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Total recall: More manufacturers join the recall bandwagon


So if you thought that the crazy automobile recall saga had ended, you were wrong. Since our last post on the recalls earlier this year, there were an insane amount of recalls that followed, from almost every car manufacturer in the world you can ever think of, almost all of them being issued following instructions from the U.S.-based NHTSA agency. And we could not bother to post each recall issue as a separate story, the task being as equally tedious as the reader-response to these. Here are all the recalls that could potentially be relevant to our region since April 2012.

Aston Martin is recalling certain 2009-2012 V12 Vantage Coupe vehicles for reprogramming the TPMS system, as it does not alert the driver until the tyre pressure in the front tyres fall below 25% of the recommended tyre pressure.

Lucky owners of a few 2012 Audi Q5 models, have their vehicles comprise of a front sunroof glass panel susceptible to breakage in extremely cold weather conditions. Audi has issued a recall for this issue, for replacing the sunroof glass panel with an allegedly-unbreakable one. The recall will likely not apply here.

BMW has recalled the 5-Series, 5-Series Gran Turismo, 6-Series, 7-Series, X5 and X6, all 2011 models, due to possible overheating of a circuit board for the electric auxiliary water pump, consequently leading to a smoldered pump or engine compartment, or even vehicle fire. Cars in the GCC are likely affected too.

The 2012 BMW 3-Series has been recalled for head-restraint issues, which when fully extended upwards, may unexpectedly move down slightly, thus increasing the risk of a neck injury in a collision.

The 2012-2013 BMW X5 and the 2013 BMW X6, were all recalled for an improperly-machined steering gear surface, which may allow the steering fluid to leak on to the hot exhaust parts and cause a fire in the engine compartment.

Certain 2013 BMW M5, M6 Coupe and M6 Convertible models have been recalled early this month due to a manufacturing defect that may cause the oil pumps’ driveshaft to separate from its rotor, leading to loss of oil pressure and eventually, a complete engine-failure. Such a failure leads to an engine stall-like condition, and increases the chance of an accident. Replacing the oil pump solves the problem.

GM has recalled the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu for a potential failure of the vehicle’s sensing and diagnostic module. During an emergency braking manoeuvre in a sharp turn, the module may reset itself, consequently sensing a rollover and deploying the curtain airbags. Reprogramming the module solves the issue.

More than 400,000 American-built Chevrolet Cruzes have been recalled by GM for modification of an engine shield located underneath the vehicle, which may collect any fluids that may leak from the above, and catch fire. Even as GM claims that there have been no bad incidents till date due to this defect, NHTSA had apparently initiated the investigations well before this recall, following engine fires in some Cruzes. The GCC-spec Cruze comes from Korea.

Unsurprisingly enough, and just as how we had expected the fate of ultra-cheap cars with electronic parking brakes, Chevrolet has recalled their 2012 Captiva fleet model, exclusive to the U.S. market, for an issue with its electronic parking brake system, where the park brake cable may not be fully seated in its connector and can separate from the connector, thus causing the parking brakes to fail. While the recall is apparently only for this U.S. fleet model, we wouldn’t be surprised to see such issues with models boasting similar gimmicks.

The American-built 2012 Chevrolet Sonic has been recalled following a windshield wiper washer issue, where over 44,000 Sonic models may have the wiper washer hoses separating itself from the fluid reservoir, thus rendering the washer system useless. This may potentially hinder drivers view and increase the risk of a crash. The GCC-spec Sonic comes from Korea.

In about a month, the Chevrolet Sonic, this time, the 2013 models, were recalled again to address an issue with the turn lamps failing to operate, and the Body Control Module failing to detect and warn the driver about the situation. Reprogramming the body control module and the key fob solves the problem.

The 2008-2010 Chevrolet Malibu equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, was recalled by GM to address an issue with the tabs on the transmission shift cable end, which may rupture and separate, and in turn the gear shift lever and the actual position of the transmission may not match. Installing a retainer over the cable, or replacing the shift cable as necessary, solves the problem. GM says the issue does not affect GCC-spec models with the 6-speed automatic.

The 2005-2008 Chevrolet Malibu models were recalled for power-steering failures. These vehicles may experience a sudden loss of power steering assist, while in motion, catching the drivers off-guard. Even as the message will be displayed on the dash and the warning chime goes on, the driver will still have the option to give up gym and fight with the steering to negotiate low-speed turns, before ramming into something as they forget the road ahead and apply all the concentrate and efforts on turning the steering. The fix involves replacing the steering column for the 2005 and 2006 models, and replacing the power-steering motor control module in the 2008 model. The U.S. victims of these Chevy Malibus, will be offered a special extended-warranty coverage for a period of 10 years/240,000 km, whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was placed in service, if at all the owner makes it safely to the service centre. This generation of the Malibu wasn’t offered in the GCC until 2010.

Coincidentally, once when we had rented out an imported 2013 Chevrolet Malibu here in the UAE, even before the model was officially launched by the local dealers, we had faced exactly the same issue as above, the power-steering assistance failing on us while driving through the city roads of Sharjah. Although it caught us off-guard, our prior experience with vehicles without a power steering, both in the UAE and in our home countries, helped us tackle the situation easily, and we returned the “potential deathtrap” back to the rental agency.

The 2012 Chrysler 300 and the 2012 Dodge Charger models were recalled due to risk of ABS and ESC failure, following an overheated fuse controlling the power distribution unit. A few Charger Pursuit cop cars were recalled earlier for the same issue.

Certain 2012 Chrysler Grand Voyager, known as “Town and Country” in the US, has been recalled following a faulty pinch sensor in the power liftgate door, which may malfunction during the final closing stages and may not stop the door in time even if a hand or limb gets trapped, consequently resulting in higher risk of injury.

Some 2010 Jeep Wranglers with automatic transmissions, have been recalled following a risk of skid-plate fires. Apparently the transmission skid-plate can collect debris, which may ignite and cause fire, if it came into contact with the catalytic converter in close proximity.

Over 1,500 7-seater 2013 Dodge Durango vehicles, have been recalled by Chrysler as these vehicles have been installed with mislabeled airbag modules, originally designed for the 5-seater Durango models. So in the event of a collision, the third-row occupants will be deprived of airbag protection, hence facing higher risk of injury.

Chrysler is recalling certain 2009-2010 Dodge Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota trucks, manufactured from July 1, 2009, through November 30, 2009, due to a rear-axle pinion nut which may loosen following lack of adhesive. If that happens, the axle can lock up and cause loss of vehicle control, leading to a crash. Installing a pinion nut retainer solves the issue.

The Kia Rio models manufactured between the years 2005 and 2007, has been recalled due to a potentially faulty sensor mat, which may suffer cracks from fatigues, and will not be able to detect child passengers in the front passenger seat, thus not preventing airbag deployment in a bad collision, increasing the risk of injuries to child passengers. The issue doesn’t exist here since most Rios came here with no passenger airbags.

Some 2009 Kia Mohave models, known as the Kia Borrego in the States, have been recalled over brake-pedal issues. The affected models may have brake-pedal mounts made out of fibreglass, which may break off during panic braking, thus increasing the chances of a serious crash and personal injuries to the passengers. The GCC-spec Mohave comes from Korea.

Ford has recalled 140,000 new Ford Focii, due to the possibility of a missing seal in the wiring harness connector to the passenger-side wiper motor, consequently causing water build-up in the connector which would eventually lead to a dead wiper motor. The GCC-spec Focus comes from Germany, so is unlikely to be affected.

The 2012-2013 Ford Mustang, the 2011-2012 Ford F-150 pick-ups, the 2012 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models, with automatic transmissions, were recalled due to a faulty transmission range sensor that may cause problems such as the transmission not shifting into reverse when the gear-selector lever is in ‘R’, the “R” lamp on the dashboard not lighting up, and reverse-lamps not working. Get your car checked out.

In another interesting recall story, Ford has recalled their 2002-2004 model Escape crossovers to fix a potential issue, which is caused by a recall repair performed several years ago. While the original recall was to fix a defect dealing with the accelerator cable getting caught on the pedal and thus keeping the engine from idling, the remedy might end up damaging the vehicle’s cruise control cable, which may potentially cause unintended acceleration. There has been one reported fatal incident relating to this issue.

Even before we could get a glimpse of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape, it has been recalled for a mis-positioned carpet padding which may result in the centre console trim panel to be pushed outboard, in turn reducing the clearance between the accelerator and brake pedals. This may result in the driver facing difficulties to move his foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal in emergency situations. The affected cars will have their left-side console trim panel removed and replaced with a new panel.

Within about three days time, the all-new 2013 Ford Escape faced a recall again, although limited to the 1.6-litre Ecoboost variants, due to an engine compartment fuel line which could split and leak fuel. And once again in just over a months’ time from the second recall, the all-new 2013 Ford Escape fitted with the 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine faced a third recall, this time once again, for the possibility of a fire. The cylinder head cup plug in these models may become dislodged, thus causing the engine coolant to leak rapidly into the engine compartment. All these issues should be fixed by the time the new Ford Escape comes to the GCC market.

Ford has recalled certain early production models of the 2012 Edge equipped with a 2.0-litre engine, following the risk of the fuel line pulse damper metal housing cracking, resulting in a fuel leak that could lead to a fire. The recall does not affect cars in the GCC, as we only the get the ones equipped with V6 powerplants.

Ford is recalling more than 154,000 Fiesta subcompacts in the States to fix a problem with the side air bags. It only only affects cars built in Mexico. The GCC-spec cars come from Europe.

Ferrari 458 Italia and California models has been recalled around the world due to an incorrectly manufactured crankshaft which will cause unwanted vibrations and engine damages.

Honda has recalled the American-built 2012 Civics following potential issue with the left driveshaft, due to possible improper assembly, may dislodge from the outer CV joint, resulting in the car being non-responsive to the gear-lever inputs, and posing a high risk of the vehicle rolling away even if the gear-selector lever is in the “Park” position.

Honda has recalled the 2012 CR-V model to replace both front door latches, and the interior front door-handles, as simultaneous operation of the door-handle and the locks could result in the inner door handle release cable becoming partially disengaged, thus causing the door to not latch when closed; if it does latch and close, it may open while the door locks are operated. Unexpected opening of the door may result in a crash and consequently, occupant injuries.

As many as over 650,000 2003-2007 Honda Accord V6 models and, its U.S. counterpart, the Acura TL models, were recalled to address following a power-steering fluid leakage into the engine compartment, following the premature wear of the power-steering hose. If the leaking fluid comes into contact with the catalytic converter, it may lead to smoke and even fire. Replacing the power-steering hoses with the new heat-resistant ones solves the problem. Apparently the recall happened in two stages; and due to insufficient parts availability, those cars which were recalled in the later stage may have to wait until early 2013, for the appropriate rectification of the problem.

Honda has expanded a March 2012 recall for low-beam headlamp failures, to include 820,000 2002-2003 Honda Civics, and 2004-2005 Honda Pilots. There may be a wiring fault with the headlight switch, which in turn may render the low-beam headlamps inoperative. And what happens due to that is common sense. Replacing the components in the headlamp wiring system solves the problem. It applies to the Honda MR-V model in the GCC as well.

Some 2002-2006 model Honda CR-V crossovers have been recalled following a faulty driver-side power-window switch, which may fail, overheat, smoke and even catch fire – even if the vehicle is not in use. This recall applies to cars in the GCC as well.

Hyundai had issued recalls for 2012-2013 Sonata and 2007-2009 Santa Fe models, following airbag issues. While the Sonata may come with side-curtain airbags that may deploy inadvertently, causing occupant injury and reduced driver visibility, the Santa Fe model may require its occupant classification systems to be recalibrated, as it may not accurately detect smaller adults and hence the front-passenger airbag may fail to deploy in a collision, thus increasing the risk of injury to the front-passenger. This recall may not affect the cars in the Middle East, as the GCC gets cars made in Korea.

Lamborghini has recalled the 2004-2006 Gallardo Coupe and Spyder models, due to possible leaking of the high-pressure steering pipes near the steering-assistance hydraulic pump. The leaking fluid may present the potential of a fire upon contact with an ignition source.

The 2007-2009 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Wagon models have been recalled in the US, due to a connecting rod for the load-levelling rear suspension which may fail, resulting in the driver experiencing reduced vehicle control, consequently posing a higher risk of crash.

A few 2011 Mercedes-Benz G550 and G55 AMG models, manufactured from September 20, 2010 through April 27, 2011, has been recalled due a faulty interior trim. If the passenger airbag deploys in the event of a collision, the molding strip on the airbag cover flap could potentially become loose and become a projectile in the passenger compartment, thus increasing the risk of personal injury.

The newly launched Infiniti JX35 crossover, manufactured from February 15, 2012, through June 22, 2012, has been recalled due to a misrouted fuel transfer tube inside the fuel tank, which could possibly interfere with the fuel level float and prevent it from dropping as the fuel is consumed, and in turn causing the fuel gauge to display higher fuel levels than what actually remains. This could potentially lead to the drivers getting stranded as they would not be warned as the tank is becoming empty, and the vehicle may run out of gas unexpectedly, and stall. The fix is a simple inspection, and rerouting the fuel line away from the fuel level float if necessary. It is likely that GCC-spec cars are not affected as it was launched later.

Nissan has recalled certain 2012 Pathfinder, Navara, known as the Frontier in the US, and Xterra two-wheel-drive models manufactured from June 19, 2012 through July 12, 2012, as these vehicles may have been equipped with front wheel hubs that may wear prematurely, crack and even break, thus increasing the risk of a road “incident”. Replacing the left and right side front wheel hub assemblies solves the issue.

There is a recall for about 48,000 2012 Nissan Qashqai vehicles, of which 300 are in the Middle East, issued for inspecting the casting date of the steering wheel armature, and where necessary, replacing the steering wheel. The local dealers for Nissan have already issued recall notices through the news media.

The 2011 and 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo and Turbo S models, and the 2012 Porsche Cayenne Turbo model, have been recalled due to a potentially defective turbine wheel in the turbocharger following a casting defect, which may lead to a fracture in the turbocharger and other consequences including smoke and high risk of fire.

BMW has recalled the 2010-2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost models, due to possible overheating of a circuit board for the electric auxiliary water pump, consequently leading to a smoldered pump or engine compartment, or even vehicle fire. This recall coincide with that issued for BMW’s own vehicles for the same issue.

A few 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport models have been recalled for a faulty ECU, which needs to be recalibrated. Upon parking the vehicle with the steering-wheel turned, the ECU calibration for the variable gear ratio steering can cause the steering-wheel to become off-centered.

Even the owner’s manuals were not spared off the recall feat. The Toyota 86 model, alongside its Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S siblings, were recalled for, of all things, a misprint regarding the operation of the smart airbags in the owner’s manual. And that is indeed so much for dodging hazards and death.

Some of the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h crossover models were included by Toyota, to the list of the famous recall saga ever – the “unsecured or incompatible floor mat entrapment of the accelerator pedal” recall campaign – a recall that followed a spate of serious crashes, injuries and even deaths due to stuck accelerator pedals, and several other overhyped unintended acceleration stories.

And only since a few days ago, Toyota is recalling about 7.43 million vehicles around the globe, of which about 490,000 affected vehicles are in the Middle East, and 65,085 affected vehicles are in the UAE. The recall follows to address an issue with the driver-side power-window switch, which may develop a “sticky” or “notchy” feel during operation. Upon applying commercially available lubricants to get rid of the sticky feel, the switch assembly may melt and pave way for smoke and even fire. The fix involves an inspection, disassembly of the switch and application of the right lubricant. Local dealers for Toyota have already initiated the necessary inspections. Models affected by the recall in the UAE, are those sold between February 2006 and May 2010, and include 35,647 Camrys, 13,833 Corollas, 11,925 Yarises, 3,443 RAV 4 SUVs, and 237 Sequoias. For more information, the owners may contact the dealer directly. This happens to be the latest major global recall by Toyota since the 2009 “unintended-acceleration” debacle.

Earlier, Toyota recalled 7,928 Camrys and 319 Aurions in the UAE because of a potential fault in the fuel hose that connects the main fuel supply line to the engine, which may leak. This recall applies to all GCC-spec Camry and Aurion models built between October 2011 and July 2012.

Volvo has recalled some 2011-2013 model S80 vehicles, due to a software glitch in the transmission control module, which may prevent the transmission from downshifting gears and may consequently cause the engine to stall, thus increasing the chances of a crash.

The 2013 S80 models were once again recalled, alongside the XC70 models, following a software glitch in the Central Electronic Module which may cause the “TPMS” warning message to show up after about 15 minutes of driving at over 40 kph. Under such a circumstance, the TPMS will not warn the driver of an underinflated tyre. Reprogramming the vehicle’s TPMS resolves the issue.

Bombardier, a Canadian motorcycle manufacturer, has recalled their three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder RT models, due to the possibility of a pin, which secures the brake pedal connecting rod, disengaging and falling off, leading to a potential loss of braking without warning. Replacing the brake pedal connecting rod pins solves the issue.

Kawasaki is recalling 2011-2012 Ninja ZX-10R bikes, due to the possibility of engine oil leakage from the joints where the starter mounts to the crankcase, leading to the oil pooling on to the crankcase and spilling on to the rear tire. The fix involves removing the starter and sealing the crankcase.

Ducati has issued recalls for five major issues, two with the steering, and one each for exhaust, front brake and rear swingarm. In case of the steering, the first issue is regarding the application of Loctite on the screws that fasten the steering damper to the steering head, which is way too lower than normal. As a result, the screws can unscrew themselves completely, causing the steering damper to detach from the steering head, and resulting in loss of steering control. The second issue is with the Uniball bearing on the Öhlins damper, which could slip out due to an incorrect assembly tolerance, in turn causing loss of steering control. With regards to the exhaust issue, the heat from the catalytic converter can melt the bowden cable cover on the exhaust butterfly valve, causing the cover to smoke and even catch fire. The front brake may fail due to a damaged hose, and the swingarm shaft could become loose.

As usual, not every recall affects the cars from the same manufacturer in this region, due to differences in country of manufacture, specifications and so on. Those vehicles that do come from the States, but are GCC-spec, may not have been recalled by the local dealers; the concerned owners may contact their respective dealers for any queries.

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