Air Bags on Volkswagen Vehicles May Not Properly Inflate, Prompting Recall

re: NHTSA campaign

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VW) is recalling certain 2000-2001 TT Roadster, 2000 TT Coupe, 1999 Audi A8, 1998-2000 Audi A6, and 1999-2000 Audi A4 vehicles. This recall involves air bag components. These vehicles are equipped with Non-Azide Driver air bag inflators (NADI) that, due to a manufacturing issue, may absorb moisture, which can cause the air bag to deploy improperly in the event of a crash. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 106,857.

The Defect:

The affected vehicles are equipped with Takata NADI inflators that lack phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN). The latest in a long line of recalls for these Takata inflators, Volkswagen has determined that these defective products are found in a collection of 1999-2001 vehicles. Due to an insufficient amount of aluminum tape being used, the seal can gradually degrade over time and let moisture into the interior of the inflator. Air bag inflators that are not properly desiccated are at risk of rupturing prematurely or inadequately in the event of a crash. This increases the risk of injury and death in the event of an accident, as the air bag may not be able to properly cushion the occupant. No specific incidents have been reported to Volkswagen as of yet, though the company believes the defect is dangerous enough to prompt a recall.

On October 21, 2019, German car manufacturer Audi, Volkswagen’s parent company, received reports from suppliers about issues with NADI inflators found during field tests. Audi’s safety board was notified a few weeks later in November, and talks with the supplier commenced. After confirming the risk, Audi notified the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the risk and the findings of their investigation so far, and Audi began an analysis of retrieved parts from the German and international markets in early January 2020. Simultaneously, Takata sent out a defect report detailing the issues with the NADI inflators and the danger they posed. Audi independently verified the risk on January 22, 2020, when their own test results showed that there was indeed a risk of slow or no deployment caused by the absorption of moisture. 

After confirming the risk, Audi began to review production records to find vehicles that were equipped with these inflators; a large collection of 1998-2001 vehicles were later determined to be the extent of the recall population. The 1998-2001 A4 vehicle was found to be the most affected, with an estimated 65,519 cars possessing the defective parts. On January 31, Audi and Volkswagen officially filed a notice of recall with the NHTSA, detailing the issue and the planned recall process. On February 5, 2020, the recall notice officially became public.

Solution:

Volkswagen will notify owners of the danger the air bag inflators pose periodically in the weeks leading up to the beginning of the recall. The company will procure replacement parts and ship them out to dealers. Upon commencement of the remedy period, dealers will replace the defective NADI inflators with non-defective ones, free of charge to owners. Due to the risk the defect presents, owners are advised to exercise caution when operating their vehicles. The recall is expected to begin March 27, 2020, though this date is subject to change.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyAir Bags on Volkswagen Vehicles May Not Properly Inflate, Prompting Recall

Chrysler: Leaking Transmission Fluid Poses Fire Risk in Recalled RAM Trucks

re: NHTSA campaign

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Pickup vehicles equipped with six-speed automatic (68RFE) transmissions. This recall involves power train components. These vehicles are equipped with six-speed automatic (68RFE) transmissions that are susceptible to wear and tear from thermal loading. Heat can cause transmission fluid to leak from the dipstick tube.

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 84,202.

The Defect:

The affected vehicles are equipped with defective transmission assemblies that are prone to being damaged due to thermal stressors. Chrysler has not specified what specific aspect of the transmission or vehicle itself makes this possible A buildup of heat and pressure inside of the transmission can cause transmission fluid to be expelled from the dipstick tube. Transmission fluid is flammable, and this loose liquid can come in contact with other ignition sources, such as the turbocharger, and start a fire in the engine compartment. The possibility of fire increases the risk of injury and death on part of the operators and also can result in costly damage to the vehicle’s internals. In addition, sufficient amounts of transmission fluid can damage mechanical or electronic components even if no fire is started. This defect is known to have resulted in engine compartment fires several times, and one minor injury was recorded, according to Chrysler. No warranty claims have been made in relation to this issue.

On December 4, 2019, Chrysler’s US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (VSRC) group opened an investigation following reports of 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks suffering from engine compartment fires. Believing a defective part was responsible, VRSC analyzed fire patterns, damaged components, witness statements and other aspects of each event in order to determine trends related to these incidents. Chrysler engineering soon conducted their own tests to duplicate the issue as it was reported in the field, and on Jan. 9, 2020, engineers believed they had found the root cause of the issue: the transmission in these vehicles was being overloaded due to temperature and pressure changes.

Upon receiving these test results, Chrysler manufacturing plants conducted a review of records to determine the size of the recall population. It was determined that only the transmissions in 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks were susceptible to leaking. With the risk confirmed and the size of the recall population determined, Chrysler began planning a process for the voluntary recall and replacement of parts, and on Jan. 24, 2020, they submitted a notice of recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On Feb. 3, 2020, this notice of recall became public.

Solution:

Chrysler will notify owners of 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks of the recall and the danger associated with leaking transmission lines. The company will soon ship out replacement parts to authorized dealers and train them in the remedy process, which involves reprogramming the powertrain control system. Once the remedy process is available, dealers will replace the transmission valve body separator plates and reprogram the control module, free of charge. This is a voluntary recall, however, owners of the affected units are advised to exercise caution when operating their vehicles. The recall is expected to begin on March 14, 2020. This date is subject to change.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyChrysler: Leaking Transmission Fluid Poses Fire Risk in Recalled RAM Trucks

Mazda Daytime Running Headlights May Not Turn On

Re: NHTSA Campaign 20V063000

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Mazda North American Operations is recalling certain 2016 CX-5 vehicles due to the failure of Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to properly turn on. If the DRL fails to turn on, the exterior visibility of the vehicle may be reduced to other motorists and could result in a crash.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 36,761.

The Defect:

Over 30,000 2016 Mazda CX-5 vehicles are under official recall citing the failure of many Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to turn on while the vehicle is in use. Mazda’s LED DRL are installed to ensure an increased visibility of the vehicle’s exterior during the daytime. If the DRL fails to turn on, the vehicles exterior may be reduced to other motorists and could result in a possible crash or injury. 

The affected LED headlight units were first documented in March 2015 when certain headlight units, installed for vehicles in the Japan market, did not properly illuminated during the testing process. This issue was due to increased damage to the LED circuit by residual static electricity sustained during certain parts of the manufacturing process. Mazda ensured that the issue did not frequently occur but continued to monitor for field occurrences and installed the LED circuit with static electricity resistance properties. Although the improved LED headlight was installed on the vehicles manufactured in Japan, U.S. CX-5 models were not installed with the new headlight. By April 2015, Mazda received reports of U.S. CX-5 models experiencing similar issues as those vehicles which were manufactured in Japan. After an investigation of returned parts in July, 2015, Mazda found similar breaking in the LED circuit as those found in the previous manufacturing process. New LED low sulfur black gasket replaced the previous LED connector sealing gasket, improving a simple aesthetic issue in the headlight locale. In March 2016, Mazda received evidence of two field reports of headlight malfunction outside of Japan. The affected vehicles were manufactured before the LED circuit improvement made during the manufacturing process in March 2015. In September, 2018, Mazda continued to experience similar failures on improved parts and decided to investigate other possible causes of headlight malfunction. In January, 2019, after an extensive investigation, Mazda found the issue to be damage to the LED circuit caused by silver sulfide. The close proximity of the LED circuit to a gray type sealing gasket (a high sulfur gasket attached to the DRL connector) could transfer sulfur to the LED circuit, resulting in malfunction of the DRL. January, 2020, Mazda decided to introduce an official recall to certain MY2016 CX-5 vehicles following pressure from field action in the Japan market. 

Solution:

Mazda will notify owners on  March 6, 2020 of their vehicle’s official recall. Authorized Mazda dealerships will inspect the LED circuit headlights and, if necessary, replace the gasket or headlight assembly, free of charge. Affected vehicle owners may contact Mazda customer service with the recall number 4320A at 1-800-222-5500 for more information.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyMazda Daytime Running Headlights May Not Turn On

A Small Number of Mercedes Cars May Have Rearview Camera Delays

re: NHTSA campaign

Laguna Hills, Calif. – February 5, 2020 – Mercedes Benz USA is recalling certain 2019 A220 and A220 4MATIC vehicles. Affected vehicles’ rearview cameras may have a delay between their display and actual events because of a software problem. As a result, these vehicles are not in compliance with Federal Motor Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.”

The potential number of vehicles affected is 22.

The Defect:

Affected vehicles’ rearview cameras may have an insufficient response time. A delayed image might mean that drivers miss hazards that are behind them, increasing the possibility of an accident. 

This defect only occurs in certain situations. Specifically, the vehicle’s central display must be manually turned off before the ignition is turned off, and the gear selector must be shifted into reverse within 25 seconds of the car subsequently restarting. Aside from that, however, the driver will have no warning signs that their rearview camera is not working at full capacity.

Mercedes Benz began to review rearview backup camera performance on some of its vehicles in Aug 2018. This internal review came as a result of specific information and Mercedes Benz’s line of vans. However, reviewers determined that the issue affecting Mercedes’ vans might also be occurring on the rearview cameras of some passenger cars.

In Oct 2018, Mercedes Benz began incorporating an updated rearview camera software into its vehicles, as well as already manufactured vehicles that were still in production facilities or vehicle preparation centers.

In the summer of 2019, a task force set up by Mercedes Benz America began conducting a review of open plant actions. During that review, officials became aware of the possibility that some of the updated vehicles may have been reworked in ways that did not meet specifications exactly, causing the defect and putting the vehicles out of compliance with Federal Motor Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.” Task force workers informed the Mercedes Benz after sales department. Further analysis determined the range of affected vehicles as being at only 22 vehicles sold in the United States. At the time of the recall, no reports of delay or associated accidents have been reported.

On Jan 17, 2020, Mercedes Benz America decided to conduct a safety recall.

Solution:

Affected owners can take their vehicles into a certified Mercedes Benz dealer to have the software of their rearview camera updated. Dealers will be notified of the pending recall on Feb 3, 2020. Owners of recalled vehicles will be notified on March 27, 2020.

Mercedes Benz will be required to send a draft of their planned owner notification letters to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at least five days prior to mailing. In addition, the company must submit copies of any additional communications with owners and dealers, including notices and bulletins, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within five days of their publication. Finally, Mercedes Benz must submit six quarterly reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moving forward

The defect in rearview camera technology was fixed in production from Oct 2018 forward. 

Dealers that sell any recalled vehicles in their inventory previous to repair are in violation of federal law. Additionally, car rental companies that rent any recalled vehicles previous to repair are also in violation of federal law.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyA Small Number of Mercedes Cars May Have Rearview Camera Delays

Electrical Shorts in Hyundai ABS Modules’

Re: NHTSA Campaign 20V061000

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) is recalling certain 2006-2011 Elantra and 2007-2011 Elantra Touring vehicles citing the risk of short circuiting ABS modules. Electrical shorts within the affected ABS Modules’ may result in engine fires, even when the car is not being used. 

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 429,686

The Defect:

Over 400,000 Hyundai vehicles from 2006-2011 are under recall due to a risk of electrical shortage and increased risk of engine combustion. Hyundai Motor America received their first claim of an alleged engine fire on a 2007 Hyundai Elantra in October 2017. Hyundai Motors immediately requested all field information that could possibly related to other incidents of internal engine combustion and found two additional reports of internal fires in Elantra vehicles. On all three vehicles various fuses related to the Anti-lock Brake (ABS) Module were found open, indicating the possible origin of the three internal shorts and engine combustion. After two of the three known incident parts were received in November 2017, Hyundai Motors analyzed the recovered parts for signs of internal shorting due to exposed brake fluid or moisture contamination. By March 2018, Hyundai Motors could not properly confirm that internal shorting was caused by moisture ingress due to the extent of heat damage to the incident ABS Modules. In the remaining months of 2018, Hyundai continued to motor incidents in the field but  was made aware of only one additional incident and decided to initiate a recovery of in-use ABS modules for random inspection.

By March 2019, a total of eleven new vehicles were surveyed (one new incident vehicle and ten previously in-use vehicles) but no sign of moisture ingress was apparent. From April 2019 to December 2019, Hyundai Motors continued their analysis in warranty part returns from both U.S. markets and international markets, hoping to find evidence of possible moisture interference. In this analysis Hyundai found certain recovery parts conditions that could potentially lead to increased moisture in the electrical circuit of ABS modules. Although no certain trend relating to Elantra design or manufacturing, Hyundai recommended addressing the issue by de-powering the ABS module during the ignition OFF state but ultimately decided to conduct an official safety recall on January 28, 2020.

Solution:

Although Hyundai is still looking for premature signs of moisture ingress in ABS Modules, the proper solution at the moment is to install a relay in the vehicle’s main junction box to ensure little to no risk of an ABS short-circuit. Any official Hyundai dealer will perform this recall repair free of charge. Owners will be notified by Hyundai Motor America on the official expected recall date – April 3, 2020. Until then, affected owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9460 with the official recall number, 188, for more information.

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

—————————————————————————————————————

About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyElectrical Shorts in Hyundai ABS Modules’