BMW recalls several different 1999-2001 vehicles over Takata airbag defect

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 26, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling certain 1999-2001 323i, 325i, 328i and 330i and 2000-2001 323Ci, 325Ci, 328Ci, 330Ci, 323iT, and 325iT vehicles equipped with Takata-manufactured Non-Azide Driver air bag Inflators (NADI). This recall follows Takata’s own recall of the specific NADI units on November 26. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 74,185.

The Defect

BMW states that these specific units may have received replacement airbags as part of a vehicle repair. Due to a manufacturing issue, the replacement NADI inflator can absorb moisture, causing the airbag to rupture or underinflate. All listed vehicles may have had these devices installed during repairs. In the event of a crash, a rupture of the inflator can result in dangerous metal fragments hitting drivers and passengers, while an underinflated airbag can fail to shield the occupants properly. These issues increase the risk of serious injury or death. BMW has not provided any guidance on how to ascertain if a vehicle possesses the defective NADI inflators. Owners should exercise caution; a solution is not yet available at this time, and BMW recommends that owners should not utilize their vehicles until safe removal processes are available.

Timeline of Events

On November 26, 2019, manufacturer Takata (TK Global LLC) disclosed that some of their NADI inflators produced from 1995-2000 were defective and issued a recall for all known extant units and vehicles that may contain said units. Later that day, BMW issued a recall for several different classes of vehicle, gradually adding more to the list by the end of the day. BMW North America is currently the only automobile manufacturer to have issued a recall relating to these defective Takata NADI inflators. Recommending that owners do not currently drive their vehicles, BMW is sending interim notices about the risk to owners until January 17, and again when the remedy becomes available.

The Solution

Plans for the removal of the defective NADI inflators have not been finalized. BMW recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified when repair and removal services become available for this specific issue. Dealers will inspect any vehicles brought in under suspicion of possessing the defective units. If a BMW vehicle is found to possess these units, they will be replaced free of charge. 

For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact BMW customer service by phone at 1-800-525-7417, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesBMW recalls several different 1999-2001 vehicles over Takata airbag defect

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 3, 2019 – Eighteen models manufactured by Mercedes-Benz USA are due for recall after the automaker discovered some of the seat belt assemblies do not work. Buckling up is required by law in most states and not wearing one dramatically increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. All told, nearly 26,700 models are included in the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall.

MBUSA says it aims to begin notifying operators of the affected automobiles by mail starting on New Year’s Eve. Those receiving the warnings are asked to have their vehicles checked out by an authorized MBUSA dealer so the problem can be fixed.

The Defect

In paperwork available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mercedes-Benz is set to recall 29,679 automobiles – whose model years run between 2018 and 2019 – because the seat belts in the front seats fail to work. In some cases, the belts may buckle in fine, but the internal detection system may not recognize that this is the case. This may result in future issues, such as if the pretensioner – which is manipulated by the vehicles’ PRE-SAFE® controls – is rendered inoperable.

Although the size of the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall is fairly small, it involves multiple model types:

  • 2019 AMG GT 63
  • 2019 AMG GT 63 S
  • 2019 CLS450
  • 2019 CLS53
  • 2018-2019 E300
  • 2018 E400
  • 2018 E43 AMG
  • 2019 E450
  • 2019 E53
  • 2018-2019 E63 S AMG
  • 2019 G550
  • 2019 G63
  • 2019 GLC300
  • 2019 GLC350E
  • 2019 GLC 43 AMG
  • 2019 GLC63
  • 2019 GLC53 AMG
  • 2018-2019 GLC63S AMG

Of the 50 states, 49 require all drivers to buckle up. Most motorists do so, based upon NHTSA’s most recently available usage statistics. In 2016, the latest year for verifiable data, 10,428 people died in car crashes where seat belts were left unused. Had they been wearing them, 2,456 of those individuals would likely have survived their injuries.

Timeline of Events

This problem traces back to October 2018. At that time, safety officials at Mercedes-Benz learned of a few incidents in which operators had their seat belts fastened, but the restraint system didn’t recognize that was the case.

Because an initial review couldn’t determine the cause of the glitch, a task force was assigned to investigate. Reviewers determined the most likely origin of the problem had to do with the “geometrical dimensions” of the belt buckle itself. The task force also noted that the seat belt buckle housing could also be compromised.

In the process of working out a solution, Mercedes-Benz was alerted to two other incidents in August 2019 related to seat belt detection by the occupant restraint system, which furthered the potential for a safety recall.

Mercedes-Benz has announced multiple safety recalls in 2019. In February, it recalled 300,000 vehicles because of defects with air bag deployment. Another air bag-related recall took place in August, only that one involved just 457 models.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz has since developed a resolution that can fix the flaw. Motorists who drive one of the aforementioned automobiles are advised to check their mail for a notification, which the automaker will start distributing in December. Operators should bring their vehicle to a dealership so the issue can be fixed by replacing the malfunctioning units. There will be no charge for this repair.

For more information on the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall and whether you’re affected, please visit MotorSafety.org. Be sure to have your VIN to check your status.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Ford recalls some Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 27, 2019 – The Ford Motor Company recently issued a recall for a small number of its Expedition and Lincoln Navigator light SUVs due to concerns over the integrity of rear toe link fasteners.

Specifically, the issue affects just 18 vehicles, of which half were expected to carry the defect. 

The Defect

In the case of both the Expeditions and Navigators – all from the 2019 model year – Ford’s manufacturing team believes the vehicles may have been produced with improperly torqued rear toe link fasteners, meaning they were not properly tightened during assembly. This increases the risk that the rear toe link itself would disconnect while driving, likely resulting in a significant loss of steering control, and thus raising risk of crash or injury.

The problem arose as a result of an automated tool the company uses in its manufacturing process experiencing wear and tear on the gears, which reduced its ability to properly tighten the fasteners.

Drivers will be able to detect whether this problem arises in their vehicle by possibly hearing a noise, a change in the steering wheel’s height, unexpected wear on the tires or changes to how the SUV handles.

The Ford Expeditions in the recall were produced Sept. 5 and 6, 2019, while the Lincoln Navigators were only produced Sept. 6.

To date, the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries stemming from the problem.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 12, less than a week after the vehicles in question were produced, the automaker’s Critical Concern Review Group learned of concerns about the under-torqued fasteners, after a torque inspector at the company’s assembly plant reported a potential issue with low torque conditions on both the left- and right-side rear toe link frame attachments. This issue was discovered through a routine examination, and the company promptly reviewed production records to identify affected vehicles.

Those still remaining at the plant were inspected, and the suspected torque problem was present in all of them. However, records indicated that some of the affected vehicles had already been shipped out.

Ford’s Field Review Committee approved the recall on Oct. 18.

The Solution

Ford notified the owners of affected vehicles by mail and asked them to return to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to check not only the fasteners, but also rear toe alignment and rear tires, fixing or replacing all as necessary. The company will not need to reimburse drivers because everything is covered by warranty.

Dealers were first notified of the recall Oct. 28, and owners received their notifications between Nov. 11 and 18.

For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact Ford by phone at 1-866-436-7332, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesFord recalls some Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs

Potential for airbag damage in Hyundai 2020 Palisades prompts recall

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 25, 2019 – Hyundai Motor America plans to issue a voluntary safety recall next year for over 11,000 2020 Palisade model vehicles because the mounting bolts used to secure their side curtain air bags could damage the latter upon deployment. Air bags that are damaged as a result of the defect may not properly inflate, thereby increasing the risk of injury to occupants, according to official company filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, 11,217 vehicles are estimated to be affected by the defect and Hyundai has announced that owners can have a protective cover installed over the mounting bolts free of charge when the recall officially begins at the beginning of 2020. Hyundai has not reported any customer crashes, injuries or other related incidents as a result of the defect.

The Defect

According to the official HMA recall report, the Palisade vehicles with defects were produced by Hyundai Motor Company in the Republic of Korea between the dates of November 21, 2018 and August 12, 2019. The Side Curtain Airbags fitted in these vehicles were done so using bolts that were “produced with sharp corners” on their hexagonal heads, which could perforate or otherwise damage the SCAPs.

Timeline of Events

The 2020 Palisade recall came about after HMC discovered a torn SCAP while a New Car Assessment Program crash test was conducted in Korea on July 15, 2019, which prompted the company to reach out to the supplier and conduct a joint investigation into the potential cause of the damage. Internal crash testing was unsuccessful in replicating the tear, although the two organizations concluded based on further review of test results that the SCAB could become damaged “due to interference with the mounting bolts.”

After the testing, HMC then notified all regional distributors of Palisades equipped with the bolts and conducted its own search of related field information. HMA’s Technical Committee convened November 1, 2019, where it made the decision to conduct a voluntary recall as a means of addressing the situation. The recall report was submitted to the NHTSA November 7, 2019.

The Solution

While bolts produced with rounded (rather than hexagonal) corners were first used in vehicle production on July 2, 2019, HMA intends to begin a recall for the affected vehicles on January 3, 2020 and will notify dealers and owners and ask them to bring their vehicles to a nearby dealer to each have protective covers installed onto the SCAP bolts. The official Hyundai recall number for this incident is 186, while it is filed at the NHTSA under the recall number 19V-802.

To find out more about product recalls, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesPotential for airbag damage in Hyundai 2020 Palisades prompts recall