Volkswagen recalls six models with potentially dangerous backrests

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 27, 2020 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS: VWAGY)  has recalled 4,854 vehicles with faulty front-seat backrests that may break in the event of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Volkswagen Jetta compact cars
  • 2020 Audi Q5 and SQ5 compact SUVs
  • 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUVs
  • 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUVs
  • 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan SUVs

Recall summary  

The seat-back adjustment mechanism on these vehicles’ front seats was not “welded properly” and may break if the car is rear-ended.

Volkswagen discovered the issue in July during a road test but it is not the first time the company faces backrest woes.

Risks

If the backrest breaks during a rear-end crash, the occupants of both the front and back seats may be hurt by the instability. 

The breakage is especially perilous for children in the backseat who could suffer the worst of the injuries and even be killed. In a 2016 verdict, Volkswagen’s Audi unit was ordered to pay $124.5 million to the parents of Jesse Rivera Jr. after a weak driver’s seat broke during a crash and collapsed into the seven-year-old, leaving him with permanent brain damage.

The company argued that neither the driver – the boy’s father – nor the child wore seat belts, a fact that the family denied.

A 1960s standard 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) standard for seat back strength has not been updated since the 1960s and – as of 2016 –  the bar was set so low that even a cheap banquet chair could pass.  

Despite that, several manufacturers have increased the seat strength and the NHTSA may be moving in the same direction.  Last July, the agency released a study showing that the seat back rotation should be reduced to “prevent injury to the seat occupant and occupants seated directly behind it.” 

Where to put children

The backseat is still the safest place for children, though safety experts now recommend putting children behind unoccupied seats or the lightest front seat passenger.

The repair

Not all the recalled vehicles are certain to have defective backrests, but owners may be able to tell that there’s something wrong if the backrest is unstable or makes noises.  Regardless of whether anything appears wrong, it is recommended that owners contact their dealer without delay. 

Volkswagen will inspect the front seats to see if they’re defective, and will replace any seats if needed, free of charge.  This remedy is currently available, and should take less than half a day, but may take longer if a replacement seat is needed.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 4,000 vehicles are part of this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls six models with potentially dangerous backrests

Chevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Hood Latch Software

Pleasanton, CA – August 18, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 7,071 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles whose controls fail to prevent them from developing high speeds despite an unlatched front trunk.

The trunk may then open while driving, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles.

Recall summary  

Due to the lack of safety controls, these vehicles can develop high speeds despite having the front trunk unlatched. 

The cause is multifold. First, thanks to a design flaw, drivers can accidentally press the front trunk release button on their key fob.

Second, the cars’ internal controls fail to limit the speed  – allowing the vehicle to reach up to 82 miles-per-hour (mph) – despite detecting that the trunk is not securely closed.

Drivers will still receive audible and visual alerts telling them that the trunk is open.

What happens when the driver speeds up?

As the car reaches a higher speed, air resistance may force open the unlatched hood, blocking the driver’s front view.

Risks 

Not being able to see in front of the vehicle creates a  very high risk of a crash. The driver may not see traffic down the road and hit a vehicle from behind.

To prevent that from happening, drivers should pay attention to their warning system. When the hood is not properly latched, the driver will receive two different types of warnings.

They will first see an icon indicating an open hood on the instrument panel and hear a chime. Once the vehicle is put in drive and moves faster than 3 mph, the chime sounds repeatedly.

In spite of the warnings, the vehicle can be driven up to 82 mph with the hood unlatched. As the driver speeds up, air resistance may force open the unlatched hood.

The repair

GM’s upcoming software update will limit the affected vehicle’s speed to 26 mph when the hood is not latched.

The manufacturer is also going to re-design both the key fob and  the “door trim switch and release button” inside the hood to reduce the risk of a driver inadvertently opening the hood with the fob.

The repair is expected to begin October 3, and is free of charge. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 7,000 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydChevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Hood Latch Software

Fiat-Chrysler recalls Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500s with stalling risk

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 14, 2020 – Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) has recalled 58,016 SUVs and pickup trucks that may stall on the road. The recall includes:

  • 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs
  • 2014-2018 Ram 1500 pickup trucks

Recall summary  

The recall stems from an issue inside these vehicles’ diesel engines. The car uses a magnet-coated wheel to keep the engine in sync. The magnetic material, however, may chip off, causing the engine to get out-of-sync and stall. 

Fiat-Chrysler started looking into the issue in March. As of July 31, Chrysler had identified 13 customer complaints (which Fiat-Chrysler calls “CAIRs”), 1,020 warranty claims, and six field reports related to these failing magnetic wheels. 

Risks

Stalling in moving traffic can raise the risk of crashes, injuries, or worse. Vehicles may not be able to react in time and could ram a stalled car from behind. Even if the driver safely gets to the shoulder, they are still at risk of being hit. 

If your car stalls, turn on the emergency hazard lights. If you can do so safely, try to shift into neutral and maneuver your car to the side of the road. Call  your roadside assistance provider and be sure to stay in the car. The shoulder is very  dangerous for pedestrians.

The repair

Fiat-Chrysler will offer a free software update that will keep the car from stalling in the case that the magnetic wheel is damaged. Chrysler will notify owners of the recall on October 2. The repair should take less than half a day.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 58,000 vehicles are part of this Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandFiat-Chrysler recalls Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500s with stalling risk

Mercedes-Benz issues recall for fly-away spoiler

Pleasanton, CA – August 15, 2020 – Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF), the owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand, has recalled 10,644 compact SUVs whose spoilers may detach from the car while driving. The recall covers 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 SUVs.

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the rear spoiler, which may not be fully attached to the car. The spoiler, which sits above the tailgate, was not fully welded due to a production error. 

Mercedes-Benz launched an investigation into the defect in March, following a customer complaint. The automaker discovered missing welding on the spoiler. The investigation traced the defect back to a supplier in Mexico.

Risks

The defective spoilers, which could detach while driving can become an obstacle in the roadway, forcing drivers to make quick maneuvers that could result in a crash. The fly-away spoilers may also directly hit  another vehicle.

Between 2011 and 2014, road debris played a role  in around 200,000 crashes  and caused close to 40,000 injuries and 500 deaths, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  Over 75,000 of those crashes were caused by debris flying off of one vehicle and striking another.  

Can you tell?

GLB250 owners may be able to tell that their spoiler is loose if they hear a noise when they open the trunk or see scratches in the paint on the tailgate. They may also see that the spoiler simply does not seem to fit right. Drivers noticing these issues should contact their dealer.

The repair

Authorized dealers will check the SUV’s rear spoilers and replace them if they’re not fully attached.  Owners will be notified about the recall on around October 20. The repair – as with all recalls – is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 10,000 vehicles are included in this Mercedes-Benz recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandMercedes-Benz issues recall for fly-away spoiler

Chevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Trunk Release Button

Pleasanton, CA – August 6 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 5,141 Corvette vehicles with trunk release buttons that are not working correctly.

When the vehicle is shut off for ten minutes or longer, the release button inside the front trunk compartment will not open the trunk. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Recall summary  

On July 30, General Motors determined that certain Corvette models should be recalled to repair the front trunk compartment release button. The button is installed so that someone inside the front trunk can open the trunk lid. 

Risks 

If a person – especially a small child – climbs inside the trunk and shuts the lid, he or she might not be able to get out and is at risk of injury from a lack of oxygen, or extreme heat or cold while in the trunk. It’s important to monitor children who are near cars, or sitting in a parked car without a seat belt in place.

The repair

The dealer will install a software update, so that the release button works correctly. The repair should take 45 minutes, depending on the dealer’s service department schedule. Owners have been notified of the recall, which will begin on September 21. The repair is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 5,000 vehicles are included in this Corvette recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

adminChevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Trunk Release Button

Volvo Cross Country vehicles recalled for faulty seat belts

Pleasanton, CA – June 30, 2020 – The Volvo Group (NASDAQ:VLVLY) has recalled 307,910 Cross Country vehicles with seat belts that are not properly closing. The recall includes:

  • 2008-2016 Volvo V70 and XC70 vehicles
  • 2007-2016 Volvo S80 vehicles
  • 2011-2018 Volvo S60 and V60 vehicles
  • 2016-2018 Volvo S60CC  vehicles
  • 2014-2020 Volvo S60L vehicles
  • 2009-2015 Volvo S80L vehicles
  • 2009-2016 Volvo XC60 vehicles
  • 2015-2018 Volvo V60CC vehicles

Recall summary  

On July 9, Volvo determined that certain Cross Country models should be recalled to repair seat belts in the front seats, on both the driver and the passenger sides.

The need for repair is caused by a faulty steel cable that connects the seat belt to the occupant’s seat. Due to an undisclosed issue, the cable may fatigue over time, especially when bent over the seat cushion. The fatigued cable may weaken or break and not fully restrain the occupant in the event of a crash.

Risks 

Seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017. If the belt is not securely fastened, the car occupants can be injured by inflating air bags or thrown from the vehicle in the event of a crash. As such, out of 37,000 people killed in car crashes in 2017, close to half were not wearing seat belts.

The repair

To fix the issue, your dealer will replace the seat belt cable for both front seats. The repair will be free of charge and is estimated to take an hour.

However, that replacement is not available until at least December. In the meantime, Volvo recommends that drivers and passengers fasten the seat belt “in a vertical position,” parallel to the backrest, without bending it over the seat cushion.  This is set to minimize the damage to the cable.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 307,000 vehicles are included in this Volvo recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

adminVolvo Cross Country vehicles recalled for faulty seat belts

Toyota Tundra trucks recalled for faulty turn signals and hazard lights

Pleasanton, CA – July 15 2020 – Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) has recalled 183,397 Toyota Tundra trucks with front turn signals and front hazard warning lights that do not flash brightly enough, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2018-2020 Toyota Tundra trucks

Recall summary  

The turn signals and hazard lights operate using LED headlights.  A wiring error on the part of a supplier resulted in  signals and lights not being bright enough. 

Federal law requires that signals must be bright enough for other drivers to notice and understand that the vehicle is signaling a turn. In July, Toyota determined that the signals did not meet the standard and began the recall on August 17th.

Risks 

 Hazard lights are often used when the vehicle is not  moving or has mechanical problems.  Other drivers, particularly those in oncoming traffic, must be able to clearly see both turn signals and  hazard lights. If the lights are not noticeable, there is a high risk of a crash.

The 2020 Tundra has no other safety recalls, but both the 2018 and 2019 models have had various issues – including those with the fuel pump and the airbags – that have resulted in separate recalls.

The repair

The affected trucks need the wiring that connects to the lights to be replaced. The repair takes 45 minutes but Toyota advises owners that it may be necessary to leave the vehicle for a longer period of time. The repair is available now and is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 180,000 trucks are included in this Toyota recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

adminToyota Tundra trucks recalled for faulty turn signals and hazard lights

Nissan recalls Leaf hybrids for back-up camera glitch

Pleasanton, CA – July 18, 2020 – Nissan (OTCMKTS: NSANY) has recalled 6,157 hatchback hybrids with malfunctioning back-up cameras. The recall includes 2020 Nissan Leaf hybrids.

Recall summary  

Due to a software issue in these Leaf hatchbacks, the back-up camera display can suddenly disappear when the car is in reverse and be replaced with the previous image. This is especially prone to happen when the car is first started and the reverse speed is greater than usual.

Risks

Rearview cameras are supposed to help prevent back-up crashes by showing the driver a 10-foot to 20-foot area behind the vehicle. If the camera is not functioning properly, there is a risk that the driver runs over the person or an object behind them.

The history of rearview cameras

Back-up cameras became mandatory on all new vehicle models in mid-2018. This was precipitated by the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 that was named after 2-year-old Cameron who was tragically killed by a backing up SUV that could not “see” him. After the passage of the act,  Congress issued safety standards to prevent child deaths and injuries from back-over accidents. 

Before the passage of the new standards, back-up crashes killed an estimated 284 people and injured around 12,000 annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The repair

Dealers will update the back-up camera software for free. The software update is currently available, and should take less than half a day.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 6,000 vehicles are included in this Nissan recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandNissan recalls Leaf hybrids for back-up camera glitch

Honda minivans and SUVs recalled for faulty control panel

Pleasanton, CA – July 29, 2020 – Honda (NYSE: HMC) has recalled 607,784 vans and SUVs with malfunctioning instrument panels and rear view cameras.  This is one of the five recalls Honda issued so far this year. This recall includes:

  • 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey minivans
  • 2019-2020 Honda Passport SUVs
  • 2019-2021 Honda Pilot SUVs

Recall summary  

Due to a glitch in programming, the vehicles’ instrument panels have been known to randomly turn off depriving the driver of vital information – such as the car’s speed and oil level – and disabling the rear view camera display.  The shutdown has sometimes been accompanied by a continuous beeping or crackling noise that has been really distracting to drivers.

Risks

Rearview cameras display a 10-foot to 20-foot zone directly behind the car to avoid backover crashes. If the camera malfunctions when the car is in reverse that can result in an accident. In fact, one of the Honda drivers reported leading up to the recall that the frozen rearview camera display caused him to nearly hit his neighbor when backing out of the driveway!

Separately, not having access to vital safety information such as the car’s speed or oil level is very dangerous. It can, for example, cause the driver to go over the speed limit or bring about the engine’s failure, increasing the risk of a crash.

Finally, having the infotainment system fail – or hearing any kind of unusual noises – while driving can be very distracting.  Distracted driving is dangerous— in 2018, distracted driving killed 2,841 people and injured 400,000 more. 

The repair

Honda will update the car’s software, which should stop the infotainment system from crashing. The update is available for free at dealerships now, and should take a half day or less to be completed.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 600,000 vehicles are included in this Honda recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandHonda minivans and SUVs recalled for faulty control panel

Land Rover vehicles recalled for faulty door latches

Pleasanton, CA – July 2 2020 – Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) has recalled 6,211 Range Rover vehicles with door latches that are not properly closing. The door latches may open when the car is moving, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2013-2016 Range Rover vehicles
  • 2014-2016 Range Rover Sport vehicles

Recall summary  

On July 9, Tata’s subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover North America determined that certain Range Rover models should be recalled to repair door latches. This follows on the heels of another recall for the same issue last year. The recall did not fully address the problem.

The culprit of the recall is the Keyless Vehicle Latching System (KV Latch), which allows entry to the vehicle without a key. After using the system, the doors may appear fully shut while in fact being unlatched. This may lead to the doors opening while the vehicle is in motion. 

Risks 

It is very risky to have a door open while the car is in motion. The occupants may fall out of the car; you could hit a nearby cyclist or be hit by another vehicle.  It is not a minor problem either – falls from cars, for example, caused 75,000 injuries between 2011 and 2012.

The repair

The dealer will disable the KV latch system and install a software update.  The latch system may be reactivated if, after the software update, it is determined that it is functioning properly.

The first repair should take between 20 minutes to 3.5 hours, depending on the number door latches that must be repaired. Owners have been notified of the recall and the repair is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 6,200 vehicles are included in this Range Rover recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

adminLand Rover vehicles recalled for faulty door latches