Fiat Chrysler Recalls More than 220,000 2019 Ram 1500 Pickups Due to Detachable Brake Pedal.

 

Laguna Hills, CA – February 6, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling more than 193,000 of their newly released 2019 Ram 1500 pickup trucks with adjustable pedals due to a possibility that the brake pedal may detach. The recall is expected to affect roughly 222,000 model-year 2019 Ram 1500 pickups worldwide that are equipped with the adjustable pedals. The 2019 Ram Classic is not affected by this recall.

The Defect

According to Consumer Affairs, affected vehicles have electrically operated adjustable brake pedals to allow drivers of different heights to comfortably position the gas and brake pedals closer to them, or further away from them, depending on their height and leg length. FCA said these Ram brake pedals may detach if drivers adjust them to their rearmost positions. Lack of braking power can potentially lead to a crash, injury and even death.

Timeline of Events

According to a safety bulletin released by FCA, an FCA US investigation researched vehicles that have been equipped with the pedal adjustment feature. The adjustment process, which is activated by a switch and operated with an electric motor, is recommended for use only when the vehicle is stationary as it enables a driver to adjust pedal position.

The investigation found that drivers activating the feature to move pedals to their rear-most position may, in vehicles that have a particular defect in design, cause the integrity of the brake pedal assembly to become compromised which can lead to detachment of the brake pedal.

Additional vehicles will be subject to recall in Canada (est. 22,111), Mexico (est. 783) and certain regions outside the North American market (est. 5,487). The NHTSA has not yet provided more details on this recall or the sequence of events leading to the announcement.

FCA US stated that the company is currently unaware of any related injuries or accidents. However, customers affected by this recall are urged to refrain from using the adjustable-pedal feature until their vehicles are serviced, and also to never use the adjustable-pedal feature while driving. More information can be found in owner manuals.

The Solution

According to the FCA bulletin, dealers will “further secure the brake pedal” at no charge to owners. FCA says it will notify owners of affected trucks. More than 33% of affected vehicles are still at dealerships, and all of those vehicles will be repaired before they are sold. Owners can contact FCA at 800-853-1403. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to issue a recall number for this campaign.

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler Recalls More than 220,000 2019 Ram 1500 Pickups Due to Detachable Brake Pedal.

Volvo recalls 167,000 cars worldwide to fix trunk lid

Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, owned by China’s Geely holding company, says it is recalling 167,000 cars worldwide because the hatch lid lift system on electric trunks can loosen, stop working in cold weather, and possibly cause damage.

Group spokeswoman Annika Bjerstaf says the recall is “a preventive safety measure,” adding Volvo Cars “has not received any reports of serious incidents surrounding this.”

Read more on CNYCentral.com…

Sean ReyesVolvo recalls 167,000 cars worldwide to fix trunk lid

Fiat Chrysler recalls 882,000 pickup trucks for steering, pedal issues

Fiat Chrysler recalls 882,000 pickup trucks for steering, pedal issues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Tuesday it would recall 882,000 pickup trucks worldwide in two new recalls to address steering and pedal issues.

The Italian-American automaker said it was recalling about 660,000 heavy duty Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks from the 2013 through 2017 model years, including 574,000 in the United States, as drivers could potentially experience steering loss.

A nut could come loose and prevent drivers from being able to steer the vehicle, Fiat Chrysler said, adding it had reports of one injury and eight accidents possibly related to the issue.

Read more on Reuters.com…

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler recalls 882,000 pickup trucks for steering, pedal issues

Mazda Recalls More Than 14,000 MX-5 Miatas for Transmission Problems

 

Laguna Hills, CA – February 4, 2019 –  Mazda is recalling 2016-2019 MX-5 Miata sports cars with automatic transmissions. The recall is expected to affect approximately 14,370 model year 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata sports cars with automatic transmissions manufactured over the four-year range.

The Defect

According to Consumer Affairs, a software problem in the transmission can cause an unexpected downshift, which may cause the vehicle to slow abruptly. In affected vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, electrical noise in the range signal can occur while driving in “D” range, including in instances when the vehicle is being operated by the driver in “Manual” mode.

This electrical noise may be detected by the clutch control software in the Transmission Control Module (TCM), and, due to inappropriate control logic of the software in question, the signal noise may cause the vehicle to unexpectedly downshift. A downshift mid drive can cause a sudden and rapid deceleration of the drive wheels.

An abrupt decrease in the speed of the drive wheels while driving is hazardous, as it can negatively affect the directional stability of the vehicle. This hazard both increases the risk of a driver losing control of the vehicle which could ultimately lead to a crash and injury or even loss of life.

Timeline of Events

According to a Mazda statement, Mazda North American Operations has therefore filed a Defect and Non-Compliance Information Report with NHTSA regarding a safety concern with certain Model Year (MY) 2016-2019 Mazda MX-5 Miatas. The NHTSA has not yet provided more details on this recall or the sequence of events leading to the announcement.

The following numbers of vehicles are expected to be affected by this recall:

  • 2016 MY MX-5: 6,140 units
  • 2017 MY MX-5: 4,519 units
  • 2018 MY MX-5: 2,295 units
  • 2019 MY MX-5: 1,416 units

The Solution

Dealers will update the transmission software in affected vehicles at no charge to owners. Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500. The automaker is anticipated to begin notifying owners of affected vehicles by March 29, 2019. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesMazda Recalls More Than 14,000 MX-5 Miatas for Transmission Problems

Toyota Collaborates with the Carma Project to Encourage Recall Compliance

 

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 31, 2019 – Toyota is seeking to make more vehicle owners aware of recent recalls, particularly the Takata air bag recall, which is expected to affect 55 to 70 million vehicles across 19 manufacturers by the end of 2019. To that end, the automotive manufacturer is partnering with the Carma Project, run by Tony Lim, to incentivize spreading awareness of the recall and prompt customers to check their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to see if their car is affected.

Takata Airbag Recall

Impacted vehicles were originally fitted with Takata air bags. These air bags’ inflators are filled with ammonium nitrate, which can become unstable over time due to degradation caused by aging, temperature fluctuations and humidity. Once the material is no longer stable, a crash can cause the metal canister inside the air bag to explode, sending shrapnel flying through the interior of the car and putting the driver and any passengers at risk of serious injury or death.

The Carma Project

Anyone can visit carmaproject.com, sign up, and share messages about the recall to their social network. Participants can receive $5 in gift cards for every Toyota owner who schedules an appointment to have their vehicle repaired, and an additional $50 worth of gift cards when they actually have their vehicle repaired. Actions taken on social platforms or elsewhere can be recorded and rewarded with “Carma Coins,” which are redeemable as gift cards from major retailers through the Bitmo platform.

Air Bag Replacement

The air bag replacement is free for the Toyota owner, who can have the service done at any Toyota or Lexus location. Carma Group also offers a downloadable app, which can be used to check and see if any vehicle is part of the recall.

Toyota determines which vehicles are eligible for bonuses (CarmaCoin) based on the priority group assigned to the vehicle by NHTSA. For more information visit www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesToyota Collaborates with the Carma Project to Encourage Recall Compliance

BMW recalls 2016 M3 and M4 over drive shaft issue

 

Munich – Jan. 31, 2019 – BMW has issued a recall for its M3 and M4 models, to counter a potentially dangerous fault within the vehicles’ drive shafts. According to a company statement reported by Car Advice, the vehicles requiring inspection and repair were sold in Australia and noted by that country’s product safety monitor. The organization with recall authority in the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has been inactive for much of January due to the government’s funding shutdown, thus making it unclear if a similar recall will affect U.S. BMW owners.

The vehicles involved are all sedans from the 2016 model year. The M3, M4 and M4 convertible are all affected by the recall and according to the announcement, these vehicles exist in very small quantities in Australia. With 97 vehicles affected, the M3 is the most popular of the three types. There are 71 of the hardtop M4, with only 10 of the convertible M4 recorded.

