GM recalls vehicles with defective fuel sensors

Warren, Mich. – Nov. 21, 2017 – General Motors has recalled more than 35,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel tank sensors, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2011-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 pickup trucks produced between May 24, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2015. GM believes all of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected models include dual fuel tank assemblies. The first of these tanks includes a defective fuel-level sensor that sometimes stalls in the lowest position, offering an inaccurate reading and increasing the likelihood of overfilling and tank expansion. This, in turn, could then allow the tank to come into contact with the moving driveshaft, creating a hole and causing fuel leakage. As a result, the defect poses a serious threat to occupants. However, GM has received no reports linking the defective component to any accidents or injuries thus far.

Timeline of Events

In April 2017, the NHTSA notified GM about a vehicle owner questionnaire it had received that detailed an instance of fuel leakage in a 2015 GMC Silverado 3500 pickup. One month later, the GM engineers familiar with the VOQ submitted a report via the company’s Speak Up For Safety program. The automaker launched an internal investigation in response to the submission on May 16.

Over the course of May, June and July, engineers evaluated field data to pinpoint the root cause of the leakage, which apparently initiated in the front fuel tank. On July 27, GM met with the NHTSA to review the results of the three-month inquiry. The two parties came to the conclusion that the fuel leaks were not developing in vehicles manufactured after 2015. In August, GM completed a design failure mode and affect analysis, and determined that the problem was confined to Chevrolet Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 trucks equipped with dual fuel tanks. These vehicles were manufactured without beds and other conventional pickup features, as they were intended for commercial use or modification.

GM personnel reviewed the matter in two separate sessions on Aug. 28 and Sept. 25. The NHTSA revaluated the defect on Oct. 2 as well. The GM Safety and Field Action Decision Authority looked over the issue Oct. 12 and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. GM notified dealers Oct. 19.

The Solution

GM has directed dealers to inspect the front fuel tanks in the affected models and either replace the rear tank fuel pumps or updated the fuel sensor software, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. These fixes, which will be ready for implementation in early 2018, are to be executed free of charge. The automaker plans send an initial notification to owners via first-class mail Dec. 18 and follow-up document in February 2018, when the remedy is ready for implementation. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020 or GMC customer service at (800) 462-8782. Callers should use the GM recall identification number 17399.

Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 3274236.

MotorSafety.orgGM recalls vehicles with defective fuel sensors

Tesla recalls SUVs with defective rear seats

Palo Alto, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2017 – Tesla Inc. has recalled approximately 11,000 vehicles with defective backseat assemblies, The Associated Press reported. The campaign affects 2017 Tesla Model X sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Oct. 28, 2016 to Aug. 16, 2017. The automaker suspects 3 percent of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected models are equipped with backseat assemblies with improperly installed seat cables. These fixtures prevent the left seat from locking when upright, which poses a serious safety hazard, as the seat may move forward suddenly during a collision. However, Tesla has yet to receive field reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

The automaker discovered the defect during recent internal testing, TechCrunch reported. Tesla launched a voluntary safety recall as a result.

The Solution

The car company has directed dealers to replace the seat cables in affected models free of charge. Owners received notification via email Oct. 12. Those with vehicles included in the recall will be able to schedule service via the Tesla mobile application, which the automaker has employed to great effect recently.

“In the past two months, we have conducted roughly 40 percent of the Takata air bag recall repairs via mobile service, and customer satisfaction results for our mobile service offering are consistently above 97 percent,” a Tesla spokesperson told TechCrunch.

MotorSafety.orgTesla recalls SUVs with defective rear seats

Chrysler recalls vehicles with faulty wiring

Auburn Hill, Mich. – July 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled approximately 363,480 vehicles thought to contain defective air bag wiring fixtures, according to a press release from FCA. The campaign affects 2011-2015 Dodge Journey crossover models produced between Oct. 14, 2010 and April 20, 2015, as well as 2011-2015 Fiat Freemont crossovers sold outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement zone. FCA estimates that 1 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the faulty wiring fixtures, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with air bag wiring fixtures that chafe against steering wheel components. In this scenario, short-circuiting is likely. This may lead to unexpected driver-side air bag deployment. FCA has received reports of six injuries connected to the defect. In these cases, the air bag warning light illuminated prior to deployment. Drivers also observed unintended windshield wiper operation.

The car company has yet to receive reports of any accidents related to the defective wiring fixture.

Timeline of Events

In October 2014, FCA investigated an instance of inadvertent air bag deployment involving a Dodge Caravan minivan, according to a chronology document filed with the NHTSA. Engineers reporting to the auto maker’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group analyzed the issue and suggested the steering column clockspring conductor tape was to blame.

FCA continued the investigation and in March 2015 determined the actual root cause of the IAD: shorted wires due to friction between the air bag wiring harness and the metal horn plate located within the steering wheel assembly. In May, FCA engineers successfully tested tape-based wiring harness protection, which was then implemented in production facilities in September. This improvement applied to both Caravan and Journey models.

The car company continued to monitor the issue throughout 2015, while also identifying and quarantining damaged steering wheel assemblies.

In January 2016, FCA confirmed all of the updated wiring protections for Caravan and Journey vehicles were successfully installed in September 2015. One month later, the company requested a series of vehicle inspections to assess the efficacy of these production improvements.

In March, engineers conducted 26 corporate vehicle inspections and discovered that three models showed signs of contact between air bag wiring fixtures and steering wheel components. The FCA Quality Engineering Center obtained the inspection results the following month. After an initial review, QEC sent the results to the engineering laboratory, which conducted vehicle vibration tests and found that steering wheel components penetrated the air bag wiring protection. FCA continued to investigate and monitor the issue throughout 2016.

In January 2017, the VSRC received reports of IADs linked to other causes not addressed in previous investigations. One month later, FCA engineers opened a new inquiry and reviewed parts from the vehicles named in these reports and discovered a separate production anomaly limited in scope.

FCA closed this new investigation in early February but continued to monitor the issue. Over the course of late February, March and April the auto maker received new IAD reports involving shorted air bag wiring fixtures. It re-opened the brief investigation initiated in January. FCA received additional IAD reports in May.

On June 6, the Vehicle Regulations Committee conducted voluntary recall for Caravan models and requested more information on the Journey crossover. On June 20, engineers determine that shortened clockspring assemblies were the root cause in IAD instances involving Journeys.The VRC extended the campaign on June 30 to apply to Journey models.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers to inspect the air bag wiring on affected vehicles and replace and reinforce these fixtures, free of charge. Owners are expected to receive notification via first-class mail between Aug. 7 and Aug. 21. Those in need of more immediate help can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

MotorSafety.orgChrysler recalls vehicles with faulty wiring

Jaguar recalls vehicles with damaged headlights

Mahwah, N.J. – May 25, 2017 – Jaguar Land Rover North America has recalled a number of vehicles with defective headlights. The campaign affects Jaguar F-Type sports cars with highline headlights manufactured between March 9 and April 18, 2017, according to documentation filed with National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The automaker estimates that 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain this defective part.

The defect

Vehicles named in the campaign are equipped with lighting systems that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which stipulates that automobiles of all makes must include interior indicators to alert drivers when vehicle turn signals and headlight bulbs are damaged or in need of replacement, according to the Government Publishing Office. The turning signals and headlights installed on the Jaguar F-Type sports cars associated with the recall continue to function normally and offer warning even as essential lighting components quickly wane. This could increase the likelihood of an accident, as the driver may suddenly lose exterior lighting fixtures essential to safe operation. However, no accidents or injuries have yet been connected to this defect.

Timeline of events

The Jaguar Land Rover Product Safety and Compliance Committee launched an investigation May 9, 2017 following a post-production test in which the signal light failure indicator on one car failed to trigger, despite the presence of an inoperable lighting fixture. Engineers evaluated the result and discovered that a lighting assembly from German parts provider Automotive Lighting Reutlingen GmbH was the root cause. The engineers reported this discovery to the PSCC May 16, which forwarded the case to the Recall Determination Committee. This body reviewed all of the available information on the possible defect two days later and determined that the lighting assembly did not comply with FMVSS Standard 108. The RDC then called for a voluntary recall, and the automaker notified dealers June 1.

The solution

Jaguar Land Rover has ordered dealers to update the software in the affected vehicles to reactivate interior warning indicators. This work is to be done free of charge. Additionally, the company plans to reach out to owners on or before July 17 via mail. Check and see if your car is one of them using’s free recall lookup tool.

MotorSafety.orgJaguar recalls vehicles with damaged headlights

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective software

Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 21, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler has recalled more than 25,000 vehicles with incorrectly calibrated software. The recall affects Fiat 500L compact cars produced between March 6, 2013 and Oct. 21, 2014, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

Models named in the recall are equipped with incorrectly calibrated powertrain control module software, which has been shown to limit engine capabilities. Drivers have experienced instances in which their vehicles will only idle even when the accelerator is fully engaged. Many have been able to regain normal operation after depressing and then releasing the gas pedal, but this can make it difficult to maintain consistent speeds when navigating roadways. This can increase the likelihood of an accident, though no crashes or injuries have yet been connected to this defect.

Timeline of Events

  • On June 14, 2014, engineers at Fiat Chrysler discovered the issue after updating the PCM software on newly produced 500L models, according to the NHTSA. Roughly one month later, the automaker initiated an investigation and ultimately correlated the problem to faulty accelerator calibration. In September, production staff implemented new gas pedal assemblies to improve accelerator calibration.
  • On Dec. 2, 2016, Fiat Chrysler received a field report that indicated diminished drivability among 500L models. The car company launched an investigation and reviewed the performance data included in the field report. Seven days later, engineers determined that accelerator calibration was once again to blame. On Dec. 14, engineers developed revised calibration standards, which were finally published Feb. 6, 2017.
  • On Feb. 10, Fiat Chrysler’s Technical Service Organization issued a service bulletin outlining proposed PCM software updates for 500L models. The car company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group reviewed the draft document and outlined risk factors associated with the vehicle, including delayed throttle response and vehicle hesitation. Six days later, the VSRC launched an investigation into the 500L, and after an initial data review upgraded the inquiry Feb. 21.
  • On March 2, VSRC notified the Fiat Chrysler home office in Italy and continued to review field reports and other data. By March 6, the group had seen 35 warranty claims, 16 computerized accident reports and 13 field reports related to the defect. On March 9, Fiat Chrysler connected with NHTSA to review the investigation. On March 16, the car maker decided to initiate a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler is expected to request that dealers update the PCM software on affected models. The car company will reimburse owners for the repair. However, owners must submit service receipts or alternative proof of payment following the update. Both owners and dealers will receive official notifications May 5, 2017.

MotorSafety.orgChrysler recalls vehicles with defective software

GM Recalls Buick Sedan Due to Power Steering Defect

Warren, Mich. – Mar. 24, 2017 – General Motors Co. has recalled more than 2,000 Buick sedans due to a serious power steering defect. The recall impacts LaCrosse models produced between August and November 2016, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

Affected vehicles include electric power steering connector cables that may not be properly sealed. These unprotected features are vulnerable to corrosion and could fail due to extreme oxidization or the development of high resistance, which can cause melting. This poses a serious risk to drivers, as the sudden loss of power steering can hinder vehicle operation and lead to crashes. No accidents or injuries have been attributed to the defect.

Timeline of Events

GM engineering personnel performed two separate wire-harness assessments at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly factory on Oct. 8 and Nov. 1, 2016, according to the NHTSA. The evaluations targeted Buick LaCrosse models produced at the facility. The vehicles were found to contain unsealed EPS connectors. GM immediately modified its production workflows to address the mistake. Two day later, one vehicle systems engineer at the plant submitted a report detailing the issue. The automaker immediately launched a formal investigation into the defect Dec. 10, 2016.

Inspectors reviewed the faulty connectors and discovered that the OEM parts provider, Delphi Automotive Systems, had provided cables with badly crimped seals. GM personnel were able to remove the connectors without using tools or extreme force. The Safety Field Action Decision Authority division reviewed the results and called for an official recall Feb. 16.

The Solution

GM has ordered dealers to replace faulty EPS connector seals, free of charge. However, the automaker has yet to release an owner notification period, according to NHTSA records. Affected owners are encouraged to contact Buick customer service should they need more immediate help.

MotorSafety.orgGM Recalls Buick Sedan Due to Power Steering Defect

Suzuki Recalls SUV with Defective Shift Shaft

Brea, Calif. – Mar. 22, 2017 – Suzuki Motor Company of America has recalled almost 800 vehicles due to shift shafts. The recall impacts Grand Vitara sport utility vehicles with manual transmissions produced between June 2008 and October 2012, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

The affected models include gearshift rear shafts – fixtures responsible for the shift lever to the transmission – that are prone to breakage due to defective materials. Shifters can snap during normal operational movements, especially when maneuvered right-to-left or left-to-right repeatedly. This poses serious risks for customers, as it prevents them from changing gears while driving, increasing the risk of a traffic accident. No injuries have been linked to this defect as yet.

Timeline of Events

  •  In July 2012, Suzuki learned that drivers were experiencing trouble when shifting gears from a distributor in Nigeria, according to a document filed with the NHTSA. Quality control specialists investigated the issue and discovered that broken gearshift rear shafts were the cause.
  • More than one year later, the automaker was forced to investigate further as more incidents involving broken shafts had been reported. Suzuki engineers eventually decided that operator overuse was to blame. It altered production practices and changed the shaft design to accommodate more aggressive gear-shifting. Suzuki implemented the new fabrication workflows in June 2013.
  • In July 2015, the company looked into the defect once more in response to an influx of new incident reports. Engineers tested the materials used in the original production process and found that they failed to comply with internal quality metrics. By then, Suzuki had fielded 29 complaints related to the defective transmission components.
  • Four months later, similar tests were performed using the alternative shafts introduced in 2013. The new fixtures met durability standards.
  • In April of last year, Suzuki engineers altered the Grand Vitara production process once more, replacing circular shafts with square-shaped models. This new design complied with company standards. Production of the new shaft began in August.
  • On Feb. 2, 2017, the automaker chose to initiate an official recall, citing more than 100 separate incident reports involving the original gearshift rear shafts. While none were filed in the U.S., the defect was mentioned in various warranty claims, necessitating the involvement of the NHTSA.
  • Dealers received notification Feb. 24.

The Solution

Suzuki has instructed dealers to replace the original shaft with the newly designed square alternative, free of charge. The automaker intends to notify affected customers March 1.

MotorSafety.orgSuzuki Recalls SUV with Defective Shift Shaft

Volvo Issues Recall Over Side-Curtain Air Bag Defect

Rockleigh, N.J. – Mar. 21, 2017 – Volvo Cars has recalled more than 5,500 vehicles due to a serious side-curtain air bag defect. The recall impacts Volvo S90 sedans manufactured between November 2016 and January 2017, as well as V90 Cross Country and XC90 luxury sports utility vehicles produced over the same span, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

The bolts securing side-curtain air bag structures in these models are likely to break due to manufacturing error. Hydrogen embrittlement is the primary cause, an issue that arose due to variability in the bolt fabrication process. Once applied, the fasteners quickly deteriorate, showing signs of failure within 48 hours installation. Fixtures that manage to effectively secure side-curtain air bag assemblies for at least 48 hours are deemed structurally sound, while those that fail or falter must be replaced.

The defect poses serious safety risks, as the side-curtain air bags may not deploy properly in the event of a crash. No injuries have been connected to this defect.

Timeline of Events

Engineers at the Swedish automaker first caught wind of the defect in early February, when a report chronicling the discovery of broken bolts in one vehicle was submitted to corporate. Volvo representatives investigated the event further and found that the fasteners had come from the side-curtain air bag assembly. The automaker then contacted the parts supplier, Autoliv Poland, and reported the issue.

On Feb. 10, Volvo’s Critical Concern Management Team elected to start the recall process. The internal group then blocked new vehicles containing the faulty bolts from shipping out three days later. Volvo notified the NHTSA officials and dealers Feb. 16.

The Solution

The automaker has ordered dealers to replace the bolts free of charge, according to NHTSA documentation. Owners are expected to receive notification April 1.

MotorSafety.orgVolvo Issues Recall Over Side-Curtain Air Bag Defect

Isuzu Recalls Trucks Due to Transmission Mounting Defect

Plymouth, Mich. – Mar. 15, 2017 – Isuzu has recalled 21,000 trucks due to transmission mounting issues. The recall impacts NPR HD, NPR XD, NRR and NQR commercial truck models produced between 2015 and 2017, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Equipment used in the fabrication process burred the transmission mounting fixtures in these models. The resulting rough edges can degrade mounting studs, and in some cases cause complete breakage. This leaves the transmission unsupported, preventing it from shifting correctly and increasing the likelihood of failure. This poses serious risks to drivers and passengers, as the interruption in operation can lead to a crash.

Timeline of Events

In March 2016, the automaker received warranty claims related to degraded or failing transmission mounting brackets, according to an internal document. Investigators inspected some of the affected vehicles and discovered burrs near hole stamping locations meant to accommodate crossbars. Inspectors calculated a projected failure rate of .085 percent and established that serious problems began developing after the 60,000 mile mark.

Three months later, Isuzu engineers reviewed production protocols and added a new phase to fabrication process, which required shop-floor personnel to grind away burred edges. They also conducted road tests to replicate the issue. In June, the car manufacturer decided the problem posed few safety risks but continued to investigate.

Further testing occurred throughout fall 2016 and winter 2017. In January, Isuzu broached the idea of initiating a recall and discussed possible solutions to the problem. On Feb. 10, the automaker chose to launch an official recall.

The Solution

Isuzu has ordered dealers to install metal buffers to cut down on mounting stud stress. This repair is to be done free of charge. Owners are expected to receive communications regarding the recall in April.

MotorSafety.orgIsuzu Recalls Trucks Due to Transmission Mounting Defect

Jaguar Recalls Vehicles with Cracked Panels

Mahwah, N.J. – Mar. 14, 2017 – Jaguar Land Rover North America has recalled a number of vehicles with cracked inner paneling. The recall impacts approximately nine Jaguar XF sport utility vehicles produced in December last year, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

The left-hand inner still panels in the affected vehicles could be cracked. This damage leaves nearby fuel lines unprotected and prone to ignition in the event of a crash. This poses obvious risks to motorists, especially those involved in traffic incidents. There have been no reported injuries related to this defect.

Timeline of Events

On Dec. 19, 2016, an engineer assigned to the trim and final assembly team at the Jaguar Land Rover production facility in Castle Bromwich, U.K. spotted a crack in the inner still panel of a soon-to-be-shipped XF. On-site personnel investigated, while the automaker instituted an immediate freeze on shipments from the Castle Bromwich plant. Almost one month later, operations personnel reviewed the situation and elected to launch an official investigation into the problem. The stop shipment notice was renewed.

Jaguar Land Rover engineers investigated the fabrication process and concluded that friction between the press machine die and the material was the cause of the breakage. On Jan. 31, company engineers and executives met again to review engineering reports highlighting the proximity of fuel lines to the cracked left-hand inner still paneling. The group concluded the defect posed a serious risk to customers and issued a recall Feb. 2.

The Solution

Jaguar Land Rover has instructed dealers to inspect affected vehicles, according to the NHTSA. Should cracking appear, dealers are to repurchase the damaged XFs and provide new ones, free of charge. Owners are expected to receive notification by April 7.

MotorSafety.orgJaguar Recalls Vehicles with Cracked Panels