Blog Archives

Audi recalls cars due to fire risk

A German online trade publication has reported that Audi has recalled 330,000 cars in Germany due to possible problems with electrical connections.

It has been stated that the recalls are due to a potential problem with the electrical connections for the auxiliary heater which may cause fires.

A spokesman for Audi, a unit of Volkswagen said the recall affected models A4, A5, A5 Cabriolet and Q5 built between April 2011 and May 2015.

He said a few customers had reported a smell of burning in their cars but there had been no fires or other damage.

Audi was already forced to recall 250,000 cars in the U.S. in October because of the same problem.

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Honda recalls 900,000 Odyssey minivans

Honda Motor Co said on Saturday that it was recalling about 900,000 Odyssey minivans because second-row seats may tip forward if not properly latched after being adjusted.

Honda says it has received 46 reports of minor injuries related to its minivans.

 The Japanese automaker said the recall covered 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey minivans, all but 2,000 of which are in North America.

There have been 46 reports of minor injuries related to the issue.

Honda said it was working on a recall fix to help ensure proper latching and had posted a detailed instruction sheet on how to ensure seats are properly latched. 

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Nissan resumes production in Japan

Nissan plans to continue production of vehicles for its home market at five of its domestic factories after Japan’s transport ministry approved changes to the inadequate final-inspection procedures that prompted a major vehicle recall.

The company had suspended domestic production of all passenger cars earlier in October after noticing that uncertified technicians had been signing off on final inspections for decades.

This initiated a recall of around 1 million vehicles for investigation, including all light vehicles it produced for sale in Japan over the past three years.

Nissan said on Monday that its plants in Fukuoka, Kanagawa and Tochigi would resume production for the domestic market, along with plants operated by affiliate Nissan Shatai in Fukuoka and Kanagawa.

Nissan said it had corrected inconsistencies and that it was taking measures to improve training and testing processes for inspectors.

Japan’s transport ministry now requires certified inspectors to sign off on vehicle checks for cars sold in Japan. This is however not a step that is required for vehicles exported overseas.

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Over 1 million Nissans could be recalled

Nissan Motor Co announced on Friday a potentially highly damaging call to temporarily suspend registrations of thousands of new vehicles, following Japanese government checks found that unqualified personnel had carried out final safety checks at six domestic factories.

Nearly 60,000 new cars are stockpiled at its plants awaiting reinspection, and Japanese officials have suggested over 1 million vehicles may have to be recalled.

Japan today reports that 21 models including the Note, Skyline, and Leaf are affected.

However, Nissan said on Friday that it does not know when the unqualified checks were carried out, or how many vehicles were affected.

The issue was brought to Nissan’s attention after an on-site probe by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism earlier this month.

The Japanese car maker will re-inspect affected vehicles, with a third party taking part in an internal investigation to figure out how the failures occurred.

The Japanese government has asked Nissan to produce a report detailing how it intends to prevent a recurrence of this event by the end of this month.

Nissan’s shares fell as much as 5.3 per cent today, their lowest since April.

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Mazda recalls 680,642 cars in China

China’s FAW Car Co Ltd, a partner of Mazda Motor Corp, from Japan, will recall 680,642 Mazda cars due to faulty air bags supplied by Takata.

The recall includes domestic Mazda 6 vehicles manufactured between September 2008 and January 2016 in China, the country’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) said in a statement on Friday.

The issue was found in the front passenger airbag, which the GAQSIQ called a “safety risk.”

The Chinese safety watchdog also requested on Friday that car makers General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen fulfil their recall obligations in China and replace cars affected by faulty Takata airbags.

The airbags have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide, with over 100 million vehicles recalled.

Takata filed for bankruptcy in June, and was purchased by US-based Key Safety Systems for $2.2 billion. Takata’s legal liabilities, which include a $1.2 billion settlement with major global car makers, will be left behind in a separate company.

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Third recall for Ford in a week

Ford announced a recall of 52,600 F250 utes sold in North America on the weekend, citing an issue with the park function.