The process of recalling the vehicles shows that automakers follow procedure even when the number of cars in question is relatively small in a particular territory. Recent actions by specialist carmakers such as Maserati show attention being paid to models that were not made or exported in mass quantities.

The Defect

According to the company’s announcement, the potentially dangerous problem leading to the recent action is located within the affected vehicles’ drive shafts. The shafts on these cars are made of carbon fiber and contain two internal components – the three-hole flange and the pushing piece. The company questioned whether the pieces within the drive shaft will hold up over time and usage over the lifespan of the cars. If these parts were not made with “sufficient long-term durability”, the pushing piece could end up pulled out of the drive shaft, limiting the vehicle’s torque to the rear wheels. Such a lack of torque may may increase the risk of a collision, leading to the necessity of a recall.

Timeline of Events

The announcement from BMW did not clarify several pieces of information about the recall underway, such as how it was discovered or when. The vehicles involved all originate from the 2016 model years, but the notice was not issued until late January 2019. The press materials did not mention whether the fault was discovered as part of an inspection, due to an actual incident on the road or in a laboratory test. Furthermore, no connection to cars from outside of the Australian market was discussed.

The Solution

The statement announcing the recall was similarly quiet about what exactly the fix to the problem will entail. Drivers were urged by Car Advice to get in touch with their respective BMW dealers and receive repairs for the drive shaft free of charge. Due to the nature of the problem, with parts potentially not tough enough to stand up to long-term use, it appears likely those component will be replaced with stronger replacement parts, thus making the drive shaft safe for continued use, no matter how long the sedans are on the road.

Sean ReyesBMW recalls 2016 M3 and M4 over drive shaft issue

Subaru ponders 14,000-car recall amid production shutdown

 

Tokyo – Jan. 31, 2019 – Subaru has paused production of multiple vehicle types at its factory in Japan due to the possibility of a defect in the cars’ power steering systems. The automaker is deciding how to proceed with the 14,000 affected cars, some of which were sold in Japan and others of which are destined for export to other territories. Most of the cars impacted are likely bound for the U.S. The Forester, XV and Impreza are the three models that may include the defective component.

A report from Nikkei noted that recent years have seen over 500,000 cars recalled by Subaru. While past recalls have been caused by potential faults in components such as valve springs, as well as actions such as regulatory compliance failures. The most recent plant shutdown has not turned into a fully declared recall, but it has impacted cars even beyond those that may have the defective part, as the factory equipment is employed to produce multiple vehicle types.

The Defect

The problem that has caused the concern involves part of the electrical assembly used in power steering. The component in question is a third-party item produced by Hitachi Automotive systems and used in the three Subaru models. The Nikkei report explained that when the part fails, a warning light activates on the dashboard, and steering the car becomes harder for the driver. Xinhua noted there have been two instances of such a failure happening, though no one has been reported injured yet.

The fact that Subaru cars use a unique engine configuration known as the “boxer” layout may have exacerbated the challenges of the situation. The components for these engines are not compatible with generic hardware that work in more standardized engines. Subaru technicians searched for a solution to the current issue that did not require manufacturing and ordering a “made from scratch” replacement part. That meant isolating the exact issue causing the fault and correcting it.

To remove the defective parts from the supply chain, Subaru shut down its main production facility in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, which produces 2,600 cars a day when operational. Most of the vehicles produced in the plant – 80 percent – are exported, and Nikkei added that 60 percent of those cars go to U.S. dealerships. After ascertaining which part would have to be replaced to resume production, Subaru reopened its plant on schedule, according to Xinhua.

As the component is produced by an outside supplier, Hitachi has also been contacted for input. Hitachi stated that problems during car assembly are unlikely, which may mean the electronics within the steering components are faulty.

Timeline of Events

The potential recall at Subaru has developed over a relatively short time frame. All the affected vehicles that contain the potentially defective part were produced between late December 2018 and the Jan. 16 shutdown of the Gumna plant. Upon discovery of the fault, Subaru declared a week-long shutdown and sent out recall notices for roughly 780 vehicles that were made at the facility in question and sent to be sold on the Japanese market instead of overseas, according to the Xinhua report.

Nikkei added that the quality control division within Subaru, which has been the subject of some of the automaker’s recent scandals in the Japanese market, did not catch the potential power steering problem. Instead, two reports of problems with steering were used to determine the part responsible. Fortunately, there were no collisions or injuries of any kind reported due to the power steering issues. While the vehicles may have become hard to control, they didn’t crash.

The automaker’s recent series of scandals, as described by Nikkei, began in late 2017. At that time, Subaru revealed that some of its inspections were performed by staff without the proper certifications. After that, more troubling details emerged. In November 2018, a valve spring problem caused the recall of 101,000 vehicles, with 100,000 more added because of legal compliance issues.

These recalls have taken a toll on the company’s finances. In the immediate aftermath of the plant closure notice, Subaru’s stock price fell 6 percent on the Tokyo exchange. The announcement that the stoppage would only last a week provided some relief, but the impact was still a net negative, demonstrating the lasting financial impact of repeated recall events and quality-control problems.

The Solution

Due to several complicating factors, the exact course of action Subaru will take is unclear. The roughly 14,000 exported cars that may contain faulty Hitachi steering components have not been officially recalled. Since the vehicles have all been produced over the past few months, many of them are likely still in the custody of dealers rather than customers.

The automaker is pondering sending replacement parts overseas to replace the faulty components, according to Xinhua, rather than recalling the vehicles to Japan to be refitted. The domestic recall has been the most straightforward part of the process, with the under-1,000 vehicles produced for the Japan market already recalled.

Since the production facility impacted is primarily used to produce export vehicles, and most of those cars are bound for the U.S., there is a chance American regulators may soon be involved in the recall process. Recent weeks have seen no new announcements from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as it shut down operations along with other Federal agencies during the budget impasse. During that silence, some automakers have still issued their own recall notices for U.S. vehicles, including the latest wave of Takata air bag inflator repairs.

Sean ReyesSubaru ponders 14,000-car recall amid production shutdown

Honda Recalls More Than 1,000 Leased Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicles

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 31, 2019 –  Honda is recalling 1,082 model-year 2017-2018 Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles, all located in California, and all part of a leasing program. The action affects some vehicles already listed under a previous recall.

The Defect

According to Consumer Affairs, the Fuel Cell Electronic Control Unit (ECU) responsible for monitoring voltage in the fuel cell stack can possibly misinterpret a minor voltage variance. In such cases, the ECO may erroneously shut down the fuel cell stack in response to the misinterpreted data. The shutdown of the fuel stack could result in an unexpected loss of motive power. Such a power loss, especially at high speeds, can significantly increase the risk of a crash and potentially cause harm to the vehicle’s driver or passengers.

Timeline of Events

According to Tire Meets Road, the Honda Clarity has been marketed as a “lease-only option” for drivers. Unlike a standard electric car which uses a battery to store electricity, the hydrogen fuel cell Clarity requires compressed hydrogen running constantly through a fuel cell, which produces electricity that powers the car’s electric motor. There have been online comments about loss of power and other issues with high parts costs and A1 service bills.

In 2017, a similar recall was issued for 2017 Honda Clarity models. Approximately 470 model-year 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell electric vehicles were recalled to service dealerships for a reset of ECO software to rectify power system problems, but lack of available parts has delayed resolving this issue for 2017 cars until mid-February 2019. The current recall for 2018 vehicles is expected to be similarly delayed.

The Solution

Honda will begin notifying owners in mid-February 2019. A dealership will update the ECU software for free. Owners can call the automaker at 888-234-2138. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

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Sean ReyesHonda Recalls More Than 1,000 Leased Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicles