Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks recalled for faulty ABS indicator light

Pleasanton, CA – July 17 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 12,200 Chevy Silverado trucks that may fail to indicate to the driver that there is a problem with the car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS), increasing the risk of  a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 4500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 5500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 6500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks

Recall summary  

On May 29, General Motors decided that certain  2019-2020  Chevrolet   Medium   Duty 4500HD/5500HD/6500HD trucks do not comply with a federal regulation requiring the ABS light to illuminate during certain kinds of malfunctions.

Vehicles use several control modules to operate many aspects of the car. GM houses many of these modules together in a grouping called the Body Control Module (BCM), which coordinates many functions in the vehicle, including as the speedometer, the instrumentation panel and the chime warnings. Another module, called the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), reads sensors in the braking system, and uses that information to activate the ABS as needed for sudden braking, stability or traction control. These two systems need to communicate for the safety of the driver.

In the recalled vehicles, the ABS  light fails to illuminate when the BCM can’t communicate with the EBCM.  This means that the driver will not be notified when there is a problem with the ABS.

Risks 

It is important for drivers to know if there is a problem with the anti-lock brakes. Driving without the ABS, particularly in bad weather, can be dangerous because the vehicle may not handle braking on slippery surfaces the way it is supposed to. When a vehicle skids, the tires lose traction with the ground and the driver can no longer steer, increasing the risk of a crash.

The repair

The affected trucks need a software update for the BCM. The update itself should take approximately 35 minutes, but GM advises owners in its owner notification letter that it may take longer “because of service scheduling requirements.”

The repair is available now and is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 12,000 cars are included in this Chevy recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Nate GouldsbroughChevrolet Silverado pickup trucks recalled for faulty ABS indicator light

Volkswagen recalls nearly 13,000 Audi luxury sedans for engine fire risk

Pleasanton, CA – July 16th, 2020 – Volkswagen (OTCMKTS: VWAGY) is recalling  all 2013-2018 Audi S8 and A8 vehicles that were manufactured between June 2012 and July 2017. The company warns that a faulty part of the engine compartment may increase the risk of a fire.

Recall summary

The recall stems from an issue with the engine compartment seal, a flexible strip that seals the engine compartment against the hood and helps keep the engine cool.

In “rare cases,” after being exposed to large temperature fluctuations near the hot engine, metal inside the rubber seal can warp and deform the seal. As a result, the seal—and possibly components surrounding it—can scorch and cause a fire.

Smells like trouble

The first sign of a problem for one Audi owner in McKinney, Texas, was a “rubber/plastic smell coming from under the hood,” the driver said in a post to an Audi World forum.

“I opened things up and the rubber seal (that seals the engine compartment against the hood when it is closed) had fallen off right above one of the turbo assemblies.”

The poster drives a 2016 Audi S8 and claimed to have looked into the issue back in March, four months before Volkswagen issued their recall.

Volkswagen became aware of incidents of burning and warping  seals in September 2019, but received no reports from North America.

Safety tips

If you smell something burning while driving, stop the car someplace safe. Check the tires first. Wait for the engine to cool down before popping the hood to take  a look– you  do not want to burn your fingers on a hot component. 

If you suspect there is an actual fire under the hood, do not open it. Oxygen will rush in and feed the flames. Instead, get yourself and others away from the vehicle, at least 100 feet. Call the fire department at 911 when you are in a secure location. Do not return to the vehicle for any reason.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), car fires kill over 300 people a year on average. But, the number may be higher because it is often hard to tell whether the person died from the crash or from the fire. Between 2008 and 2017, vehicle fires caused, on average, over a thousand injuries per year. 

The repair

Volkswagen dealers will install a retaining plate that will hold the engine seal in place and keep it from loosening. As of [date of publication] the repair is not yet available. Repairs may be forthcoming by September, when the recall officially begins.

In the meantime, customers can check the condition of their engine compartment seal by looking under the hood to see if the seal is in the correct position. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 13,000 cars are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Nate GouldsbroughVolkswagen recalls nearly 13,000 Audi luxury sedans for engine fire risk

Fiat Chrysler’s loose brand emblem may impale drivers, passengers in a collision

Pleasanton, CA – July 7, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (NYSE:FCAU) is recalling 925,239 vehicles because of a loose or a missing brand emblem that may be flung at the drivers and passengers during a crash, potentially causing serious injury. The recall includes:

  • 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2007-2011 Dodge Nitro

Recall summary

The plastic brand emblem on the steering wheel, as well as the nuts securing it, form part of the airbag cover. As a result of a design flaw, these components may detach and injure the driver and passengers, especially if the driver airbag deploys  during a crash.

Safety risks

There are 14 known injuries caused by this defect. One report filed in 2013 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes how one man received a “huge laceration” from a Dodge emblem that was flung into his forearm during a crash. “It could have knocked out his eye, entered his heart or even slashed his throat,” his spouse said in the report. Another near miss was reported in 2011, when an Oregon driver noticed, after a crash, that the emblem on her 2007 Dodge Nitro had shot off the steering wheel when the airbags went off and ended up in the passenger-side door. The driver was concerned with how forcefully the emblem had flown off the wheel.

Airbags deploy at speeds between 100 and 200 miles per hour within 30 to 50 milliseconds. Additionally, “objects in the path of a deploying airbag can become injurious, potentially lethal projectiles.” Even without the boost of an airbag, any loose object in a crashing vehicle can impale an occupant at close to the speed the vehicle was going before it crashed. For example, in 2015, surgeons in Rhode Island found a dime lodged in a crash victim’s leg. It had passed through his femur. The dime was bent.

Repair

FCA intends to replace the driver airbag cover on all affected vehicles. Replacements are set to be available by September. In the meantime, FCA has offered to remove emblems from the airbag cover as an “interim repair.” 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 900,000 cars are included in this Fiat Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Nate GouldsbroughFiat Chrysler’s loose brand emblem may impale drivers, passengers in a collision