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 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.
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.