US government investigates GM over stalling Volt hybrids

Washington, D.C. January 8, 2024 – The U.S. government’s auto safety regulator is investigating General Motors (NYSE:GM) over allegations that their hybrid sedans may stall while driving. This alleged defect augments the risk of a crash and injury. 

If the investigation leads to a recall, it could affect an estimated 73,000 of 2016 – 2019 Chevrolet Volt hybrid cars.  

Investigation summary  

The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened an investigation on November 11, 2023, following 61 complaints of hybrids losing power while driving or failing to start at all. The cars also were also prone to entering the “limp-home” mode or even losing power steering.

Based on the initial findings, this may be caused by a failure of a computer called the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM). The BECM manages how much electricity is stored in batteries and delivered to the electric motor drivetrain to propel the car forward.

GM previously addressed the issue by instructing dealers to “replace and reprogram” the BECM in 2018 and then again in 2022. It is not clear how many of the affected vehicles have already received the replacements.

Risks

Maneuvering a vehicle that is losing power or stalls can be difficult, especially if it happens in dense, fast-moving traffic. Such situations can lead to a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Warning signs

Based on complaints, “little to no warning” preceded the loss of motive power.  In some cases, though the check the engine or “propulsion power is reduced” warnings would appear on the dashboard prior to the loss of power or failure to start.

Some drivers were unable to switch to the gas mode to resolve the issue.

Other Chevrolet recalls

In December, General Motors recalled Chevrolet Trax and Buick vehicles because their instrument clusters would switch off while driving

In January, several GM models, including Chevrolet Silverado and Suburban, were subject of a large-scale recall caused by blinding headlights

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

This investigation may eventually lead to a General Motors power loss recall, potentially affecting more than 70,000 hybrids. To do a GM or Chevrolet recall check and see if your car might be a part of it, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicUS government investigates GM over stalling Volt hybrids

Tesla recalls 2 million cars over autopilot issues, first responder crashes

Austin, TX – January 4,  2024 – Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has issued a sweeping recall for roughly 40% of the vehicles it has ever sold due to issues with autopilot issues which may up the risk of a crash.

The recall is related to an ongoing U.S. government investigation into Tesla collisions with emergency vehicles and comes on the back of at least two fatalities and multiple injuries.

Over 2 million vehicles – including the majority of 2012 –2023 Tesla Model S cars – as well as all of the following are affected:

  • 2017 – 2023 Tesla Model 3   
  • 2016 – 2023 Tesla Model X
  • 2020 – 2023 Tesla Model Y

Recall summary  

The listed vehicles are equipped with an autopilot package which includes “steering, braking and acceleration support,” as well as cruise control available under certain circumstances.  When autopilot is engaged, the driver is still required to be in control of the vehicle, maintaining his hands on the steering wheel, “remaining attentive to surrounding road conditions, and intervening…as needed to maintain safe operation.”

In the affected vehicles, the methods used to ensure driver’s attention are not sufficient, allowing the car to drive on autopilot without appropriate human supervision. 

Recall risks

If the driver is not ready to take over in an emergency situation, the car could crash into other vehicles or pedestrians, augmenting the risk of injury. 

Background of the recall

This recall is related to an ongoing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation related to crashes between autopilot-enabled Tesla cars and emergency vehicles on the side of the road. The autopilot defect has so far resulted in at least two fatal accidents and multiple injuries. One of the most recent collisions occurred in February of last year in California when a Tesla hit a Contra Costa County fire truck, killing the driver of the car and “critically injuring [the] passenger.”

Other Tesla recalls

Some of these cars may have also been affected by a Tesla recall from February 2023, which was the result of the same investigation.

In May 2023, NHTSA started looking into a separate request to add an allegedly missing safety feature to prevent Teslas from accidentally accelerating while parking.

The repair

Some of the affected vehicles should have already received an over-the-air (OTA) update which, “depending on the vehicle hardware,” should have included additional “visual alerts” and “additional checks upon engaging [autopilot].” If the driver still fails to stay in control of the vehicle, access to autopilot may eventually be suspended. 

The rest of the cars should receive a separate OTA at a later date.

Owners should receive letters with more information by February 10, 2024.  

