Subaru Recalls Forester Vehicles Due to Air Bag Risk

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 14, 2019 – Subaru of America has announced the recall of more than 366,000 Forester vehicles equipped with heated seats, due to a defect that could potentially deactivate the front passenger air bag.

An indicator acknowledging the loss of the air bag’s function will illuminate if deactivation occurs, so hopefully drivers will be fully aware if their vehicle is affected. However, the problem still brings with it an increased possibility of injury for the individual in the passenger seat, thus necessitating the field action.

The Defect

Documents describing the defect note that it applies to certain 2015-2018 Subaru Forester vehicles, and is caused by electrical issues.

“Over time, due to a decrease in contact pressure between terminals in the occupant detection system (ODS) sensor mat harness, a temporarily unstable electrical connection may be possible,” Subaru’s safety recall report describing the defect pointed out. “If the connection is temporarily unstable, the ODS may not properly determine the status of a front right seat occupant.”

Because the sensor cannot ascertain whether or not the front right seat is occupied, it may fail to activate the air bag.

Timeline of Events

Subaru’s own chronology report regarding the defect goes back more than three years, as the issue first surfaced in April 2016. At that time, the manufacturer received its first field report related to the ODS sensor issue, which described the condition as it affected a 2016 Forester vehicle. Further reports of the same issue continued to find their way to the automaker throughout much of 2017, although no root cause could be determined by either Subaru or its supplier.

By September 2018, it had ultimately been determined that “other factors could cause connection instability, such as harness connectors and/or harness routing,” which led to a crucial update of the manufacturing process. Roughly one year later, Subaru finally concluded that the root cause of the failure was the unstable electrical connection described above.

The manufacturer was able to decide the scope of the recall by comparing vehicle production information, results of their own investigation, and field reports describing specific vehicles that contained the defect. Of the 366,282 vehicles currently reported to be included within the recall, Subaru estimates that roughly 10% of them contain the defect. 

The Solution

“Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, replace the ODS sensor mat harness, free of charge,” stated an official letter that Subaru filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Dealers have already been notified of the field action, and owners of vehicles affected by the recall will themselves be fully informed by the end of November. However, the parts being used for the repair are not currently available, so owners will be contacted once again, at a later date, when they can actually bring their vehicle in for the remedy to be implemented at no cost.

For information on other vehicle recalls involving Subaru and other major automobile manufacturers, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalls Forester Vehicles Due to Air Bag Risk

Ford Announces the Recall of Some F-250 and F-350 Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 7, 2019 – The Ford Motor Company has announced the recall of certain 2019 F-250 and F-350 vehicles equipped with electronically locking rear differentials, resulting from issues that involve the passenger-side rear axle shaft. The manufacture has reported that roughly 28,600 vehicles will be affected by the recall, with estimates suggesting that more than 15 percent of those vehicles contain the defect. 

The Defect

According to Ford’s description of the defect in the recall report it filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the passenger-side axle shaft of the electronically locking rear axle assembly may have been manufactured using steel that did not meet Ford’s precise specifications. Because of the incorrect material employed in this particular manufacturing run, the automaker believes that the affected passenger-side rear axle shafts involved in the recall may fracture much earlier than expected.

Damage to the rear axle shaft could result in the loss of motive power to the vehicle. It could also prevent the vehicle from remaining in place while in the park function. Both possibilities significantly increase the possibility of crash, injury or unintended damage to the vehicle.

Timeline of Events

As detailed by the information included in the safety recall report sent to the NHTSA, the defect first came to light in August 2019, when a supplier notified Ford of a vehicle that had experienced an unusual passenger-side axle shaft failure during production testing. Further investigation revealed that part to have been produced with incorrect materials. 

“Upon investigation, the supplier determined that a certain batch of axles produced with an incorrect steel type were inadvertently mixed with the correct F-Super Duty axle shafts,” the automaker explained in its report. “Axles produced with the [incorrect] material do not meet Ford’s torsional strength and hardness specifications.”

The recall action was officially approved by Ford’s Field Review Committee on Sept. 23, 2019.

The Solution

The documents filed by Ford with the NHTSA stated that Ford will begin notifying owners of the potentially affected in early October and encourage them to bring their vehicles in for an examination by their dealerships. Professionals will inspect the passenger-side rear axle shaft, replacing the part whenever necessary at no cost to vehicle owners. The recall is expected to formally begin Oct. 21, 2019.

Those with further questions about the F-250 and F-350 recalls may contact Ford customer service at (866) 436-7332. The identification number for this field action is 19S31. For other issues or to seek more information, vehicle owners may also contact the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.

For additional news on Ford recalls, and other reports from the automotive industry, be sure to regularly visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesFord Announces the Recall of Some F-250 and F-350 Vehicles

Chrysler Recalls Jeep Wrangler Vehicles with Right Hand Side Drive

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 3, 2019 – Chrysler has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of a recall pertaining to certain Jeep Wrangler right hand drive vehicles produced between late 2010 and early 2018. The reason for the recall is a defect involving the driver’s seat belt buckle mounting strap.

The manufacturer sells a small number of right-hand drive Jeep Wrangler vehicles to American consumers – in addition to the left hand drive-style vehicles that are standard in the U.S. – for very particular reasons, at least in theory: They are made specifically for rural mail carriers, who benefit from the unusual design in a number of ways.

“Right-hand drive Wranglers are intended for rural mail deliverers who need to deal with both intense climates (hence the Wrangler) and mailboxes mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle (hence right hand drive)”, stated a report published by AutoTrader three years ago. “These postal workers don’t drive to one spot in the neighborhood and walk around to all the houses, since each one of their deliveries can sometimes be several miles apart, so they deliver mail directly from their vehicles.”

While the vehicles are made specifically for these mail carriers, there are no restrictions on who is able to purchase them, so the vehicle is available for sale to the general public as well. 

The Defect

According to the safety recall report filed by Chrysler, the defect essentially creates the possibility that over time the seat belt system may become inoperative. 

Chrysler’s own description of the defect explained that if the seat belt buckle is “fatigue-loaded” – subjected to excessive stress over time – its mounting strap can fracture and separate from the seat cushion’s frame. 

The manufacturer estimates that roughly 11,463 vehicles could potentially be involved in the recall, although it also estimates that only 1% of those vehicles contain the defect. Information on the cause of the flaw has not been included in any of the documents currently available. 

Timeline of Events

The first notice of the possible defect came out March 20, 2019, when the NHTSA provided Chrysler with a vehicle owner questionnaire that described a driver’s seat belt buckle strap separation on a 2015 Jeep Wrangler right hand drive vehicle.

Chrysler then conducted a number of tests on the failed buckle strap, and identified a “fatigue failure near the buckle strap mounting hole” as the reason for the problem. Additional, similar reports involving 2016 vehicles then followed, leading Chrysler to continue the investigation. 

Chrysler examined field data including customer complaints, vehicle owner questionnaires and warranty claims between July 24 and Aug. 8 and conducted engineering evaluations. These efforts led the automaker to conclude that only 2011-2018 Jeep Wrangler RHD vehicles built for rural mail carriers and sold in the U.S. market were affected.

On Sept. 19, 2019, following the identification of a number of additional warranty claims and other reports pertaining to the same defect, Chrysler decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall is still in its early stages, so Chrysler is not planning to notify dealers or vehicle owners until Nov. 15, 2019. At that point, those who own the affected vehicles will bring them into an authorized dealership, where the seat belt buckle assembly will be repaired or replaced as is necessary at no cost. 

For information on additional Chrysler recalls, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Jeep Wrangler Vehicles with Right Hand Side Drive

Three Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 29, 2019 – Field incidents demonstrating the failure of a specific part on three different BMW hybrid electric vehicles has led to a small but very significant recall from the manufacturer. As part of the action, BMW has recalled 139 vehicles due to potentially faulty Electric Motor Electronics (EME) modules, that number spread across three different models.

BMW estimates that roughly 10 percent of those 139 vehicles contain the defect, which has the potential to cause a complete shut-down of high-voltage electric power – increasing the risk of a crash should the error occur while the vehicle is in motion. Owners of the vehicles containing the defect should be notified within the coming weeks, with repairs conducted by dealers afterward.

The Defect

The exact part causing the defect on the vehicles is the EME’s printed circuit board (PCB), which BMW reported was not produced to proper specifications. According to paperwork the manufacturer filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “this [defect] could lead to an increase in transition resistance at certain PCB contact points and cause a loss of electrical contact.”

Following this loss of electrical contact, the EME module would shut down high-voltage electrical power on the vehicle, resulting in a loss of propulsion and increasing the risk of a crash. 

The vehicles involved in the recall are the 2019 BMW i3 BEV, the 2019 BMW i3 REx, and the 2019 BMW i8. While there is unfortunately no “warning” or other indication presaging the errors caused by the defect, BMW did report that in the event of a shut down of high-voltage electrical power, the affected vehicle would still retain power steering and braking via its 12-volt power. 

Timeline of Events

According to the safety recall report that BMW filed with the NHTSA, the manufacturer first became aware of the possibility for the defect via field incident reports from non-U.S. markets involving high-voltage electrical power loss on the i3 and i8 vehicles.

“Further reviews were conducted, which also involved the EME supplier and sub-supplier,” the safety recall report stated. “The Tier-1 supplier informed BMW that certain EME modules may not have produced to specifications. The supplier indicated that the EME’s PCB may not have been produced to specifications on a specific assembly line by the Tier-2 supplier.”

By reviewing production records held by the “Tier-2 supplier”, BMW identified the production dates of the PCBs which potentially contained the defect. Following that, other records were cross-referenced in order to determine the exact vehicles which contain those PCBs (and potentially, the defect along with them).

BMW decided to conduct the recall on August 7, 2019

The Solution

BMW has indicated that owners of the vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by first class mail no later than October 7, 2019. Owners will be instructed to bring their vehicle to an authorized BMW center to have the EME replaced free. 

Vehicle owners looking for more information on this specific recall may contact BMW customer service at (800) 525-7417, or the NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236. And for more information on other recalls involving BMW and additional major auto manufacturers, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesThree Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

2020 Legacy and Outback Vehicles Recalled For Brake Pedal Mounting Bracket

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 29, 2019 – Subaru of America has announced the recall of certain 2020 Legacy and Outback vehicles in order to inspect and potentially repair the brake pedal mounting bracket. 

The brake pedal mounting bracket in the affected vehicles, most of which were produced in August 2019, may not contain all the bolts required to function properly, or may feature a bolt that was insufficiently tightened. As a result, the mounting area for the brake pedal may deform, which could reduce braking performance and thus increase the risk of a crash.

The Defect

In the Legacy and Outback vehicles involved in the recall, the brake pedal mounting bracket may include an insufficiently tightened or outright missing bolt.

“Over time, if a brake pedal mounting bracket has an insufficiently tightened or missing bolt/nit, the brake pedal mounting area may deform,” stated the safety recall report that Subaru filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make a formal note of the issue. “Deformation of the brake pedal mounting area could reduce braking performance, increasing the risk of the crash.”

The recall population includes 2,862 Outback vehicles, and 605 Legacy vehicles, according to the same report. Subaru estimates that one percent of those vehicles contain the defect.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology included in Subaru’s safety recall report, knowledge of the potential for the defect came to light on Aug. 29, 2019, when an associate discovered an insufficiently tightened bolt on a vehicle in the midst of assembly. 

“Upon closer review, it was observed that certain hardware located on the brake pedal mounting bracket may have been insufficiently tightened or missing,” according to the report. 

An investigation was opened shortly thereafter, and the condition was quickly traced to a defective bolt feeder, which was removed from the assembly line on Sept. 4. Further investigation allowed Subaru to determine that the flagged hardware may have serviced a number of vehicles that were produced between July 30 and Aug. 29.

Subaru decided to conduct the recall on September 11, and informed dealers on September 18.

The Solution

Dealers have been informed of the defect and a stop order has been placed on all vehicles potentially containing it that have not yet sold. All of those vehicles will be inspected – and repaired if necessary – before being made available for sale once again.

Owners of vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by Subaru no later than Oct. 1, according to the report filed by the automaker with the NHTSA. These customers will be instructed to bring their vehicle to an authorized dealer, who will inspect the brake pedal mounting bracket hardware, and then replace the hardware of the brake pedal assembly if necessary.

If you own one of the listed vehicles and have further questions, you may contact Subaru’s customer service line at (844) 373-6614. For information on additional Subaru recalls and other news from the automotive industry, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean Reyes2020 Legacy and Outback Vehicles Recalled For Brake Pedal Mounting Bracket

BMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – Sept. 26, 2019 – BMW has announced the recall of two vehicles, one 2020 M340i and one M340i xDrive, due to a rear center headrest that may fold improperly in the event of a rear-impact crash. If the headrest were to fold down in such a setting, the risk of injury to the occupant would dramatically increase.

The Defect

During production of both vehicles listed for the recall, the head restraint interlock was not welded sufficiently to the head restraint support rod bracket, according to paperwork filed by BMW with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As of Sept. 26, manufacturer has not received any reports, nor is it otherwise aware, of any accidents or injuries caused by the defect. However, the improper production could lead to a break of the weld in the event of a collision, which in turn increases the risk of injury for the occupant in the rear center seat.

Timeline of Events

On July 29, BMW first became aware of an instance where a foldable rear center head restraint did not function as intended via an internal rear crash validation test. Further analysis ascribed the defect in that case to a broken weld of the interlock on the head restraint frame. 

“A check of other parts was initiated,” according to the chronology that BMW filed with the NHTSA, “and two additional suspect head restraints were found.”

The vehicles included in the recall were produced between July 4 and July 31. BMW reviewed vehicle assembly information and supplier production records in order to determine the specific vehicles that carry the defect. Their investigation resulted in the identification of two specific vehicles in which the head restraint interlock was not properly welded.

On Aug. 7, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary recall on the two vehicles suspected to carry the defect. The manufacturer’s paperwork notes that dealers were notified Aug. 14, and that notification to owners “is expected to began and end on Oct. 7, 2019.”

The Solution

BMW plans to notify the owners or dealers currently in possession of the two automobiles, at which point local dealers will replace the rear center headrests of the vehicles on the manufacturer’s behalf.

For more information on this field action, vehicle owners may contact the manufacturer’s customer service line at (800) 525-7417. And for more information on other BMW recalls, be sure to visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect

Some 2020 Jeep Gladiator Trucks Recalled For Rear Driveshafts

Laguna Hills, CA – Sept. 26, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced the recall of certain 2020 Jeep Gladiator vehicles that were outfitted with rear driveshafts that may have been incorrectly assembled. The manufacturer estimates that 3,427 vehicles will be affected by the recall, and that roughly 5 percent among that number contain the defect. 

The Defect

The defect relates to the monoblock joint, which is a constant velocity joint within the center of the driveshaft. 

Chrysler’s depiction of the defect, which they included with paperwork filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, stated: “Certain 2020 MY Jeep Gladiator vehicles built from December 15, 2018 through June 25, 2019 may have a rear driveshaft that was assembled without grease in the monoblock joint portion of the driveshaft.”

Due to the lack of grease, the driveshaft may fracture, which could cause a sudden loss of driving power if the vehicle is in rear-wheel drive mode. Additionally, the driveshaft itself could separate completely from the vehicle and then become a road hazard. To rectify both safety risks, as well as others that may come as a result of the faulty driveshaft, Chrysler has enacted a recall on vehicles that may contain the defect.

Chrysler notes that in vehicles which contain the defect, if the part were to fail as a result, occupants may experience a noise or vibration prior to the driveshaft fracturing.

Timeline of Events

According to the paperwork filed with the NHTSA, Chrysler first became aware of the potential for the defect in June 2019, when it received four rear driveshafts from warranty repairs that had initially been assembled without grease in the monoblock joint. It was determined that the cause of the defect was that the grease bypass button had been activated at the assembly line station while the given parts were being manufactured.

Based on those cases, Chrysler opened an investigation into the matter, and eventually identified additional examples of the defect, including four additional warranty claims (although the company found no field reports, accidents, or injuries relating to the defect). On Aug. 22, 2019, Chrysler determined, in collaboration with the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a recall of the Jeep Gladiator vehicles that may potentially lack grease in the monoblock joint portion of the rear driveshaft.

“The suspect population was determined by reviewing the supplier’s driveshaft production records from the beginning of production of this driveshaft to identify which driveshafts may have been assembled without grease,” according to Chrysler’s records. “Driveshaft traceability records were then linked to vehicle production records to determine the suspect vehicle population.” 

The Solution

Chrysler will begin notifying both dealers and owners of vehicles which may contain the defect on Oct. 18. Dealers will inspect the vehicles, and verify that the driveshaft contains grease in the monoblock joint. If not, the driveshaft will be replaced free of charge. Sales of vehicles which may contain the defect have been stopped until this repair has been made

For more information on Chrysler recalls, and other news involving major automobile manufacturers, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesSome 2020 Jeep Gladiator Trucks Recalled For Rear Driveshafts

Chrysler Recalls Ram Trucks with Faulty Tailgate Locks

Laguna Hills, CA – Sept. 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced the recall of a wide range of Ram trucks equipped with an 8-foot bed and a power-locking tailgate, due to the possibility that the tailgate actuator limiter tab may fracture and cause the tailgate to unlock and open while the vehicle is in motion.

