Total recall: Here are the biggest recalls for US brands in 2014
Car production is an honest process, the Americans would tell you. It’s a simple process, the Japanese will say, and the Germans would go on about how intricate and detailed the process is. But when it comes to after-market assurance, there’s just one word dictating their manufacturing flaws; swift recalls. Recalling faulty vehicles is not unfamiliar in today’s automotive scene. As a matter of fact, millions of vehicles have been recalled in the past and you could see it as a sign that cars are getting safer and manufacturers getting serious about their products.
The recall bandwagon has spread far and wide. As a matter of fact, since the start of this year, almost all major manufacturers dictated under the NHTSA agency have issued recalls on minor to life-threatening faults in their vehicles.
Since there’s just too many recalls, we’ve split the recall embargo into various articles, starting with USA. And in this case, the country’s three major manufacturers, Chrysler, Ford and Chevrolet have all been hit with various worries. GM for one, is still in the process of neutralising the life-threatening “ignition-switch defect”. And more recently, Camaros from the year 2010 to 2014 are being recalled for the rectification of the same defect which causes the car to lose power and fail to deploy airbags when the ignition-switch could get turned “off” by a light inadvertent jerking of the key. Vehicles affected by this issue and are relevant to the middle-east include the Chevrolet Impala (2006-2014), Cadillac CTS (2003-2014) and the Cadillac DTS (2004-2011).
GM will also recall the Chevrolet Malibu over concerns that could lead to a fire. The models affected will be the ones fitted with the optional power front seats. The wiring harness in the seats could fray against seat frames, which could lead to a fire. A host of Malibus will also be recalled for the rectification of issues pertaining to the HVAC system which may cause the defroster to not work, causing visibility issues.
GMC Acadia (2008-2013) and Chevrolet Traverse (2009-2013) will also be recalled to replace a wiring harness for their seat-mounted side airbags which may eventually result in the non-deployment of the side impact restraints.
Cadillac will also be recalling the XTS from 2013-2014 to replace a brake booster pump which may be susceptible to corrosion by way of the relay, potentially causing an electrical short or possibly even overheating, melting of plastic components and in certain cases, engine fires.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Sierra 1500 and Yukon models from the 2014 and 2015 model years are also being pulled in for a fire scare that could be caused by a flaw that has been pointed out to loose oil cooler lines in the transmission.
Alongside that, GM has issued a stop-sale warrant on the turbocharged Cruze to replace halfshafts that could fracture. We’re not sure whether this recall affects any of the Cruzes in the GCC. But recent news also suggests that newer variants of the Cruze may be recalled to rectify problems regarding deployment in the front airbags. The same affects a few Camaros and Sonics from 2012 onwards.
Cadillac also recalls SRX crossovers from the 2013 model year onwards, fitted with the 3.6-litre V6 because of a flawed transmission control module programming could cause a three- or four-second lag in acceleration at low speeds.
Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia are also being called in to fix an engine control module has been found to incorrectly display the level of fuel in the tank. We’re guessing that a quick ECU flashing would rectify the probelm. But larger problems lie as the two vehicles are also involved in a recall for the fixing of front safety lap belt cables that can fatigue and separate over time.
A few humble Chevrolet Aveo’s from 2004-2008 will be recalled, to fix a daytime running light in the instrument panel that could overheat and cause fire.
2015 Cadillac Escalade models are also being recalled because of an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the passenger side air bag to the instrument panel assembly. That could result in a partial deployment of the airbag in the event of a crash.
Furthermore, GM will pull in Corvette models from the years 2005-2007 to rectify problems with their low-beam headlamps resulting from a flexing relay control circuit wire that’s not meant to bend. Newer Corvettes fitted with the FE1 or FE3 suspension are also being recalled to repair a weld in the rear shocks that could lead to a fracture or even reduce the shocks’ service life. We are not sure if this affects the Corvettes prowling around the GCC.
A little over 19,000 Cadillac CTS’s from the years following 2013 will also be called in to fix windshield wipers that might not work after the event of a jump start.
Last of GM’s huge recall campaign involves four-wheel-drive versions of the Chevrolet Silverado (2014-15), GMC Sierra, 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and the XL variant of the same. These vehicles may electronically switch the gear to neutral without inputs from the driver, leading to loss of power.
Moving on, Ford too has their own set of problems as they are recalling the 2.0-litre Edge variants from the years 2012 and 2013 citing fuel line problems, which could lead to cracks and subsequently a fuel leak. The recall apparently affects a total of 28,000 cars. Ford also recalled a few variants of the Escape using the 1.6-litre EcoBoost for the same reason. A few Escapes from the year 2008 to 2011 were also recalled due to a concern with the torque sensor in the steering column, which could lead to sudden power steering failure.
Another recall covers 48,950 cars such as the Ford Fusion, Escape, C-MAX and the Lincoln MKZ models from 2013 to 2014, because welds in their seatbacks don’t meet NHTSA standards. This essentially affects the front seats, and the sub-standard welds joining the seatback to the recliner.
The larger Ford Explorer also was recalled to fix a software glitch that could lead to the locking of the steering gear and aid to the increase of an accident. Ford claims that only 395 of their Explorers serviced after September 2013 are affected by this glitch.
Continuing on the woes, Chrysler has announced that it will recall 1.2 million of their vehicles to fix the steering-system tie rods that could have been misaligned during production or possibly even during service. The trucks affected by the recall include 842,400 Ram 2500 and 3500 from the years 2003 to 2008. On a separate campaign, 294,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups from the years 2008 to 2012 will be called in, and furthermore Ram 1500 4×4 Mega Cabs and Ram 4500 and 5500 4×4 chassis cabs from 2008 onwards would be pulled in for inspection and rectification.
Chrysler also recalled 2013 models of the 300, Dodge Charger and the RAM 1500 to patch up the output shaft on the eight-speed automatic ZF transmission that could fracture and cause instantaneous loss of power.
The same company will also pull in the 2012 and 2013 variants of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The problem has been linked to a component restricting the flow of brake fluid.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs built between January and August this year will get to see the service centre yet again to rectify some electrical issues. This could lead to abrupt illumination of warning lights in the instrument cluster and also loss of ABS and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
This article covers the recalls exclusive to USA made or affiliated vehicles. The recall scene however also hit the Asian and the European car manufacturers hard. More in the next article.