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This vast Tesla autopilot recall affects more than 2 million cars. To do a Tesla recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicTesla recalls 2 million cars over autopilot issues, first responder crashes

Ford issues second recall for Fiesta, Fusion cars whose doors may open while driving 

Dearborn, MI  – December 30, 2023 – Ford (NYSE:F), which owns the Lincoln brand, is recalling 45,173 cars whose doors may open while driving, upping the risk of injury. 

The following models are affected by this recall: 

  • 2015 Ford Fiesta
  • 2016 Ford Fusion
  • 2016 Lincoln MKZ

This is an expansion of a previous recall over the same defect, which dates back to 2020.  Only vehicles sold in states with “high ambient temperatures” are affected.

Recall summary  

The doors in a car stay shut due to a latching mechanism. Due to a supplier error, this mechanism may partially or completely break apart in the listed vehicles, causing the doors not to close securely or open while driving. 

The full list of the affected states is available here.

Recall risks

An unsecured door may open while driving, augmenting the risk of injury.

Warning signs

The driver or passengers may notice that the doors “bounce off” instead of closing, and it may take several attempts to shut them properly. They may also see the “Door ajar” warning on the dashboard and perceive “increased wind noise.”

Background of the recall

The first recall for the issue was done in March 2020. At that time, the manufacturer believed that only vehicles produced from November 2013 to late April 2015 had the faulty part. However, that turned out to be incorrect, which prompted Ford to issue the present recall.

The recall comes on the back of multiple owner complaints and warranty claims. No injuries or accidents have been reported.

Other Ford recalls

Some of these cars may have been affected by a recall from March 2023, which was caused by leaking front brakes

Door latch issues were also the cause of a recent Ford Transit Connect recall, which took place in August 2023, as reported.  

The repair

Dealers will check the door latches and replace them free of charge.

Owners should receive letters with more information between December 4, 2023 and December 8, 2023. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

More than 40,000 cars are affected by this door latch Ford recall. To do a Ford recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicFord issues second recall for Fiesta, Fusion cars whose doors may open while driving 

Stellantis recalls hybrid SUVs over fire risk, owners to park away from structures 

Auburn Hills, MI  – December 28, 2023 – Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), which owns the Jeep brand, has recalled 32,125 hybrid 2021-2023 Jeep Wrangler SUVs that may catch fire “with the ignition on or off.”

A fire greatly increases the risk of a crash and injury.

The recall comes on the back of several reports of fires.

Recall summary  

Besides a conventional gasoline engine, hybrid vehicles have an electric motor with a high-voltage battery. In the affected SUVs, the battery pack could – for currently unknown reasons – fail and consequently catch fire

Recall risks

A vehicle fire, regardless of whether it happens while driving or parked, poses a serious safety concern with a wide range of potential hazards, including injury and property damage. 

The recall comes on the heels of eight fires. Luckily, no injuries or accidents have taken place.

Safety tips

Owners are advised “not to recharge their vehicles, and to park outside and away from structures” until the repairs are performed. 

The repair

Dealers will update the software that controls the high-voltage battery or replace the battery if necessary.

The repair will be free of charge. 

Owners will receive letters with more information by January 11, 2024. 

Other Jeep recalls

Over 6,000 Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators were recalled in October 2023 because their rearview cameras and reverse lights did not work properly, as reported.

More recently, Stellantis recalled close to 100,000 Wagoner SUVs over a problem with the third-row seat belt buckles, also as reported.

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

More than 30,000 hybrid SUVs are affected by this battery-fire Jeep recall. To do a Jeep recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicStellantis recalls hybrid SUVs over fire risk, owners to park away from structures 

Volkswagen recalls ID.4 cars with flammable sunshades

Auburn Hills, MI  – December 18, 2023 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) is recalling 23,883 2023 – 2024 Volkswagen ID.4 electric cars because their sunshades are not sufficiently fire-retardant. This augments the risk of bodily injury and property damage.

Recall summary  

Listed vehicles have a panoramic roof and a retractable sunshade on the inside. The material from which the latter is made is not sufficiently fire-retardant. This means if the car catches on fire, they will not reduce the intensity or help stop the spread of the flames.

This goes against U.S. auto safety standards.

Recall risks

Materials that are not fire-retardant shorten the time for occupants to exit the vehicle and up the risk of injury for everyone involved.  

Other Volkswagen recalls

The all-electric ID.4 SUVs were recalled in May 2023 because their doors could open while driving

In September, mismatched brake fluid reservoir caps were the cause of a recall affecting Audi’s sedans

The repair

Dealers will fix the issue by spraying flame retardant on the sunshade free of charge.

Owners should receive  letters with more information on or before January 5, 2024. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

More than 20,000 electric vehicles are affected by this fiery sunshade Volkswagen recall. To do a VW recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicVolkswagen recalls ID.4 cars with flammable sunshades

Subaru recalls Crosstrek, Forester cars over reduced rearview visibility  

Camden, NJ  – December 15, 2023 – Subaru (OTCMKTS:FUJHY) is recalling 95,830 cars and SUVs whose reverse lights and rearview cameras may fail to engage. This ups the risk of a crash and injury while backing up. 

The following vehicles are affected by this recall:  

  • 2021 – 2023 Subaru Legacy 
  • 2021 – 2023 Subaru Outback
  • 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2022 Subaru Forester

Recall summary  

Shifting into reverse triggers a switch inside the gear mechanism, which tells the car to turn the reverse lights and the rearview camera on.

In the affected vehicles, due to a supplier error, the switch was not welded properly allowing water ingress into the mechanism.  If moisture gets inside the car, the camera and lights may not engage when the driver is backing up.

The component causing this recall is the switch-inhibitor with part number 31918AA120. 

Recall risks

The driver is more likely to hit something while backing up. This raises the risk of injury and property damage.

Warning signs 

A faulty switch may also cause the selected gear to not show up on the “transmission panel.” It may also result in the “inability to start the engine” and the malfunction indicator light (MIL) coming on on the dashboard.

Other Subaru recalls

Some of these Subaru Crosstrek SUVs may have been affected by a recall from March 2023, caused by the risk of stall.

In September, Subaru’s sporty BRZ coupes were recalled because their turn signals would not work, as reported. 

The repair

Dealers will replace the said switch with an upgraded one free of charge. 

Owners should receive letters with more information on or before January 8, 2024. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

Nearly 100,000 cars are affected by this Subaru rearview camera recall. To do a Subaru recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicSubaru recalls Crosstrek, Forester cars over reduced rearview visibility  

GM recalls Chevys and Buicks over blank instrument clusters 

Warren, MI  – December 12, 2023 – General Motors (NYSE:GM), which owns the Buick and Chevrolet brands, is recalling 60,154 vehicles because their digital instrument cluster may switch off, leaving the driver without vital information. This may lead to an accident, increasing the risk of injury. 

The following vehicles are affected by this recall:  

  • 2024 Buick Encore GX
  • 2024 Buick Envista
  • 2024 Chevrolet Trax

Recall summary  

A software glitch in the affected cars may cause the dashboard to go black, depriving the driver of access to vital information, such as vehicle speed and various warnings.  

The component causing this recall is the virtual cockpit unit module with part number 86519681. 

Recall risks

The defect greatly ups the risk of a crash.

Other General Motors recalls

In January 2023, GM recalled nearly a quarter of a million vehicles, including Chevrolets and Buicks, over headlight issues

On a separate note, inoperable brakes were the cause of a Buick recall that took place in July 2022.

The repair

Dealers will update the dashboard software with an updated version. The upgrade can be done at the dealership or over-the-air.

Both options are free of charge.

Owners should receive letters with more information on or before December 22, 2023. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

More than 600,000 vehicles are affected by this GM blank display recall. To do a GM recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicGM recalls Chevys and Buicks over blank instrument clusters 

Honda recalls Acura, Odyssey cars that may stall or catch fire  

Torrance, CA  – December 6, 2023 – Honda (NYSE:HMC), which owns the Acura brand, has recalled 248,999 vehicles that may lose power or burst into flames. Both situations greatly augment the risk of a crash and injury. 

This recall comes on the back of multitudinous warranty claims and affects the following vehicles: 

  • 2016 – 2020 Acura MDX
  • 2015 – 2020 Acura TLX
  • 2018 – 2019 Honda Odyssey 
  • 2018 – 2019 Honda Pilot
  • 2016 Honda Pilot
  • 2017 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2019 Honda Ridgeline

Recall summary  

A car’s engine has many moving components, with bearings between some of them to help reduce friction. In the affected vehicles, an engine’s internal rotating part – called the crankshaft – was not built within design specifications, which can cause the bearing that connects to it to fail. This can result in a stall or a fire caused by a subsequent oil leak.

