Prius Owners Due For Yet Another Recall Notice

Laguna Hills, CA – July 26, 2019 – Toyota Motor Corporation is recalling certain Prius C models due to a performance and safety issue that may prevent the vehicle’s battery from working when the automobile is in drive mode, increasing the risk of a crash for users of 2018 and 2019 models. Given this is one of several recalls affecting the company’s popular hybrid over the past five years, Toyota urges Prius C owners to get in touch with their local dealer so this issue can be corrected if this or another flaw exists. Toyota hasn’t yet officially informed registered owners of this potential hazard, but will make them aware via first-class mail Aug. 12. Safety-related automotive recalls are free of charge, and this one is no exception.

The Defect

As documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota is recalling approximately 464 2018-2019 Prius C vehicles. The problem affecting a limited number of these hybrid automobiles is related to its propulsion system. Apparently, the auxiliary battery, which comes standard in all Priuses, may not receive the power it needs to propel the vehicle forward because of a flaw within the circuit board, which may have occurred at some point during the manufacturing or assembly process. If the transistor to the circuit board were to separate, the battery may lose its ability to energize the vehicle. This of course presents a safety hazard for Prius C owners as well as others on the road should this malfunction occur, especially when moving at a high rate of speed.

Timeline of Events

Unlike other recalls cleared with the NHTSA, which tend to be more isolated in nature, this isn’t the first affecting the Prius. As reported by the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, an estimated 20,000 Prius owners have reported power system failures tracing back to 2014. At that time, over 800,000 Priuses were pulled from the market because of a glitch with the vehicle’s inverter transistors, which also impacted propulsion and the potential for the automobile to suddenly power down. This recall affected C models manufactured between 2010 and 2014. Another recall was ordered last October to correct certain power failures that the original recall didn’t address.

This most recent recall is different in a couple of respects. First, it pertains to 2018 and 2019 models and it’s much smaller. Indeed, Toyota believes that of the 464 vehicles included in the recall, likely only 10% have the defect. This is partially due to the DC-DC converter that is exclusive to those Prius C vehicles built between February 2018 and October of the same year.

The Solution

Even though there may be no immediate signs of separation, the propulsion issue may develop over time, depending on how frequently Prius owners drive and how many years they go before buying a new or used vehicle. Given this, Toyota is making this move out of an abundance of caution. The company says it will formally inform owners of the safety concern by mail starting in mid-August and will encourage drivers to take their automobile back to the dealer from which they purchased it or to any authorized Toyota dealership. If it’s deemed appropriate, the DC-DC converter will be replaced with an alternative unit, which will come at no cost to the owner for parts or labor.

As previously referenced, this latest is recall is one of several for Prius models. If you own one that’s 10 years or older, visit MotorSafety.org. By entering your VIN information, you can find out if your subject to this or some other recall order.

Sean ReyesPrius Owners Due For Yet Another Recall Notice

Ford Rangers Under Recall Due To Seat Belt Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – July 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company is recalling thousands of 2019 Ford Rangers from the marketplace after discovering that the front seat belt may malfunction when in use. The issue appears to have originated during the assembly process. Given that buckling up is a primary law in most states and the inherent safety risks associated with not using a seat belt, Ford is coordinating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that these vehicles are fixed.

Owners can expect to receive an official notification pertaining to this recall starting July 29. Motorists are urged to take their trucks back to the dealer so the problem can be assessed and ameliorated.

The Defect

According to NHTSA and Ford, approximately 7,579 2019 Ford Rangers – one of the more popular passenger trucks in the world – may contain seat belts containing flaws that render the restraint system inoperable. The issue concerns the assembly’s poke yoke fixture, which was not installed correctly in the front passenger-side unit, as opposed to the driver’s side. The component manufacturer is based in Mexico, but it’s unclear if the problem originated there with the parts itself or during the actual assembly.

If passengers can’t buckle or the latch fails at some point while traveling, a crash dramatically increases the risk of injury or death. Ford believes that this issue is confined to only those 2019 Ranger models with the SuperCab body style. There’s a good chance that the belts are fine, as safety officials believe 1% of the total recalled include the defect. Nevertheless, Ford is making the move out of an abundance of caution.

Timeline of Events

In late June, the Critical Concern Review Group at Ford was alerted to a warranty claim made by a Ranger SuperCab owner, who noted that the passenger side belt buckle wasn’t latching. The quality control team followed up on this alert and discovered that the glitch may be related to the unit’s anchor and the routing method used.  A more thorough inspection determined that it was an installation problem affecting the poke yoke, which is a seat belt unit fixture. CCRG followed up with the supplier and concluded that all poke yokes installed prior to June 19 may be vulnerable.

Thanks in part to traffic safety campaigns like “Click It or Ticket,” seat belts are worn by the vast majority of Americans today. Motorists are required to use them in 49 of 50 states and in those that have primary laws on the books – totaling 20 in addition to the District of Columbia – motorists can be pulled over and fined if they’re not buckled.

Tragically, thousands have died in recent years due to not wearing a seat belt. Based on the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, 10,428 passengers in the U.S. were killed in 2016 from injuries they sustained in crashes.

Neither Ford nor NHTSA is aware of any accidents stemming from this recall, with none reported as of July 10.

The Solution

Ford knows how to fix this issue and seeks to inform 2019 SuperCab owners starting July 29, via first-class mail. Dealers have already been notified. Motorists can take their vehicle to any Ford dealer, where upon examination, the right front seatbelt assembly will be swapped out for one that works. This repair will come at no charge. All parties are expected to be notified no later than August 3.

For more information on this recall and to see if you or someone you know is affected, visit MotorSafety.org. You’ll need the VIN of the car to know for sure.

Sean ReyesFord Rangers Under Recall Due To Seat Belt Defect

Ram Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Laguna Hills, CA – July 24, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler is recalling a limited number of 2019 Ram models over concerns that the fuel lines may leak. Should such a scenario occur, a fire could occur, thus posing a safety hazard for the driver and anyone in proximity to the blaze. The automaker says that while the chances for this to happen are remote, but is encouraging 2019 Ram owners to err on the side of caution and return the truck to the dealer. 

The recall is expected to get underway officially Aug. 16 and drivers can expect to be notified by mail.

The Defect

As chronicled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling 498 of the following Ram vehicles, all of which are 2019 models:

  • Ram 2500
  • Ram 3500
  • Ram 4500
  • Ram 5500

While it’s not clear if all of these vehicles have been purchased or remain on dealers’ lots, the recall concerns the trucks’ diesel engines and the potential that some of them may leak fuel due to incorrectly formed end fittings. The placement of this flaw is such that the liquid could leach onto the engine, potentially causing a fire. Of the 498 vehicles that may be affected, the truck models most likely to contain the flaw are the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. These vehicles were likely built between May 7 and 20, though precise dates could only be determined by knowing the trucks’ body and cab types.

Timeline of Events

The genesis of recalls often derive from current vehicle owners, but in this instance, Chrysler noticed the issue after learning that the supplier of the Rams’ diesel engines had other engines leaking fuel. That happened May 21. Later on that month, Chrysler worked in concert with the supplier to see what, if anything, could occur if motorists’ fuel lines were compromised, aside from the loss of fuel, a problem in and of itself. The assessment determined that a worst-case scenario was a fire, given that the leaks were occurring at connection points in the lines.

Surveys were conducted June 3 to see which Ram vehicles were potentially vulnerable. The investigation ultimately determined that the parts themselves weren’t necessarily compromised but rather that the trucks were assembled around the same time as when the leaking fuel lines at the diesel engine supplier’s plant were originally reported.

Vehicle fires are surprisingly common. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 171,500 automotive-related fires occurred on U.S. highways each year between 2014 and 2016. These resulted in $1.1 billion in property losses, 1,300 injuries and 345 fatalities. Approximately 45% of these blazes stem from mechanical failure and 62% derive from the engine. Crashes themselves are also a common cause of deadly vehicle fires.

No accidents, injuries or fatalities are linked to the recall in question as of June 20, according to NHTSA documents.

The Solution

Chrysler says that it plans to brief Ram owners of this problem that could affect their safety by first-class mail starting on August 16. Recipients are strongly encouraged to have their truck examined by their local dealer. The potentially vulnerable fuel lines have codes inscribed on them, which refer to the manufacturing date. Those that align with the suspect time period will be replaced free of charge. 

For more information on this recall, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesRam Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Ford recalls vehicles with defective engine software

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 23, 2019 — Ford Motor Company has recalled almost 57,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine software, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The action affects 2012 Ford Focus sedans produced between Oct. 7, 2010, and July 23, 2012; 2013-2104 Ford Focus ST sedans produced between May 3, 2012, and Dec. 11, 2014; and 2017 Ford Focus sedans produced between Aug. 24, 2016, and April 13, 2017. Ford suspects that all of the vehicles involved in the recall contain the defective software.

The Defect

The cars involved in the campaign could come equipped with powertrain control modules that lack updated software designed to detect malfunctioning canister purge valves. These components, when damaged, cause fuel vapors to expand and deform the surrounding fuel tank. This can, in turn, decrease drivability, and in some instances lead to loss of motive power. The defective PCMs potentially installed in the recalled vehicles therefore pose a safety hazard to operators and occupants. However, Ford has yet to receive reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the defect.

The automaker advised all affected owners to keep their fuel tanks half full to prevent deformities related to fuel vapor expansion.

Timeline of Events

In November 2017, dealership personnel assessing a Ford Focus with a two-liter, direct-injection engine with Ford Racing software calibrations noticed some regularities. They then contacted Ford. The automaker deployed technicians to review the calibrations, which had been installed during a previous recall involving stuck CPV valves, per Ford. The technicians found that the vehicle in question had PCM components that were not properly updated during the servicing process for this initial campaign.

Ford later discovered that multiple models featured similarly problematic PCMs. With this insight in hand, the Ford Field Review Committee decided to greenlight a recall June 28, 2019.

The Solution

Ford has directed dealers to inspect and, if necessary, recalibrate the PCMs in recalled vehicles, free of charge. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail between July 29, 2019, and Aug. 2, 2019. Those who require mode immediate assistance can connect with Ford customer service representatives by calling (800) 367-3788. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesFord recalls vehicles with defective engine software

Over 1,000 Toyota Models Require Recalls Due To Labeling Error

Laguna Hills, CA – July 22, 2019 – A subsidiary of Toyota Motor Company is recalling certain Corolla, Sienna, Yaris iA and Camry models due to a labeling flaw that may misinform users of how much weight their automobiles can safely carry. Should motorists go by the poundage listed, the overexertion may lead to a mechanical or handling issue that could lead to a crash. Motorists should check the label on their factory-installed floor mats to see if they’re affected and contact their nearest Toyota dealership so the clerical issue can be corrected. The replacement will come at no charge.

The Defect

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Southeast Toyota Distributors is recalling a combined 1,325 models. While the models themselves differ from one another they all contain the same flaw: a labeling error that misidentifies how much weight the cars can withstand. Load capacity is a detail that automakers must abide by, pursuant to the regulation “Tire Selection and Rims,” of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

The following vehicles may contain errant load capacity information:

  • 2017-2019 Camry
  • 2017-2019 Corolla
  • 2017-2019 Sienna
  • 2017-2019 Yaris
  • 2017-2019 RAV4

As detailed in the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, whenever weight modifications are made to an automobile between certification and when they first go on showroom floors, they must be accounted for and corroborated through labeling if the weight differentiation is 100 pounds or more. However, some of the labels affixed to the factory floor mats were “not accurate to within 1% of the actual added weight.”

“In the worst case, a driver may overload a vehicle, which may increase the risk of a crash,” the report said.

Timeline of Events

As is frequently the case, this issue was first noticed during a routine quality control check, this time conducted by Southeast Toyota Distributors. In March, a staff member determined that the load capacity modification specifics were included in only a portion of the automobiles that had received the weight changes. SET informed corporate and on June 20, the automaker determined that the appropriate corrections should proceed in accordance with the FMVSS standard No. 110. Dealers were notified of the impending recall roughly a week later. 

The Solution

Starting no later than August 27, SET says it will brief Toyota owners that their vehicle may be affected and will encourage them to bring the car to a local dealership. The proper label will be affixed to the floor mat, so it corresponds with the actual net weight. This will come at no expense to the owner.

For more information on this or any other safety recall, please visit MotorSafety.org. Be sure to have your 17-digit VIN available.

Sean ReyesOver 1,000 Toyota Models Require Recalls Due To Labeling Error

Luxury Automaker Issues Limited Recall Due to Air Bag Snag

Laguna Hills, CA – July 17, 2019 – Maserati North America is recalling a limited number of Granturismo vehicles due to the potential for the onboard air bag systems to malfunction and/or deactivate should motorists experience a traffic accident. It’s also possible the air bag may deploy when it’s not intended to, thus increasing the risk of a crash and potential for injury. Pursuant to federal law, operators and dealers affected by this safety recall will be informed by first-class mail so they can make the appropriate arrangements to have this issue examined and repaired if necessary. This fix will come at no charge to the owners.

The Defect

According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maserati is recalling an estimated 739 Granturismo and Granturismo convertibles – whose model years range between 2015 and 2018 – because the electrical control units that power the air bags may be defective. Typically, these units have built in sensors that automatically trigger when placed under stress, causing the air bag to deploy when the vehicle is struck. However, the silver adhesive cathode involved in this process may have been corrupted at some point during manufacturing. This defect may also cause the air bag to uncoil without warning. 

The production dates for the models in question were between Sept. 2015 and June 2018 among Granturismo convertibles and Oct 2014 to February 2018 for hard-top Granturismo vehicles. The lion’s share of the recalled models – 545 of the 739 – are the former.

Timeline of Events

In May 2019, Maserati’s air bag component manufacturer, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, informed the luxury automaker that some of the Granturismo ECUs may have been installed with a faulty capacitor. Less than 24 hours later, Maserati launched an investigation to determine if this issue was isolated or systemic.

The company ultimately determined that the problem was likely an aberration, as field analysis failed to specify a common link. Furthermore, no warranties, injuries or crashes were reported that traced back to the issue ZF Group made Maserati aware of in May. No customer complaints or satisfaction problems were filed either. Nevertheless, to err on the side of caution, the luxury automaker determined that a small-scale recall was warranted and informed NHTSA of its intentions June 14.  

Even though passenger air bags are increasingly sophisticated, there are a variety of reasons in which these systems may fail to deploy or trigger improperly, according to NHTSA. For example, using sensory technology, passenger detection systems are designed to turn on or off depending on whether someone is seated. If the person or animal is physically small in stature, the system may not turn on because it doesn’t detect an occupant. Similarly, if the occupant is seated too close to where the air bag is installed or isn’t seated properly, the air bag system may turn off.

In the 30-plus years that passenger vehicles have been required to include air bags, approximately 50,457 people have avoided a fatal accident in the U.S., according to government data.

The Solution

Maserati says it will inform affected operators no later than July 22 so that they can have their vehicles examined. If the evaluation determines the air bag ECU is compromised, a replacement will be installed free of charge. Maserati sent notifications relating to this issue to dealerships in late June. 

For more information, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesLuxury Automaker Issues Limited Recall Due to Air Bag Snag

Over 138,000 Audis Recalled Over Air Bag Malfunction

Laguna Hills, CA – July 16, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of North America Inc. is recalling over 138,000 Audi vehicles of various models and years because of an air bag detection issue. The flaw may prevent the system from working in the event of a crash, thus increasing the risk of injury for drivers and occupants. All of the Audi models and body types subject to the safety recall were built between 2015 and 2019, including the A3 Sedan, A3 e-tron, RS3 and S3. Operators of these automobiles should receive a notice from the German automaker no later than Aug. 18 and are encouraged to take their vehicles back to the dealer so the passenger occupant detection system can be repaired free of charge. 

The Defect

According to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation, Volkswagen is recalling approximately 138,896 Audi brand motor vehicles. There are several models involved and include the following:

2016 Audi A3 e-tron
2015-2016 Audi A3 Cabriolet
2015-2019 Audi S3 Sedan
2017-2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet
2019 Audi RS 3

Each of these models potentially suffer from the same issue: a faulty node that causes the passenger occupation detection system to malfunction, thus preventing the air bag from deploying should motorists experience a collision. This dramatically raises the likelihood of injury, depending on the severity of the crash in question. Frequently, when safety recalls are announced, it’s not a guarantee that the vehicles involved have the glitch, but in this case, NHTSA and Volkswagen believe that 100% of them have the flaw, behooving operators to make sure they take their cars off the road so the fix can be installed as soon as possible.

Timeline of Events

The errant air bags first came to the attention of the German automaker in the first quarter of 2018 after receiving several field reports from suppliers of the passenger occupant detection systems. This led to an injury that lasted seven months and ultimately led to the involvement of NHTSA’s product safety committee, where additional research and testing was performed. The investigation ultimately determined that the detection issue traced back to a flawed electrical contact that was preventing the system from communicating the air bag was in place.

While no injuries were reported to authorities, Volkswagen and NHTSA mutually determined that a voluntary safety recall was the best path forward, which the automaker made official on June 19, which was acknowledged by NHTSA a week later.

Air bags were deemed mandatory by the federal government back in 1984, and required automakers to install them in all models tracing back to April 1989. Based on the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, frontal airbags have saved nearly 50,500 lives, with nearly 2,800 traffic fatalities avoided in 2017 alone. In recent years, many of the automotive safety recalls have been related to various issues involving air bags and their proper deployment.

The Solution

Volkswagen, in consultation with NHTSA, will inform registered owners of the models in question by first-class mail starting on August 18. Recipients of these mailers are encouraged to bring their Audi vehicles back to their nearest dealership so an optimized connecter and cable can be swapped out and replaced with one that is fully functional. As per usual, this repair will come at no expense to the owner.

For more information on this or any other safety recall, visit MotorSafety.org. Simply enter your VIN in the appropriate field to see if your car has an issue that requires fixing. 

Sean ReyesOver 138,000 Audis Recalled Over Air Bag Malfunction

Seat Belt Locking Glitch Forces Recall of Land Rovers

Laguna Hills, CA – July 3, 2019 – Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling certain Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models due to a seat belt locking issue that may prevent drivers and passengers from adequately strapping themselves in. This flaw could increase the risk of injury pending operators’ potential involvement in a crash. Owners will be formally instructed to bring their SUV back to their area dealer so the assembly can be either repaired or replaced. The fix will come at no cost, as per usual for most safety recalls.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker seeks to recall 16,186 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles, whose model years span between 2016 and 2017. The genesis of the order stems from an apparent flaw with the driver’s seat belt emergency locking retractor. This component is what gives seat belts its protective capability, as when the brake is applied, it triggers the ELR’s locking mechanism, which is sensitive to movement. Some of these assemblies, however, may fail to perform should motorists be involved in a car accident.

Timeline of Events

This issue first came to the automaker’s attention in November 2016, informed through NHTSA of a customer who noted that the ELR wasn’t triggering when the brakes on the vehicle were applied. Jaguar Land Rover coordinated with its seat belt supplier Autoliv, and they mutually determined that the safety flaw warranted further inquiry, which revealed that this was not an isolated incident. A customer from another automaker that partners with Autoliv also filed a 49 CFR 573 report regarding a malfunctioning ELR mechanism.

An ensuing investigation revealed that some of the CLRs were not in compliance with existing federal safety regulations. However, they determined that the issues would not fundamentally increase the risk of an injury. NHTSA felt otherwise, and in May, ordered Jaguar Land Rover to conduct a recall on 2016-2017 Land Rover and Range Rover Sport models out of an abundance of caution. No known injuries or deaths have resulted from the flaw.

Seat belts are believed to save thousands of motorists’ and passengers’ lives each year. Indeed, according to the most recent statistics available from NHTSA, the national seat belt usage rate in 2018 was nearly 90%, up from 88% in 2015 and 85% in 2010. In 2000, seat belt compliance was just 70%. In most states, seat belts are primary laws, meaning that drivers can be pulled over by traffic enforcement officers for not buckling up. In primary law states, the usage rate is higher than those where seat belt laws are secondary (90% to 86%, respectively).

In 2017, an estimated 14,955 fatal accidents were avoided in the U.S. thanks to motorists wearing their seat belts at the time of a crash.

The Solution

Starting July 1, Land Rover will inform motorists of the vehicles in question by first-class mail in order to make them aware that their automobile may have the flawed seat belt assembly. A follow-up notice will be distributed once the automaker determines the proper solution. When the subsequent notification will commence has yet to be determined, but as noted above, the repair will be free.

For more information on this recall and to see if you may be affected, enter your VIN at MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSeat Belt Locking Glitch Forces Recall of Land Rovers

Honda Issues Recall Due To Metal Fragments Affecting Air Bags

Laguna Hills, CA – June 24, 2019 – American Honda Motor Co. is recalling certain 2019 CR-V sport utility vehicles due to the possibility that the automobile’s air bags could malfunction or deploy errantly in the event of a crash, a problem linked to metal burrs found within the steering wheel unit. The company says it will inform affected owners by July 8 so motorists can schedule an appointment with their nearest dealer to have the issue checked out. Should a repair be necessary, it will come at no expense.

The Defect

According to official paperwork filed with and by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 118,600 Honda CR-Vs – model year 2019 – are being recalled because the guts of the steering wheel may be laced with metal burrs, or fragments, which may have developed during the assembly or manufacturing process. Some of these burrs may be sharp and potentially damage or short-circuit the cable reel sub-harness. Not only could this impede the driver’s side air bag from discharging – as it’s designed to do during a high-impact collision – but it may also render other steering unit functions inoperable, such as the horn, the supplemental restraint system warning indicator lights and other control buttons found on the wheel itself. The failure of any of these features poses an operator safety risk, which prompted Honda to take the actions that it did, including the contacting of NHTSA officials.

Timeline of Events

The first indication there could be a problem occurred Jan 24, when workers at a Honda manufacturing facility, according to NHTSA documents, were alerted to a warning indicator light illuminating on one of the newly assembled CR-Vs. Further inquiry determined the notification was caused by a blown fuse on the cable reel sub-harness, the part that attaches to the air bag. Apparently, the sub-harness had been damaged by fragments piecing off from the metal core.

Out of an abundance of caution, Honda notified all of its North American manufacturing facilities that this issue may not be isolated, which prompted a joint investigation 24 hours later alongside Autoliv ASP, Honda’s steering wheel supplier. The Mexico-based component supplier came up with a solution Jan. 31. But by February, Honda received feedback from a customer, informing the automaker that an air bag had deployed in a traffic situation without notice. A similar situation was brought to Honda’s attention in March.

These two incidents – along with four more that occurred between April and early May – were enough to raise suspicion that the flaw was not isolated to CR-Vs that hadn’t yet been delivered to dealers and decided by May 14 to conduct a more broad safety recall. As of this data, the automaker was aware of 41 warranty claims tracing back to this issue, 20 field reports and three non-life threatening injuries, Honda noted in a press release obtained by NHTSA. No crashes are believed to have occurred as a result.

The Solution

If dealers haven’t already been informed of the voluntary safety recall, they soon will be, as notifications were first distributed May 22. In the meantime, Honda says it will distribute mailers to registered CR-V users no later than July 8, advising that they take their SUV to a licensed dealership so the defective parts can be swapped out for those that work, assuming it’s necessary. The repair may also involve the installation of a protective cover on the steering wheel core. As per usual, parts and labor are free of charge. The automaker maintains that the reason for not informing owners sooner is due to the limited availability of replacement parts, an issue that should be resolved by early July.

For more information on this specific recall, owners can call Honda directly at (888) 234-2138. Operators can determine if they’re SUV is affected by simply entering their VIN at MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesHonda Issues Recall Due To Metal Fragments Affecting Air Bags

Nearly 1.2 million Ford Explorers Sidelined By Toe Link Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – June 20, 2019 – Over 1.1 million 2011-2017 Ford Explorers are under recall notice by the model’s eponymous automaker due to a rear suspension system issue that poses a potential threat to riders’ safety by increasing their crash risk. Ford Motor Company says it will inform registered owners of this hazard by first-class mail no later than June 24 and advise them to take their vehicles back to the dealer so that the problem, if diagnosed, can be fixed at no cost.

The Defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford is recalling approximately 1.19 million Explorers – with model years ranging from 2011 to 2019 – whose rear suspension systems may be compromised. More specifically, the problem affects the sport utility vehicle’s toe links, which are located in the rear of the vehicle and provide added ballast so the wheels remain in constant contact with the road. However, it’s possible that these toe links could fracture while the vehicle is in operation, depending on the topography and curvature of a given road surface. In such an event, it could lead to an accident by reducing motorists’ steering control.

Timeline of Events

This issue first came to Ford’s attention back in April 2017 when the automaker received feedback from an Explorer user who noted that the toe link on the SUV shattered after mistakenly hitting a curb. The automaker was made aware of other incidents involving the rear suspension issue through December 2018, although none of the incidents led to injury.

But the number of events was enough to prompt an internal investigation, which featured engineers recreating situations that were similar to the ones referenced by motorists whose toe links broke or suspension systems failed. These tests determined that when Explorers were under stress – experiencing “suspension articulation,” in automotive jargon – the toe links could fracture, especially if exposed to the same types of jostling regularly and over time. A break could then lead to a steering failure and potential risk of an injury in the event of a crash.

Ford’s Field Review Committee ultimately determined that a safety recall was warranted and informed NHTSA of this in early June.

The Solution

The recall is rather wide in scope, involving Explorers built between May 2010 and January 2017. Most of the potentially problematic SUVs are 2015 and 2016 models, as Ford says it’s recalling a combined 466,000 vehicles manufactured during this period. Of the 1.19 million warranting a recall, around 12,000 SUVs have the defect and will need to be serviced, according to NHTSA documents. 

Nevertheless, Ford says it will send out fliers to owners starting on June 24 to inform them of the safety issue and instruct drivers to take their SUVs to their nearest authorized dealer so the rear suspension toe links can be repaired or replaced. The recall is expected to cost the automaker approximately $180 million, according to BBC News, but for motorists themselves, the repair is free.

For more information on this, contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332. You can also enter your VIN at MotorSafety.org to see if your vehicle is affected by this or a separate recall. An estimated 25% of vehicles currently on the road have a recall that has yet to be repaired. 

Sean ReyesNearly 1.2 million Ford Explorers Sidelined By Toe Link Defect