Chrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Laguna Hill, CA – December 27, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling certain 2018-2019 Pacifica vehicles. Some vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens may display a rear view image for an entire drive cycle.

The potential number of vehicles affected 20,441.

The Defect

The defective radios were placed into vehicles during production from May 1, 2018 through May 23, 2019, at which point vehicle software was updated. As a result, the affected vehicles are not in compliance with S6.2.1 and S62.2, which states that rearview images will not be displayed after the end of the “backing event.” A “backing event” is defined by NHTSA as “an amount of time which starts when the vehicle’s direction selector is placed in reverse and ends… when the vehicle forward motion reaches a continuous duration of 10 seconds.” Because of the defect, affected vehicles rearview images may stay until the drive cycle ends, which can be longer than 10 seconds. An extended rearview image display may distract the driver and possibly cause a vehicle crash. 

According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, 100% of Pacifica vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens carry the defect.

Timeline of Events

On August 12, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US’s Engineering Department notified the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization of a potential issue with rearview image display. In November 2019, the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization confirmed the defect. Soon after, Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance determined the scope of vehicles that were potentially affected by the condition.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, based on information the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization, decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles. 

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be conducting a voluntary safety recall that will most likely begin during the First Quarter of 2020. Owners can bring their recalled vehicles into a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer, who will be charged with flashing the suspect radios with updated software. Updated radio software should be able to return to its normal function after a “backing event.” Although the date is not determined, the recall will most likely begin January 31, 2020.

All affected customers will be reimbursed for the cost of repairs. Fiat Chrysler US is requesting that the owners of recalled vehicles send in their original receipt or other proof of payment as a form of confirmation. This process will allow the company to keep a consistent record.  

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

Sean ReyesChrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Mercedes Benz Airbags in Need of Update

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 19, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA, LLC is recalling certain 2019 E53 AMG 4MATIC, E63 AMG 4MATIC Wagon and E63S AMG 4MATIC Wagon vehicles. The incorrect driver air bag and related software may have been installed.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 99.

The Defect

According to Mercedes Benz, the affected vehicles were built early in the production period and equipped with a prototype airbag hardware and software. Each of the affected vehicles was not updated by the Vehicle Processing Center before being released to the public, as is protocol. Due to the defect, drivers will not receive advanced warning when their airbags are deployed. A faulty driver air bag and software version can cause the vehicle’s restraint systems to not work during a crash, creating a greater risk of injury.

Mercedes Benz notes that vehicles outside of the recall population are fully equipped with the correct equipment and software. 

Timeline of Events

Mercedes Benz developed the initial airbag modules for the new model year in September, 2018 and production of all of the affected vehicles occurred between June 20, 2018 and February 5, 2019. These early production vehicles were supposed to be updated after that time. A routine plant audit determined that the affected vehicles were released without an update. In the case of each affected model, Mercedes Benz was able to determine the recall population through production records.  

Mercedes Benz decided to conduct a safety recall on November 29, 2019. The company submitted paperwork to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on December 6, 2019.      

The Solution

Mercedes Benz will notify both owners and dealers of the defect. Dealers will be notified December 13, 2019, while owners will be notified February 4, 2020. The recall is voluntary for owners. Authorized Mercedes Benz dealers will replace customers’ air bags and upgrade the software so that it is certified for the 2019 model year. Because the affected vehicles are a newer model, all upgrades will be covered by warranty.

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

Sean ReyesMercedes Benz Airbags in Need of Update

Mercedes Benz Recalls a Single 2020 GLE450 4MATIC Vehicle Over Issue with Third Row Headrests

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 18, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA LLC is recalling one 2020 GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. The issue involves interior furniture being manufactured below standard. The vehicle’s third row seat headrests possess insufficient padding; in addition, the securing rod may not hold the headrest in place. These issues affect the adjusting of the headrest and the level of comfort, and may increase the risk of injury for occupants. 

There is only one unit that is believed to be affected by this issue. 

The Defect

The headrest issue involves one 2020 GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. This vehicle possesses third row headrests that did not meet intended manufacturing standards. These headrests are proportioned incorrectly and possess adjustment rods that do not function as intended. This affects the comfort of passengers sitting in these seats. More importantly, the headrest may not properly protect passengers in the event of automotive collisions. This increases the risk of injury and death. 

Timeline of Events

On December 6, 2019, Mercedes Benz USA LLC, was made aware of an issue regarding incorrectly manufactured third row headrests. The vehicle affected by this issue was identified through production records; it was determined that the defect is limited to one vehicle in the recall population; a single GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. On December 17, Mercedes Benz released a public recall notice with the NHSTA, describing the issue and announcing a planned remedy process. The recall is expected to begin February 4 of next year. 

The Solution

Mercedes Benz USA LLC will notify the owner of the identified vehicle. An authorized Mercedes Benz dealer will replace the defective third row headsets at no cost to the owner. The recall is expected to begin February 4, 2020; in the event of changes or new information, the owner will be informed. The company has not publicly released any special instructions regarding the ownership and operation of the vehicle in the meantime. Presumably, it would be advisable to not operate the vehicle in question with occupants in the third row of seats. 

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

Sean ReyesMercedes Benz Recalls a Single 2020 GLE450 4MATIC Vehicle Over Issue with Third Row Headrests

Subaru Recalls Certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles 

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 12, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. is recalling certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles. The issue involves the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve; the valve is at risk of separating, which causes motor oil and parts of the valve itself to flood the engine, resulting in a loss of power for the vehicle, which can occur while driving.

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 51,613.

The Defect

Subaru believes that certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester and Ascent vehicles possess this defect with the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. Due to a manufacturing error, these PCV valves are defective. While the vehicle is being operated, the PCV valve can separate, allowing motor oil into the combustion chamber that can prevent the engine from functioning. In addition, pieces of the PCV valve can make their way into the combustion chamber as well, damaging engine components and preventing the proper filtering of gases from the crankcase. 

Timeline of Events

On December 2, 2019, Subaru of America discovered a defect in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve on the aforementioned vehicles. Later, on December 11, they released a recall notice notifying owners of the issue. Vehicles likely to be affected by this defect were identified by manufacturing and production records. Retailers have been sent notifications to identify and stop the sale of possibly affected vehicles in their inventory until a remedy becomes available. Official instructions state that the recall is expected to begin January 24, 2020, with instructions on the repair and remedy process having already been sent to retailers.

The Solution

Plans for the removal process of the defective PCV valves have not been finalized for consumers. Subaru recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified when repair and removal services become available for this specific issue. Dealers will review and train in the provided remedy procedures, and inspect any vehicles brought in under suspicion of possessing the defective valves. If a Subaru vehicle is found to possess this defect, it will be repaired. When the recall starts for already sold vehicles, vehicle owners will receive these repairs free of charge. Replacement and repair of these devices should only be undertaken by professional repairmen.

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

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalls Certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles 

Ford Motor Company Recalls Certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 11, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The issue involves the protective casing over the vapor fuel line. The line’s protective casing is at risk of chafing through the plastic liquid fuel line over time, causing a fuel leak. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 3,857.

The Defect

Ford believes that certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles possess the affected vapor lines. Due to a logistical error, several vehicles were stocked with an older version of the vapor line casings that were not appropriate for the parts in question. Over time, these incorrect protective casings can erode the underlying fuel line, causing fuel to leak. If this fuel comes in contact with the high temperature engine compartment, it can ignite, posing a serious danger to operators and passengers of a vehicle, as well as damaging the car itself. Leaking fuel can also interfere with the operation of other components and contribute to corrosion in the engine housing.

Timeline of Events

On December 4, 2019, Ford Motor Company discovered a defect in certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The next day, they notified all Ford and Lincoln dealers about the issue and stopped all deliveries and sales of the affected vehicles. Vehicles that had been stocked with the incorrect convolute covering were identified during the review of manufacturing plant records. Later, on December 12, they released a public recall notice regarding the issue. Instructions were provided to retailers on the proper replacement procedures for the affected fuel line covers.

The Solution

Plans for the removal and replacement process of the incorrect convolute covers have not been finalized. Ford recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified of the danger through mail regarding both the danger and when repair and removal services become available for the issue. Dealers will be provided with the necessary replacement parts. If a Ford vehicle is found to possess this protective casings, the casings will be replaced free of charge. The recall is expected to begin late in the first quarter of 2020. Owners and retailers will be notified once the recall commences.

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

Sean ReyesFord Motor Company Recalls Certain 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator Vehicles

BMW recalls several different 1999-2001 vehicles over Takata airbag defect

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 26, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling certain 1999-2001 323i, 325i, 328i and 330i and 2000-2001 323Ci, 325Ci, 328Ci, 330Ci, 323iT, and 325iT vehicles equipped with Takata-manufactured Non-Azide Driver air bag Inflators (NADI). This recall follows Takata’s own recall of the specific NADI units on November 26. 

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 74,185.

The Defect

BMW states that these specific units may have received replacement airbags as part of a vehicle repair. Due to a manufacturing issue, the replacement NADI inflator can absorb moisture, causing the airbag to rupture or underinflate. All listed vehicles may have had these devices installed during repairs. In the event of a crash, a rupture of the inflator can result in dangerous metal fragments hitting drivers and passengers, while an underinflated airbag can fail to shield the occupants properly. These issues increase the risk of serious injury or death. BMW has not provided any guidance on how to ascertain if a vehicle possesses the defective NADI inflators. Owners should exercise caution; a solution is not yet available at this time, and BMW recommends that owners should not utilize their vehicles until safe removal processes are available.

Timeline of Events

On November 26, 2019, manufacturer Takata (TK Global LLC) disclosed that some of their NADI inflators produced from 1995-2000 were defective and issued a recall for all known extant units and vehicles that may contain said units. Later that day, BMW issued a recall for several different classes of vehicle, gradually adding more to the list by the end of the day. BMW North America is currently the only automobile manufacturer to have issued a recall relating to these defective Takata NADI inflators. Recommending that owners do not currently drive their vehicles, BMW is sending interim notices about the risk to owners until January 17, and again when the remedy becomes available.

The Solution

Plans for the removal of the defective NADI inflators have not been finalized. BMW recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified when repair and removal services become available for this specific issue. Dealers will inspect any vehicles brought in under suspicion of possessing the defective units. If a BMW vehicle is found to possess these units, they will be replaced free of charge. 

For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact BMW customer service by phone at 1-800-525-7417, 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.

Sean ReyesBMW recalls several different 1999-2001 vehicles over Takata airbag defect

Potential Tailgate Issues on Some Ford Trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 4, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2017-2019 Super Duty F-250, F-350 and F-450 trucks with an electric tailgate latch release switch mounted in the tailgate handle.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 231,664.

The Defect

According to Ford, listed trucks with an electric tailgate latch may be susceptible to water damage, possibly causing the tailgate to unlatch. In these cases, water in either the release-switch or an in-line connector resulted in a short circuit, opening the tailgate. An unintended open tailgate could lead to unrestrained cargo falling out into the road, creating a risk for both the driver and others. 

Ford estimates that about 3% of 2017-2019 Super Duty F-250, F-350 and F-450 trucks are affected, all of them from Ford’s Kentucky Assembly Plant.

Timeline of Events

On October 12, 2018 NHTSA opened a Preliminary Evaluation following reports of unintended tailgate opening on a 2017 model year vehicle. The Evaluation found five cases of the issue, as well as two similar reports made to Transport Canada.

Ford began its own in-depth investigation and responded to NHTSA’s Information Request on December 20, 2018. As a part of their investigation, Ford analyzed field data, as well as employee vehicles. The company decided that the issue was not an unreasonable safety risk , due to the low rate of reports and several cases where the tailgate opening had turned out to be caused by a driver inadvertently using properly functioning features. Further monitoring found more instances of short circuiting caused by water damage.        

On November 25, 2019, Ford approved field action. 

The Solution

Ford plans to notify owners of the affected vehicles by mail and has notified dealers. Dealers are expected to add jumper pigtails to the tailgate/frame wiring harnesses. The addition should isolate power and ground circuits and prevent short circuiting. Ford will be providing a general reimbursement plan for vehicle owners.  

An updated tailgate release switch and wiring harness jumper were used in 2020 model year production.

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

Sean ReyesPotential Tailgate Issues on Some Ford Trucks

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 3, 2019 – Eighteen models manufactured by Mercedes-Benz USA are due for recall after the automaker discovered some of the seat belt assemblies do not work. Buckling up is required by law in most states and not wearing one dramatically increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. All told, nearly 26,700 models are included in the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall.

MBUSA says it aims to begin notifying operators of the affected automobiles by mail starting on New Year’s Eve. Those receiving the warnings are asked to have their vehicles checked out by an authorized MBUSA dealer so the problem can be fixed.

The Defect

In paperwork available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mercedes-Benz is set to recall 29,679 automobiles – whose model years run between 2018 and 2019 – because the seat belts in the front seats fail to work. In some cases, the belts may buckle in fine, but the internal detection system may not recognize that this is the case. This may result in future issues, such as if the pretensioner – which is manipulated by the vehicles’ PRE-SAFE® controls – is rendered inoperable.

Although the size of the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall is fairly small, it involves multiple model types:

  • 2019 AMG GT 63
  • 2019 AMG GT 63 S
  • 2019 CLS450
  • 2019 CLS53
  • 2018-2019 E300
  • 2018 E400
  • 2018 E43 AMG
  • 2019 E450
  • 2019 E53
  • 2018-2019 E63 S AMG
  • 2019 G550
  • 2019 G63
  • 2019 GLC300
  • 2019 GLC350E
  • 2019 GLC 43 AMG
  • 2019 GLC63
  • 2019 GLC53 AMG
  • 2018-2019 GLC63S AMG

Of the 50 states, 49 require all drivers to buckle up. Most motorists do so, based upon NHTSA’s most recently available usage statistics. In 2016, the latest year for verifiable data, 10,428 people died in car crashes where seat belts were left unused. Had they been wearing them, 2,456 of those individuals would likely have survived their injuries.

Timeline of Events

This problem traces back to October 2018. At that time, safety officials at Mercedes-Benz learned of a few incidents in which operators had their seat belts fastened, but the restraint system didn’t recognize that was the case.

Because an initial review couldn’t determine the cause of the glitch, a task force was assigned to investigate. Reviewers determined the most likely origin of the problem had to do with the “geometrical dimensions” of the belt buckle itself. The task force also noted that the seat belt buckle housing could also be compromised.

In the process of working out a solution, Mercedes-Benz was alerted to two other incidents in August 2019 related to seat belt detection by the occupant restraint system, which furthered the potential for a safety recall.

Mercedes-Benz has announced multiple safety recalls in 2019. In February, it recalled 300,000 vehicles because of defects with air bag deployment. Another air bag-related recall took place in August, only that one involved just 457 models.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz has since developed a resolution that can fix the flaw. Motorists who drive one of the aforementioned automobiles are advised to check their mail for a notification, which the automaker will start distributing in December. Operators should bring their vehicle to a dealership so the issue can be fixed by replacing the malfunctioning units. There will be no charge for this repair.

For more information on the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall and whether you’re affected, please visit MotorSafety.org. Be sure to have your VIN to check your status.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Ford recalls some Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 27, 2019 – The Ford Motor Company recently issued a recall for a small number of its Expedition and Lincoln Navigator light SUVs due to concerns over the integrity of rear toe link fasteners.

Specifically, the issue affects just 18 vehicles, of which half were expected to carry the defect. 

The Defect

In the case of both the Expeditions and Navigators – all from the 2019 model year – Ford’s manufacturing team believes the vehicles may have been produced with improperly torqued rear toe link fasteners, meaning they were not properly tightened during assembly. This increases the risk that the rear toe link itself would disconnect while driving, likely resulting in a significant loss of steering control, and thus raising risk of crash or injury.

The problem arose as a result of an automated tool the company uses in its manufacturing process experiencing wear and tear on the gears, which reduced its ability to properly tighten the fasteners.

Drivers will be able to detect whether this problem arises in their vehicle by possibly hearing a noise, a change in the steering wheel’s height, unexpected wear on the tires or changes to how the SUV handles.

The Ford Expeditions in the recall were produced Sept. 5 and 6, 2019, while the Lincoln Navigators were only produced Sept. 6.

To date, the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries stemming from the problem.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 12, less than a week after the vehicles in question were produced, the automaker’s Critical Concern Review Group learned of concerns about the under-torqued fasteners, after a torque inspector at the company’s assembly plant reported a potential issue with low torque conditions on both the left- and right-side rear toe link frame attachments. This issue was discovered through a routine examination, and the company promptly reviewed production records to identify affected vehicles.

Those still remaining at the plant were inspected, and the suspected torque problem was present in all of them. However, records indicated that some of the affected vehicles had already been shipped out.

Ford’s Field Review Committee approved the recall on Oct. 18.

The Solution

Ford notified the owners of affected vehicles by mail and asked them to return to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to check not only the fasteners, but also rear toe alignment and rear tires, fixing or replacing all as necessary. The company will not need to reimburse drivers because everything is covered by warranty.

Dealers were first notified of the recall Oct. 28, and owners received their notifications between Nov. 11 and 18.

For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact Ford by phone at 1-866-436-7332, 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.

Sean ReyesFord recalls some Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs

Potential for airbag damage in Hyundai 2020 Palisades prompts recall

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 25, 2019 – Hyundai Motor America plans to issue a voluntary safety recall next year for over 11,000 2020 Palisade model vehicles because the mounting bolts used to secure their side curtain air bags could damage the latter upon deployment. Air bags that are damaged as a result of the defect may not properly inflate, thereby increasing the risk of injury to occupants, according to official company filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, 11,217 vehicles are estimated to be affected by the defect and Hyundai has announced that owners can have a protective cover installed over the mounting bolts free of charge when the recall officially begins at the beginning of 2020. Hyundai has not reported any customer crashes, injuries or other related incidents as a result of the defect.

The Defect

According to the official HMA recall report, the Palisade vehicles with defects were produced by Hyundai Motor Company in the Republic of Korea between the dates of November 21, 2018 and August 12, 2019. The Side Curtain Airbags fitted in these vehicles were done so using bolts that were “produced with sharp corners” on their hexagonal heads, which could perforate or otherwise damage the SCAPs.

Timeline of Events

The 2020 Palisade recall came about after HMC discovered a torn SCAP while a New Car Assessment Program crash test was conducted in Korea on July 15, 2019, which prompted the company to reach out to the supplier and conduct a joint investigation into the potential cause of the damage. Internal crash testing was unsuccessful in replicating the tear, although the two organizations concluded based on further review of test results that the SCAB could become damaged “due to interference with the mounting bolts.”

After the testing, HMC then notified all regional distributors of Palisades equipped with the bolts and conducted its own search of related field information. HMA’s Technical Committee convened November 1, 2019, where it made the decision to conduct a voluntary recall as a means of addressing the situation. The recall report was submitted to the NHTSA November 7, 2019.

The Solution

While bolts produced with rounded (rather than hexagonal) corners were first used in vehicle production on July 2, 2019, HMA intends to begin a recall for the affected vehicles on January 3, 2020 and will notify dealers and owners and ask them to bring their vehicles to a nearby dealer to each have protective covers installed onto the SCAP bolts. The official Hyundai recall number for this incident is 186, while it is filed at the NHTSA under the recall number 19V-802.

To find out more about product recalls, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesPotential for airbag damage in Hyundai 2020 Palisades prompts recall