Sierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

Warren, MI – December 22, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 9,279 vehicles that operate with roof-rail airbags. The airbags connect to the inflation system using an end cap and the cap may malfunction. The recall includes:            

  • 2015 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks     

Recall summary  

The vehicles in this recall are equipped with roof-rail airbags (RRAB). These airbags deploy from near the roof and downward, to protect occupants from a side-impact crash. 

  • Each RRAB operates with an inflator, which inflates the airbag with compressed gas during a crash. An end cap keeps the compressed gas in the airbag.
  • A supplier’s manufacturing error caused moisture to corrode inside the inflator vessel near the end cap.
  • In the recalled cars, the inflator end cap may detach from the inflator, and compressed gas may propel the end cap into the passenger compartment. The end cap may injure occupants or distract the driver and cause a crash.

GM is aware of two cases of end caps detaching.  No injuries have been reported.

Note that this recall is different from the massive recalls for defective Takata airbags in 2015 or the recent recall of Nissan Sentras, also related to airbags.

GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado vehicles have had other recall notices in recent years. Recalls have been made for ignition locks, brakes, seats and for seat belt issues.

Risks 

A detached end cap may fly forcefully into the vehicle and hit an occupant, causing an injury. The end cap detachment may also distract the driver.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will inspect each RRAB and replace modules that appear to be dangerous. The repair is free of charge. General Motors expects the recall to begin on January 10, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,200 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydSierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

Volkswagen recalls Audi Sportbacks for faulty wiring

Auburn Hills, MI – December 21, 2020– Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) has recalled 5,426 Audi Sportbacks whose wiring may become damaged in a crash, preventing the doors from being opened from the outside. Hazard lights may also fail, increasing the risk of an injury and death to the occupants of the vehicle.

The recall includes:

  • 2020-2021 Audi A5 Sportbacks
  • 2021 Audi RS5 Sportbacks
  • 2020-2021 Audi S5  Sportbacks

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the wires in the rear of the car that control the rear lights and supply power to parts of the car. Due to a supplier error, these wires were not built with scuff protection and may become damaged in the event of a crash.

Safety concerns

The damage – that could occur during a rear crash at 50 miles per hour – could affect the vehicle’s power supply, making it impossible to turn on the hazard lights or open the car doors from the outside. Both of these problems increase the risk of injury in the case of a crash. Hazard lights serve to warn approaching drivers of a stopped or a slowed car, preventing rear-end crashes.

Inability to open doors from the outside may result in the death or injury of the driver and passengers, especially if they are incapacitated and the car is burning.

The repair

Audi will notify owners of the recall by Jan 22, 2021. As a free fix for this Audi Volkswagen problem, dealers will apply adhesive tape to protect the wires.  This repair is not yet available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 5,000 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandVolkswagen recalls Audi Sportbacks for faulty wiring

Nissan recalls nearly 4,000 Sentras equipped with Takata airbags

Franklin, TN – December 18, 2020 – Nissan (OTCMKTS: NSANY) has recalled 3,930 Sentra compact cars built with Takata airbag inflators which could explode and injure or kill the occupants of the vehicle with “sharp metal fragments.” So far the infamous recall – that has encompassed multiple manufacturers and is the largest one in history – has seen 27 fatalities and at least 250 injuries.

This latest round includes 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra cars and concerns the front passenger airbag (part #985614Z60A).

Recall summary

This recall serves to correct a prior Nissan recall of Takata airbags conducted in 2015.

During that recall, dealers misidentified the types of airbag inflators on some of the recalled vehicles. As a result, these dangerous airbags were not removed. 

According to recall documents, such an error resulted in an injury in 2018, when a misidentified airbag’s inflator exploded, prompting an investigation by the automaker.

Continuing history of recalls

Automakers have been issuing ever-expanding recalls of Takata airbags for seven years, with 100 million inflators recalled worldwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has overseen the removal of approximately 63 million Takata airbag inflators in the US, including a recently ordered recall of 5.9 million General Motors vehicles equipped with them.

Read more about what’s wrong with Takata airbags here.

Repair

Nissan dealers will inspect and replace the airbag, if necessary, with one manufactured by a different supplier. Owners will be notified by mail starting Jan 5, 2021, but parts are already available. Nissan is recommending that owners do not allow passengers to sit in the front passenger seat until the car has been serviced. 

If you are uncomfortable driving your recalled Sentra, Nissan will pay to have the vehicle towed to the dealer. Customers may request this by calling Consumer Affairs at 1 (888) 737-9511.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 4,000 vehicles are included in this Nissan Takata Airbag recall. Use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool to see if your vehicle is affected. 

Rebecca RandNissan recalls nearly 4,000 Sentras equipped with Takata airbags

Ford Explorers, Edges, and Tauruses recalled for bracket failure issue

Dearborn, MI – December 17, 2020 – Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has recalled 15,587 vehicles with 2.0L or 2.3L engines and front wheel drive. A support bracket – which connects the engine to the front drive axle – may fail, and the driver may lose control of the vehicle. The recall includes:

  •  2014-2016 Ford Explorer SUVs
  •  2014-2015 Ford Taurus sedans
  •  2014-2016 Ford Edge SUVs

However, a Ford press release from November 13 mentions that the 2016 Taurus is also part of the recall and that only 2014 Edge SUVs are included. The reason for the discrepancy is not clear.

Recall summary  

Due to a design error, the bracket may not withstand the vehicle’s normal vibration. This could cause the bracket to crack. Because the bracket connects the engine to the front axle – which transmits the power from the vehicle to its wheels – this defect can cause a loss of “motive power” or “park function.”

Other Ford Explorer, Edge and Taurus recalls

There are several Ford Explorer recalls outstanding. In November, 2013-2017 Explorers were recalled for the third time due to a faulty suspension, as reported. 2020 Explorer SUVs and Edge SUVs were also recalled in September due to rearview cameras that may display a “distorted or blank” image, also as reported.

2015-2018 Ford Edge cars were recalled for leaking brake fluid  in August, while Ford Taurus sedans were subject to a recall in February due to toe link problems.

Risks 

Drivers in the recalled cars face a number of risks:

  • If the vehicle does not stay in park, the unexpected movement may cause a rollaway incident or an accident. The vehicle may roll into a person, another vehicle or a traffic lane.
  • A loss of power may prevent a driver from accelerating to merge into traffic and cause an accident.
  • Damage to other component parts may also cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and lead to an accident.

If the link shaft brackets cracks, drivers may notice “grinding, banging or clicking noise from the driveline” while driving, according to NHTSA.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the link shaft bracket. The repair is free of charge, but the parts are not currently available. Ford sent owners an interim notification which explained the recall on November 30, 2020. Each owner will receive a second notification when parts are available for the repair.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 15,500 vehicles are included in this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydFord Explorers, Edges, and Tauruses recalled for bracket failure issue

Hyundai recalls over 120,000 cars over faulty engines that may catch fire

Fountain Valley, CA – December 16, 2020 – Hyundai (OTCMKTS: HYMTF) is recalling 128,948 cars because connecting rod bearings inside the engine may wear down and cause engine damage, increasing the risk of stalls or fires. The recall includes:

  • 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs
  • 2011-2013 and 2016 Hyundai Sonata hybrid cars
  • 2015-2016 Hyundai Veloster hatchbacks

Recall summary

The recall concerns the vehicles’ engine rod bearings, which help reduce friction between two moving parts in the engine. These cars’ bearings could become worn, which could damage the engine. The damage may even cause the engine rod to snap and the vehicle to stall.

Separately, engines in these recalled cars can catch fire after being punctured by the rod.

High rates of fires

The recall comes a week after NHTSA issued Hyundai a consent order requiring them to clean up their act in regards to safety, by developing better resources, tools, and practices for catching vehicle safety problems early. The consent order was the result of a three-year probe into Hyundai’s behavior regarding recalls of 2011 model year vehicles.

NHTSA is disciplining Hyundai for moving too slowly to recall vehicles with engine issues and high rates of fires, and for reporting inaccurate information to NHTSA regarding the recalls. According to the consent order, Hyundai must create a US safety office, develop better data analytics programs to detect safety issues, and build a new safety testing facility in the US.

Safety concerns

Stalling and fires are both significant safety issues. Owners of recalled cars should watch out for abnormal knocking noises from the engine, reduced engine power or hesitation, the check engine light, the oil pressure light, a burning smell, a visible oil leak, and smoke, which all may be signs of trouble with the rod bearings.

For tips on what to do if your vehicle catches fire, please see the following page.

Repair

This Hyundai engine recall is set to start in late January of next year. Dealers will inspect the engine  for any damage to the rod bearings. If it is damaged, the whole engine will be replaced. Hyundai will also be installing a software update designed to detect engine issues.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

Nearly 130,000 cars are included in this Hyundai motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandHyundai recalls over 120,000 cars over faulty engines that may catch fire

Kia Motors recalls nearly 300,000 cars over engine fire risk

Irvine, CA – December 15, 2020 – Kia Motors (KIMTF:OTC US) is recalling 294,756 vehicles whose engines may catch on fire. The recall includes the following: 

  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte compact sedans equipped with 
    • 2.0L Nu Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines  
    • 2.4L Theta II Multi-Port Injection (MPI) engines
  • 2012-2015 Kia Forte Koup cars equipped with 
    • 2.0L Nu GDI engines 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2011-2013 Kia Optima Hybrid cars equipped with 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2012-2013 Kia Sorento SUVs equipped with 
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines
  • 2014-2015 Kia Soul hatchbacks equipped with
    • 2.0L Nu GDI engines
  • 2012 Kia Sportage compact SUVs equipped with
    • 2.4L Theta II MPI engines

Recall summary

The recall stems from a risk that the engines could catch fire while driving.  Neither Kia nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have found a definite cause for the high rates of engine fire in these models. Kia said that the recall was a “preventative measure” that would attempt to address any existing fuel leaks, oil leaks or engine damage to mitigate fire risks.

Background of the recall

This recall was prompted by a June 2018 petition by the Center For Auto Safety, a consumer watchdog group that pushed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate the high rate of engine fires in certain Kia vehicles. While they have not yet determined the cause of the fires, NHTSA has recommended this recall based on the fire complaint data they got from Kia. 

As a result of the same investigation, Hyundai is set to recall close to 130,000 cars, including  2012 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, 2011-2013 and 2016 Hyundai Sonata hybrids and 2015-2016 Hyundai Veloster hatchbacks. The recall is being conducted also due to the risk of a fire, as well as that of stalling while driving.

This is the second 2013 Kia Sorento recall related to engine fires. Fires also led to 2011-2012 Kia Sportage and 2013 Kia Optima recalls, according to NHTSA records.

Vehicle fires

Car fires are very dangerous. Please see the following article for tips on what to do if your vehicle catches fire.

Engine noise, the check engine light, the low oil light, fuel smell, burning smell, oil leaking, and smoke may indicate an active or potential fire in the recalled vehicles. 

Repair

This Kia Motors recall is slated to begin January 27, 2021. Kia will notify owners by mail, and dealers will inspect the engine compartment and perform an engine test. If they discover any problems, the dealer will repair them for free. This includes a replacement engine, if necessary. 

Kia is also working on a free software update designed to prevent engine damage, which dealers will install when available.  

Owners who have already repaired this defect on their own dime may be eligible for reimbursement.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

Nearly 300,000 cars are included with this Kia motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.


Rebecca RandKia Motors recalls nearly 300,000 cars over engine fire risk

Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Auburn Hills, MI – December 14, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has recalled 28,884 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler. The cooler may crack and release coolant that may cause an engine fire. The recall includes 2014-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Recall summary  

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler is a car part designed to absorb heat to reduce emissions from an engine. Due to a supplier error, the recalled vehicles are prone to “thermal fatigue,” which may cause coolers in them to crack.

Vaporized coolant can then flow through the crack and into the EGR system while the engine is running. There it may interact with hydrocarbons and air in an area called the intake manifold, which forms part of the engine. This may lead to an engine fire.

This is not the first time Chrysler’s cars are having issues with EGR coolers. In 2019, Chrysler recalled a number of Ram 1500 trucks for the same EGR cooler issue. This past August a number of owners filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the manufacturer “botched” the recall, not making enough parts available for replacement.

Risks 

Vehicle fires are not uncommon. It is estimated that 212,500 vehicle fires occurred in 2018, causing 560 deaths, 1,500 injuries and $1.9 billion in property damage. If the EGR cooler issues cause a fire, the driver will receive very little warning. If you suspect that there is a fire in your engine compartment, pull over, turn off the vehicle, move all occupants out and away from it and call 911.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will replace the EGR cooler. They will also inspect the intake manifold and replace that as well if necessary. The repair is free of charge. This Jeep Grand Cherokee recall is expected to begin on December 31, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 28,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep Cherokee recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydJeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Toyota to recall cars with Denso fuel pumps

Southfield, MI – December 11, 2020 – Japanese manufacturer Toyota (NYSE:TM) is set to recall 1,517,721 cars with faulty fuel pumps manufactured by Denso (OTCMKTS:DNZOY), an auto parts maker that forms part of the Toyota Group. This is the latest installment of recalls conducted by various car manufacturers due to an issue with the pumps that may cause cars to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota has yet to announce the details of this recall. The following numbered Toyota parts are affected:

  • 195140201
  • 195140222
  • 195140249
  • 291100043
  • 291200100
  • 291200200
  • 291200202

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the fuel pump, which is responsible for moving gas from a car’s tank to its engine. The fuel pumps in question have a small plastic turbine called an impeller that sucks gas through the pump. These impellers may have been manufactured in a way that causes them to weaken and deform as they soak in fuel. This may cause the whole pump to stop working. 

Series of Denso recalls

This recall is the latest in a series issued by automakers who installed Denso pumps in their vehicles. In the United States, Subaru, Toyota and Honda have issued recalls. According to documents Denso submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford, Mazda and Mitsubishi also purchased faulty fuel pumps. 

Toyota issued their first Denso fuel pump recall in January for nearly 700,000 vehicles. Less than a month later, a class action lawsuit was proposed in the Eastern District of New York which complained that the initial Toyota recall was too small, and left out cars that were built with the same defective pump. Toyota has since expanded the recall two times, and by the end of October they had recalled nearly 3.35 million vehicles in total. 

Risks

A car that stalls while in motion is at a high risk of getting hit from behind. 

Denso has warned in recall documents that vehicles may stall while driving. Drivers should keep an eye on the check engine light and other warning indicators. If the car is “rough running” or fails to start, these are signs that something may be wrong with the fuel pump.

If your car stalls:

  • Turn on the emergency hazard lights.
  • Try to shift into neutral and maneuver your car to the side of the road. 
  • Call  your roadside assistance provider
  •  Be sure to stay in the car. The shoulder is very  dangerous for pedestrians.

The repair

Denso has notified Toyota of the recall expansion, and it is now Toyota’s responsibility to recall the fuel pumps and provide a fix. If it is anything like the previous Toyota recalls of Denso fuel pumps, Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the fuel pump assembly with a nondefective one for free. Toyota owners were only notified of the prior recall on November 23, but the remedy has not yet become available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 1.5 million vehicles have been added to this Denso recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandToyota to recall cars with Denso fuel pumps

General Motors vehicles recalled for potential fuel leaks

Warren, MI– December 10, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 194,105 vehicles due to missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator end cap. The missing bolts may result in a transmission oil leak, a loss of vehicle power or an engine fire. This General Motors (GM) recall includes:

  • 2018-2019 Chevrolet Cruze sedans
  • 2018-2019 Buick LaCrosse sedans
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Equinox SUVs
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Traverse SUVs
  • 2018-2020 GMC Terrain SUVs
  • 2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans
  • 2019-2020 Buick Encore SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Buick Enclave SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Cadillac XT4 SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet Blazer SUVs
  • 2019-2020 GMC Acadia SUVs
  • 2020 Cadillac XT6 sedans

Recall summary  

Your vehicle’s transmission is designed to transfer engine power to the driveshaft. The start-stop accumulator shuts down the engine when it is not in use to achieve better fuel economy and cut down on emissions.

Each start-stop transmission accumulator is attached using four bolts. In the case of the recalled vehicles, due to a supplier software error, two of the required bolts are missing

Risks 

Missing bolts can create a number of issues:

  • Transmission oil leak: A leak may damage other engine parts, and driving the vehicle without the proper amount of oil or transmission fluid may damage the engine.
  • Loss of vehicle power: A loss of power may prevent the driver from accelerating into a busy road or onto a highway, increasing the risk of an accident. A power loss may also reduce the driver’s ability to speed up to avoid an accident. Finally, the vehicle may slow down on its own until it comes to a complete stop, increasing the risk of being struck by another vehicle coming up from behind.
  • Increased risk of fire: A fire can injure the vehicle occupants, or cause the driver to lose control and cause an accident. This article explains what you should do if you believe your vehicle is on fire.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to check the start-stop accumulator end cap and determine if any bolts are missing. If they are, the dealer will replace the end cap at no cost to the owner. GM expects the recall to begin on December 14, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

This GM oil leak recall includes over 194,000 vehicles. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors vehicles recalled for potential fuel leaks

Volkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear

Auburn Hills, MI – December 9, 2020Volkswagen Group (NASDAQ:VWAGY) has recalled 10,835 vehicles, due to an issue with the front seat belts. If a crash occurs, a seat belt’s webbing may tear, and the belt will not properly restrain the occupant.This Volkswagen (VW) recall includes certain 2018 Tiguan LWB SUVs.

Recall summary  

A seat belt tear (referred to by Volkswagen as a rupture) was initially noted during tests performed by the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in December 2017. 

  • During each test, the vehicle was driven at 35 mph into a full frontal impact, and the front driver side seat belt ruptured. 
  • The seat belt webbing separated completely in the area of the seat belt latch.

In 2020, Volkswagen ran a series of tests but could not determine the root cause of the seat belt issue uncovered by NHTSA. Despite that, VW recalled the vehicles “out of abundance of caution.” Vehicles that are being recalled may have received seat belts from the same production lot used in the NHTSA test.

Risks 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “[m]otor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S.” More than half of the fatalities in people aged 13-44 years occurred when they were not buckled into a seat belt. 

If a seat belt malfunctions and does not restrain the occupant, the individual may be injured inside of the car or thrown from the vehicle.

The repair

To fix this potential 2018 Tiguan problem, dealers will replace front seat belts with seat belts from a different production lot. The repair is free of charge. Volkswagen expects the recall to begin on January 19, 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 10,800 vehicles are included in this Volkswagen recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydVolkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear