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Ken Boyd is a five-time Dummies book author, including Accounting All-In-One for Dummies, and a frequent contributor at QuickBooks.

Daimler recalls Sprinter vans due to parking brake issue

Sandy Springs, GA – January 21, 2021– Daimler AG (NASDAQ:DMLRY) – known as Mercedes-Benz – has recalled 9,094 vans, due to an issue with leaking brake fluid in these vehicles that are all equipped with electrical parking brake (EPB) systems. The malfunction may change how the brake pedal operates, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2019-2020 Freightliner Sprinter 1500
  • 2019-2020 Freightliner Sprinter 2500
  • 2019-2020 Freightliner Sprinter 3500
  • 2019-2020 Freightliner Sprinter 4500
  • 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 1500
  • 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500
  • 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500
  • 2019-2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4500

Recall summary  

The problem in this Mercedes-Benz recall involves the rear brake calipers in vehicles that have an EPB, which allows for the activation of parking brakes with a push of a button.

Brake calipers clamp the wheels to slow the vehicle down when brakes are applied. When the EPB is used often, the rear brake calipers may leak brake fluid into the EPB. Then, to replace the lost brake fluid, air may enter the hydraulic brake system, which is used to stop the car. 

Because of the leak and introduction of air, the driver may have to press the brake pedal much farther towards the floor to get the car to slow down or stop. The driver may be alerted to the presence of the leak if the brake pedal is gradually becoming “softer.”

Risks 

If the leaking-fluid problem is not fixed, the vehicle may not respond quickly enough when the driver presses the brake pedal. This may increase the risk of a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists 22 recalls for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 1500. The 2020 Mercedes Benz Sprinter passenger vans and Freightliner Sprinter vehicles were  recalled  in August of 2020 because they did not meet standards for  Electronic Stability Control Systems.

The repair

Daimler Vans is in the process of devising a remedy for the brake problem. When the manufacturer is ready to perform repairs, customers will receive a final owner notification letter. Daimler Vans expects the recall to begin January 25, 2021, but no date has been set to begin repairs.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,000 vehicles are included in this Mercedes-Benz recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydDaimler recalls Sprinter vans due to parking brake issue

Honda CR-V vehicles recalled for window switch issue

Torrance, CA – January 18, 2021 – Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC) has recalled 268,655 Honda CR-V vehicles, due to a faulty power window switch. If moisture enters the power window master switch, the switch may fail or melt, increasing the risk of a fire. The recall includes 2002-2006 Honda CR-V vehicles.

Recall summary  

Power windows in these cars are operated by a master switch located in the door panel. Heavy rain may cause water to enter the driver’s side window. If the water reaches these Honda CR-Vs’ power window master switch, it may damage the switch’s circuit board, causing the switch to fail. In some cases, it may also result in a short circuit, which may overheat and melt the switch connectors. This situation can lead to a fire.

Risks 

If the driver’s side power windows do not operate correctly, the issue may distract the driver, increasing the risk of a crash. In addition, the water issue may cause a fire, which can injure the car occupants and greatly up the risk of a crash.

As of November 2020, the manufacturer has been notified of 23 fires related to this recall, as well as 87 “thermal events,” such as melting and smoke.

Second recall

Honda originally recalled the same vehicles for an identical power window switch issue in 2012. However, customers continued to report thermal events. Honda found that the problem actually occurred more often in the vehicles that had had the recall repair. This second recall will replace rather than simply repair the switch.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the power window CR-V master switch. Dealers will also inspect the wiring harness –  which is a set of wires and connectors that power the vehicle – and replace it  if necessary.

The repair is free of charge, and Honda expects the recall to begin January 18, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 250,000 vehicles are included in this Honda CR-V 2006 recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydHonda CR-V vehicles recalled for window switch issue

Mitsubishi recalls Outlander vehicles for parking brake issue

Franklin, TN – January 15, 2021 – Mitsubishi Corporation (NASDAQ:MSBHF) has recalled 21,758 vehicles, due to corrosion in the parking brake system. The parking brakes may not operate correctly, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes 2016  Mitsubishi Outlander and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vehicles.

Recall summary  

The parking brake system prevents the car from rolling away when parked on a hill by engaging rear brakes, which lock the rear wheels of a car in place. 

Due to a supplier assembly error, the rear brakes of these cars may lack a rust prevention coating. Without that coating, water may penetrate the brake system and corrode it. As a result, the parking brake may fail and not keep the car from rolling away.

Risks 

If the driver believes that the parking brake is set and the brake malfunctions, the vehicle may roll into traffic, hit another parked vehicle or injure a pedestrian. This is particularly dangerous if the vehicle is parked on an incline.

Other Mitsubishi Outlander recalls

Outlander and Outlander Sport cars are subject to several recent recalls.  Both cars, for example, were among the ones recalled back in the summer for improperly designed seat belts. They are also subject to a May recall due to a part of the suspension detaching due to corrosion.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the rear brake caliper assemblies. The repair is free of charge. Mitsubishi expects the recall to begin January 25, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 21,000 vehicles are included in this Mitsubishi Outlander recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydMitsubishi recalls Outlander vehicles for parking brake issue

Honda CR-V, Accord, Insight recalled for battery charging issue

Torrance, CA – January 14, 2021 – Honda Motor Company (NYSE:HMC) has recalled 27,838 vehicles due to an issue that may prevent the 12-volt battery from recharging properly. If the battery does not recharge, the vehicle may  lose power. The recall includes: 

  • 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid SUVs
  • 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid sedans
  • 2020-2021 Honda Insight hybrid sedans

Recall summary  

The 12-volt battery provides backup power for electrically-powered vehicles. If the vehicle’s hybrid battery is depleted, the 12-volt battery serves as an additional power source.

An excess amount of fuel additives and cold temperatures can cause “overvoltage” of a power converter unit (PCU), which powers these cars’ 12-volt battery. This may prevent that battery from recharging and may drain the car battery. Drivers may be alerted to the possibility of that happening when the 12-volt battery warning light is illuminated, and a warning message is displayed.

If both the hybrid battery and the 12-volt battery are depleted, the vehicle may lose all power, which increases the risk of a crash. 

Risks 

While there have been no reports of crashes or injuries related to the issue, there have been 53 warranty claims and 65 field reports as of December 10, 2020. 

The loss of battery power creates a number of risks:

  • Drivers may not be able to accelerate to enter a traffic lane or to avoid other vehicles and prevent an accident.
  • If the vehicle loses power on a highway or at higher speeds, it is at risk of getting hit.
  • The driver and occupants may be stranded in extreme weather in a vehicle with no power.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to update the software in the PCU. The repair is free of charge. Honda expects the recall to begin on February 25, 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 27,800 vehicles are included in this Honda Accord recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydHonda CR-V, Accord, Insight recalled for battery charging issue

General Motors vehicles recalled for seat belt issue

Warren, MI – December 31, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 624,216 vehicles due to a seat belt issue in the front-row center seat. The seat belt may not properly secure the occupant in the seat, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

The recall includes:

  • 2019-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks
  • 2019-2021 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban SUVs
  • 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2021 GMC Yukon XL SUVs
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 GMC Sierra 2500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 GMC Sierra 3500 trucks

Recall summary  

Seat belt brackets are designed to secure the seat belt to the seat frame. In recalled vehicles, the supplier of the front-row center seat failed to attach the brackets to the frame of the seat correctly.

As a result, the seat belt may be “loose or detached from the seat frame.” Passengers may also hear a rattling sound emanating from the seat. 

The issue was first caught by the manufacturer in August 2020. There are no injuries associated with this recall.

Other GM recalls

December saw a GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado recall due to an issue with roof-rail airbags, as well as a massive, six-million car recall due to faulty Takata airbags’ inflators that are prone to hurling “sharp metal fragments” into the car occupants in a crash. The latter includes Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. However, the trucks involved in both recalls are older models and not the same ones that are being recalled this time around.

Risks  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S.”  Seat belts can sharply reduce the risk of death or injury in a crash but they must be able to secure each occupant in the vehicle. If not, the passenger or the driver may be injured inside the vehicle or thrown from the vehicle during a crash.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers must inspect the seat belt bracket attachments on both sides of the front-row center seat and will reassemble them as necessary. The repair will be free of charge.  General Motors expects to begin the recall on February 1, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 624,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors vehicles recalled for seat belt issue

Nissan Titan trucks recalled for risk of fire, stalled engine

Franklin, TN – December 30, 2020 – Nissan Motor Company (NASDAQ:NSANY) has recalled 7,583 Titan pickup trucks due to an exposed engine wire. The wire may cause an electrical short, which could give rise to a fire. It could also result in the car stalling, increasing the risk of a crash.

The recall includes 2020 Nissan Titan and Nissan Titan XD pickup trucks.

Recall summary  

The engine wiring harness is a group of wires, connectors and terminals that operate each truck’s electrical system. Due to a supplier error in the assembly process, the wiring harness may include an exposed wire.  The issue could cause an electrical short, which could bring about an engine fire or negatively affect engine performance. The latter could result in the car stalling while out on the road, “without the ability to restart.”

Risks 

Both an engine fire and a stalled engine could put the car occupants, other motorists and even pedestrians at the risk of getting hit, injured or worse.

For tips on what to do if your car stalls, please see our article about a recent Chrysler recall for a similar issue. For information on steps you need to take in the event of a fire, please refer to our article about a recent BMW recall for contaminated battery, which also created significant fire risk.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the engine harness and determine if there are any exposed engine wires. The engine harness will be replaced free of charge, if necessary.  Nissan expects the recall to begin January 27, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 7,500 vehicles are included in this Nissan Titan recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydNissan Titan trucks recalled for risk of fire, stalled engine

Hyundai’s Nexo and Kona cars recalled for faulty brakes

Fountain Valley, CA – December 28, 2020 – Hyundai Motor Company (NASDAQ:HYMTF) has recalled 8,176 vehicles, due to a sensor signal malfunction that may “significantly” reduce braking power, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes 2019-2020 Nexo Fuel Cell sedans and 2019-2021 Kona Electric SUVs.

Recall summary  

These vehicles operate with an Integrated Electronic Brake (IEB) system which is designed to automatically reduce the speed of a car when the system determines that the risk of a crash is increasing.  

Recalled vehicles’ IEB may receive a faulty “sensor signal,” which may illuminate the malfunction indicator lamp and increase the time it takes the vehicle to slow down after applying brakes.

Hyundai recalled the 2020 Nexo due to a self-parking system issue in April of 2020. Several model years of Hyundai Kona electric vehicles were recalled in 2020 for a battery issue that could lead to a fire.

Risks 

If the brakes do not work as designed, the driver may not brake in time to avoid hitting another vehicle, a pedestrian or a stationary object, such as the curb, railing or a tree. A crash may injure the vehicle occupants or passengers in other vehicles.

An owner of a 2019 Nexo logged a complaint of last year that mentioned that the brakes would intermittently fail, causing the braking power to fall dramatically and the car speed to be limited to 13 mph. The failure also seemed to allow the car to “roll backward when the brake is not applied.” The complaint was logged before Hyundai started its investigation.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to update the IEB software. The repair is free of charge. Hyundai expects the recall to begin on January 22, 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 8,100 vehicles are included in this Hyundai Kona Electric and Nexo recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydHyundai’s Nexo and Kona cars recalled for faulty brakes

Sierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

Warren, MI – December 22, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 9,279 vehicles that operate with roof-rail airbags. The airbags connect to the inflation system using an end cap and the cap may malfunction. The recall includes:            

  • 2015 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks     

Recall summary  

The vehicles in this recall are equipped with roof-rail airbags (RRAB). These airbags deploy from near the roof and downward, to protect occupants from a side-impact crash. 

  • Each RRAB operates with an inflator, which inflates the airbag with compressed gas during a crash. An end cap keeps the compressed gas in the airbag.
  • A supplier’s manufacturing error caused moisture to corrode inside the inflator vessel near the end cap.
  • In the recalled cars, the inflator end cap may detach from the inflator, and compressed gas may propel the end cap into the passenger compartment. The end cap may injure occupants or distract the driver and cause a crash.

GM is aware of two cases of end caps detaching.  No injuries have been reported.

Note that this recall is different from the massive recalls for defective Takata airbags in 2015 or the recent recall of Nissan Sentras, also related to airbags.

GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado vehicles have had other recall notices in recent years. Recalls have been made for ignition locks, brakes, seats and for seat belt issues.

Risks 

A detached end cap may fly forcefully into the vehicle and hit an occupant, causing an injury. The end cap detachment may also distract the driver.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will inspect each RRAB and replace modules that appear to be dangerous. The repair is free of charge. General Motors expects the recall to begin on January 10, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,200 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydSierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

Ford Explorers, Edges, and Tauruses recalled for bracket failure issue

Dearborn, MI – December 17, 2020 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has recalled 15,587 vehicles with 2.0L or 2.3L engines and front wheel drive. A support bracket – which connects the engine to the front drive axle – may fail, and the driver may lose control of the vehicle. The recall includes:

  •  2014-2016 Ford Explorer SUVs
  •  2014-2015 Ford Taurus sedans
  •  2014-2016 Ford Edge SUVs

However, a Ford press release from November 13 mentions that the 2016 Taurus is also part of the recall and that only 2014 Edge SUVs are included. The reason for the discrepancy is not clear.

Recall summary  

Due to a design error, the bracket may not withstand the vehicle’s normal vibration. This could cause the bracket to crack. Because the bracket connects the engine to the front axle – which transmits the power from the vehicle to its wheels – this defect can cause a loss of “motive power” or “park function.”

Other Ford Explorer, Edge and Taurus recalls

There are several Ford Explorer recalls outstanding. In November, 2013-2017 Explorers were recalled for the third time due to a faulty suspension, as reported. 2020 Explorer SUVs and Edge SUVs were also recalled in September due to rearview cameras that may display a “distorted or blank” image, also as reported.

2015-2018 Ford Edge cars were recalled for leaking brake fluid  in August, while Ford Taurus sedans were subject to a recall in February due to toe link problems.

Risks 

Drivers in the recalled cars face a number of risks:

  • If the vehicle does not stay in park, the unexpected movement may cause a rollaway incident or an accident. The vehicle may roll into a person, another vehicle or a traffic lane.
  • A loss of power may prevent a driver from accelerating to merge into traffic and cause an accident.
  • Damage to other component parts may also cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and lead to an accident.

If the link shaft brackets cracks, drivers may notice “grinding, banging or clicking noise from the driveline” while driving, according to NHTSA.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the link shaft bracket. The repair is free of charge, but the parts are not currently available. Ford sent owners an interim notification which explained the recall on November 30, 2020. Each owner will receive a second notification when parts are available for the repair.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 15,500 vehicles are included in this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydFord Explorers, Edges, and Tauruses recalled for bracket failure issue

Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Auburn Hills, MI – December 14, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has recalled 28,884 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler. The cooler may crack and release coolant that may cause an engine fire. The recall includes 2014-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Recall summary  

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler is a car part designed to absorb heat to reduce emissions from an engine. Due to a supplier error, the recalled vehicles are prone to “thermal fatigue,” which may cause coolers in them to crack.

Vaporized coolant can then flow through the crack and into the EGR system while the engine is running. There it may interact with hydrocarbons and air in an area called the intake manifold, which forms part of the engine. This may lead to an engine fire.

This is not the first time Chrysler’s cars are having issues with EGR coolers. In 2019, Chrysler recalled a number of Ram 1500 trucks for the same EGR cooler issue. This past August a number of owners filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the manufacturer “botched” the recall, not making enough parts available for replacement.

Risks 

Vehicle fires are not uncommon. It is estimated that 212,500 vehicle fires occurred in 2018, causing 560 deaths, 1,500 injuries and $1.9 billion in property damage. If the EGR cooler issues cause a fire, the driver will receive very little warning. If you suspect that there is a fire in your engine compartment, pull over, turn off the vehicle, move all occupants out and away from it and call 911.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will replace the EGR cooler. They will also inspect the intake manifold and replace that as well if necessary. The repair is free of charge. This Jeep Grand Cherokee recall is expected to begin on December 31, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 28,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep Cherokee recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydJeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue