Audi recalls Q7 SUVs over higher risk of head injury in event of crash

Pleasanton, CA – November 27, 2020 – Volkswagen AG (NASDAQ:VWAGY) has recalled nearly 10% of its 2018-2020 Audi Q7 luxury SUVs due to inadequate padding on one of the pillars – a structure that supports the roof of the car. This issue may translate into a higher risk of a head injury in the event of a crash. Around 94,000 vehicles are affected by this recall.

Part number for the deformation element is 4M0 880 619.

Recall summary

C-pillar is one of the four or five pillars that support the roof of the car and is located towards the back of the car. Recalled vehicles do not have enough padding on this pillar, due to a production error made by a sub-supplier based in Austria.

Risks

Inadequate padding may result in a head injury if a passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt hits his or her head during an accident. Until your car is repaired, pay special attention to your surroundings to protect your loved ones.

The repair

Dealers will replace the non-conforming element of C-pillar free of charge. It is not clear from the recall documents if that element is padding.

The recall started on November 17 but it is uncertain when the remedy will be available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 94,000 vehicles are included in this recall. To see if your Q7 is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Aleksandra SnesarevaAudi recalls Q7 SUVs over higher risk of head injury in event of crash

General Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

Pleasanton, CA – November 25, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 14,620 vehicles that operate with either 5.3L or 6.2L V8 engines. In each case, the  power of the mechanical vacuum pump  – which helps the engine with several key functions, including braking – may decrease. This may negatively affect the brake assist system. The recall includes:

  • 2018  Cadillac Escalade sedans
  • 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks
  • 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2018 GMC Yukon SUVs

Recall summary  

Among other functions, the mechanical vacuum pump provides power to the brake assist system. Due to a design error that was not addressed during a previous recall for the same issue last year, “the output” of the pump can drop over time, making the power brake assist system less effective.

There are several factors that alert the driver to the brake assist issue:

  • The brake pedal may vibrate when the driver applies the brakes
  • Braking requires more effort
  • A ticking sound is emitted from the engine compartment when the brakes are applied
  • The driver may see a “Service Brake” message pop up on the dash

Risks 

If the brake assist is not operating correctly, the driver must press on the brake pedal with more effort and depress it further to be able to stop the vehicle.

This change in braking ability increases the risk of a crash. Drivers may not be able to brake quickly enough to slow or stop the vehicle. GM notes that the problem is more apparent at low speeds when a driver applies soft pressure to the brakes.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the Electronic Brake Control Module and reprogram the system. The recall free of charge and began on November 16.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 14,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

Chevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Hood Latch Software

Pleasanton, CA – August 18, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 7,071 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles whose controls fail to prevent them from developing high speeds despite an unlatched front trunk.

The trunk may then open while driving, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vehicles.

Recall summary  

Due to the lack of safety controls, these vehicles can develop high speeds despite having the front trunk unlatched. 

The cause is multifold. First, thanks to a design flaw, drivers can accidentally press the front trunk release button on their key fob.

Second, the cars’ internal controls fail to limit the speed  – allowing the vehicle to reach up to 82 miles-per-hour (mph) – despite detecting that the trunk is not securely closed.

Drivers will still receive audible and visual alerts telling them that the trunk is open.

What happens when the driver speeds up?

As the car reaches a higher speed, air resistance may force open the unlatched hood, blocking the driver’s front view.

Risks 

Not being able to see in front of the vehicle creates a  very high risk of a crash. The driver may not see traffic down the road and hit a vehicle from behind.

To prevent that from happening, drivers should pay attention to their warning system. When the hood is not properly latched, the driver will receive two different types of warnings.

They will first see an icon indicating an open hood on the instrument panel and hear a chime. Once the vehicle is put in drive and moves faster than 3 mph, the chime sounds repeatedly.

In spite of the warnings, the vehicle can be driven up to 82 mph with the hood unlatched. As the driver speeds up, air resistance may force open the unlatched hood.

The repair

GM’s upcoming software update will limit the affected vehicle’s speed to 26 mph when the hood is not latched.

The manufacturer is also going to re-design both the key fob and  the “door trim switch and release button” inside the hood to reduce the risk of a driver inadvertently opening the hood with the fob.

The repair is expected to begin October 3, and is free of charge. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 7,000 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydChevrolet Corvette Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Hood Latch Software

Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Trucks Recalled for Faulty ABS Indicator Light

Pleasanton, CA – July 17, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 12,200 Chevy Silverado trucks that may fail to indicate to the driver that there is a problem with the car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS), increasing the risk of  a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 4500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 5500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet 6500HD Silverado Medium Duty trucks

Recall summary  

On May 29, General Motors decided that certain 2019-2020 Chevrolet   Medium Duty 4500HD/5500HD/6500HD trucks do not comply with a federal regulation requiring the ABS light to illuminate during certain kinds of malfunctions.

Vehicles use several control modules to operate many aspects of the car. GM houses many of these modules together in a grouping called the Body Control Module (BCM), which coordinates many functions in the vehicle, including as the speedometer, the instrumentation panel and the chime warnings.

Another module, called the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), reads sensors in the braking system, and uses that information to activate the ABS as needed for sudden braking, stability or traction control. These two systems need to communicate for the safety of the driver.

In the recalled vehicles, the ABS light fails to illuminate when the BCM can’t communicate with the EBCM. This means that the driver will not be notified when there is a problem with the ABS.

Risks 

It is important for drivers to know if there is a problem with the anti-lock brakes. Driving without the ABS, particularly in bad weather, can be dangerous because the vehicle may not handle braking on slippery surfaces the way it is supposed to.

When a vehicle skids, the tires lose traction with the ground and the driver can no longer steer, increasing the risk of a crash.

The repair

The affected trucks need a software update for the BCM. The update itself should take approximately 35 minutes, but GM advises owners in its owner notification letter that it may take longer “because of service scheduling requirements.”

The repair is available now and is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 12,000 cars are included in this Chevy recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Nate GouldsbroughChevrolet Silverado Pickup Trucks Recalled for Faulty ABS Indicator Light

BMW X6 Rear Spoiler Could Detach

Laguna Hills, CA – February 6, 2020 – Rear spoilers on certain 2020 BMW vehicles may detach while in operation, creating a road hazard and increased risk of crash.

The total number of affected vehicles is 166,196.

The defect

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling 2020 X6 sDrive 40i, X6 xDrive 40i, and X6 xDrive 50i vehicles whose rear spoilers may detach during operation and create higher risks of vehicle crashes.

On January, 15, 2020 a loose rear spoiler was noticed during BMW X6 vehicle assembly. BMW contacted the supplier of the spoilers and performed a visual examination on the remaining vehicles in assembly.

The examination revealed that many of the spoilers placed on the vehicle were not applied with uniform adhesive.

Records provided by the spoiler supplier revealed that there was a period in the production process where the application of the adhesive to the spoiler deviated from the normal specified process.

Continued testing on February 2, revealed that the rear spoiler could detach from the vehicles at high speeds. By February 12, 2020, BMW decided to release a safety recall for the certain X6 vehicle models.

The solution

All BMW X6 vehicle owners will be notified by First Class mail beginning April 13, 2020. To perform the proper remedy affected vehicle owners must bring their vehicle into any authorized BMW center where they can assess the spoiler and replace it with adequate adhesive if necessary.

This repair will be free of charge.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyBMW X6 Rear Spoiler Could Detach

BMW Recalls Several Different 1999-2001 Vehicles Over Takata Airbag Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – November 26, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling certain 1999 – 2001 323i, 325i, 328i and 330i and 2000 – 2001 323Ci, 325Ci, 328Ci, 330Ci, 323iT, and 325iT vehicles equipped with Takata-manufactured Non-Azide Driver airbag Inflators (NADI).

This recall follows Takata’s own recall of the specific NADI units on November 26.

The potential number of units affected is estimated to be 74,185.

The defect

BMW states that these specific units may have received replacement airbags as part of a vehicle repair. Due to a manufacturing issue, the replacement NADI inflator can absorb moisture, causing the airbag to rupture or underinflate.

All listed vehicles may have had these devices installed during repairs. In the event of a crash, a rupture of the inflator can result in dangerous metal fragments hitting drivers and passengers, while an underinflated airbag can fail to shield the occupants properly.

These issues increase the risk of severe injury or death. BMW has not provided any guidance on how to ascertain if a vehicle possesses the defective NADI inflators.

Owners should exercise caution; a solution is not yet available at this time, and BMW recommends that owners should not utilize their vehicles until safe removal processes are available.

Timeline of events

On November 26, 2019, manufacturer Takata (TK Global LLC) disclosed that some of their NADI inflators produced from 1995 – 2000 were defective and issued a recall for all known extant units and vehicles that may contain said units.

Later that day, BMW issued a recall for several different classes of vehicle, gradually adding more to the list by the end of the day. BMW North America is currently the only automobile manufacturer to have issued a recall relating to these defective Takata NADI inflators.

Recommending that owners do not currently drive their vehicles, BMW is sending interim notices about the risk to owners until January 17, and again when the remedy becomes available.

The solution

Plans for the removal of the defective NADI inflators have not been finalized. BMW recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified when repair and removal services become available for this specific issue.

Dealers will inspect any vehicles brought in under suspicion of possessing the defective units. If a BMW vehicle is found to possess these units, they will be replaced free of charge. 

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls Several Different 1999-2001 Vehicles Over Takata Airbag Defect

Two BMW Models Recalled for Faulty Components

Laguna Hills, CA – November 6, 2019 – BMW of North America recently announced that it will recall two different models – both sedans – due to potentially faulty engine components.

In all, 217 vehicles – 100% of which are expected to contain the defect – are involved in the recall, including:

  • 205 BMW 330i and 330i xDrive four-door sedans from the 2019 and 2020 model years
  • 12 BMW Z4 two-door sedan from the 2020 model year

It is expected that all of the recalled components may not have been produced within specifications.

The defect

All 217 vehicles in the recall were made with an engine that contains needle roller bearings for counterbalance shafts that may not have been properly installed initially.

Specifically, this started during the production process, which may have been out of specification, during set production periods that vary by model.

For the 330i and 330i xDrive models in the recall, this lasted from November 22, 2018 to August 26, 2019. For the Z4s, it stretched from May 24, 2018, to April 3, 2019.

Due to the potentially improper installation process, affected needle roller bearings could lead to the counterbalance shaft loosening, causing severe engine damage.

That, in turn, could lead to the engines in recalled vehicles shutting down, increasing the risk of a crash. Drivers would be able to notice if this happened to their vehicles because there would be a loud noise emanating from the engine compartment.

Timeline of events

In May 2019, BMW was made aware of two separate instances in which drivers of affected vehicles heard the aforementioned noises, right before their vehicles broke down.

The first of these involved a 2019 3 Series sedan that had been made in February, and the second, involving a vehicle outside the U.S., was made in April. Both vehicles had low mileages, and the engines were flagged for return, tear down and analysis. 

In June, BMW of North America conducted an engineering review  of both engines and initially found that the counterbalance shaft’s needle roller bearings may have been to blame for the breakdowns.

Further analysis included looking into the production process while the company continued to monitor other vehicles in the field.

During that analysis period, another similar breakdown, this time including a 5 Series sedan that was made in May, occurred in September.

The engineering review eventually found that the press-in force for some needle roller bearings of the counterbalance shafts was smaller than specified, and engine production records indicated which of these components were affected by the defect based on production dates.

That, in turn, allowed BMW to determine which vehicles to recall, and the voluntary order itself was made on October 8.

To date, the company has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the defect.

The solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be asked to bring their vehicles to authorized BMW dealers to have the engines replaced free of charge. These changes will be covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty program and therefore will not require reimbursement.

Dealers received notification of the recall on October 15, and owners should get letters via First Class mail on or around December 6.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesTwo BMW Models Recalled for Faulty Components

BMW Sedans, Convertibles Recalled Over Faulty Air Bags

Laguna Hills, CA – October 22, 2019 – BMW of North America recently announced that it’s pulling over 3,900 models from the marketplace due to the possibility that installed air bags are compromised.

In the event of an accident causing the air bags to deploy, sharp metal fragments could break through them, potentially leading to a severe injury.

Owners receiving notifications pertaining to the 2000 – 2002 BMW air bag recall are urged to take their vehicle to their nearest dealership so the issue can be fixed promptly. The luxury automaker says these notices will be mailed starting at the end of November.

The defect

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW says it’s recalling 3,924 sedans and convertibles over the possibility that the air bags installed could be faulty.

Here are the affected vehicles in question, along with their model year and campaign identification number 19V698000:

  • 2000 – 2002 325i
  • 2000 – 2002 325xi
  • 2000 – 2002 323Ci
  • 2000 – 2002 325Ci
  • 2000 – 2002 330Ci

Should motorists in the aforementioned models be involved in a crash that is forceful enough for the air bags to deploy, they could explode upon impact, releasing sharp metal shards that may result in injury.

The cause of this issue is believed to be the propellant used in the release of the air bags. According to NHTSA documents, the propellant has the potential to break down over time due to exposure to high levels of humidity and temperature cycling.

Timeline of events

The 2000 – 2002 BMW air bag recall is one of several that have affected the auto industry tracing back several years.

The Office of Defects Investigation arm of the NHTSA opened a sweeping inquiry into this issue back in June 2014 after learning of six separate incidents where air bags ruptured, which involved five vehicle manufacturers.

The ODI determined that the common link between them all was the manufacturer of the air bags – Takata – and the locations of where these air bags were installed. All six took place in either Florida or Puerto Rico.

These events led to a much wider investigation of Takata air bags and their potential to cause serious injury to motorists.

All told, at least 37 million automobiles had been equipped with 50 million defective air bags manufactured by Takata, according to the most recent statistics available from the NHTSA. Repair rates among automakers with Takata air bags installed rose 30% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

“Communicating the urgency for recall repairs with the help of stakeholders and DMVs is proving effective to protecting lives on our nation’s roadways,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said at the time.

This isn’t the first time this year that BMW has been affected by an air bag safety issue. In June, the luxury automaker announced it was recalling approximately 2,000 SUVs whose air bags were installed improperly.

Prior to that, around 1,700 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series models were also recalled because of compromised passenger knee air bags.

The solution

As for the 2000 – 2002 BMW air bag issue, the luxury automaker is getting ready to start distributing mailers that will inform owners about this problem. BMW says it will begin sending the notifications out starting November 25.

Recipients of the safety notices are urged to bring their vehicle to a local dealer. If appropriate, a replacement air bag will be installed free of charge.

For more information on other BMW recalls, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesBMW Sedans, Convertibles Recalled Over Faulty Air Bags

Three Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – September 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, 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
  • 2019 BMW i3 REx
  • 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. 

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

Chrysler Recalls SUVs Over Faulty Fuel Level Indicator

Laguna Hills, CA – August 12, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced its recalling more than 21,900 Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Alfa Romeo Giulia SUVs as a result of a fuel indicator issue that may misinform motorists regarding how much fuel is in their tank.

Such a misidentification could cause an accident should the vehicle stall or suddenly turn off while in operation. The Chrysler SUV recall is fixable, however, and operators are urged to take their vehicle to their nearest dealer so this problem can be addressed at no cost.

The defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler will recall 21,915 sport utility vehicles because the body control module, which measures the fuel amount in the tank, may be defective.

In vehicles that contain this problem, the gauge reads that the reservoir is fully supplied, when the opposite may be the case.

[This] may cause the customer to run out of fuel even though the indicator shows that there is still fuel in the vehicle,” Chrysler explained in a press release distributed to FCA dealerships.

The following are the potentially defective vehicles in question, including their model years:

  • 2018 – 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • 2018 – 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

As noted in the release, there are certain conditions in which the fuel level may read wrong. One such scenario is if the SUV is parked at a 10 degree angle for 30 minutes or more.

Depending on how full the tank actually is, the onboard computer may misidentify whether or not it went through a refuel and the fuel level indicator may move higher, suggesting it’s fuller than it actually is.

“Inaccurate fuel indication may increase the risk of an engine stall due to fuel starvation, and can cause vehicle crash without prior warning,” the statement further read.

Timeline of events

What ultimately led to this Chrysler SUV recall was a communique the company received June 3 from an Italian supplier, informing FCA of multiple reports related to Giulia and Stelvio vehicles stalling. 

Two days later, Chrysler opened an investigation to see if it could pinpoint the nature of the problem.

By June 12, the product development team confirmed the issue was related to faulty software, which caused the instrument panel to misidentify the amount of fuel remaining in the reservoir.

Approximately five weeks later, Fiat Chrysler determined that a voluntary recall was necessary and went through the proper channels to inform the NHTSA. The government agency confirmed the automaker’s intentions August 5.

Neither NHTSA nor Chrysler is aware of any accidents or injuries that trace back to this issue. Only one warranty has been filed through July 19.

The solution

The automaker says it will notify registered owners of the Chrysler SUV recall starting September 13 by first-class mail. Owners are strongly encouraged to have their vehicles checked out by an area dealer so the body control module software can be properly updated.

Chrysler believes that virtually all of the 21,900-plus SUVs included in the recall likely have the suspected defect in question.

For more information on this or any other automotive recall, visit MotorSafety.org. Check our section on all the most recent Chrysler recalls as well. You can also take a look at recalls grouped by month

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls SUVs Over Faulty Fuel Level Indicator