rebecca

Rebecca Rand is a freelance science and technology writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She drives a 2010 Toyota Yaris.

Nissan recalls 2021 Rogue SUVs for brake fluid leak

Franklin, TN – May 20, 2021 – Nissan (OTCMKTS:NSANY) has recalled 14,054 vehicles that may leak brake fluid. This may cause the brakes to stop working properly, increasing the risk of a crash. It can also lead to an electrical short, upping the risk of a fire.

The recall includes 2021 Nissan Rogue compact SUVs. The components involved are the right- and left-hand brake caliper assemblies, with part numbers 44000-6RA0C and 44010-6RA0C, respectively.

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the rear brake calipers, which help clamp down on the wheels to slow the car down when braking. The calipers in the recalled cars may be missing a small part that helps make sure the brake fluid stays sealed inside the brakes. Without it, the fluid may leak out, reducing the brakes’ ability to stop the car and possibly causing an electrical short.

Warning signs

According to Nissan, a warning light would appear on the dashboard in the case of an electrical short, but would not warn drivers of weakened brakes.

Risks and safety tips

An electrical short can lead to a fire, increasing the risk of death or injury for the people involved. For tips on what to do in the event of a fire, please visit our recent article about a fire-related Hyundai recall.

For tips on what to do if your brakes fail, please refer to this article about a recent Ford Edge recall.

The repair

Nissan knows the serial numbers of the affected calipers, but not precisely which cars they were put into. To find the defective parts and see if a replacement is necessary, dealers will scan the QR code on both left and right rear brake calipers. The inspection and any replacements will be free. Owners will receive information about when and how to seek repairs starting June 10.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 14,000 Rogue SUVs are included in this Nissan recall. To see if your SUV is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandNissan recalls 2021 Rogue SUVs for brake fluid leak

Stellantis recalls Jeep Cherokees for transmission fluid leak

Auburn Hills, MI – May 15, 2021 – Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – which owns the Jeep brand – has recalled 18,800 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUVs that may leak transmission oil, creating the risk of fire.

The component in question is called “3.2L TOC Hose,” with multiple part numbers, including 68399015AA.

Recall summary  

The oil cooler is a component of the engine system designed to keep the engine from overheating, while curing is a process that is used to give final shape to some parts of the car, such as rubber hoses and tires.

Due to a supplier error, the oil cooler hose – which carries lubricating oil from the transmission to the oil cooler – has been cured for too long, making it weak and prone to breaking.  

Risks

The weak hose may rupture, igniting the oil and resulting in an engine fire. Vehicle fires are extremely dangerous, putting occupants at a serious risk of injury or death. Read more about what to do in case of a vehicle fire in this article about a recent Kia Stinger recall.

Warning signs 

The manufacturer says there are no warning signs. If your car is part of this recall, take it in for repair immediately! 

Complaints

Stellantis acknowledges that it knows of four customer assistance records, 160 warranty claims, and seven field reports related to this problem. The automaker estimated that 1 in 10 of the recalled vehicles contained a defective hose.

The repair

Dealers will inspect the transmission oil cooler hose and replace it, if needed, for free. Drivers who paid to have this issue fixed before the recall may be eligible for reimbursement. Owner notifications with more information about when and how to seek repairs will be sent out starting  June 23.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 18,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep recall. To see if your SUV is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandStellantis recalls Jeep Cherokees for transmission fluid leak

Ford recalls Explorer SUVs for fly-away roof rail covers

Dearborn, MI – May 12, 2021 – Ford (NYSE:F) has issued a recall of 616,967 SUVs whose roof rail covers may detach and fly off the vehicle while driving. Ford is recalling these vehicles:  

  • 2016 Ford Explorer
  • 2017 Ford Explorer
  • 2018 Ford Explorer
  • 2019 Ford Explorer

The affected part is the “roof rail cover,” with multiple part numbers, including FB5Z-78551A46-BA.

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the roof rail covers, which partly cover the roof rails used to hold cargo (such as a kayak) on top of the car. The covers, after being exposed to sunlight and other wear and tear, may detach from the car and fly off into the road, creating a road hazard for other drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) brought the issue to Ford’s attention a year ago, after receiving 11 complaints of roof rail covers falling off. 

Footnotes

According to Ford, some Explorers have metal plated roof rail covers that do not have this problem. Those vehicles will not be recalled. To see if your 2019 Ford Explorer Limited, for example, needs to be repaired, use our VIN lookup tool.

Warning signs

Drivers with insecure roof rail covers may notice louder wind noise or squeaks and rattles while driving. 

Risks

If a roof rail cover flies off the car while driving, it may force other drivers to make quick maneuvers to avoid it, increasing the risk of a crash. Read more about the dangers of road debris in this article about a recent Land Rover recall over fly-away spoilers. 

Other Ford Explorer recalls

The 2016 Ford Explorer was recalled in November of last year because of a defective part that connects the engine to the front axle, which “transmits the power from the vehicle to its wheels,” as reported.

 The issue can result in the car stalling or losing its ability to stay in park, increasing the risk of death or injury for the car occupants, other motorists and pedestrians.

The repair

Ford or Lincoln dealers will use plastic pins to secure the roof rail more tightly to the roof of the car, free of charge. Owners will receive more  instructions by mail between June 28 and July 2. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 617,000 vehicles are included in this recall. Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to do a Ford recall check.

Rebecca RandFord recalls Explorer SUVs for fly-away roof rail covers

Mercedes-Benz recalls SUVs for electrical short

Jacksonville, FL – May 6, 2021 – Daimler AG (NASDAQ:DDAIF), which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand has recalled 6,331 SUVs that may experience an electrical short due to a water leak. The recall includes:

  • 2021 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE450
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE580
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLS450
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLS580

Recall summary  

The recall centers around an issue with the air conditioning drain hose, which may be installed incorrectly. Just like how water beads up on the outside of a glass of ice water, cool air from air conditioning causes water to condense into droplets inside the air conditioner. This water has to drip somewhere, and the drain hose is supposed to move that moisture out of the car, away from sensitive wiring and electronics.

In the recalled vehicles, the incorrectly installed drain hoses may cause water to leak down into the floor of the car. The electrical wiring there is not waterproof, and the water could cause an electrical short, creating the risk of a fire. 

Previous recalls

This recall builds on two previous ones by Mercedes Benz, who recalled 18,392 vehicles in 2019 and 3,615 in 2020 for the same issue in other models. Mercedes blames the loosely connected drain hoses on a “deviation in the assembly process” during manufacturing.

Warning signs

If the air conditioner drain hose is leaking,  drivers and passengers may notice the carpet under their feet is wet, or that the windows are fogged up.

Risks

This water leak poses several risks. The various electronics that may be damaged by the water can disable features related to safety, like the emergency call system that alerts first responders if a crash is detected, and the door locks (which may hinder first responders from opening the doors in an emergency). If the vehicle is suddenly forced into a decreased power mode, the car may slow unexpectedly, creating the risk of a crash. 

Lastly, the risk of fire is serious, and puts passengers at risk of inhaling toxic fumes, getting burned or dying. Read more about the risks of an interior car fire in this article about a recent Hyundai recall over fires caused by the 12-volt “cigarette lighter” outlet.

The repair

Mercedes Benz dealers will check the air conditioner drain hose and make sure it is installed properly, free of charge. Owners will be notified about the recall with more information about when and how to seek repairs starting June 22.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

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

Rebecca RandMercedes-Benz recalls SUVs for electrical short

Volkswagen recalls Audis for broken suspensions

Auburn Hills, MI – May 5, 2021 – Volkswagen  (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) – which owns the Audi brand – has recalled 40,993 Audis, including a number of 2021 Audi SUVs, because a part of the suspension may break. The recall includes:

  • 2020 – 2021 Audi A4
  • 2019 – 2021 Audi A5
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi A6
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi A7
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi A8
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi Q5
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi S4
  • 2019 – 2021 Audi S5
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi S6
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi S7
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi S8
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi SQ5
  • 2020 – 2021 Audi S5 Cabriolet
  • 2021 Audi Q7
  • 2021 Audi Q8
  • 2021 Audi RS Q8
  • 2019 – 2021 Audi RS5
  • 2021 Audi RS6 Avant
  • 2021 Audi RS7

The component name is ”Lock nut M14x1,5,” part number WHT 007 610.

Recall summary  

The recall stems from an issue with a single nut in the car’s trailing arm suspension. The trailing arms is a type of suspension that helps keep the rear wheels aligned properly. 

Due to a supplier error, the nuts used to connect the trailing arm to the rest of the car were not manufactured “according to specification.” As a result, certain batches of nuts may get corroded or damaged, causing them to break.

Risks

When the nut holding the trailing arm breaks, the rear wheels could become misaligned, changing the direction the car is moving in. “It cannot be completely ruled out that [the car] could suddenly and uncontrollably move in the wrong direction at higher speeds,” Volkswagen says in recall documents. If this occurs, the driver can lose control and crash.

Warning signs

Drivers with a broken trailing arm nut may notice the steering wheel is not aligned when they are driving or that the vehicle lists to one side when they hit the gas or brake. Volkswagen knows of two incidents of this kind; both took place outside the US.