Vehicles may roll forward after the driver moves the automatic transmission into park. The recall affects the 6.2-litre F250 ute, which is available in New Zealand through some importers with a converted left-hand driving configuration.

It’s the third recall Ford announced in less than a week. On Thursday morning, the company recalled 211,000 vehicles in North America due to faulty door latches, including Fiesta models produced in 2013 and Fusion models produced in 2013 and 2014.

A day later, a further 230,000 vehicles were recalled due to a fire risk in the engine compartment. The engine may overheat due to a lack of coolant circulation, which could cause a crack in the cylinder head, according to a statement from Ford. Leaking oil may hit a hot surface and cause a fire.

Affected vehicles include the Escape SUV produced from 2013 onwards, the Fiesta ST made between 2013 and 2015, the Fusion produced between 2013 and 2013, the 2012 through 2014 Transit Connect and the 2009 through 2014 C-Max hybrid and Focus.

All the vehicles contain 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines, with 29 fires reported in the United States and Canada so far.

A 1 News investigation found an instance of a Ford vehicle catching fire in New Zealand in February. On Thursday, Ford announced a New Zealand recall of over 900 Ford Kugas made between 2012 and 2014, and 69 Ford Fiesta STs made between 2013 and 2015. Both vehicles also contain 1.6-litre four-cylinder engines.

Ford will contact owners directly to arrange a replacement, and advise concerned owners to check their vehicle identification number on the company website. 

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Mazda issues NZ recall

Mazda New Zealand has issued a recall for selected Mazda2, 3 and 6 models and used imported vehicles purchased between September 2007 and March 2012.

This follows a global recall first issued in the US last week, where 174,000 cars were affected.

Mazda said an issue had been found with the seat adjustment level, which could break off in some cases.

Mazda New Zealand general manager Glen Harris said the company was aware of 11,300 vehicles in New Zealand that could be affected, and a possible further 11,000 imports.

“It’s possible that the seat height adjustment lifter link may crack, or the retaining nuts become separated,” Mazda New Zealand said in a statement. “This may lead to a rattle in the driver’s seat, and in the worst case, the lifter linkage could break, causing the seat to tilt and thereby restrict the driver’s ability to maintain a correct driving position.”

“We would stress the risk of this happening is minimal, and there have been no occurrences of it in New Zealand.”

Harris told journalists the company is waiting on parts to arrive so that they can undertake the necessary repairs. He added that owners of these vehicles should wait for Mazda to contact them about having the problem repaired, but if they are concerned, they can visit a Mazda dealer and have an inspection on the spot.

Concerned drivers can also check if their cars are affected via their vehicle identification number on the Mazda website. Inspections and repairs will be carried out by Mazda at no cost.

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Mazda recall includes NZ models

An international recall of Mazda models will affect New Zealand drivers, a spokesperson confirmed yesterday.

The Mazda spokesperson told news outlet Newshub that they did not yet have any information on what models will be recalled and how many New Zealand owners will be affected, and the company will wait for more official information from their Japanese manufacturer before an official announcement is made.

Mazda first issued a recall in the US last week, saying the seats can change angles suddenly, making the vehicles hard to drive. 174,000 America cars are affected.

On Monday, Mazda Australia released a notice saying at least three models will be recalled. The seat defect is found in 48,042 Mazda2 vehicles, 60,104 Mazda3’s, and 16,535 Mazda6 models bought between September 2007 and March 2012.

“On the driver’s seat of the affected vehicles, it is possible that the seat height adjustment lifter link may crack, or the lifter link retaining nuts may separate,” the report stated.

Drivers may be alerted to the defect if they hear an unusual rattling in their seats.

Once Mazda New Zealand has released further information regarding defective models, owners can check if their cars affected via their vehicle identification number on the Mazda website. Affected vehicles will be inspected and repaired free of charge.

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Volkswagen announces airbag recall

The Associated Free Press has reported that Volkswagen will recall nearly 600,000 vehicles, mostly Audis, in the US over defects that could results in fires or airbag malfunctions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, no fatalities have yet occurred in the US. The recall follows numerous incidents in China and Israel in 2016.

A Volkswagen spokesman said dealerships will repair and replace parts free of charge. A corrosion problem that could prevent airbags from deploying affects more than 234,000 Audi 2011 to 2017 A5 models.

Faulty coolant pumps that can overheat and cause fires have affected 342,800 Audi A4s, A5s, A6s and Q5s produced in or after 2012. Another 5,901 Audi A4, A6, Q7 and Q5 2017 and 2018 models risk faulty airbag deployment and seat belt problems.

Among the Volkswagen brand, the 2017 Golf, the 2016 e-Golf, and the 2017 Tiguan have been recalled with the same potential defects.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not specify whether the defective airbags were manufactured by Japanese firm Takata, currently embroiled in the largest car product recall in history. Over 850,000 Audi and VW vehicles were recalled due to faulty Takata airbags in October 2016.

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Land Rover recall in Australia

Land Rover have issued a recall for two of its mid-sized SUVs in Australia. The models are the Discovery Sport 2017 MY 2.0L Diesel with automatic transmission (497 affected) and the Range Rover Evoque 2016 & 2017 MY 2.0L Diesel with automatic transmission (300 affected). The cars were produced between July 4 and October 10, 2016.

This concerns vehicles within the following VIN ranges; Discovery Sport SALC2AN9HH633943 to SALCA2BN2HH653045 and Range Rover Evoque SALVA2BN2HH168185 to SALVA5BN3HH188706.

The recall is due to an engine fault, according to the report filed with the Australian Consumer Commission, which states “The engine harness may have been routed incorrectly and as a result could contact the water charge air cooler bracket. Vibration of the engine may cause chafing that results in the outer sheath of the cable wearing through, exposing the wires of the engine harness.”

Exposing the wires could present a hazard. Depending on the location of the chafing, electrical arcing and short circuit may occur, which may result in a loss of the electric steering system, engine cut-out without warning, melting of engine parts, smoke or an under-bonnet fire.

Owners will be instructed to take their vehicle to a preferred authorised Land Rover dealership, who will perform inspections and repairs on the engine harness and water charge cooler bracket as needed. Until the car is inspected, it is recommended that it is parked outside, preferably away from other vehicles and property.

This follows a recall issued for the Discovery Sport and Evoque last week involving an incorrectly assembled right hand lower control arm to the knuckle joint in the front suspension, which could cause loss of suspension if the front right wheel is subjected to a jarring impact, such as hitting a kerb or pothole. The first recall was for vehicles produced between March 31 and August 25.

No cars in New Zealand have been recalled, and local owners will be contacted by Land Rover distributors if their vehicles are affected.

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No recall after Tesla death

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to today close a six-month-old investigation into the death of a Tesla driver using its semi-autonomous Autopilot system without seeking a recall, a source has told Reuters. The NHTSA did not find evidence of a defect that would have required a safety recall.

A written statement from Tesla said, “the safety of our customers comes first, and we appreciate the thoroughness of NHTSA’s report and its conclusion.” Tesla executives unveiled improvements to its Autopilot software in September and added new limits on hands-off driving. Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted these updates would likely have prevented the death of Joshua Brown in May 2016.

Tesla introduced the Autopilot after concerns arose that the system lulled users into a false sense of security through its hands-off driving capability. The updated system temporarily prevents drivers from using the system if they do not respond to audible warnings to take back control of the car.

The NHTSA report stated that drivers could be confused about whether the system or the driver is in control of the vehicle at certain times, and that its decision to close the investigation was not a result of the software improvements announced in September.

In July, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said its preliminary findings showed Brown’s Tesla Model S was travelling at 119 km per hour in a 104 km per hour zone when it struck a truck in Florida during a fine day. The NHTSA investigation found that Brown did not apply the brakes, and his last action was to set the cruise control at 119 km per hour two minutes prior to the crash.

The report concluded that he “should have been able to take some action before the crash, like braking, steering or attempting to avoid the vehicle. He took none of those actions.” According to Reuters, Brown’s lawyer has said that the family will consider the full government report before deciding on further action.

The Tesla Model S will be available in New Zealand in early 2017, with a launch date yet to be announced.

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