While the defect is contained in certain Ram trucks made across roughly five years, not all vehicles manufactured during that period of time have been included in the recall, so vehicle owners should be sure to check whether or not their truck requires the remedy.

The Defect

Chrysler’s description of the defect explains that the tailgate actuator limiter tab located within the power-lock actuator control assembly “may fracture, allowing the lock rod control bracket to over-travel which may pull the lock rods and release the latches, potentially resulting in the tailgate inadvertently falling open at any time.”

The list of vehicles that may contain the defect has been expanded multiple times since the recall was first announced. As of Sept. 25, the makes and models of vehicles that could be affected are as follows: 

  • 2013-2018 Ram 1500
  • 2013-2018 Ram 2500
  • 2013-2018 Ram 3500 

“An unintended opening of the tailgate while driving may result in a loss of unrestrained cargo from the truck bed while driving,” stated Chrysler’s safety recall report, which describes the safety risk caused by the defect. “Lost cargo may create a road hazard to operators and occupants of other vehicles, and can cause such vehicles to crash without prior warning.”

Timeline of Events

On July 19, 2018, the manufacturer first announced that it would conduct a voluntary safety recall on Ram pickup trucks. At that point ,the recall applied to “certain 2015-2017 MY Ram pickup trucks equipped with a power-locking tailgate, excluding vehicles with an 8-foot truck bed.” On May 2, 2019, the recall was expanded to include 2015-2017 Ram trucks with an 8 foot truck bed, as well as 2018 Ram trucks equipped with a power locking tailgate that were built prior to April 1 of that year.

In August 2019, Chrysler identified 54 warranty claims and repair orders that were potentially related to the defect despite having been generated in relation to vehicles not included in the ongoing recall. Following that discovery, on August 22, Chrysler expanded the recall to include the full list of vehicles seen above

The Solution

Owners of vehicles listed in the initial recall should have already been notified of the defect by Chrysler earlier this year. However, that was before the range of the recall had been expanded. Owners of Ram vehicles that are now being recalled under the expanded action, as well as dealers, will be notified sometime around Oct. 18, 2019. Those with further questions, or who are looking to find out whether or not their Ram vehicle has been included in the recall, may contact the manufacturer’s customer service line at 800-853-1403.

Once truck owners have been notified that their vehicle has been included in the recall, they are instructed to bring their vehicle to a dealer, who will limit the locking actuator travel. The manufacturer is covering all costs incurred by the repair.

For more information on Chrysler recalls and other news from the automotive industry, visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Ram Trucks with Faulty Tailgate Locks

Improper Programming on Rear Camera Necessitates Large Nissan Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 25, 2019 – Improper programming that potentially affects the back-up camera display included with various 2018-2019 Nissan vehicles has caused the manufacturer to announce a recall applying to more than 1,200,000 automobiles.

On the vehicles being recalled, adjustments made by the driver to the rear camera display settings will be retained at the start of the next backing event—meaning the image seen on the vehicle’s display while backing up will not necessarily represent the default camera perspective. This is not compliant with current federal regulations, necessitating the Nissan recall. 

The Defect

The cause for this recall is perhaps better described as a matter of “non-compliance” than as a defect. According to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, the rear visibility system of vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 must return to a default image at the beginning of each backing event, regardless of whatever modifications were selected during prior trips. If the camera is not in the default position at the beginning of each new backing event, then the possibility of collision or accident increases. 

On a large number of 2018-2019 Nissan vehicles, the rear camera image does not return to the default position at the start of each backing event, but instead retains any modifications previously selected by the driver. This vehicles are not in compliance with the FMVSS standard, and as a result have to be recalled. The full list of automobiles that are subject to the recall are as follows: 

  • 2018-2019 Infiniti Q50
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti Q60
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti Q70
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti QX30
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti QX50
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti QX60
  • 2018-2019 Infiniti QX80
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Altima
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Armada
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Frontier
  • 2018-2019 Nissan GT-R
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Kicks
  • 2018-2019 Nissan LEAF
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Maxima
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Murano
  • 2018-2019 Nissan NV
  • 2018-2019 Nissan NV200
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Rogue
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Rogue Sport
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Sentra
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Taxi
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Titan
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Titan Diesel
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Versa Note
  • 2018-2019 Nissan Versa Sedan

Documents filed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by Nissan explain: “The original adjustment settings that were applied to the rear visibility system and are subject to the non-compliance are not used on any other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles [other than those listed above] … Therefore, no other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles are affected by this condition.”

Timeline of Events

Nissan transmitted a non-compliance information report describing the error on September 12, 2019. They estimate that the mistake applies to a total of 1.23 million model year 2018-2019 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in total, and that all of those vehicles without exception “contain the noncompliance.”

On September 20, 2019, Nissan submitted a safety recall report pertaining to the issue, and clarified the schedule by which vehicle owners will be notified of the defect: Depending on the make and model of their vehicles, customers will be notified either on the week of October 21 or the week of November 4. All Vehicle Identification Numbers on the affected automobiles will be active at the time of the phased dealer notification, according to Nissan, which is scheduled to begin on October 7 and to conclude either on or before November 11. 

Solution

Owners of the vehicles containing the noncompliance will be notified sometime in the range of the dates listed above. At that point, they may bring their vehicle to a local dealer, who will reprogram the rear visibility system software at no cost.

The reprogramming will bring the vehicle into compliance by limiting the adjustments that can be made to the camera display to an extent that ensures the view always remains within the range dictated dictated by FMVSS No. 111. 

For more information on recalls announced by Nissan or other major automobile manufacturers, continue visiting MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesImproper Programming on Rear Camera Necessitates Large Nissan Recall

GM Expands Prior Recall on Chevrolet Trax Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 23, 2019 – In April of this year, General Motors announced a recall on certain 2017-2019 Chevrolet Trax vehicles, due to the possibility that a joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms had been welded in an improper position. GM recently decided to expand the scope of that recall, as a result of further investigations, so that it now applies to include other Chevrolet Trax vehicles that were built in the period between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017.

At the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM is handling the recall as a new field action. However, in practical terms, it counts as a “population extension”—the defect remains the same as the one listed in the prior recall, with no significant differences.

The Defect

The defect is now known to exist in certain 2015-2018 model year Chevrolet Trax vehicles. GM estimates that 93,639 such vehicles have the potential to contain the defect, and that roughly 50 percent among that number do indeed contain it. 

“In some of these vehicles, a joint in one or both front lower-control arms may have been improperly welded,” state details in documents filed by GM with the NHTSA. “Over time and in rare cases, an improperly welded joint can fatigue and break, causing the lower-control arm to partially separate from the vehicle”.

If the lower-control arm does separate from the vehicle, then the front wheel attached to the arm will toe outward, adversely affecting steering and increasing the possibility of a crash.

According to the GM documents, the defect was caused because “the component surfacer that is welded to the bushing housing did not conform to applicable design specifications, and as a consequence, was not properly welded to the bushing housing.”

The manufacturer is not yet aware of any vehicle crashes that are attributable to the defect, but notes that if the lower-control arm were to partially separate, the driver may hear a loud noise, and feel the tire begin to rub against the wheel well.

Timeline of Events

The initial recall, which applied to certain 2017-2019 model year Chevrolet Trax vehicles, was announced in April 2019. At the time of that recall, GM was not aware of any claims relating to the defect in question within vehicles built prior to July 2017.

However, in September 2019, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority reviewed an analysis of field claims generated following the April recall, which found instances of the defect (some confirmed and some unconfirmed) in vehicles built as early as July 2015. Based on that data, the decision was made to create a new recall that applies to a larger range of Chevrolet Trax vehicles. 

The Solution

The repair for the defect is currently available, and will be done at no cost to the customer. Customers who own a vehicle potentially containing the defect will be notified by mail by GM. Dealers will inspect the left and right front lower-control arms, and, if necessary, replace them free of charge.

There are other methods by which drivers can check if their vehicle is involved in the recall: For example, they may enter their Vehicle Identification Number at the GM Owner Center website or at the NHTSA website in order to find out whether or not their automobile might be affected by the recall. 

GM notes that they corrected the potential for the defect by implementing new actions at their supplier in April 2019, such as amending the specifications for the welding, and introducing standardized inspections before and after the weld operation.

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

Sean ReyesGM Expands Prior Recall on Chevrolet Trax Vehicles