Other Audi recalls

Volkswagen recently recalled over 150,000 Audi A3-generation cars for faulty airbags. These passenger-side airbags are prone to deactivating while someone is sitting in the seat, upping that passenger’s risk of injury in a crash. 

The repair

Volkswagen and Audi dealers will replace the defective nut and will check for existing damage. If the part is already damaged, the whole screw connection will be replaced. Both services are provided for free. The repair is not yet available, but owners will receive more information about the recall by June 25.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 41,000 vehicles are included in this Audi recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls Audis for broken suspensions

GM recalls pickups for power steering problem

Warren, MI – April 30, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 60,678 pickup trucks that may lose power steering on “startup or while driving,” increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickups
  • 2015 GMC Canyon pickups

The component in question is the “electric power steering rack,” with multiple part numbers, including 23228020 and 23228019.

Recall summary  

Power steering is a feature that makes it easier to turn or maneuver the vehicle.

The recall is an expansion of a previous recall conducted in 2016. It stems from an issue with the trucks’ power steering gears, which translate the turning of the steering wheel into the turning of the tires.  

Because of certain electrical connections being corroded or damaged within the gears, the  gears may lose power and shut off the power steering.

Warning signs

If the power steering is deactivated, the driver will hear chimes and see the malfunction indicator light (MIL) come on.

Risks

With a heavy car like a pickup truck, losing power steering can make it difficult to maneuver the car, especially at lower speeds. This augments the risk of an accident.

Read more about what to do if you lose power steering in this article about a similar Mercedes-Benz GLC recall.

The repair

Dealers will replace the faulty part with an improved model, free of charge. Drivers who repaired this issue on their own dime before May 10 are eligible for reimbursement. GM also said “courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in this recall and are within the warranty coverage period for the warranty which is associated with this recall.”

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 60,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. Want to do a GM recall check? Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check for open Chevrolet recalls and GMC recalls.

Rebecca RandGM recalls pickups for power steering problem

Nissan recalls Infiniti sedans at risk of stalling

Franklin, TN – April 28, 2021 – Nissan (OTCMKTS:NSANY) has recalled 12,943 cars  that may stall because of a software issue. The recall includes:

  • 2021 Infiniti Q50 sedans
  • 2021 Infiniti Q60 sedans

Recall summary  

The engine control module (ECM) is a computer that controls the engine and over 100 elements in the car. Because of a software issue, when accelerating rapidly, the ECM may “shut off” the fuel supply, resulting in the car stalling. In normal circumstances, the fuel supply will not be cut off.

Warning signs

According to Nissan, drivers may be warned of the impending stall if the car “suddenly feels sluggish” and the check engine light comes on. Both of these indicate that the car entered a “limp-home” mode during which its speed is significantly reduced since the engine is not operating at full capacity.

The good news is that the car should drive normally after it is restarted.

Risks

Stalling, particularly in high-speed areas, can be dangerous, as approaching vehicles run the risk of hitting the slowed or stationary car. Read more about stalling risks and what to do if your vehicle loses power on the road in this article about a recent Chrysler recall.

The repair

Infiniti dealers will reprogram the ECM to correct the software issue. Owners will be mailed recall notifications with more information about when and how to seek repairs starting on May 25. 

There has been one crash related to this issue so if you do not feel comfortable driving your Infiniti, towing is available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 13,000 vehicles are included in this Infiniti recall. To see if your car is one of them, check for Nissan recalls with MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandNissan recalls Infiniti sedans at risk of stalling

Toyota recalls Venzas for driver-side airbag malfunction

Plano, TX – April 21, 2021 – Toyota (NYSE:TM) has recalled 279,040 mid-size crossover SUVs whose driver-side side and curtain airbags may fail to deploy in a crash.  The recall includes these models:

  • 2009 Toyota Venza 
  • 2010 Toyota  Venza 
  • 2011 Toyota Venza 
  • 2012 Toyota Venza 
  • 2013 Toyota Venza 
  • 2014 Toyota Venza 
  • 2015 Toyota Venza 

The component in question is the “wire harness for [the] front driver door,” with multiple part numbers, including 82152-0T100 and 82152-0T140.

Recall summary  

The recall stems from a wiring issue inside the Venza’s driver-side door. The wires connecting an airbag sensor in the door to the supplemental restraint system (SRS) – which is a computer that controls these airbags – may rub against a metal ring holding them together. 

This could eventually cause the wires to fracture, disabling the driver’s side and curtain airbags. In a crash, these airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury to people in  the vehicle.

Warning signs

Venza drivers may notice that their SRS warning light turns on, indicating that airbags have been deactivated.

Risks

Like many other vehicles, 2009-2015 Toyota Venzas use side and curtain airbags to protect the driver’s head and torso, particularly in side-impact crashes. 

Side and curtain airbags reduce side-impact crash fatalities by an estimated 31.3%, but this protection is stripped away if these airbags deactivate and fail to deploy. 

The repair

Dealers will inspect the wiring inside the driver-side door and, if necessary, replace the wiring system with a new one for free. Owners who already paid for repairs related to this problem may be eligible for reimbursement. Instructions on when and how to seek repairs or reimbursement will be sent to owners by June 12.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 279,000 Venzas are included in this Toyota airbag recall. To do a Toyota recall check,  use MotorSafety’s free recall lookup tool.

Rebecca RandToyota recalls Venzas for driver-side airbag malfunction

General Motors under investigation for airbag failures

Washington, D.C. – April 19, 2021 – The U.S. government’s highway safety regulator is investigating General Motors (NYSE:GM) over reports of airbag malfunction. The investigation cites 15 complaints and covers the following vehicles:

  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac CT4
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac CT5
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac XT5
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Yukon
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2020 GMC Sierra Denali
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 5500HD
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 6500HD

Complaints  

Of the 15 complaints consumers submitted to the regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), six mention serious crashes where the airbags failed to deploy, while eight highlight injuries that occurred in connection with the problem.

One complaint from Dayton, Ohio graphically describes the consequences when one driver’s airbag failed to deploy in an accident, resulting in a serious head injury. During the accident, “something hit [the driver’s] face while the “steering wheel airbag” failed to deploy. The driver remembers crawling out of their overturned Cadillac Escalade and being taken to the hospital. Upon being discharged, the person experienced “loss of taste and smell” except for the “smell of brain matter” from “fluid” dripping down their nasal cavity.

Other complaints describe the airbags failing to deploy despite the driver hitting several trees

Cause of the problem

The administration’s investigation points to a bulletin GM posted for dealers and repair shops in March, addressing problems with the airbag warning light. The bulletin blames the problem on “rust particles in the connection terminal interface of the driver airbag inflator.”

However, according a statement obtained by the Associated Press (AP), GM said it was unaware of any airbags failing to deploy due to this problem, adding that its own analysis of the issue found that airbags would still deploy in a crash even if the malfunction light was on.

Warning signs

Some of the complaints describe the airbag and “service safety restraint system” warning lights coming on as often as “every two to three minutes when driving.”

Other GM airbag recalls

GM has recently recalled close to 6 million cars because of potentially lethal Takata airbags that may rupture when deployed. Separately, in April NHTSA launched another investigation after multiple car manufacturers – including GM – recalled airbags that were improperly folded during the installation process and could fail to deploy. The airbags were manufactured by Joyson, a successor of Takata.

It is not clear who produced the GM airbags at the center of the current investigation.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 749,000 vehicles could be recalled as a result of NHTSA’s investigation. To do a GM recall check, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and come back to the site when more details become available.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors under investigation for airbag failures

Mercedes-Benz recalls nearly 5,000 vehicles for possible loss of steering

Jacksonville, FL – April 14,  2021 – Daimler AG (NASDAQ:DDAIF) – which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand has recalled 4,992 vehicles with a flaw in the steering shaft, which links the wheel and steering gear. This flaw may make it harder to steer or result in a complete loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.  The recall includes:

  • 2017 – 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45
  • 2017 – 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG
  • 2017 – 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA250
  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250E
  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 

(2018 CLA 250 models are not included in this recall). The affected part is the steering shaft with multiple part numbers, including A0009909118 and A2464600409.

Recall summary  

The recall stems from an issue in a joint attached to the steering shaft. The connection between the two may be slightly loose and allow for increased “play” between the two parts over time. Initially, the issue could cause noises when steering or steering that is less “precise” than usual. If left unrepaired, the steering shaft could separate from the joint entirely, causing the driver to lose the ability to steer the car.

Risks

This kind of break is most likely to occur at lower speeds, such as while parking, as this is when the greatest force is required to steer the car. Even at low speeds, however, loss of steering ability is unsafe and increases the risk of a crash.

So far there has been only one known instance of the shaft separating from the joint. It did not cause any crashes or injuries.

The repair

Mercedes-Benz dealers will check the car’s steering shaft and replace it, if necessary. All repairs will be provided for free. Owners who already repaired their drive shafts on their own dime may be eligible for reimbursement. Notifications with more information about this, and about when and how to  seek repairs, will be sent out on April 30. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 5,000 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 recalls nearly 5,000 vehicles for possible loss of steering