NHTSA investigates Ford dealer over sale of recalled Escape SUV

Washington, D.C. – June 12, 2022 – Federal auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a  Ford (NYSE:F) dealer that allegedly sold a 2021 Ford Escape car with an open recall. This is illegal under federal law.

Investigation summary

The dealer, Healey Brothers Ford, LLC, of Beacon, New York, allegedly sold at least one 2021 Ford Escape compact crossover SUV.

The recall in question appears to be one conducted in August 2021 for issues with the fuel delivery module. The issue resulted in the cars stalling while out on the road and affected over 13,000 units, as reported.

Can a dealer sell a car with a recall?

Under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, selling a car with a recall is illegal unless the dealership labels them as used vehicles. Under Section 108 of the law, the penalty shall be $1,000 for each recorded violation. So, recalls do need to be fixed before a new car leaves the lot.

To learn more about whether or not a dealership sell a car with a recall and what to watch out for, please visit this page.


If the engine stalls while the vehicle is in motion,  it will be difficult for the driver to perform standard operations such as steering and braking, increasing the risk of a crash.    

Other Ford investigations 

NHTSA is carrying out a separate investigation on Ford regarding 32 complaints of 2021 model year Ford Bronco vehicles that stalled while driving without prior warning. Initial findings suggest that the problem was caused by an engine valve falling apart, resulting in terminal engine failure. 

The Escape was also the subject of a safety recall issued in May 2022 over a problem with the transmission, which could cause the vehicle to unintentionally roll away, increasing the risk of a crash.   

Is your vehicle part of a recall?

To see if your Ford Escape is part of any other vehicle recalls, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.  

Joseph EstabilloNHTSA investigates Ford dealer over sale of recalled Escape SUV

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

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

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

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

Recall summary  

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

Other Ford Explorer, Edge and Taurus recalls

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

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


Drivers in the recalled cars face a number of risks:

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

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

The repair

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

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

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

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

Toyota to recall cars with Denso fuel pumps

December 16, 2021 Update – Japanese manufacturer Toyota (NYSE:TM) has remedied issues on 101,964 Denso fuel pumps that cause car stalls while driving. In addition to this, 22,555 of these Toyota parts have been categorized as unreachable and 26,994 have been removed from the recall. All of these issues that cause the pump to stop working were remedied between the first and third quarters of 2021.

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

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

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

Recall summary  

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

Series of Denso recalls

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

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


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

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

If your car stalls:

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

The repair

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

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

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

Rebecca RandToyota to recall cars with Denso fuel pumps

Volkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear

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

Recall summary  

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

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

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


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

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

The repair

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

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

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

Ken BoydVolkswagen 2018 Tiguans recalled for potential seat belt tear

Tesla recalls 2016 Model X over reports of roof pieces flying off

Pleasanton, CA – December, 8 2020 – Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has recalled 9,136 2016 Tesla Model X SUVs whose roof panels may detach from the car while it is driving, leaving obstacles in the road and possibly endangering other drivers. This recall was announced alongside a Tesla steering bolt recall of 2020 Model Y.

Recall summary  

The  recall concerns two panels, or “appliques,” on the roof of the Model X—one behind the windshield and the other between the falcon doors—that may fall off while the car is in motion. The panels are attached to the SUV using urethane adhesive. With many strong glues, it is important to use a primer to make sure the glue sticks to the surfaces it’s joining. Tesla believes its applique supplier was inconsistent in how it primed the panels, and that this is why some of them are falling off. 

Tesla said it first became aware of the issue on September 21, 2020, but owners have been posting images of their detached Model X roof panels on Tesla forums since at least June 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received four driver complaints, starting in August 2017, of roof panels detaching from the 2016 Model X.


In its filing with NHTSA, Tesla admits that “if the applique separates from the vehicle while in drive, it could create a road hazard for following motorists and increase their risk of injury or a crash.” Tesla has received no reports of injuries or accidents caused by fly-away appliques, but the danger was obvious to one driver of a 2016 Model X who reported seeing a “top glass piece” (actually shiny plastic) that flew off the car “at freeway speeds. Not good.” The report, filed with the NHTSA, added that the piece  “could easily have killed someone in another car.” 

The dangers of road debris

Road debris is one of the top causes of injuries and deaths. For our previous reporting on the topic, please check out this page.

The repair

Owners may be able to see these panels separating from the roof, or they may hear a noise as wind causes the panel to vibrate against the car. Even if there are no signs of detachment, owners should take recalled vehicles to a dealer, who will test whether the panels in question are firmly attached. If they fail the test, the dealer will apply primer and attach the panels to the car properly, free of charge. 

Tesla has not yet reported to NHTSA when they expect this recall to begin.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,000 vehicles are included in this Tesla recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandTesla recalls 2016 Model X over reports of roof pieces flying off

Mercedes GLE-class SUVs recalled for faulty seat belt design

Pleasanton, CA – December 4, 2020 – Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) has recalled 55,326 Mercedes vehicles, due to an issue with the middle seat belt buckle. The seat belt buckle may be pushed down below the seat cushion if the buckle is fastened using only one hand. A passenger who cannot access a seatbelt and rides unrestrained is at a greater risk of injury. This Mercedes-Benz recall includes:

  • 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 SUVs
  • 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 SUVs
  • 2020 Mercedes- Benz GLE580 SUVs
  • 2020 – 2021  Mercedes-Benz GLE350 SUVs
  • 2020 – 2021  Mercedes-Benz GLE450 SUVs

Recall summary  

The middle seat in the second row is designed with a double-buckle configuration. The design of the seat belt buckle and the seat cushion may cause the buckle to be pushed down into a gap below the seat cushion. This issue may occur when the seat belt is buckled with one hand or is otherwise pushed firmly down. The driver will not be notified the seat belt is unavailable to  the middle-seat occupant.

In 2019, nine owners brought vehicles to Mercedes dealers to remove the seat belt buckle from underneath the seat cushion. In that same year, the manufacturer conducted a recall for 20 different 2018-2019 models. In that case, the cars’ software failed to recognize that the seat belts were latched, leading to a potential malfunction of other systems.


If an occupant is not properly restrained, the individual has a much higher risk of injury if a crash occurs. Seat belts are a major factor in passenger safety. It is estimated that seat belt use saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the middle seat belt and “additionally secure” it in place, so that it can no longer be pushed below the seat cushion. The repair is free of charge.  Mercedes expects the recall to begin December 29.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 55,000 vehicles are included in this Mercedes recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydMercedes GLE-class SUVs recalled for faulty seat belt design

Hyundai issues second recall of Veracruz SUVs for oil leak

Pleasanton, CA – January 28, 2022 – Hyundai (OTCMKTS: HYMTF) has remedied issues with 60,097 2007-2012 Hyundai Veracruz vehicles that had failures with an engine oil leak. Additionally, 3,432 of these Hyundai vehicles have been categorized as unreachable and 4,832 have been removed from the recall. All these vehicles that presented a Charging System Failure Caused By Oil Leak were remedied during the third quarter of 2021.

Pleasanton, CA – December 5, 2020 – Hyundai (OTCMKTS: HYMTF) is recalling 60,097 2007-2012 Veracruz SUVs to repair an oil leak that could cause the car to stall.  This is the second time these cars have been recalled for this issue.

Recall summary

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contacted Hyundai in September after receiving multiple complaints about an issue that should have been resolved by a 2014 recall. As happened in 2020 with the Kia Sedona Minivans, engine oil may be leaking through a faulty rubber gasket on the engine cylinder, where it could drip on the car’s alternator, disabling it. Without the alternator, the car cannot charge itself while running, which will eventually result in a stall.

NHTSA determined that 1% of the vehicles repaired during the first recall went on to have oil leaks due to mistakes made by the dealers during the previous round of repairs.

Safety tips

Even though Hyundai says it knows of no crashes or injuries caused by these failing alternators, stalling does raise the risk of accidents, injuries, and worse. Veracruz drivers should keep an eye on the airbag, battery, and check engine warning lights, which may illuminate if the alternator is in trouble. Even if the vehicle does not stall, drivers may notice their cars surging or hesitating as the charging system dies.  Here are some tips on what to do if your car stalls.

Other Hyundai recalls

In 2018, Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) recalled certain 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe vehicles for airbags issues. The Side Curtain AirBag (SCAB) mounting bolts may interfere with and damage them during deployment.

In another 2018 recall, Hyundai recalled several vehicles including the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs potentially equipped with defective steering assemblies. The campaign affects two sport utility models.


Hyundai will send updated repair instructions to dealers, who will fix the leaky gasket for free. Hyundai will also reimburse owners of recalled cars who have already paid to have the gasket fixed. The recall should begin in early January 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 60,000 cars are included in this Hyundai recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle recall lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Rebecca RandHyundai issues second recall of Veracruz SUVs for oil leak

General Motors ordered to recall 5.9 million cars equipped with Takata airbags

Pleasanton, CA – December, 3 2020 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered General Motors (NYSE:GM) to recall 5,888,421 pickup trucks and SUVs built with potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators, which could explode and fling deadly shrapnel into vehicle occupants. The infamous airbag inflators have already killed 27 people and injured at least 250 more, and are part of the largest auto recall in history. The latest installment of the recall – which already encompasses 19 car manufacturers and “tens of millions” of cars – includes the following GM models on the GMT900 platform: 

  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV and EXT SUVs
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche pickups
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500/3500 pickups
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban SUVs
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2007-2014 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2500/3500 pickups
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL SUVs

Recall summary

The recall concerns the vehicles’ passenger-side airbag inflators. The inflators use ammonium nitrate to generate a small explosion to inflate the airbags. If this volatile chemical is exposed to heat and humidity, it becomes porous. The extra surface area in this microscopic swiss-cheese allows the ammonium nitrate to burn faster, thus causing a much stronger explosion than intended. This explosion can blow up the inflator and send bits of shrapnel flying into vehicle occupants at high speeds, potentially maiming or killing them.

NHTSA first ordered GM to recall the affected cars in 2016. The company had recalled 330,198 vehicles on the GMT900 platform in May 2015, but argued that the rest of vehicles that are now being recalled should be excluded because the airbag defect was “inconsequential.” This argument was rejected by NHTSA on November 23. Despite disagreeing with the decision,  GM said it would not appeal.

‘Almost no data’ to back up claims

NHTSA consulted air-bag chemical expert Harold Blomquist regarding these findings, who rebutted GM’s many claims that unique design features could prevent their inflators from exploding. “GM expended little effort over the last two years to methodically study the claimed features in order to substantiate their effectiveness,” he said in his 75-page review of GM’s petition. As a result, Blomquist said, GM had “almost no data” to back up their claims that their Takata airbags were somehow less dangerous.

Previous Takata airbag recalls

Automakers have been issuing ever-expanding recalls of Takata airbags for seven years, with 100 million inflators recalled worldwide. Volkswagen, BMW and Honda all recalled cars this and past year because of the airbag issue.


GM will replace the Takata airbags with a different model, free of charge. More information about the recall schedule should be released by December 24. 

What to do if you own a recalled vehicle

NHTSA has issued a few broad recommendations for drivers in the Takata recall population:

  1. Don’t have your dealer disable your airbags. “It is much more likely that your airbag will perform properly and protect you in a crash than cause harm,” NHTSA says.
  2. “If you feel uncomfortable continuing to drive your vehicle before it is repaired, you should contact your dealer to see if they will provide a loaner until the repair is completed,” NHTSA says. Dealers and manufacturers aren’t required to provide loaners, but it can’t hurt to ask. 
  3. If you’re offered an interim repair, take it. Some automakers will offer to replace the old Takatas with newer ones, which are safer. “It is an inconvenience to have your vehicle serviced twice and to wait for a final repair,” NHTSA says, “But rejecting an interim replacement air bag is not worth the continued higher risk of injury or even death to you, your family, and your friends while waiting for the final repair.”

Some automakers have advised riders not to sit in the front passenger seat. 

Here is the list of vehicles that NHTSA says should NOT be driven.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 6 million vehicles are included in this GM Takata Airbag recall. Use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool to see if your vehicle is affected. 

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors ordered to recall 5.9 million cars equipped with Takata airbags

Ford recalls Explorers and Aviators over fractured driveshafts

Pleasanton, CA – December 1, 2020 – Ford (NYSE: F) is recalling 10,905 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs whose driveshafts – one of the most important components of a car – may fracture, presenting several risks including vehicle rollaway, fuel leaks and fire. All of the recalled vehicles have 10-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and 2.0L or 3.3L engines. 

Recall summary

In approximately 18 of the 10,905 recalled vehicles, the rear driveshaft may not have been welded properly and could snap. The driveshaft transfers power to the rear wheels. Its breakage could cause the vehicle to lose power while in motion or roll away when parked. The snapped shaft could also pierce the fuel tank and cause a leak and/or fire.

Ford knows the serial numbers of the faulty driveshafts, but they must inspect over 10,000 vehicles to find them. 

Other recalls

The 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator have had close to a dozen of  combined recalls since August 2019, including one for malfunctioning rearview camera and another one for defective fuel lines

Safety risks

The broken driveshaft can cause a whole host of problems. A snapped driveshaft will cut off drive power to the rear wheels, increasing the risk of a crash because of unexpected movement. The vehicle could also roll away if parked on a hill. This is what killed actor Anton Yelchin, whose Jeep Cherokee (also recalled) rolled down his driveway and crushed him against a pillar.  Furthermore, if the driveshaft snaps, it could hit the fuel tank and spring a leak, which in turn could lead to a fire. It’s a frightening list of potential scenarios that should encourage owners to get their vehicles looked at.


Dealers will inspect the driveshaft and check its serial number. If it matches one on Ford’s list of affected serial numbers, they will replace the driveshaft. Ford plans to notify owners by mail during the week of November 30 as to when the repair will be available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 10,000 cars are included in this Ford recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Rebecca RandFord recalls Explorers and Aviators over fractured driveshafts