Chrysler Recalls Ram 1500s Due To Restraint System Errors

Laguna Hills, CA – June 10, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC (FCA) is pulling nearly 300,000 Ram 1500 trucks – model years 2019 and 2020 – from the marketplace due to an onboard software flaw that may prevent the vehicle’s air bag from deploying in the aftermath of a crash, thus increasing the risk of injury. The automobile’s seat belt pretensioners may also fail to function due to the tech defect. The company says it will reach out to Ram 1500 owners by mail later this summer, advising them to take their trucks to their nearest Chrysler dealership so repair work can be arranged. The fix will come at no cost to drivers.

The Defect

According to documents submitted to and produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 295,981 2019-2020 Ram 1500s are due for recall because the truck’s occupant restraint controller (ORC) system may not work properly in the event of a traffic accident. Specifically, the issue seems to affect the ORC’s flash memory, in which the computer module doesn’t reset as it’s supposed to when powering down the vehicle. This reset failure could then prevent the airbags and/or seat-belt pretensioners from operating correctly in a collision-related event.

In a statement acknowledging that the company is aware of the problem, FCA said that while they are making this move out of an abundance of caution, the chances that such a scenario occurs for motorists is highly unlikely.

“Data collected by FCA US indicate the potential for such an event is highly remote,” the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer said in a press release. “Further, the Company is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.”

Timeline of Events

The issue came to FCA’s attention April 8, when an engineer on the manufacturer’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance team observed a corrupted software notification that occurred when turning off the truck. A formal investigation by Fiat Chrysler occurred in the immediate aftermath, which extended to May 3. The inquiry determined that the flaw had the potential to prevent the seatbelt pretensioner or airbags from serving their purpose during an accident. However, through May 20, the company wasn’t aware of any operator complaints or injuries that occurred – in the U.S. or elsewhere – related to the software glitch. This may be due to the fact that many of the affected automobiles – up to 33% – are still at dealerships, yet to be purchased by would-be operators. Those impacted were likely assembled at some point between Oct. 31, 2018 and April 29, 2019.

FCA deemed it appropriate that a voluntary recall be ordered for the Ram 1500s, which is what prompted the safety notification to NHTSA.

The Solution

On June 1, FCA sent out letters to dealerships, informing them of the problem and that 2019-2020 Ram 1500s should be set aside for the time being. Current operators will also be made aware of the glitch, which is slated to begin on July 20. Owners are urged to bring their trucks to their nearest FCA dealer so the ORC can either be reprogrammed or replaced, whichever fix is deemed appropriate by the attending mechanics. This repair will be free of charge.

To learn more, dial 1-888-327-4236, which is NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline. You can also enter your VIN at MotorSafety.org to see if your make and model is under recall.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Ram 1500s Due To Restraint System Errors

Glass Mix–Up Prompts Recall of GM Vans

Laguna Hills, CA – June 7, 2019 – Over a thousand Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles with model years 2016 to 2019 produced by General Motors LLC, are due to be recalled as a result of the possible wrong installation of tempered glass in the automobiles’ rear windows. The vans were meant to be installed with laminated glass, which tend to be more resistant to shattering, but instead feature tempered glass. In the event of a serious accident – such as a rollover – the tendency of tempered glass to explode increases the risk of injury. GM intends to send out advisories to owners of these vehicles, urging them to take the automobiles to their nearest GM dealer for a free repair. It’s unclear as of yet when those notifications will begin.

The Defect

According to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors is recalling an estimated 1,159 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, whose model years range between 2016 and 2019. An internal investigation determined that some of these automobiles may have been installed with tempered glass, described as such because they’re reinforced with heat to strengthen their resilience. While tempered glass has more safety properties than standard glass, laminated glass – the type the vehicles are meant to have – has an extra layer of vinyl, which enables the glass to hold its shape more effectively in the event of a crash. This also helps prevent the potential of ejection from the vehicle should motorists not have their seatbelts on during an accident.

Because the vehicles in question do not comply with Number 226 of the government’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, which relates to ejection mitigation, GM has decided to pull the 1,150+ vans from the marketplace so that tempered glass can be swapped out with laminated where necessary.

Timeline of Events

The flaw in question came to the attention of General Motors March 18 of this year, when an engineer for the company happened to notice that both a Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana had rear-quarter windows installed with tempered glass instead of the correct laminated type. The engineer made the company aware of the flaw through its Speak Up For Safety, which was formally launched in 2014 and serves as a “see something say something” outlet for GM employees when something is amiss.

A formal investigation was launched roughly a week after the engineer first spotted the flaw, and concluded May 13. GM’s Field Action Decision Authority determined as a result of the findings that some of the cars in question may indeed fail to comply with the ejection mitigation rule established by NHTSA and recommended a recall.

The Solution

Although GM has not yet determined when notifications will be distributed, it intends to inform owners of 2016-2019 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana to bring their automobiles back to any GM dealer so the proper glass can be installed. The fix will come at no charge to owners. For more information, visit MotorSafety.org or contact GM’s customer service department at 1-586-596-1733. The recall number is N192218960.

Sean ReyesGlass Mix–Up Prompts Recall of GM Vans

Ram 1500 Trucks Up For Recall Due To Flawed Driveshafts

Laguna Hills, CA – June 7, 2019 – Thousands of Ram 1500 pickup trucks, model years 2018 and 2019, are under recall notice by Fiat Chrysler because the installed rear driveshaft may be compromised and at risk of fracturing. This could cause the component to physically fall from the vehicle, which trailing motorists could hit, potentially resulting in a crash or injury. The detachment of the driveshaft would also cause the vehicle to lose power, increasing the operator and passengers’ risk for injury as well due to an accident. 

FCA says it will notify owners, starting on June 15, of the potential component failure. Motorists can get their driveshaft replaced free of charge by taking their automobile to any authorized Chrysler dealership.

The Defect

According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 10,160 Ram 1500 pickup trucks, whose model years range between 2018 and 2019. An investigation determined that the vehicle’s rear driveshaft, a component whose main responsibility is to power the engine through the transmission of torque, may be vulnerable to fracturing due to an improper weld fusion that connects the driveshaft’s tube and its tube yoke.

The progressive nature of this cracking could cause the component to break away from the vehicle and fall into the road, becoming a hazard and potential source of an accident for other motorists. It could also cause Ram 1500 operators to lose control of their automobile due to a sudden loss in power, which may also raise the risk of a crash.

Because the component is underneath the vehicle, it’s virtually impossible to know whether the part is compromised. However, Fiat Chrysler says that unusual noise or vibrations emanating from beneath the vehicle may presage the fracturing.

Timeline of Events

The issue came to the attention of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicle safety and regulatory compliance office in August 2018 when the company received six warranty claims – all submitted within a month of one another – each of which complained of broken driveshafts. Days later when the driveshafts were examined, they all had the same issue – an incomplete weld fusion. No other flaws were found in follow-up inquiries, which concluded in January. Later than month and into February, however, FCA was informed of additional driveshaft failures, which, unlike the original six, occurred at mileages greater than 5,000. A more thorough investigation that transpired in March and April determined that the failures were isolated incidents but that the similar nature of the driveshaft flaws warranted a voluntary recall. FCA says it’s unaware of any actual accidents or injuries stemming from these incidents.

The Solution

Although the recall is not mandatory, FCA recommends that operators and owners of 2018-2019 Ram 1500s err on the side of caution and take their vehicles to their nearest Chrysler dealer so a fix can be scheduled. If necessary, the driveshaft will be replaced at no expense for neither parts nor labor. For additional specifics on this recall, contact FCA’s customer service department at 1-800-853-1403. The recall order is classified as V48. Entering your VIN at MotorSafety.org can help as well.

Sean ReyesRam 1500 Trucks Up For Recall Due To Flawed Driveshafts

How to Tune Up Your Driving Skills and Banish Bad Road Habits


Article contributed by guest blogger Mark Connor of DriveSafely.info

When it comes to driving, there’s always room for improvement. We can all benefit from refreshing our road knowledge and reviewing the driving practices that keep us safe. After all, the best way to make our roads safer is to become better drivers ourselves. So, whether you’re just learning how to drive or you’ve been at it for a while, check out these tips to tune up your skills.

Understand Your Car’s Limits

Take some time to research the pros and cons of your vehicle so you can drive more efficiently and avoid getting yourself into dangerous situations. For example, because Ford Mustangs are designed to provide an entertaining driving experience, people often drive them carelessly at high speeds and increase the risk of an accident occurring. While Mustangs tend to guzzle gas, recent models have an independent rear suspension to keep the car stable on uneven surfaces. On the other hand, Jeep Wranglers have less-than-ideal aerodynamics and slower steering, so they tend not to be the best vehicle selection for those long road trips. However, Jeeps are great for driving in inclement weather conditions.

Check Your Hand Position

Exactly where you grip the steering wheel may seem irrelevant to your safety on the road, but incorrect hand positioning leads to inefficient steering techniques—one of the main driver errors that cause accidents. Keep your hands at nine and three for the optimal combination of control and safety. Use your fingers to turn the wheel, and never grip it from the inside. Correct hand placement on the wheel will also keep your arms out of the airbag path.

Keep a Safe Following Distance

Following a vehicle at a safe distance is essential for stopping safely if something happens on the road up ahead. Smart Motorist recommends staying two full seconds behind the car in front of you under most driving conditions. If you’re driving in bad weather, consider leaving six to nine seconds of distance.

Stick to Speed Limits

Everyone knows that speeding is dangerous. However, many of us think that speeding will get us to our destinations more quickly. In reality, driving over the limit will only shave mere minutes off your commute time. So, try to slow down and stick to speed limits to reduce your likelihood of getting in an accident. By driving more slowly, you’ll also reduce strain on your car.

Put Your Phone in the Back Seat

Distracted driving causes 9 deaths every day. Any activities that take your attention away from the road can increase your risk of experiencing a crash. Some common driving distractions include texting, talking on the phone, eating, personal grooming and checking maps. If you have trouble putting the phone down, keep it in the back seat where you can’t reach it. Planning your route ahead of time can also keep you off your phone.

Don’t Drive Drowsy

As sleep deprivation becomes the norm for the busy public, it’s clear that driving while tired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy driving impairs our reaction times and decision-making skills. Lack of sleep, illness and certain medications can cause us to feel drowsy behind the wheel, endangering ourselves and everyone else on the road. Whenever you drive, look out for signs that you’re too drowsy to operate a vehicle—such as continuous yawning, memory lapses, or drifting out of your lane. If you ever notice these symptoms, consider calling a friend to pick you up. Alternatively, AAA recommends pulling over for a 20-minute nap to recover some energy.

Practice Driving in Tough Conditions

Although we have control over our own driving habits, we can’t do much about the weather. We can, however, learn how to drive in snow, sleet, rain, fog and wind so we can avoid accidents when the weather gets rough. Consider taking a specialty driver’s training course for bad-weather driving. These programs teach students how to maneuver in rain and navigate hills and corners in icy conditions.

You’re never too old to brush up on safe driving habits. Even if you’re a great driver, you never know how other people on the road are going to behave. Driving defensively and avoiding bad habits yourself is the best way to stay safe out there.

About the Author:

This article was contributed by the founder of DriveSafely.info, Mark Connor.  Connor created DriveSafely.info after his son, who has ADHD, started driving. He hopes to raise awareness about important driving habits that can save lives by encouraging teens and adults alike to make good decisions behind the wheel.  

Mark ConnorHow to Tune Up Your Driving Skills and Banish Bad Road Habits

Foldaway Seat Recall Expands

Laguna Hills, CA – June 6, 2019 – As part of an ever-expanding recall that centers on rear seat defect in multi-passenger vehicles, New England Wheels is reaching out to owners of certain Ford Transit and Ram Promaster vehicles, due to a foldaway seat that won’t lock in place. Under normal circumstances, the units allow for greater functionality and freedom of movement for passengers. The problem is that when the flawed ones are under pressure, they seemingly refuse to remain upright. This movement could greatly increase the risk of an injury for the person seated. New England Wheels and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urge Ford Transit and Ram Promaster to reach out to the foldaways’ manufacturer, Freedman Seating, so the repairs can be completed for free.

The Defect

Per documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Billerica, Massachusetts-based New England Wheels, a vehicle retrofitting company, seeks to recall a combined 544 Ford Transits (model years 2014-2018) and Ram Promasters (2014-2019), which the company installed with Freedman Go-ES Foldaway Seats. New England Wheels was able to determine the precise total by matching the identification numbers of the affected seats with the same digits found on the units of the vehicles they were installed in.

The flaw in question is a back frame weldment, which New England Wheels says may be too narrow and subject to malfunction because it can’t withstand the weight of a person seated or leading on the foldaway seats. The rotating action of the back cushion may exacerbate the deformation of the weldment and fail to fully engage the mechanism that locks when the seat back is repositioned. Evidence of a flawed component is if the locking mechanism doesn’t make a “click” sound when moving the back cushion from folded to upright.

This is only the latest recall notice involving Freedman Go-ES Foldaway Seats. In May, Waldoch Crafts, Inc. informed NHTSA that it was recalling 15 Ford Transit shuttle vans for the same reason. At the time, though, a remedy had not yet been finalized.

Timeline of Events

Although the two recalls involving the problematic folding passenger seats were both in 2019, the issue traces back to at least 2018, when NHTSA first issued an awareness notice at its website. Vehicle customization firms may have been unaware of the recall prior to installing them or purchased the models before the announcement.

The Solution

The Freedman Seating Company, in conjunction with NHTSA, has agreed to facilitate the inspection and completion of the repairs on flawed GO-ES Foldaway units. If owners decide to take their vehicles elsewhere, the company says it will reimburse them the cost of repairs and labor ($50 value). However, the best move is to go through Freedman directly, as the company says it knows what replacement parts to install to fix the flawed mechanism. The recall began in earnest on May 27. For more information, contact Freedman at 1-800-443-4540, New England Wheels at 1-800-886-9247 or visit MotorSafety.org, using the campaign number 19V-333.

Sean ReyesFoldaway Seat Recall Expands

Some Volvo S60 owners to receive recall notice in June

Laguna Hills, CA – June 3, 2019 – Volvo Car USA is recalling thousands of S60 vehicles due to a rear suspension issue that may present a safety hazard to affected owners while driving, potentially resulting in a crash. The flaw, first recognized in late April and brought to the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is for 2019 model year sedans. Owners will be informed of the issue by direct mail. Those contacted are urged to take their automobiles off the roads for the time being so the vehicles can be serviced by their nearest Volvo dealer. Motorists will not be charged for the fix.

The Defect

As detailed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 8,300 S60 Volvos are being recalled due to the revelation that certain bolts and lock nuts, which attach to the rear toe link flange – a constituent of the suspension system –  may be not be screwed on tightly enough. As a result, the components of the vehicle that assist with steering may malfunction or detach should the bolts be further loosened, increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

The luxury model has been a hot seller for Volvo since it was originally introduced in 2000 and has been through several iterations ever since, now in its third generation as of 2018. S60s are predominantly manufactured at a recently opened assembly plant near Charlestown, South Carolina, which is where the flaw appears to have derived, opening around the same time as the S60’s redesign.

Brought to the attention of Volvo, the luxury automaker relayed the assembly oversight to the NHTSA, wherein an investigation launched April 25 on models built at the Berkeley County plant. Investigators determined that 8,266 S60 sedans were likely affected, or what amounts to 1% of the total volume either on the roads or dealers’ showroom floors, The Car Connection reported. Most of the S60 Volvos involved in the recall are believed to have originated from the luxury automaker’s newly opened plant in the Palmetto State.

The Solution

Starting June 21, owners of the affected S60s can expect to receive a notification either from Volvo or NHTSA pertaining to the flawed suspension system. Drivers are urged to reach out to their local Volvo dealer so the appropriate fix or adjustments can be implemented. This repair will be free of charge.

Sean ReyesSome Volvo S60 owners to receive recall notice in June

Mazda Recalls 2009-2013 Mazda6 Vehicles Due To Corrosion-Caused Steering Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 30, 2019 – Mazda is recalling certain 2009-2013 Mazda6 sedans sold or registered in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. A critical steering component could fail due to corrosion problems. This is an expansion of an earlier recall from 2018. As many as 49,339 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the front cross member, a part of the vehicle suspension, may corrode after exposure to road salt over time due to insufficient paint coating on the component. If the part fails, it can lead to breakage of the cross member, sudden changes in steering alignment and reduced steering control, particularly in situations such as driving over a pothole at high speed. This could result in the increased risk of crash and injury.

Signs Of Trouble

A story by Consumer Reports said that vehicle owners may notice the problem when they hear an unusual noise resulting from the front wheel touching a piece of the vehicle trim, or when the steering wheel becomes off-center. The noise can be heard both outside and inside the vehicle. Mechanics may also be able to detect the problem when the car is taken in for service.

Timeline Of Events

On Sept. 14, 2018 Mazda originally submitted a defect information report to NHTSA concerning 2009-2010 Mazda6 vehicles experiencing corrosion of the cross member due to road salt.

Between September and December 2018, the automaker received a number of new field reports indicating that the same condition was affecting 2011 vehicles. On Jan. 11, 2019, Transport Canada sent Mazda an inquiry about cross member corrosion in Mazda6 2011-2013 vehicles. Following discussion with Transport Canada, Mazda decided March 21 to respond to the inquiry after conducting an investigation of the issue and evaluating the need for field action.

On April 22, the automaker concluded that 2011-2013 vehicles were subject to the same defect as those recalled earlier. After a review by the Quality Audit Committee, Mazda launched a proactive field action for all affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall will begin June 24, 2019. Mazda will notify owners by mail, instructing them to take their vehicles to the nearest dealership for inspection. Depending on the condition of the vehicle, dealers will either install a side member and a drain hose and apply wax to protect from rust, or they will install a drain hose and an improved front cross member, at no cost to vehicle owners. In addition, a reimbursement plan is available for eligible owners who already paid to have these repairs done.

Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 Option 4. Mazda’s number for this recall is 2818I. This recall is an expansion of Recall 18V-631. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V-323.

Sean ReyesMazda Recalls 2009-2013 Mazda6 Vehicles Due To Corrosion-Caused Steering Issue

Honda Recalls 2019 CR-V Vehicles Because Of Air Bag Wiring Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 30, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2019 CR-V vehicles. The steering wheel cores of these cars may have metal burrs, which can damage wiring harnesses contained within them. This could disable the driver’s air bag or unexpectedly trigger deployment without any prior warning. As many as 118,598 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the affected vehicles may have metal burrs on the steering wheel core that could cut or damage the wiring harnesses routed through the core, including the wires for the driver’s air bag. If this were to occur, the air bag could unexpectedly activate with no warning, or it could fail to operate in the event of a crash. The result of either of these situations would be an increased risk of accident or injury.

Timeline of Events

Honda first learned of the problem Jan. 24, 2019, when a warning light flashed on a new CR-V vehicle being assembled. Technicians tracking down the cause discovered that a short circuit in the cable reel sub-harness had blown a fuse, most likely due to burrs on the core of the steering wheel that damaged a misrouted sub-harness.

As soon as this problem was reported, all North American manufacturing facilities developed and put into place new quality process improvements. On Jan. 25, Honda and its steering wheel supplier began a joint investigation into the causes and consequences of the issue. By Jan. 31, the supplier changed the steering wheel core trim tool to prevent potential burring.

The automaker received its first and second market claims of faulty air bag activation between February and late March. Honda then collected the failed parts for root-cause analysis, which later confirmed that an improperly routed cable reel sub-harness was indeed susceptible to damage caused by burrs on the steering wheel core.

From April to early May, Honda received four additional claims of unexpected air bag deployment (then totalling six in all). As before, the failed parts were collected and analyzed. By this time, the automaker determined that a motor vehicle safety defect existed and decided May 14 to conduct a recall. As of that date, Honda had received 41 warranty claims, 20 field reports, three injury reports and no reports of full-on crashes related to this issue.

The Solution

The recall is expected to start July 8, 2019. Honda will notify all affected vehicle owners, directing them to return their CR-V vehicles to the nearest Honda dealership for inspection and repairs. Dealers will install a new protective cover on the steering wheel core as well as replacing the clockspring and harnesses within the core, at no charge to vehicle owners.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is R4S. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V383000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2019 CR-V Vehicles Because Of Air Bag Wiring Issue

Honda Recalls 2006-2015 Vehicles For Improperly Installed Air Bag Inflator

Laguna Hills, CA – May 29, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2009-2014 Acura TSX, 2011-2013 TSX Sport Wagon, and 2010-2012 ZDX and 2008-2012 Honda Accord, 2010-2011 Accord Crosstour, 2006-2011 Civic, Civic Hybrid and Civic NGV, 2012-2014 Crosstour, 2007-2011 CR-V, 2009-2013 Fit, 2010-2013 Insight and 2009-2015 Pilot vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with a front passenger air bag inflator that may have been incorrectly installed during a previous recall and replacement field action. As many as 19,086 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, during a previous replacement process the front passenger air bag inflators may have been improperly installed on the affected vehicles. In the event of a crash, these inflators may not deploy as expected, increasing the likelihood of injury to vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

From September 2017 through May 2018, following up on a prior air bag inflator mis-installation recall, Honda began a series of meetings, dealer visits, training courses, workshops and supplemental job aids aimed at educating service technicians and avoiding incorrect air bag inflator installations during future recall actions. As a result of this initiative, additional mis-installations were identified, and Honda submitted a defect information report to NHTSA on April 26, 2018 to address the situation.

Honda and NHTSA met Sept. 19, 2018 to review the audit results of inflator repairs performed at certain dealerships and to decide on a solution. The automaker agreed to expand the recall to include the known population of potentially affected vehicles as well as to audit the repairs that had been done by service technicians who were no longer employed by Honda or Acura dealerships before May 2018.

On Sept. 20, Honda decided that a motor vehicle safety defect existed, launching a safety recall expansion for the preceding NHTSA 18V-268 action. The automaker also submitted an amended defect information report for that recall on Sept. 27 and conducted a nationwide audit from September 2018 to April 2019 on the repair workmanship of the affected vehicles. This newest audit would focus on the involvement of service technicians who were no longer employed by Acura or Honda dealerships prior to May 2018.

Honda gave NHTSA an update on the audit progress April 23. Consequently, the automaker decided May 9 to conduct a safety recall. As of that date, no field reports, warranty claims or reports of injuries or deaths related to this issue had been received by Honda.

The Solution

A recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Honda will inform all vehicle owners, and dealers will inspect the inflator installation and, as needed, replace the front passenger air bag module assembly at no cost to the owners of the affected vehicles.

Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s numbers for this recall are M4O, P4R, T4Q, and W4P. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V378000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls 2006-2015 Vehicles For Improperly Installed Air Bag Inflator

Ford Recalls 2019 Ranger Vehicles For Transmission Defects

Laguna Hills, CA – May 28, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling certain 2019 Ranger pickup trucks because the transmission may unexpectedly switch to a different gear from what the shift lever indicates, and if the parking brake is not applied before exiting the truck, the vehicle may roll. As many as 2,534 vehicles may be affected by these issues.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this matter, the fasteners attaching the transmission shifter cable bracket to the transmission may come loose, resulting in the vehicle being in a gear different from that which is indicated by the gearshift lever’s position. When the transmission gear does not match what is shown by the lever, the vehicle could move in an unexpected direction, including rolling away while in the Park position unless the parking brake is engaged before leaving the vehicle. These problems may increase the risk of injury or crashes affecting vehicle occupants, passersby and any autos in the vicinity. 

Timeline of Events

Ford learned of the problem April 25, 2019 when two warranty reports indicated issues with vehicles not starting as well as rolling away while in Park. One report involved a vehicle in which the gear shifter was in the Park position while the instrument panel displayed Drive, resulting in the inability to start. In the other report, the vehicle did not start, did not register as being in Park and rolled when the shifter indicated Park. In both situations, the issue was attributed to loose or missing transmission shift cable bracket fasteners. Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group began an investigation upon learning of these reports.

Following a review of assembly plant records, it was discovered that a manual torque verification process had been temporarily substituted for the automated installation and torque verification for the shift cable bracket fasteners. This happened in vehicles produced between March 5 and March 13. The automaker conducted an audit of the 277 vehicles manufactured during this time frame and found four vehicles with improperly torqued transmission shift cable bracket fasteners.

Ford’s Field Review Committee approved a field action May 6. As of that date, the automaker was not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to these issues.    

The Solution

A recall is expected to begin July 1, 2019. Ford will inform owners, instructing them to bring affected vehicles back to the dealership for repair. Dealers will inspect and tighten the transmission shift cable bracket fasteners as needed. They will also verify the proper transmission shift operation, at no cost to owners.

Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S15. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the NHTSA’s www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V366000.

Sean ReyesFord Recalls 2019 Ranger Vehicles For Transmission Defects