Mercedes Benz will be contacting the owners of certain 2017-2018 Coupe vehicles regarding a problem affecting vehicle safety. According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, a production deviation at the supplier has resulted in front seat back locks that to not lock properly. Unsecured objects in the rear seats might not be held back during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to occupants.

The vehicles affected include:

  • 2017-2018 C300
  • 2017-2018 C43 AMG
  • 2017 C63 AMG
  • 2017-2018 C63S AMG
  • 2018 E400

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the seat back locks inspected and replaced as necessary. For more information about the problem, owners can contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 18V-207.

Volkswagen will be contacting the owners of certain later model VW cars, regarding airbags affected by phase three of the Takata airbag recall. The vehicles involved include:

  • 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC
  • 2010-2011 Volkswagen EOS
  • 2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf
  • 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat
  • 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon

As reported by Takata, due to high temperatures and humidity, airbag propellant could degrade over time and cause the airbags to deploy with too much force. In the event of an airbag rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, seriously injuring or killing occupants.

Those receiving notices will be instructed to return to their dealers to have the driver’s frontal air bag inflator replaced. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 69Q9 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-148. Note: This recall partially supersedes recall 16V-078.

General Motors has decided that a defect affecting vehicle safety exists in certain 2017 Buick LaCrosse vehicles.

According to the defect report, the terminal cables carrying ground and/or power to the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) connectors could have seals that were poorly crimped. The poor crimps make it difficult to fully seat those cables and could allow water to enter and corrode the connector. Drivers could experience an EPS warning light on the instrument panel, a chime will sounds to alert the driver and the vehicle will become difficult to steer.

Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have their vehicles inspected and the problem corrected. Owners wanting more information about the problem are asked to contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300. GM’s number for this recall is 17085 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-116.

The Center for Auto Safety along with five other consumer and safety groups have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its recent decision to permit dealerships to advertise a vehicle as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) despite having open recalls. The FTC reached an agreement last year with General Motors and two other dealerships, allowing them to advertise automobiles as “certified pre-owned” even though they might have an issue related to a safety recall that still needs to be fixed. The agency did require the companies to disclose any uncompleted safety recalls to the buyer.

The groups suing the FTC say that dealerships could previously sell vehicles with dangerous, unaddressed safety recalls, but allowing them to designate them as CPO will permit unscrupulous auto dealers to engage in false and deceptive advertising about the safety of the vehicles they are selling.

An investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S autopilot system has safety regulators warning drivers to not use semi-autonomous cars as if they were fully self-driving. The investigation began after a driver using autopilot in a 2015 Tesla Model S died when the car failed to spot a tractor trailer crossing its path. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) blamed the driver of the vehicle because he ignored the manufacturer’s warnings to maintain control even while using the driver-assist function. The NHTSA said it found no defects in the vehicle and would not issue a recall.

Just last year, the NHTSA released guidelines to ensure vehicle safety without slowing the development of semi-autonomous and self-driving cars. The agency says self-driving features could dramatically reduce traffic deaths by eliminating human error, which plays a role in 94 percent of fatal crashes. Although Tesla has maintained that autopilot was not responsible for the drivers death, it issued a number of over-the-air updates to the software to increased use of radar sensors and have added a feature that would disable autopilot if drivers took their hands off the wheel too many times.

Chrysler will be contacting the owners of certain 2016 Dodge Durango and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 3.6L engines, regarding a problem affecting the fuel system. According to the defect report, the fuel rail crossover tube may have been damaged during engine assembly. Over time a fuel leak could develop, increasing the risk of a vehicle fire.

Dealers will inspect the engine assembly for damage to the fuel rail crossover tube and replace it as necessary. For more information about the recall, owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is S85 and the NHTSA campaign number is 16V-814.

Toyota will be asking the owners of certain 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS 250 Hybrid vehicles to return to their dealership to repair a problem affecting the rear suspension system. During a rear wheel alignment, improperly tightened alignment nuts could result in damage to the threaded portion of the rear suspension arm assembly. If the problem is not corrected, the damage could result in separation of the arm and an abrupt change in vehicle alignment. Continue reading

General Motors has decided that a defect relating to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid vehicles equipped with a manual service disconnect (MSD).

The MSD is a shut-off switch designed to disconnect power before servicing. In some vehicles, the MSD was not installed properly and could become loose and disconnect while driving. The engine will stall and may affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.

Dealers will inspect the MSD and seat the connector properly, if necessary. A software update will also be installed to monitor and detect if the high voltage interlock loop (HIVL) is connected correctly. Owners wanting more information about the problem are asked to contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 51230 and the NHTSA campaign number is 16V-521.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened an investigation into a May 7th fatal crash involving a Tesla electric car. At the time of the accident, it is believed that the “Autopilot” was controlling the vehicle while the driver was distracted. Witnessed say the driver of the car may have been watching a movie when the collision happened. Continue reading

On December 4, 2015 President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. No. 114-94) into law. Although the federal act focuses primarily on maintaining infrastructure, a major provision within the regulations includes rules affecting automobile rental companies. The legislation was championed by the family of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, sisters who died in a rental vehicle that was under a safety recall that had not been repaired.

Beginning June 1, 2016, any company or dealer with fleets greater than 35 will be prohibited from renting vehicles with recalls until the problem has been fixed. Although the bill passed with the support of the rental car industry and the input of the American Car Rental Association, smaller independent companies question how the bill will affect their business. Often, automakers will announce a recall without a timeline for repairs or parts, leaving some fleets with cars parked for a potentially long time. Continue reading