Certain Nissan and Infiniti AirBags May Explode

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 16, 2020 – Nissan North America is recalling certain Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. Affected vehicles may have faulty airbag inflators that could explode without warning, propelling sharp and metal objects toward vehicle occupants. Nissan estimates 307,962 vehicles are under recall.

The Defect:

Affected vehicles were manufactured with faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata, now a bankrupt company, that has phased out airbags in accordance with documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Nissan spokesperson announced that “Nissan Group is implementing the next phase of the Takata inflator recalls in accordance with the predetermined coordinated remedy schedule set by NHTSA.”

Recalled models include:

  • 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima
  • 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra
  • 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2007-2011 Nissan Versa sedan and hatchback.
  • 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35
  • 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4
  • 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45
  • 2006-2010 Infiniti M35

The recall outlines that airbag inflators, subjected to high temperatures or humidity, could explode sending propellant and metal objects toward the driver and other occupants. This could result in injury or death. NHTSA estimated that sixteen people in the U.S. have been killed and 250 have been injured due to the defective airbag inflators. Of the recalled vehicles, NHTSA estimates that 25 percent, or 13 million vehicles, are still to be repaired by Nissan.

Solution:

Affected owners should take their vehicle into any authorized Nissan or Infiniti dealership to replace the defective airbag inflator, free of charge. Nissan will notify the owners on February 10, 2020 asking to bring their vehicles into any authorized dealers for proper service. Affected vehicle owners should contact Infiniti customer service at 888-810-3715 or Nissan customer service at 888-737-9511, for further recall information.

To find out if a vehicle has been affected by this manufacturing defect or recall, vehicle owners are advised to visit MotorSafety.org and run their 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN can be found on the driver’s side dashboard, the driver’s side door jam, DMV registration or the vehicle’s insurance card.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesCertain Nissan and Infiniti AirBags May Explode

New BMWs May Have Seat Belt Issue

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 9, 2019 – BMW of North America, LLC is recalling certain 2019-2020 330i and 330i xDrive vehicles. The outboard rear seat belt pre-tensioners may not lock as they are intended to in the event of a crash.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 135.

The Defect

Affected vehicles’ pre-tensioner inflator tubes may not have been crimped while in production. As a result, affected pre-tensioners have not been produced to meet BMW specifications. The issue poses a potential risk because the seat belt pretensioners may fail to lock, causing the occupant to slide forward rapidly and increasing the risk of injury. The seat belt itself, however, will still lock during a crash.

BMW has not received any reports of accidents or injuries that were caused by this defect.

Timeline of Events

On December 2, 2019, the retractor part supplier, Autolive ASP, Inc, that a pre-tensioner that was out-of-specification was observed during supplier production. According to the supplier, the pre-tensioner lacked a crimp along the circumference of the tube. Further review by Autolive ASP revealed that some defective parts had already shipped and been used in production by BMW. BMW used vehicle assembly information and supplier production records to determine the production dates and vehicle numbers of vehicles that may have defective parts. Affected production dates were determined to be within a range from April, 2019 to December, 2019.  

On December 19, 2019, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. Certified BMW dealers were notified the next day.  

The Solution

Affected owners will receive a letter on February 10, 2020 by first class mail with information about the recall. Once the letter has been received, vehicles should be brought to a certified BMW Dealer. In order for the process to run smoothly, and to ensure that BMW has all of their information updated, owners are encouraged to register their vehicles online.

To perform the recall, BMW dealers will replace the entire affected rear seat safety belt, free of charge. The process should take about one hour per vehicle.  

Owners can continue to drive their vehicles in the lead up to the recall, however, are encouraged to bring their vehicles to have the problem remedied as some as possible after receiving a notification.

For more information on this and other recalls, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesNew BMWs May Have Seat Belt Issue

2018 S Class Mercedes May Have Small Brake Systems

Laguna Hills, Calif., January 9, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA, LLC is recalling certain 2018 S560 and S450 vehicles. Affected vehicles may have front brake components, including the brake discs, calipers and pads, that have different dimensions than what was specified for the vehicle. The issue falls under the category of Light Vehicle Brake Systems.

The estimated number of affected vehicles is 75.

The Defect

Affected vehicles were manufactured with a front braking system that has smaller dimensions than what was specified for S560 and S450 vehicles. The issue occurred as a result of inaccurate documentation at a production facility. According to Mercedes Benz, the defect poses no imminent safety harm and the smaller braking system still meets federal standards. However, incorrectly sized brake components may lead to incorrect replacement parts being used during vehicle brake repairs. This could create potential safety problems in the future, including an increased likelihood of crashing. 

Timeline of Events

In June, 2019, Mercedes Benz USA’s After Sales Division received a field report from a workshop located outside of the U.S., notifying them of a possible variance between the dimensions of a vehicle’s braking system and its intended specifications. Further investigation by Mercedes Benz determined the cause of the issue. An affected population was established through production records. In September 2019, the company determined that braking systems with smaller dimensions had also been installed in other models.

As a result of the investigation, Mercedes Benz began testing the smaller braking systems to make sure that they could operate safely in the affected vehicles. While Mercedes Benz concluded that the error did not result in any violations of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the company was concerned about potential non-compliance with local legal requirements.

On December 13, 2019, Mercedes Benz USA decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

The Solution

Affected owners can have their vehicle’s front axle brake system replaced by a certified Mercedes Benz dealer. Components that will need to be replaced include the TS Brake pads, both the left and right Brake Caliper and both the left and right Brake Discs. Mercedes Benz USA does not plan to pre-notice reimbursement to owners because all of the replacements are covered by Mercedes Benz’s new vehicle warranty.

The issue was replaced in production on May 16, 2018. Vehicles produced after that date will be free of the defect. As a part of the recall, Mercedes Benz will be required to submit six consecutive quarterly status reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the first report due within 30 days of the end of the quarter.

Mercedes Benz dealers were notified of the voluntary recall on December 27, 2019. The company plans to notify affected owners on February 14, 2020.

For more information about this and other safety recalls, visit motorsafety.org

Sean Reyes2018 S Class Mercedes May Have Small Brake Systems

A Decade of Mercedes Benz Vehicles May Have Sliding Roof Panel Defect

Laguna Hills, Calif., January 9, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA, LLC is recalling certain 2001-2011 vehicles from a range of lines. Many of these vehicles have sliding roof panels that have become less adhesive, leaving the panel at risk of detaching from the vehicle and causing injury.

The estimated number of affected vehicles is 744,852, although as few as 2% of those vehicles may have the defect.

The Defect

According to Mercedes Benz, the bonding between the roof glass panel and the sliding roof frame may have deteriorated, resulting in the glass panel coming detached in extreme circumstances. The issue mostly occurred in the production of some vehicles from January 16, 2006 to August 21, 2006. A review by the components supplier, Webasto Roof and Components SE, revealed a change of production methods starting August 22, 2006. As a result, vehicles using components that were manufactured from that day forward are believed to be free of the defect.  

The list of potentially impacted vehicles is long and includes the C32, C55, C320, C230, C240, C280, C350, CLS63, CLS500, CLS550, CLK320, CLK500, E55, E63, E280, E300, E320, E350, E450, E500, E550 lines across several model years.

The exact cause of the issue remains unclear.

Timeline of Events

In December 2017, Mercedes Benz began performing initial investigations of the sliding roof panel on certain model years after a series of isolated field reports from outside the U.S. No damage or injuries had been reported as a part of these field reports. The panels that were involved in each field report were retrieved and analyzed by Mercedes Benz, as well as Webasto Roof and Components SE, and an outside laboratory. These tests came back with inconclusive results.

To continue research, Mercedes Benz searched the global used car market for more sliding roof panels, since none of the affected models were still in production at Mercedes Benz facilities. In November, 2018, three sliding panels were procured and tested. One of those panels was defective due to the lack of cohesion.   

The Solution

Affected owners can bring their vehicles into a certified Mercedes Benz dealer to have their glass panel bonding checked, free of charge. In situations where a dealer finds that the bonding has become less adhesive, they will replace the entire sliding roof panel. Components that will need to be replaced include the sliding sunroof, front blinds, blind on glass and trim.

If owners have already taken their vehicle in for repairs on this issue previous to the recall, they may be eligible for a reimbursement from Mercedes Benz. Requests for reimbursement should include information about the parts, labor, fees and taxes. Reimbursements are capped off at the amount that the repair would have cost if it were performed by a certified Mercedes Benz dealer.   

As a part of the recall, Mercedes Benz will be required to submit six consecutive quarterly status reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the first report due within 30 days of the end of the quarter. In addition, given the extensive length of time between the production of the first defective vehicle and the first field report, Mercedes Benz will be required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a plan for vehicles that are currently not defective may be become so in the future.

Mercedes Benz dealers were notified of the voluntary recall on December 27, 2019. The company plans to notify affected owners on February 14, 2020.

For more information on this and other recalls, visit www.motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesA Decade of Mercedes Benz Vehicles May Have Sliding Roof Panel Defect

Nissan Recalls a Variety of Vehicles Due to Issue With Replacement Airbag

Laguna Hills, CA – Jan 9, 2020 – Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain 2001-2003 Maxima, 2002-2006 Sentra, 2002-2004 Pathfinder, 2007-2011 Versa Sedan and Versa Hatchback, 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35, 2002-2003 Inifiniti QX4, 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 and 2006-2010 M35 and M45 vehicles. These vehicles may be equipped with non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators that were used as temporary remedy replacement parts for a previous recall of Takata airbags. The inflators are in danger of rupturing due to exposure to high levels of humidity or temperatures, as well as rapid temperature changes. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 307,962.

The Defect

Non-desiccated air bag inflators were equipped on various Nissan vehicles as temporary stopgap remedies in previous Takata airbag recalls. These inflators have a defect of their own; due to the presence of moisture in these parts, the inflator’s supply of stabilized ammonium nitrate is susceptible to changes in pressure. These pressure changes can occur due to high temperatures or high levels of humidity – in addition, rapid temperature cycling can also cause these pressure changes. At high enough temperatures or humidity, the inflators can explode, resulting in metal debris impacting the driver and passengers of the vehicle. This increases the risk of personal injury to occupants as well as collisions resulting from either distraction or incapacitating injuries.

Timeline of Events

In early January, Takata sent out Defect Report 20E-001, detailing a defect they discovered in some airbag inflators used as temporary replacement parts in a recall. Upon receipt of this report, Nissan collated a list of previously recalled vehicles equipped with this remedy. It was determined that 2001-2003 Maxima, 2002-2006 Sentra, 2002-2004 Pathfinder, 2007-2011 Versa Sedan and Versa Hatchback, 2001-2004 Infiniti I30 and I35, 2002-2003 Inifiniti QX4, 2003-2008 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 and 2006-2010 M35 / M45 vehicles were equipped with these replacement parts.

After the confirming the risk, Nissan drafted a safety recall January 2, 2020, brought upon by an “abundance of caution” according to the initial filing. On January 9, this recall notice became public, and owners of the affected vehicles were made aware of the risk. Preparations were made to replace the non-desiccated inflators with correct desiccated ones; the remedy process is projected to start in early February. 

The Solution

In accordance with the initial recall, Nissan will notify owners of the danger and replace the air bag inflators with non defective ones, free of charge. Owners will be periodically notified and reminded of the defective nature of the parts and the recall will be distinguished from the original to avoid confusion. Owners can bring their vehicles to authorized retailers in order to receive their free replacement parts. However, until then, owners are advised not to operate their vehicles due to the risk involved to both occupants and other motorists. This recall is expected to begin February 10, 2020. 

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesNissan Recalls a Variety of Vehicles Due to Issue With Replacement Airbag

BMW vehicles may unexpectedly shift into neutral

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – BMW of North America LLC is recalling certain 2017-2019 2019-2020 M8 Gran Coupe, M8 Coupe, and M8 Convertible vehicles. The transmission wiring harness can be more easily damaged, causing an electrical short circuit.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 3,012.

The Defect

According to BMW, the transmission wiring harness can be damaged by both high temperatures and compression from the wiring harness mounting clip, resulting in an electrical short circuit in the transmission wiring harness. The defect is caused by mistakes in the setup of insulation material for the harness, routing, and some of the fastening points of the harness to the transmission housing. A short circuit could cause the vehicle to unexpectedly shift into Neutral while driving. The rapid loss of propulsion may cause a crash. No accidents have been reported that resulted from this defect.  

Timeline of Events

On September 24, 2019, a vehicle’s transmission unexpectedly shifted into Neutral at a BMW assembly plant. The vehicle could not shift back into drive.

Starting in October, BMW performed an engineering and assembly process review, as well as a field incident analysis. The field incident analysis found that the problem had occurred with 18 vehicles worldwide. Final analysis determined the cause of the problem.   

On December 4, 2019 BMW decided to have a voluntary safety recall

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail and told to take their vehicles to a certified BMW dealer for repairs, free of charge. Dealers will replace and reroute the transmission wiring harness with new fasteners. Rerouting will occur even if no damage has occurred. The entire process should take about an hour. The repairs will be covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty. Affected owners are told to wait until they have received their official letter from BMW before making an appointment, to ensure that all dealers have the necessary equipment

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning December 1, 2019, while owners will be notified February 3, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesBMW vehicles may unexpectedly shift into neutral

Sparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2017-2019 F-Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450 and SuperCrew Cab vehicles. The front seat pretensioner may spark in the event of a crash and ignite carpeting or insulation.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 490,574.

The Defect

According to an investigation by Ford, the front seat pretensioner may generate excessive sparks during a crash. In some cases, these sparks can interact with exhaust gas and cause the vehicle’s carpet or carpet insulation in the B-pillar area to catch on fire.The defect is unique to the 2017-2019 model year, as those vehicles were built with unique seat belt pretensioners. All vehicles assembled after October 29, 2019 were modified to prevent the issue.

So far there has been one report in the U.S. of a fire caused by the seat belt pretensioner. 

Timeline of Events

In September 2018, Ford did some testing on the B-pillar area of their Super Duty vehicles, after a similar issue was reported in the 2015-2018 F-150 model. At that time, Ford did not determine that the area was at risk of combustion. In October 2019, Ford received a report from NHTSA of a post-crash fire in the B-pillar area of a 2019 F-250 Crew Cab. Both Ford and NHTSA inspected the vehicle and Ford performed analysis on related parts. Ford also performed nearly 300 vehicle level tests, finding issues in a few cases. Further inspection found that variance in the profile of the carpet edge was a determinate on whether the carpet combusted. While the investigation was still ongoing, Ford began adding heat resistant foil tape to all 2019 model year vehicles.

On December 4, 2019 Ford’s Field Review Committee reviewed the situation and approved field action.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail and told to take their vehicles to a certified Ford or Lincoln dealer for repairs. Dealers will apply heat resistant foil tape to the carpet and carpet insulation edges in affected vehicles and modify the sound deadener on the back of the B-pillar trim panel.

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified from January 20, 2020 to January 24, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSparks in Ford trucks may cause fire

Excess glue caused problems in GM trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – General Motors LLC is recalling certain 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. The B+ battery positive cable rings may have an excess of glue, increasing the likelihood of an intermittent electrical connection

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 350,371.

The Defect

While driving the vehicle, the glue may soften so that the nut that attaches the battery cable to the alternator loosens, causing an intermittent electrical connection. A bad connection could cause the vehicle stall and also cause arcing, which could generate enough heat to start a fire. The defect was caused by an excess of glue that should have been removed from around the B+ battery cable rings during the supplier’s assembly process. The excess glue resulted in glue contamination.    

Timeline of Events

General Motors’ Canadian Brand Quality Manage found a case where a 2019 GMC Sierra stalled because it was missing the nut that secures the B+ cable to the alternator stud. On August 20, 2019, the Brand Quality Manager submitted a report to General Motors’ Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program. GM opened an investigation on September 10, 2019. The investigation found warranty reports of related field incidents. Between September and November, GM experts analyzed parts to determine the cause of the defect and conducted a torque-curve study. Field data analysis was completed November 25, 2019, finding one case of a related fire.

On December 5, 2019, General Motors’ Safety and Field Action Decision Authority decided to conduct a safety recall.  

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified and told to take their vehicles to a certified General Motors dealer for repairs, free of charge. Dealers will use a black light to inspect for glue and other contaminants at the B+ cable attachment alternator. Dealers may clean the connection and then reattach the B+ cable connection. If any damage has occurred to the alternator, cable or nut will replace the damaged parts. Secondary black light inspection has been implemented in production to catch the defect moving forward. Secondary inspections began November 14, 2019 at General Motors’ Fort Wayne plant and November 22, 2019 at their Silao plant.    

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning on December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified on January 27, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesExcess glue caused problems in GM trucks

General Motors trucks recalled for a software error

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – General Motors LLC is recalling certain Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Cadillac CT6, and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles. The Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) may have a software error that could disable the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Antilock Brake System (ABS).

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 463,995.

The Defect

The affected vehicles have a software defect in the EBCM that will disable the ESC and ABS for a single ignition cycle. In situations where the ABS and ESC are disabled, the vehicle diagnostic’s telltale lamps won’t light up, leaving the driver unaware of the problem. Driving without knowledge of a defective ABS or ESC may increase the risk of a crash. In addition, the lack of warning of a defect puts the vehicles out of compliance with S5.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 126 and S5.1 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 135.

According to General Motors, an estimated one percent of the total vehicles for each model are affected.   

Timeline of Events

On November 15, 2019, General Motors’ EBCM supplier, ZF TRW, informed the company that they had found a software error while investigating a related product. On December 5, 2019, General Motors’ Safety and Field Decision Authority decided to call for a noncompliance recall.

The Solution

General Motors will provide dealers with a list of affected vehicles through GM GlobalConnect Recall Reports. General Motors dealers are expected to reflash all affected EBCMs, updating the software and correcting the problem. Moving forward, the software error has been corrected for the 2020 model year.

Because all affected vehicles are the current model and under warranty, General Motors will not have to provide reimbursements. Owners can check to see if their vehicle is being recalled by searching their VIN number at www.vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. In some cases, courtesy transportation may be provided to affected drivers. Dealers will be notified of the recall December 12, 2019. GM will begin notifying individual owners January 27, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesGeneral Motors trucks recalled for a software error

Dodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US is recalling certain 2005-2006 Dodge Viper vehicles. Affected vehicles may deploy their air bags  and/or seat belt pretensioners without warning due to a defect in the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC). 

The potential number of vehicles affected is 3329.

The Defect

The Occupant Restraint Control, which was made for Chrysler by ZF (TRW), may inadvertently deploy the vehicle’s air bags and/or seat belt pretensioners. The unexpected deployment of either air bags or seat belt pretensioners may cause injury or a vehicle crash. In addition, the defect may cause increased the risk of an accident because the air bag warning light may not precede an inadvertent deployment of the air bag or the seat belt pretensioners.   

The defect occurred in vehicles that were manufactured from May 18, 2004, when production of the 2005 MY Dodge Viper began, until August 28, 2006, when production ended. FCA used vehicle production records to identify affected vehicles. 

Timeline Of Events

On January 27, 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) informed the National Highway Transportation Administration that they would be doing a voluntary recall of certain 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2003-2004 MY Dodge Viper vehicles. Each of the models had an issue with the Occupant Restraint Control, which was replaced in the affected vehicles. On January 28, 2019, an Occupant Restraint Control issue also occurred on a 2005 MY Dodge Viper in the field. The incident involved both passenger and driver air bags deploying without warning or an accident. The incident was reported as a Customer Assistance Inquiry Record (CAIR) by Fiat Chrysler. On October 2, 2019, Chrysler participated in an inspection of the reported vehicle that showed electrical overstress to one of the application specific integrated circuits controlling the air bag squibs, the same issue that occurred in Chrysler’s 2015 recall.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler US’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is aware of one injury that was related to the issue.       

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is conducting a voluntary safety recall to replace the Occupant Restraint Control in all affected vehicles.The current model of ORC will be replaced with a new one that uses the next generation of electrical architecture and does not have a history of unexpected air bag deployment.

According to Fiat Chrysler, both dealers and owners will be notified either on or around January 31, 2020. Owners should take their vehicles to a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer. Owners of recalled vehicles can seek reimbursement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. To ensure a smooth reimbursement process, FCA requests that owners send in either an original receipt or another adequate proof of payment. FCA will make this request formally in their recall letters to owners.   

Dealers are required by federal law to complete the recall service on vehicles that are still in the dealer’s new vehicle inventory. Failure to do so could result in a  $21,000 civil penalty for each incomplete vehicle. A stop sale is currently in effect. 

Owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safecar.gov.

Sean ReyesDodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly