Toyota recalls vehicles with defective brakes

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 31, 2019 — Toyota Motor North America has recalled almost 7,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brakes, according to an organizational press release. The safety action affects multiple models across the Toyota and Lexus brands, including:

  • 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sport utility vehicles
  • 2019-2020 Toyota Prius Prime sedans
  • 2020 Toyota Prius sedans
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedans
  • 2019 Lexus UX 250h crossovers
  • 2019 Lexus ES 300h sedans
  • 2019 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h coupes

The Japanese automaker has yet to speculate just how many of the recalled vehicles could actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with brake assemblies that have improperly manufactured and failure-prone booster pumps. Should these features falter, both the brake assist and Vehicle Stability Control modules may also stop functioning, drastically reducing vehicle drivability and increasing the risk of an accident. And in addition to posing an immense danger to owners, occupants and pedestrians, the defect creates a condition that violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 126, which requires “electronic stability control systems on passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 Kg (10,000 pounds) or less,” according to the NHTSA.

Timeline of Events

Toyota has yet to release more specific details on the investigation that lead to this recall.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to assess all recalled vehicles and, if necessary, replace their brake booster pumps at no cost to customers. Toyota intends to notify owners throughout the month of September 2019 via first-class mail. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Toyota customer service personnel by calling (800) 331-4331, or reach out to Lexus staff at (800) 255-3987. Owners can always contact the NHTSA directly by using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective brakes

Volkswagen recalls Tiguan and CC for out-of-the-blue airbags

Auburn Hills, MI – July 17, 2019 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) has recalled 27,822 vehicles whose may airbags may randomly go off  or not go off when needed. The recall includes:

  • 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan compact SUVs
  • 2016 Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan compact SUVs
  • 2015 VW CC cars
  • 2016 VW CC cars

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the airbag control module that is in charge of deploying the airbags. A defective capacitor – a device that sits in the module and powers the airbag – may deactivate the airbags or,  in rare cases, cause them to go off unexpectedly.

The defect is caused by an error on the part of the supplier, ZF Group. Since 2018, the German auto parts manufacturer has been subject to at least 68 lawsuits, as reported.


If the airbags inflate without a warning, they can injure vehicle occupants and cause the driver to crash. If they fail to deploy in a crash, occupants are less protected from impact. In fact, their risk of fatal injury is 11% higher than it would be if the airbags were working properly

Warning signs

A turned on airbag warning light may indicate airbag failure. Drivers are advised to immediately take the car in for repair if the light comes on.

The repair

Volkswagen dealers will update the car with software that will monitor the electrical activity in the airbag control module. If the software detects a problem within a 10-year extended warranty period, Volkswagen will replace the module for free. The update has been available since November 13, 2019.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Close to 10,000 vehicles still need to be fixed under this VW airbag recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Note: February 22, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have rewritten it to include the best, most up-to-date information.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls Tiguan and CC for out-of-the-blue airbags

Porsche recalls vehicles with defective airbag control modules

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 31, 2019 — Porsche Cars North America has recalled more than 7,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bag control modules, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple Porsche models, including:

  • 2016-2017 Porsche 911 coupes produced between June 30, 2015, and April 16, 2016.
  • 2016-2017 Porsche Boxster coupes produced between July 1, 2015, and March 15, 2016.
  • 2016 Porsche Cayman coupes produced between July 8, 2015, and April 18, 2016.
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera hatchbacks produced between June 23, 2015, and April 7, 2016.

The German automaker suspects just 1% of the recalled vehicles contain the defective components.

The Defect

The recalled vehicles potentially contain air bag control modules with defective capacitors that could cause current deviation, leading to changes in equivalent series resistance levels. ESR fluctuation could catalyze unexpected air bag and seatbelt pretensioner deployment or inhibit airbag functionality. Both outcomes increase the risk of an accident. As a consequence, the defect poses a serious safety hazard to owners and occupants. That said, the automaker has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Porsche’s airbag control module supplier, ZF Group, based in Germany, received a report from Kia Motors in August 2011 describing a situation in which the owner of a vehicle featuring the brand’s products was involved in a collision, during which his air bags failed to deploy, according to NHTSA documents. ZF group investigated the incident and determined electrical overstress to be the cause of the incident. Less than one year later, another Kia owner, this one in Egypt, had a similar experience, which ZF Group again linked to EOS.

The parts vendor received four additional reports throughout 2015 — three involving Kia vehicles and one involving a Hyundai Motor Company vehicle — which detailed instances of air bag malfunction. ZF Group links all incidents to EOS and in January 2016 contacts the NHTSA for assistance. The company collaborated with various automakers, parts providers and the NHTSA that year to study the problem in-depth. The work continued into 2017, during which time ZF Group issued multiple customer communications and received new reports of air bag deployment failure.

Hyundai issued a voluntary safety recall for select vehicles outfitted with ZF Group airbag control modules in February 2018. Kia followed suit in June 2018, at which point the NHTSA advised ZF Group to launch an independent recall for its air bag control modules. The company filed the official Part 573 paperwork June 13, 2018. Porsche received a copy of this recall June 24, 2019 and on July 10, 2019, elected to initiate its own recall campaign.

The Solution

The German automaker intends to direct dealers to assess the air bag control modules in affected vehicles and replace them if necessary, free of charge. Porsche will notify dealers Sept. 15, 2019 and contact owners via first-class mail within 60 days of that date, per NHTSA documentation. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Porsche customer service personnel by calling (800) 767-7243. Callers should use the recall identification code AKB4. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesPorsche recalls vehicles with defective airbag control modules

Errant Headlights Triggers Small Scale Maserati Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – July 29, 2019 – Maserati North America plans on recalling approximately 427 Levante model vehicles due to a headlight issue that could cause temporary blindness for oncoming drivers. The problem is believed to be linked to misalignment, in which the headlights were misadjusted beyond the maximum height permitted under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. The vehicles subject to the recall are 2019 models.

Affected owners are urged to remove their automobiles from the road and return them to an authorized Maserati dealer so the proper fix can be implemented free of charge. Official notifications are due to be distributed starting Aug. 26, 2019.

The Defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maserati seeks to recall up to 427 of its 2019 Levante vehicles over faulty headlights. The specific nature of the problem concerns the adaptive front lighting system, the headlights of which may have been misadjusted at some point during assembly.

Per FMVSS No. 108, or “Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment,” the cutoff angle for headlights can be no higher than 0.4 degrees down from the H-H line. The 420-plus Levatis under recall notices all have headlights that are positioned higher than the maximum gradient allowed under FMVSS. This presents a safety issue for motorists approaching the affected vehicles that increases the risk of a collision due to possibly blinding the oncoming driver.

Timeline of Events

This issue first came to light on May 10, 2019, when personnel for the luxury automaker began testing of the Levantes’ vertical headlamps. At least 40 of the vehicles with adaptive front lighting system technology were misaligned. Those suspicions were confirmed in follow-up testing, which began approximately a month later on June 11. By July 3, Maserati decided a voluntary safety recall of the model was the best path forward and got in touch with federal officials about their concern July 11. The NHTSA acknowledged Maserati’s notification approximately two weeks later.

The Solution

Starting Aug. 26, Maserati will notify those impacted by this recall. Operators are advised to take their cars to a nearby dealership so their headlights can be corrected. Per usual, the repair will come at no expense.

For more information on this and other automotive recalls, visit

Sean ReyesErrant Headlights Triggers Small Scale Maserati Recall

Chrysler recalls trucks with defective fuel lines

Laguna Hill, Calif. — July 26, 2019 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel line assemblies, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel pickup trucks produced between May 9, 2019, and May 18, 2019; 2019 Dodge RAM 3500 diesel pickup trucks and cab chassis produced between May 7-18, 2019 and 2019 Dodge RAM 4500 and 5500 diesel cab chassis. The American automaker suspects just 10% of the recalled vehicles contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could contain fuel lines with incorrectly configured end fittings that are prone to leakage. These problematic parts drastically increase the risk of engine fire and therefore pose a serious risk to owners, occupants and pedestrians. However, FCA has yet to receive reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the defective fuel lines.

Timeline of Events

The FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an investigation May 21, 2019, after personnel from the FCA quality department alerted it to leaking fuel line assemblies found at a Cummins diesel engine production plant. The VSRC then initiated several internal actions, including multiple packaging studies and an exhaustive review of Cummins’ records to grasp the approximate number of potential ignition sources present within associated vehicle engine compartments.

That organization also spearheaded customer-consequence studies, remedy tests, root-cause investigations and vehicle-scope analyses. These inquiries, all of which unfolded throughout May 2019, revealed that the leaking fuel lines could drip gasoline directly onto multiple combustible engine parts and cause fires. And the root-cause investigation showed that the leakage could be traced to incorrectly formed fuel line end fittings. Cummins confirmed these findings through dyno tests conducted during the week of May 27, 2019.

The VSRC confirmed the suspected field population in early June 2019 by assessing all vehicles on quality hold, along with those already in the field. The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee then reviewed the VSRC’s final findings June 20, 2019, and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers test and, if necessary, replace the fuel lines in recalled vehicles, free of charge. The automaker intends to notify dealers via first-class mail Aug. 16, 2019. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with FCA customer service representatives by calling (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the recall code V76. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls trucks with defective fuel lines

Subaru recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 26, 2019 — Subaru of America has recalled dozens of sport utility vehicles potentially equipped with defective driveshafts, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Subaru Ascent SUVs produced between June 8, 2019, and June 11, 2019. The Japanese automaker suspects that all of the vehicles involved in the recall contain these defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with driveshafts whose support bracing surfaces and bolts have been inadvertently painted and are therefore disconnection. Continuous vibration could shake these essential fixtures lose, leading to driveshaft separation and sudden loss of motive power. The defective parts pose a serious hazard to owners and occupants as a consequence. That said, Subaru has yet to receive any reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On June 12, 2019, quality assurance personnel inspecting recently assembled vehicles at the Subaru of America production plant in Lafayette, Indiana encountered a 2019 Subaru Ascent with an out-of-specification driveshaft torque brace bolt. The automaker connected with its driveshaft supplier, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, based in Monroe, Georgia, and requested that it conduct an internal investigation to understand error. The supplier executed a review June 13, 2019, and found that some production teams were not masking driveshaft support mounting surfaces during the painting process. Subaru and Hitachi then used assembly records to assess the extent of the issue between June 14, 2019, and July 1, 2019.

The automaker reviewed all investigation findings and approved a voluntary recall July 2, 2019.

The Solution

Subaru has directed dealers to inspect the recalled vehicles and replace any defective driveshaft components, free of charge, per NHTSA documents. The vehicle manufacturer intends to contact owners via first-class mail July 26, 2019. Those who need additional assistance can connect with Subaru customer service staff by calling (844) 373-6614. Callers should use the recall identification code WUI-94. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesSubaru recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Prius Owners Due For Yet Another Recall Notice

Laguna Hills, CA – July 26, 2019 – Toyota Motor Corporation is recalling certain Prius C models due to a performance and safety issue that may prevent the vehicle’s battery from working when the automobile is in drive mode, increasing the risk of a crash for users of 2018 and 2019 models. Given this is one of several recalls affecting the company’s popular hybrid over the past five years, Toyota urges Prius C owners to get in touch with their local dealer so this issue can be corrected if this or another flaw exists. Toyota hasn’t yet officially informed registered owners of this potential hazard, but will make them aware via first-class mail Aug. 12. Safety-related automotive recalls are free of charge, and this one is no exception.

The Defect

As documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota is recalling approximately 464 2018-2019 Prius C vehicles. The problem affecting a limited number of these hybrid automobiles is related to its propulsion system. Apparently, the auxiliary battery, which comes standard in all Priuses, may not receive the power it needs to propel the vehicle forward because of a flaw within the circuit board, which may have occurred at some point during the manufacturing or assembly process. If the transistor to the circuit board were to separate, the battery may lose its ability to energize the vehicle. This of course presents a safety hazard for Prius C owners as well as others on the road should this malfunction occur, especially when moving at a high rate of speed.

Timeline of Events

Unlike other recalls cleared with the NHTSA, which tend to be more isolated in nature, this isn’t the first affecting the Prius. As reported by the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, an estimated 20,000 Prius owners have reported power system failures tracing back to 2014. At that time, over 800,000 Priuses were pulled from the market because of a glitch with the vehicle’s inverter transistors, which also impacted propulsion and the potential for the automobile to suddenly power down. This recall affected C models manufactured between 2010 and 2014. Another recall was ordered last October to correct certain power failures that the original recall didn’t address.

This most recent recall is different in a couple of respects. First, it pertains to 2018 and 2019 models and it’s much smaller. Indeed, Toyota believes that of the 464 vehicles included in the recall, likely only 10% have the defect. This is partially due to the DC-DC converter that is exclusive to those Prius C vehicles built between February 2018 and October of the same year.

The Solution

Even though there may be no immediate signs of separation, the propulsion issue may develop over time, depending on how frequently Prius owners drive and how many years they go before buying a new or used vehicle. Given this, Toyota is making this move out of an abundance of caution. The company says it will formally inform owners of the safety concern by mail starting in mid-August and will encourage drivers to take their automobile back to the dealer from which they purchased it or to any authorized Toyota dealership. If it’s deemed appropriate, the DC-DC converter will be replaced with an alternative unit, which will come at no cost to the owner for parts or labor.

As previously referenced, this latest is recall is one of several for Prius models. If you own one that’s 10 years or older, visit By entering your VIN information, you can find out if your subject to this or some other recall order.

Sean ReyesPrius Owners Due For Yet Another Recall Notice

Ford Rangers Under Recall Due To Seat Belt Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – July 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling thousands of 2019 Ford Rangers from the marketplace after discovering that the front seat belt may malfunction when in use. The issue appears to have originated during the assembly process. Given that buckling up is a primary law in most states and the inherent safety risks associated with not using a seat belt, Ford is coordinating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that these vehicles are fixed.

Owners can expect to receive an official notification pertaining to this recall starting July 29. Motorists are urged to take their trucks back to the dealer so the problem can be assessed and ameliorated.

The Defect

According to NHTSA and Ford, approximately 7,579 2019 Ford Rangers – one of the more popular passenger trucks in the world – may contain seat belts containing flaws that render the restraint system inoperable. The issue concerns the assembly’s poke yoke fixture, which was not installed correctly in the front passenger-side unit, as opposed to the driver’s side. The component manufacturer is based in Mexico, but it’s unclear if the problem originated there with the parts itself or during the actual assembly.

If passengers can’t buckle or the latch fails at some point while traveling, a crash dramatically increases the risk of injury or death. Ford believes that this issue is confined to only those 2019 Ranger models with the SuperCab body style. There’s a good chance that the belts are fine, as safety officials believe 1% of the total recalled include the defect. Nevertheless, Ford is making the move out of an abundance of caution.

Timeline of Events

In late June, the Critical Concern Review Group at Ford was alerted to a warranty claim made by a Ranger SuperCab owner, who noted that the passenger side belt buckle wasn’t latching. The quality control team followed up on this alert and discovered that the glitch may be related to the unit’s anchor and the routing method used.  A more thorough inspection determined that it was an installation problem affecting the poke yoke, which is a seat belt unit fixture. CCRG followed up with the supplier and concluded that all poke yokes installed prior to June 19 may be vulnerable.

Thanks in part to traffic safety campaigns like “Click It or Ticket,” seat belts are worn by the vast majority of Americans today. Motorists are required to use them in 49 of 50 states and in those that have primary laws on the books – totaling 20 in addition to the District of Columbia – motorists can be pulled over and fined if they’re not buckled.

Tragically, thousands have died in recent years due to not wearing a seat belt. Based on the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, 10,428 passengers in the U.S. were killed in 2016 from injuries they sustained in crashes.

Neither Ford nor NHTSA is aware of any accidents stemming from this recall, with none reported as of July 10.

The Solution

Ford knows how to fix this issue and seeks to inform 2019 SuperCab owners starting July 29, via first-class mail. Dealers have already been notified. Motorists can take their vehicle to any Ford dealer, where upon examination, the right front seatbelt assembly will be swapped out for one that works. This repair will come at no charge. All parties are expected to be notified no later than August 3.

For more information on this recall and to see if you or someone you know is affected, visit You’ll need the VIN of the car to know for sure.

Sean ReyesFord Rangers Under Recall Due To Seat Belt Defect

Ram Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Laguna Hills, CA – July 24, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler is recalling a limited number of 2019 Ram models over concerns that the fuel lines may leak. Should such a scenario occur, a fire could occur, thus posing a safety hazard for the driver and anyone in proximity to the blaze. The automaker says that while the chances for this to happen are remote, but is encouraging 2019 Ram owners to err on the side of caution and return the truck to the dealer. 

The recall is expected to get underway officially Aug. 16 and drivers can expect to be notified by mail.

The Defect

As chronicled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling 498 of the following Ram vehicles, all of which are 2019 models:

  • Ram 2500
  • Ram 3500
  • Ram 4500
  • Ram 5500

While it’s not clear if all of these vehicles have been purchased or remain on dealers’ lots, the recall concerns the trucks’ diesel engines and the potential that some of them may leak fuel due to incorrectly formed end fittings. The placement of this flaw is such that the liquid could leach onto the engine, potentially causing a fire. Of the 498 vehicles that may be affected, the truck models most likely to contain the flaw are the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. These vehicles were likely built between May 7 and 20, though precise dates could only be determined by knowing the trucks’ body and cab types.

Timeline of Events

The genesis of recalls often derive from current vehicle owners, but in this instance, Chrysler noticed the issue after learning that the supplier of the Rams’ diesel engines had other engines leaking fuel. That happened May 21. Later on that month, Chrysler worked in concert with the supplier to see what, if anything, could occur if motorists’ fuel lines were compromised, aside from the loss of fuel, a problem in and of itself. The assessment determined that a worst-case scenario was a fire, given that the leaks were occurring at connection points in the lines.

Surveys were conducted June 3 to see which Ram vehicles were potentially vulnerable. The investigation ultimately determined that the parts themselves weren’t necessarily compromised but rather that the trucks were assembled around the same time as when the leaking fuel lines at the diesel engine supplier’s plant were originally reported.

Vehicle fires are surprisingly common. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 171,500 automotive-related fires occurred on U.S. highways each year between 2014 and 2016. These resulted in $1.1 billion in property losses, 1,300 injuries and 345 fatalities. Approximately 45% of these blazes stem from mechanical failure and 62% derive from the engine. Crashes themselves are also a common cause of deadly vehicle fires.

No accidents, injuries or fatalities are linked to the recall in question as of June 20, according to NHTSA documents.

The Solution

Chrysler says that it plans to brief Ram owners of this problem that could affect their safety by first-class mail starting on August 16. Recipients are strongly encouraged to have their truck examined by their local dealer. The potentially vulnerable fuel lines have codes inscribed on them, which refer to the manufacturing date. Those that align with the suspect time period will be replaced free of charge. 

For more information on this recall, please visit

Sean ReyesRam Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Ford recalls vehicles with defective engine software

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 23, 2019 — Ford Motor Company has recalled almost 57,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine software, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The action affects 2012 Ford Focus sedans produced between Oct. 7, 2010, and July 23, 2012; 2013-2104 Ford Focus ST sedans produced between May 3, 2012, and Dec. 11, 2014; and 2017 Ford Focus sedans produced between Aug. 24, 2016, and April 13, 2017. Ford suspects that all of the vehicles involved in the recall contain the defective software.

The Defect

The cars involved in the campaign could come equipped with powertrain control modules that lack updated software designed to detect malfunctioning canister purge valves. These components, when damaged, cause fuel vapors to expand and deform the surrounding fuel tank. This can, in turn, decrease drivability, and in some instances lead to loss of motive power. The defective PCMs potentially installed in the recalled vehicles therefore pose a safety hazard to operators and occupants. However, Ford has yet to receive reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the defect.

The automaker advised all affected owners to keep their fuel tanks half full to prevent deformities related to fuel vapor expansion.

Timeline of Events

In November 2017, dealership personnel assessing a Ford Focus with a two-liter, direct-injection engine with Ford Racing software calibrations noticed some regularities. They then contacted Ford. The automaker deployed technicians to review the calibrations, which had been installed during a previous recall involving stuck CPV valves, per Ford. The technicians found that the vehicle in question had PCM components that were not properly updated during the servicing process for this initial campaign.

Ford later discovered that multiple models featured similarly problematic PCMs. With this insight in hand, the Ford Field Review Committee decided to greenlight a recall June 28, 2019.

The Solution

Ford has directed dealers to inspect and, if necessary, recalibrate the PCMs in recalled vehicles, free of charge. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail between July 29, 2019, and Aug. 2, 2019. Those who require mode immediate assistance can connect with Ford customer service representatives by calling (800) 367-3788. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesFord recalls vehicles with defective engine software