This summer has been very busy for the auto industry and recalls. In the last couple months, we’ve seen more vehicle recalls than we usually see in an entire year. The problems range from drive-shaft issues to less life-threatening problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there have been recalls for 37.5 million cars this year in the U.S. The previous record was 30.8 million in 2004, according to the NHTSA.
Chrysler is recalling up to 792,300 Jeeps for faulty ignition switches that can be inadvertently knocked out of the “on” position, shutting off the engine and disabling the airbags. The 2005-2007 Grand Cherokee and 2006-2007 Commander have been under investigation by NHTSA since June. Earlier this month, Chrysler recalled 696,000 minivans and crossovers — also previously under investigation — for the same faulty switch. The exact number hasn’t been determined, but up to 649,900 vehicles may be affected in the U.S. Chrysler recommends owners to take everything off their keychains, including the ring, until dealers start the fix in mid-September.
Since 2004, the NHTSA has received at least 32 complaints from Grand Cherokee and Commander owners alleging that it was too easy for a driver’s knee to accidentally bump the key and switch off the engine. Chrysler has received about 119 complaints and knows of one crash.
Chrysler’s airbag controller in these models can only stay powered for 150 milliseconds after the engine shuts off. That means the airbags — and any power assists and safety equipment like anti-lock brakes — are instantly disabled while driving. Chrysler said it knew of at least one crash and about 119 complaints from owners related to the switch problem.
Chrysler is also recalling 21,000 cars and trucks for suspension components that can break off their mounts and cause the driver to lose control. Models include the 2014 Ram 1500, 2015 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Chrysler 200, of which about 14,300 are in the U.S. Chrysler hasn’t said when it would offer a fix.
General Motors is recalling 717,949 cars in the U.S. for loose bolts, bad welds, steering failures and more problems. The six separate recalls now bring the automaker’s yearly total to 60 recalls and 26.4 million cars, some of which may be duplicated under multiple recalls.On 414,333 cars with power height-adjustable driver and passenger seats, a bolt securing the height adjuster to the seat can loosen and fall out, which can then cause the seat to “move up and down freely.” GM said it knew of one crash and three injuries related to the problem. Affected models include the 2011-2012 Chevrolet Camaro, Buick Regal and Buick Lacrosse; and the 2010-2012 Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX.
On 124,007 late-model vehicles, seat brackets may not be welded completely at the factory, which could cause them to break off from the car. GM isn’t aware of crashes or injuries and said it expects fewer than 1 percent of all affected cars to need new seat tracks. The cars include the 2014 Chevrolet Caprice, SS, Cadillac CTS and ELR; 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS and Buick Encore and the 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
The 2011-2013 Buick Regal and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu have turn signals that may not automatically indicate failure to the driver via a rapidly blinking indicator. If one of the two bulbs on each signal is out, the car’s computer is supposed to recognize the problem and make the indicators blink fast. GM will reprogram a control module so that does happen. A total of 120,426 cars are affected.
A bad electrical ground in the power-steering computers of some 2014 Chevrolet Impala sedans could disable the steering assist at startup or while driving. GM said it knew of one crash but no injuries. A nut holding a ground stud on the power steering computer may have been accidentally painted which can cause the problem. The nut needs to be cleaned, torqued and the computer software updated on about 57,242 cars.
Certain 2014-2015 Chevrolet Spark subcompact hatches built in South Korea can lose all steering control due to a loose bolt in the front suspension that can detach the lower control arm from the steering knuckle. A total of 1,919 cars are included.
Also, 22 of GM’s biggest SUVs, the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, along with the GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali, have roof racks that may be attached with the wrong nuts. These can tear the side curtain airbags mounted in the roof rails.
Ford is recalling about 100,000 vehicles in six separate recalls, most are for front axle shafts that can decouple from the transmission. Late-model Fords and Lincolns, including the 2014 Escape, are affected.
A halfshaft powering the front right wheel may not be connected properly due to a loose circlip fitted during production. The halfshaft can then loosen from the transmission coupling and separate completely, leading to a loss of power and a potential rollaway if the car is parked without the handbrake.
Affected models include the 2013-2014 Ford Taurus and Taurus Police Interceptor, Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT; 2012-2014 Ford Edge; and the 2014 Lincoln MKX. About 83,000 of the 92,022 cars are in the U.S. Dealers will make sure the circlip is properly tightened and replace any damaged halfshafts and transmission couplings.
In May, Ford recalled more than 1.3 million cars for power steering failures, electrical shorts and floormats, including the 2010-2014 Taurus for license plate lamp terminals that can corrode and cause a small fire.
The optional panoramic glass roof on the 2014 Ford Escape can rattle, leak or separate from its mounting brackets due to an “improperly cured urethane bond.” A total of 2,124 cars are affected (1,870 in the U.S.) and dealers will replace the glass roofs on all the cars. This is the 11th recall for the current-generation Escape. Also in May, Ford recalled 627,700 Escape SUVs from 2013-2014 to fix problems with airbags and misaligned door handles.
A total of 175 Fiesta models in the U.S. have fuel tanks that can leak. The specific fuel tanks on these 2014 models may have been built without an adhesive seam. Dealers will replace the tanks. In June 2013, Ford recalled 466,068 cars from 2013 for faulty fuel delivery modules in their tanks that can leak gasoline on the ground or contact other hot parts. In April 2013, Ford recalled 3,037 cars for fuel leaks, including the 2012 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS and the 2013 Ford Explorer, because of faulty tank seams.
On 2011-2014 Ford F59 stripped commercial chassis models, which are built without bodies and sold to aftermarket companies, an electrical junction block can short due to road salt. This can lead to smoke in the right front wheel well and a fire, even if the engine is shut off. The electrical power can also cut out. Dealers will install new junction blocks on the 5,264 affected models. Another 635 F59 and F53 motorhome stripped-chassis models have “incorrectly machined” brake calipers that can cause a leak within the piston and reduce braking performance. Dealers will replace the calipers.
Takata -made airbag affecting several auto makers
Takata made faulty airbags has forced Honda to recall as many as 1 million more vehicles, while Subaru has become the eighth automaker impacted by the problem. More than 10 million vehicles have been affected by the defect, which could cause airbags to improperly inflate in a crash, potentially sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. The latest Honda airbag recall, meanwhile, comes a month after the maker announced it would call back 2 million vehicles due to problems with defective Takata airbags. That issue has affected a wide range of manufacturers, notably including Japan’s Big Three, but also General Motors, BMW, and smaller Asian brands Mazda and, now, Subaru.
The problem has been blamed on manufacturing defects that can cause the airbag inflators to trigger with more force than necessary, resulting in possible shrapnel spewing into the cabin. The final figure isn expected to involve between 500,000 and 1 million sedans, minivans, SUVs and crossovers sold by both the Honda and Acura brands. The focus will be on replacing potentially faulty passenger-side front airbag modules. Vehicles covered include some 2003 to 2005 Honda Accords, Civics, CR-Vs, Elements, Pilots, Acura MDXs and 2005 Acura RLs and 2003 to 2004 Honda Odysseys. Earlier recalls for defective Takata airbags include some other models, including the Honda Ridgeline and Acura TL.
As for Subaru, the recall will impact a relatively small number of products considering the Takata problem has now snared 11 million vehicles, all told. About 8,600 Legacy sedans, Outback wagons and Baja crossovers sold in 2003 and 2004 are covered, as are 2004 Impreza, WRX and WRX STI models. The repairs are considered relatively simple, across the board, though the large number of vehicles impacted by the various manufacturers could make scheduling a challenge for some dealers. All repairs will be conducted free of charge.
To find if your vehicle has been recalled visit: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues