GM Recalls 2017-19 Chevrolet Trax Vehicles For Steering Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – April 26, 2019 – General Motors is recalling certain 2017-2019 Chevrolet Trax vehicles. Improper welding of a joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms may result in the detachment of the arm from the vehicle. This could potentially cause the front wheel to toe outward, impacting the vehicle’s steering and handling and leading to a greater chance of crash. As many as 112,958 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, an improperly welded joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms could fatigue and break, resulting in the vehicle’s lower control arm partially separating from the vehicle. If this were to happen, the front wheel attached to the control arm would toe outward, adversely affecting the vehicle’s steering and potentially causing the tire to rub against the wheel well, increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

A GM dealer filed a field product report Nov. 14, 2018 concerning a left front-control arm that partially separated from a 2018 Chevrolet Trax. Based on a visual inspection of photos of the failed control arm, GM found that the weld connecting the arm to the bushing did not match design specifications. In response, GM’s supplier originally stated that the welds on the failed component part and other control arms produced at its facility conformed to design specs.

Following a formal product investigation Jan. 31, 2019, GM’s supplier confirmed on Feb. 28 that the welds on the failed part did not comply with the applicable design specifications, and that the welds were improperly modified because the lower-control arm stampings also did not match specs.

From March through April, the automaker worked with its supplier to identify affected vehicles that may have been manufactured with the defective part and to assess the condition’s impact on vehicle performance. GM engineers at the Milford Proving Grounds conducted drivability testing April 12 on a Chevrolet Trax vehicle with a front lower-control arm that was cut at the affected weld.

GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority consequently decided April 15 to conduct a safety recall. As of that date, only two warranty claims relating to this condition had been reported for cars sold in the U.S., with no evidence of any crashes.   

The Solution

GM has not yet provided a notification schedule for the recall. The automaker will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the left and right front lower-control arms, replacing them as necessary, free of charge.

Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is A182202370. 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 19V312000.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls 2017-19 Chevrolet Trax Vehicles For Steering Issues

Honda Recalls 2018-19 Vehicles Because of Timing Belt Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – April 26, 2019 – Honda is recalling certain 2018-2019 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot vehicles and 2019 Acura RLX, RLX Sport Hybrid, TLX and Honda Odyssey and Ridgeline vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the timing belt teeth may separate from the belt itself, potentially resulting in engine stalling, which could cause a crash. As many as 93,946 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, the timing belt teeth may separate from the belt. This may result in an engine stall, which could increase the risk of crash.

Timeline of Events

From August to October 2018, upon receiving the first report of a stalled engine due to a defective timing belt, Honda opened an investigation. Three additional reports were received during this time.

In December, the supplier confirmed that an improperly hardened timing belt was the cause of teeth separating from the component. The supplier continued its investigation to find the cause of the faulty manufacturing. 

Following re-creation tests by the supplier, it was found that a particular mold used to produce the timing belts starting in May 2018 did not allow the belt to properly vulcanize and harden. The mold had been modified to prevent pressure from leaking. This problem, together with a bottom plate that had the moisture drain path partially blocked by excess rubber deterioration, adversely affected vulcanization. 

In April, Honda decided that a motor vehicle safety defect existed and launched a safety recall. As of April 4, the automaker received 15 warranty claims, 15 field reports, and no evidence of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall will begin June 1, 2019. Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicle, replacing any affected timing belt free of charge. Vehicles receiving replacement belts will also have the engine inspected and any damaged components replaced at no cost.

Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is L4M. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura’s number for this recall is Z4L. 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 19V298000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2018-19 Vehicles Because of Timing Belt Defect

Ford Recalls 2015-19 Pickup Trucks Due To Engine Block Heater Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – April 17, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2015-2019 Ford F-150 and 2017-2019 Ford F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty, F-450 Super Duty and F-550 Super Duty pickup trucks. The affected vehicles have engine block heater cable splice connectors that were insufficiently inspected during a previous recall. The cables may have been damaged, which could cause a short, increasing the likelihood of overheated or melted wiring and chance of fire. As many as 131,068 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, during the prior recall and repair process the connector pins in the block heater cable’s splice connector may have been broken or fractured. A short could then occur in the damaged cable, potentially leading to melted or overheated wiring and the subsequent risk of a fire.

Timeline of Events

The report of an under-hood fire in a 2017 F-150 pickup was first brought to Ford’s attention Feb. 28, 2019. The fire broke out when the engine block heater was plugged into a wall outlet. After inspection, greasing and reconnection, the vehicle was returned to service. Subsequent inspection later revealed that the fire had very likely been caused by the engine block heater cable, specifically a separated male pin in the splice connector.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group requested X-ray scans of new production and warranty-returned block heater cable connectors for signs of potential damage in the splice connector. Examination of the new cables showed that the pins were properly crimped, with no signs of damage, while the returned warranty connector scans were inconclusive.

Further review of field-returned parts in March 2019 revealed that connector pins could become partially or completely broken when the connector ends are manipulated in a lateral bending or twisting motion during connector separation. In addition, twisting or flexing the two connector ends could potentially fracture one or more of the three male terminals inside the molded connector, which would not be visible to the technician. Other factors contributing to damaged connectors could include pre-existing debris or corrosion.

After reviewing the results of the investigation, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided April 1 to approve a field action.   

The Solution

The recall will begin April 22, 2019. Ford will notify all owners to return their vehicles for service, at which time the dealers will disable the engine block heater from being used. When replacement cables become available, a second notice will be mailed and dealers will replace the engine block heater cord, free of charge.

Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S11. 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 19V278000.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls 2015-19 Pickup Trucks Due To Engine Block Heater Issue

Mazda Recalls 2016-18 Vehicles For Windshield Wiper Failure

 

Laguna Hills, CA – April 16, 2019 – Mazda North American Operations is recalling certain 2016-2018 Mazda 3 vehicles due to potentially inoperative front windshield wipers. Lack of visibility resulting from this issue could increase the risk of a crash. As many as 187,798 vehicles could be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, a defective windshield wiper relay could cause the front wipers to stop functioning. The problem stems from the heat generated during normal operation causing metal deposits to form on the relay, resulting in the sticking of relay contacts. When this happens, the defective component disrupts electrical power to the wiper motor. If the wipers become non-operative, the driver’s loss of visibility could increase the chance of a crash.

Timeline of Events

Mazda received the first reports of this issue Nov. 26, 2015 from a non-U.S. market. By February 2016, an investigation revealed that the problem was due to contamination and metal deposits occurring during the manufacturing process of the relay. The automaker began working with its suppliers August 2016 to uncover the root cause of the deposits. A very small amount of silicone had been detected at the contact points.

As the investigation continued, Mazda determined that only Mazda 3 models were affected, due to the specification of a capacitor in the wiper motor. By June 2017, silicon was ruled out as a root cause. In July, the wiper motor capacitor specification was changed as a preventive measure.

Although the origin of the problem had still not been discovered by Oct. 3, 2017, Mazda took the additional countermeasure of changing the wiper relay in the front body control module.

From January to August 2018, despite the fact that field failure rates were reported to be decreasing, the problem continued. In October, Mazda looked into the possibility of multiple root causes, including the wiper relay design, the wiper motor capacitor specification and welding waste of the fixation point of contact.

From November to December 2018, the automaker collected parts from the field for further investigation. By February 2019, Mazda determined that the reduced failure rate could not be assured of continuing, so it decided to conduct a proactive field action April 1, making plans for a recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall will begin June 3, 2019. Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front body control module with a new module that uses an improved wiper relay design, free of charge.

Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500, option 4. Mazda’s number for this recall is 3219D. 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 19V272000.

Sean ReyesMazda Recalls 2016-18 Vehicles For Windshield Wiper Failure

Honda Recalls 2014-2019 Acura MDX and MDX Sport Hybrid Vehicles For Taillight Issues

 

Laguna Hills, CA – April 9, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2014-2019 Acura MDX and 2017-2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid vehicles. Moisture could enter the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, potentially resulting in non-operational taillights and tailgate lights. As many as 322,897 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, if moisture leaks into the tailgate lid lights, it could possibly lead to loss of function for both these lights and the inner taillights. Brake lights and headlights are not affected. Should this happen, the vehicle would be less visible to other motorists on the road, particularly at night, increasing the chance of an accident or crash.

Timeline of Events

Honda first received complaints of exterior light failures between February and September 2014, subsequently launching an investigation. The automaker, discovering that the failure resulted from moisture entering the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, decided to apply adhesives to provide better sealing and also to change the gasket to a more robust material. Since the number of original claims was minimal, Honda continued to monitor the situation.

As complaints increased, however, Honda relaunched the investigation December 2015 to January 2016. Another design improvement to increase moisture resistance was initiated. Since the number of claims did not significantly drop after this action, Honda reopened the investigation March March 2017 to May 2018. The automaker began collecting parts from the field to understand the scope of the taillight failure and to determine possible repair solutions.

The addition of tailgate lid lights featuring deformation-resistant gaskets began on the assembly line Oct. 23, 2018 as a process quality improvement effort.

Honda ultimately determined that a defect related to motor vehicle safety existed, and decided to conduct a recall March 21, 2019. As of March 21, Honda had received 4,414 warranty claims, 17 field reports and no evidence of crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall will begin April 29, 2019. Honda will notify Acura owners, and dealers will modify the tailgate lid lights and install updated gaskets and a wiring sub-harness, or will replace both tailgate lid lights if necessary. The repairs will be performed free of charge.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is M49. 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 19V256000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2014-2019 Acura MDX and MDX Sport Hybrid Vehicles For Taillight Issues

Volvo Recalls 2018-19 XC60 and S90 Vehicles For Front Seat Defect

 

Laguna Hills, CA – April 5, 2019 – Volvo Car USA is recalling certain 2018-2019 XC60 and S90 vehicles. The rear flange nuts on the driver and passenger front seat rail may not have been installed during assembly. If a crash were to happen, the missing nuts could affect the front seat structure and position, increasing the chance of injury. As many as 2,297 vehicles may be involved.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, because of potentially missing flange nuts, the front driver and passenger seats may move during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to front-seat occupants. Installation of the flange nuts may have been omitted as the result of an error during the supplier’s assembly process, compromising the front seat’s structure and position.

Timeline of Events

Volvo received information from its supplier March 4, 2019, indicating issues in their production during a certain period of time meant the quality of delivered components could not be guaranteed. A review was initiated immediately and the potential issue went to the Critical Concern Management Team (CCMT), which began an internal investigation March 6. This led to the CCMT identifying the issue as critical. Consequently, based on its internal analysis and supplier documents, Volvo decided March 20 to institute a worldwide recall of all affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall will begin May 17, 2019. Volvo will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front seat rails for missing flange nuts, installing them as necessary, free of charge to car owners. In addition, the supplier process has been updated and improved.

Owners may contact Volvo customer service at 1-800-458-1552. Volvo’s number for this recall is R19931. 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 19V220000.

Sean ReyesVolvo Recalls 2018-19 XC60 and S90 Vehicles For Front Seat Defect