Honda has listed the whole engine subassembly, with part number 10002-5J2-A00, as the cause of this recall. 

Recall risks

The risk of both fire and stall are described in this article about a recent Mercedes-Benz recall for the same issues.

Warning signs 

The driver may notice abnormal knocking sounds coming from the engine bay and “decreased engine output.” In addition, these issues could also trigger the check engine light on the dashboard.   

Background of the recall

The recall comes on the back of almost 1,500 warranty claims. No injuries or fires have been reported.

Other Honda recalls

Some of these Honda vehicles may have been affected by a recall from July 2023, which was caused by rearview camera issues

In the same month, a brake failure prompted the Japanese car maker to recall a batch of their SUVs and pickups.  

The repair

Dealers will check the engine and will either repair or replace it free of charge.

Owners will receive letters with more information around January 2, 2024. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

Almost a quarter million cars are affected by this Honda engine stall recall. To do a Honda recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicHonda recalls Acura, Odyssey cars that may stall or catch fire  

Mazda recalls new CX-90 and MAZDA 3 cars with  faulty 360 cameras

Washington, D.C. – November 29, 2023 – Mazda (OTCMKTS:MZDAY) recalled 11,903 vehicles because their 360-degree cameras may fail to display an image. This limits visibility and ups the chances of backing into other vehicles or pedestrians. 

The following vehicles are affected by this recall: 

  • 2024 Mazda CX-90 
  • 2024 Mazda MAZDA 3 

Recall summary  

Due to a software issue, the image from one or more of the cameras may flicker or fail to display. If this happens, the driver’s view will be impaired. 

Recall risks

Risks posed by inoperable rearview cameras are well-documented in many of our previous recalls, such as this one from September 2023, which affected certain GM models

Other Mazda recalls

Inoperable rearview cameras were a cause of another Mazda recall that took place in July 2023

The repair

Dealers will update the monitor control module with an improved software version free of charge. 

Owners should receive letters with more information by December 22, 2023. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This Mazda rearview camera recall affects more than 10,000 cars. To do a Mazda recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicMazda recalls new CX-90 and MAZDA 3 cars with  faulty 360 cameras

BMW issues second recall for stalling cars

Westwood, NJ  – November 28, 2023 – BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY) is recalling  155,627 cars and SUVs that may stall while driving.  This ups the risk of a crash and injury, especially if it happens in dense traffic.

 The following vehicles are affected by this recall: 

  • 2010 – 2012 BMW 1 Series
  • 2010 – 2012 BMW 3 Series
  • 2010 – 2011 BMW 5 Series
  • 2010 – 2011 BMW X3
  • 2010 – 2011 BMW X5
  • 2010 – 2011 BMW Z4

Some of these cars were recalled over the same issue back in 2014.

Recall summary  

All listed vehicles have an engine with variable valve timing, called VANOS, which adjusts the opening and closing of engine valves to achieve better performance and improve fuel economy. In the affected vehicles, the bolts that hold the VANOS housing in place may become loose or break.

If that happens, the VANOS may develop a leak which may subsequently lead to the activation of the limp-home mode or a stall.

The component causing the recall is the VANOS bolt, with part number 8602263.

Background of the recall

The seemingly identical problem was already addressed in 2014, in a recall where these bolts were replaced with new ones. But, due to a quality issue, the repair turned out to be insufficient. 

The present recall is also composed of additional vehicles that back in 2014 were included into an “extended warranty program” to address the same “condition”.

Recall risks

If the car stalls or enters the limp-home mode – which would decrease the power output – it may get hit from behind. The accident may result in injuries for the occupants of the car and other motorists involved.

Warning signs

The driver may see the “Check the engine” or “Service the engine soon” message of the dashboard. He or she may also perceive “distinct change in engine running condition, reduced engine power, and hear increased engine noise.”

Other BMW recalls

In May 2023, BMW recalled almost 100,000 Minis that were at risk of catching fire.  

On a separate note, BMW’s electric SUVs were recalled in July 2022 because their displays did not show critical safety information when parked by a valet.

The repair

Dealers will once again replace the suspected bolts with new ones free of charge.

Owners should receive letters with more information on December 12, 2023. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This BMW VANOS recall affects more than 150,000 cars. To do a BMW recall check and see if yours is one of them, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool

Bojan PopicBMW issues second recall for stalling cars