Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 11, 2019 – Porsche Cars North America recently revealed that it will have to recall tens of thousands of its Panamera hatchbacks and Cayenne light SUVs in the near future, due to an issue with their brake warning indicators.
Specifically, the recall involves 44,128 vehicles – 100% of which are expected to have the issue in question – including those that have been recalled previously, such as:
- Porsche Panamera hatchback variants from the 2017 and 2018 model years.
- Porsche Cayenee light SUV variants from the 2019 and 2020 model years.
In both cases, it seems a faulty software update is to blame for the issues that led to the recall.
All vehicles in this Porsche recall were originally subject to a recall in February 2019, as well as vehicles that were found to potentially have this problem but which had not been identified during the first recall. All were identified using data regarding production dates, and every vehicle in the recall is expected to carry a software defect.
The defect in the vehicles’ software will make it so that, if the brake pad’s are worn down to dangerous levels and need to be replaced, the red dashboard warning light meant to indicate a potential problem will not illuminate. This could be particular problematic for drivers who look at these displays in the “map” or “night vision” submenus on the dashboard screen.
The only way drivers would be able to tell there was an issue with their brake pads at all would be a yellow warning message in the vehicles’ multi-functional displays, though those could easily be dismissed by the operator until they turn the vehicles on again. In certain traffic conditions, driving on worn-out brake pads could increase the risk of a crash.
Affected Panameras were produced from Sept. 23, 2016 to Dec. 21, 2018. Affected Cayennes were manufactured between April 4, 2018, and Aug. 2, 2019. However, the identification numbers on the vehicles in the recall were non-sequential.
Timeline of Events
The original recall mentioned above was initiated Feb. 20, 2019, and was meant to address this software problem. Porsche attempted at the time to develop and implement a software patch that would create a brake-wear warning light that remained continuously illuminated, given the gravity of such a problem.
However, after installing that software patch on affected vehicles, the company learned that this solution was also faulty – specifically, it would not show up as continuously lit in the display’s map and night vision modes. Posche identified this issue later on, which prompted an additional investigation to determine how many more vehicles may have been affected by the problem. Based on those findings, the auto manufacturer issued a secondary recall on Oct. 9, 2019 to supersede the first action.
The company noted that Panameras manufactured on or after June 19, 2019, and Cayennes produced on or after July 29, 2019, will not have this software problem.
Drivers of affected vehicles should take their Posches to a dealership, where the new software will be added to those vehicles’ systems. This includes both owners of vehicles that had not previously been involved in the recall – who will soon receive notification from the manufacturer about this problem – and those who already received a remedy.
Dealers received notification of the recall on Oct. 16, 2019, and owners can expect to receive notifications of their own around Dec. 16.
For additional information about this recall, consumers can contact Porsche Cars North America by phone at 1-800-767-7243, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.