Ferrari 458 Italia
• 2014-2016 Ferrari FF
• 2014-2017 Ferrari F12
• 2015-2018 Ferrari California T
• 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A
• 2016 Ferrari F60 America
• 2016-2017 Ferrari F12 tdf
• 2016-2018 Ferrari 488 GTB
• 2017-2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
• 458 Spider and 488 Spider

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report filed Jan. 9, 2019, the specified vehicles were equipped with a certain Takata air bag inflator as part of the fully assembled passenger frontal air bag module. These models were used both in originally equipped vehicles and as replacements in later years.

Vehicles with these inflators that are involved in a crash in which the front passenger air bag deploys are at risk of the inflators exploding. Such an explosion can be prompted by propellant degradation that may occur after long-term exposure to temperature cycling and absolute humidity. Inflator explosion may result in shrapnel bursting from the air bag mount area. Fragments could hit the driver or passengers in the vehicle, and cause serious injury or even death.

Timeline of Events

Takata filed a Defect Information Report with the NHTSA Jan. 2, 2019. Ferrari subsequently filed its own DIR on this incident. As yet, Ferrari is not aware of any confirmed field incidents, warranty claims or consumer complaints about their vehicles that included any of the indicated Takata passenger air bags equipped with the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators.

Ferrari chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles, and is prioritizing its recalls in accordance with the risk, as availability of replacement assemblies is limited and the age of the inflator is a factor in the risk.

This recall follows a previous recall which was issued in June 2018, and which listed the following models from the years 2009-2013.

• 2009-California
• 2010-California and 458 Italia
• 2011-California and 458 Italia
• 2012-458 Italia, 458 Spider, FF and California
• 2013-458 Italia, 458 Spider, FF, F12berlinetta and California

The Solution

Ferrari will notify owners, and dealers will replace the current front passenger airbag assembly which includes a PSPI-2 inflator, with an airbag assembly including a new non-ammonium nitrate inflator free of charge. Any customers who already incurred a cost associated with repair of this defect can send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for reimbursement.

The recall is expected to begin March 9, 2019. Owners may contact Ferrari customer service at 1-866-551-2828. Ferrari’s number for this recall is 65. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V006000.

Sean ReyesFerrari Adds More Than 11,000 Vehicles to the Takata Air Bags Recall List

BMW Recalls More Than 80,000 2007-2013 Vehicles Due to Takata Airbags

 

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey – February 25, 2019 – BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2007-2013 X5 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive48i, X5 xDrive50i and X5 M vehicles, 2008-2014 X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i and X6 M vehicles, 2009-2013 X5 xDrive35d vehicles and 2010-2011 X6 ActiveHybrid vehicles as part of the larger Takata airbag recall, which spans decades of vehicles across multiple manufacturers.  The potential number of units affected is 83,016.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these vehicles are equipped with specific Takata-manufactured air bag inflators as part of their passenger frontal air bag modules. These non-desiccated propellant filled inflator types may have been original equipment or used as replacements.

Due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling, these inflators can become unstable and may explode in the event of a crash that triggers the deployment of the passenger frontal air bag. In the case of an inflator explosion, sharp metal fragments can fly out of the inflator, striking the driver or other occupants and potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

Based upon Takata DIRs that were filed with the NHTSA Jan. 2, 2019, BMW vehicle assembly records were subsequently reviewed to determine what an appropriate potentially affected vehicle population would be, and made the following determination based on recall component differentiation to non-recall component: The recalled component contains a specific non-desiccated ammonium nitrate as the gas generator but the newer remedy part does not.

Propellant wafers in some of the subject inflators degrade over time, which could potentially lead to a violent explosion with flying metal shards in the event of air bag deployment. The potential for such an event occurs in some of the subject inflators after several years of exposure to persistent conditions of high absolute humidity or temperature.

Other factors, such as specific vehicle environment, the inflator and propellant configuration, and manufacturing variability, can also influence the likelihood of an event. Vehicles from southern and coastal areas of the U.S. appear to be more likely to have experienced this degradation. In the face of the latest information from Takata, BMW voluntarily choose to conduct a safety recall to replace the frontal air bags on the affected vehicles. This decision came to pass solely on the basis of information provided by Takata. BMW is unaware of any injuries arising from this issue at the time of the report.

The Solution

Recall notification to owners is planned to begin and end March 4, 2019. The passenger’s front air bag module will be replaced. Owners will be notified by first class mail and instructed to take their vehicle to an authorized BMW center to have the remedy performed for free. Owners who have replaced the air bag module at their own expense prior to the recall notification may be eligible for reimbursement according to the automaker’s reimbursement plan.  Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V017000.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls More Than 80,000 2007-2013 Vehicles Due to Takata Airbags

Chrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – February 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, Ram 4500/5500, 2010-2011 Dodge Dakota, 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger, 2010-2015 Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300, and 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler vehicles as part of the ongoing multi-manufacturer recalls associated with Takata airbags. The potential number of units affected is 1,413,222

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safety Report regarding this matter, Takata’s non-desiccated front passenger air bag inflators containing phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant were installed in certain 2010 MY Dodge Ram 3500 vehicles and have not been addressed by prior recalls. These systems may experience propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high levels of heat, absolute humidity and temperature cycling.

The triggering of a non-desiccated PSAN inflator with degraded propellant, in a vehicle crash where the air bag would naturally deploy, may result in an inflator rupture. That, in turn, might cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior at high speed, potentially injuring or even killing vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology submitted to the NHTSA, in June 2014, the department’s Office of Defects Investigation opened a case based on six inflator rupture incidents involving vehicles produced by five manufacturers. All six cars were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their product lifecycle, and were equipped with Takata inflators. ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators as Takata’s testing of the passenger inflators to date continued to indicate hot and humid area as having the highest risk, but in light of eight more field incidents, the recall was expanded nationally.

On May 4, 2016, NHTSA expanded the scope of the original recalls to include additional vehicles built with non-desiccated PSAN air bag inflators. On May 16, 2016, Takata submitted a 573 Defect Information Report to NHTSA stating that the front programmable smokeless passenger inflator and non-desiccated air bag inflator could contain a safety defect. Since most of the inflator ruptures are associated with long-term PSAN propellant degradation (caused by years of exposure to temperature fluctuations and intrusion of moisture present in the ambient atmosphere), recall populations have occurred in segments with the oldest vehicles from hot and humid locations recalled first.

The Solution

Chrysler is issuing a recall on all affected vehicles. The recall began Feb. 4, 2019, and owners should be contacted on or around Feb. 28. Owners who incurred the cost of repairing a problem may send adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense and a subsequent refund. Also, the automaker’s dealers will replace the defective non-desiccated passenger frontal air bag inflator desiccated PSAN inflator or GUNI inflator free of charge.  Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V018000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

Chrysler to Recall More Than 150,000 Ram Vehicles for Potential Steering Issues

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2019 Ram 1500 DT vehicles due to potential power steering issues caused by a battery ground fastener that was improperly secured at the manufacturing facility. Up to 159,740 units may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the battery ground fastener on the driver-side front fender may have been improperly secured, possibly resulting in a loss of power steering assist. A loss of power steering could vary the steering effort required, which may contribute to oversteer and understeer conditions. This, in turn, can cause a vehicle to crash without prior warning.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 18, 2018, the automaker’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance Predictive Analytics group received a field service report regarding 2019 DT vehicles experiencing an intermittent loss of power steering caused by a loose ground fastener.

During October 2018, VSRC Product Investigations searched field data, warranty and assembly plant processes. An inquiry began Nov. 1, 2018, and between November and December, various Chrysler departments investigated the root cause of the issue and labored to identify risks to customers. Lab testing verified that a loose fastener may cause system voltage diagnostic trouble codes to set in the Electric Power Steering module. As a result of these DTCs, the EPS may shut down, causing failure of the power-steering assist function.

By Jan. 11, 2019, Chrysler identified approximately 24 reports related to this issue, but is unaware of any accidents or injuries. On January 17, 2019, the automaker determined it would be prudent to conduct a voluntary recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall began Feb. 11. Chrysler has notified owners, and dealers who sold the vehicles to their customers will remove the suspect ground fastener, inspect and clean the ground stud and cables as needed, and torque the ground fastener between 18 and 22Nm while ensuring both cables are properly secured. These services will be performed free of charge. Owners who paid to rectify this specific issue themselves may send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense and eventual reimbursement.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V04. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V020000.

Sean ReyesChrysler to Recall More Than 150,000 Ram Vehicles for Potential Steering Issues

Honda Recalls Nearly Half a Million Vehicles for Fuel Pump Issues

 

Torrance, Calif. – February 20, 2019 – Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Acura MDX, 2015-2019 Acura TLX and 2015-2017 Honda Accord vehicles. These models were equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine. The recall is due to potential fuel pump issues, and 437,032 units were potentially affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this incident, sodium particulates contained in low-quality fuels can adhere to certain internal components in the fuel pump. This can eventually lead to buildup, which in turn increases the electrical and mechanical resistance inside the pump, and subsequently reduces fuel pump performance. If a vehicle is operated in surroundings with high ambient temperatures, a reduction in fuel pump performance can restrict vehicle acceleration, cause an engine stall or both. If the engine stalls while the vehicle is moving, the chances of a crash greatly increase.

Timeline of Events

Honda received the first report of an engine stall prior to August 2017. Claims were minimal and infrequent, so Honda made the decision to continue monitoring the market. Between August and September 2017, after additional engine stall reports, Honda launched an investigation. Failed return parts were sent to the fuel-pump supplier. It was known that the fuel pump operating voltage could vary between 10 V-13 V. The supplier was able to recreate the engine stalling condition while operating the fuel pump in 10 V mode.

Between October and November 2017, sodium deposits were found on the brush and commutator components in the failed fuel pumps, and between December 2017 and June 2018 Honda conducted additional tests, determining that low-quality fuels were to blame for the problematic presence of sodium. Recreation tests confirmed that fuel containing greater than one part per million of sodium could result in the aforementioned restriction in regard to safe vehicle acceleration, or potentially result in a stalled engine.

Between July and November 2018, more testing confirmed that when the fuel pump operated in 10 V mode, more sodium could accumulate within it. This situation was found to result in increased mechanical and electrical resistance, and also caused a reduction in fuel pump performance. Poor pmp performance can lead to an engine stall as well as restricted or rough vehicle acceleration. On January 22, 2019, Honda determined that a credible defect related to motor vehicle safety existed. The automaker then made the decision to conduct a safety recall, having received 731 warranty claims and 102 field reports but no accounts of any crashes, injuries or deaths directly related to this issue.

The Solution

According to a media release from Honda, all owners of registered vehciles are being contacted by mail. The notice will request that each owner take their vehicle to an authorized Acura or Honda automobile dealer. Once the car has been brought to the seller, the FI-ECU will be updated with software programming that disallows fuel pump operation in the 10 V range and thus prevents the potential for sodium accumulation. If the vehicle owner informs the dealer that they have experienced an engine stall, and this is confirmable via a diagnostic scan, the fuel pump will also be replaced. Both services will be completed at no cost to the owner. Additionally, any owners who previously paid to have one or both of these repairs completed out of their own pocket will be eligible for reimbursement. The recall is expected to begin March 25, 2019.

Acura’s number for this recall is P3W, while Honda’s is N3X. Owners of potentially affected vehicles can also determine if their vehicles require repair by visiting www.recalls.acura.com or www.recalls.honda.com or by calling (888) 234-2138. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V060000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Nearly Half a Million Vehicles for Fuel Pump Issues