Recalls and Investigations: Ford, Porsche, Nissan, Volvo

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1).  The Investigation: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 380,000 Ford Edge SUVs after receiving a slew of complaints about doors that won’t latch.  The regulator’s probe increases the chances that Ford will add another crop of vehicles to its 2.4 million-strong door latch recall. Meanwhile, another NHTSA investigation targets reports of power steering failure in certain Fusion models.

First reported by Automotive News, the investigation covers 2011 to 2013 Edge models. The regulator has received 1,560 reports of “door ajar” lights appearing while the vehicle’s doors are closed. One injury related to the issue has been reported.

Like previous recalled models, the issue could lead to doors opening while the vehicle is in motion, or doors that won’t lock while the vehicle is underway. As well, the interior dome light could stay illuminated for the duration of a drive. Some owners report being bothered by alarm system noises while driving, while others claim they’ve jury-rigged door restraints out of rope and tape.

Ford massively expanded its recall of certain Ford Mustang, Focus, Escape, Transit Connect, C-Max and Lincoln MKS models in early September. The door issue cropped up earlier this year, with Ford recalling certain Ford Fusion, Fiesta and Lincoln MKZ models before expanding the recall’s scope in August.

Meanwhile, some 262,000 2010 Ford Fusions are the focus of another NHTSA probe. The regulator reports 547 complaints of sudden power steering failure, leading to 12 crashes and four injuries. The automaker recalled 2011 and 2012 Fusions for the same problem in 2014.

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2). The Investigation: U.S. vehicle safety regulators have opened an investigation into complaints of brake problems in an estimated 282,000 recent model year Ford F-150 pickup trucks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website. 

There have been 25 consumer complaints that include claims of “a sudden and complete loss of brakes,” the agency said. The vehicles affected are the 2015 and 2016 model year F-150s that have 3.5-liter engines.

The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America.

No injuries or accidents have been reported, the NHTSA said.

Ford spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said the company is cooperating with federal safety officials.


The Recall: Porsche has issued a recall for a relatively small batch of 2017 Macan crossovers including S, GTS and Turbo packages.

The Issue: A few hundred vehicles may have been outfitted with defective anti-roll bar connecting links, allowing the connecting link bushings to move out of the connecting link eyes.

“This can cause rattling noises and can subsequently cause the anti-roll bar to stop functioning during extreme driving maneuvers,” the company warns. “If this happens, the sporty handling as designed into the Macan may be impaired, resulting in oversteering of the vehicle.”

The issue was spotted just last month when a batch of connecting links arriving from a supplier did not meet Porsche’s specifications. A subsequent technical investigation confirmed a potential safety threat, prompting the recall campaign.

Accidents/Deaths:  The company claims to be unaware of any accidents or injuries associated with the defect.

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The Recall: Volvo is recalling about 127,000 cars and SUVs worldwide because the air conditioning can leak water into the vehicles and cause air bags to malfunction.

The recall covers 2016 and 2017 XC90 SUVs, S90 sedans and V90 wagons. Volvo says in documents filed with U.S. safety regulators that a drain hose may have been installed incorrectly at the factory.

The Issue: The moisture may stop the air bags from deploying in a crash and may affect the engine management system. Volvo discovered the problem after getting reports from the field.

The company says it has no reports of injuries or air bags that didn’t inflate due to the problem. Fewer than 1 percent of the vehicles are expected to need repairs, but Volvo says it wants to inspect them all. Drivers will see a dashboard warning light if there’s a problem, the company said.

The Fix: Dealers will check the drain hose and replace it if needed. Wiring may also need to be upgraded. The recall is expected to start on Nov. 14.

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The Investigation: The government is investigating complaints that side air bags on some Nissan Versa small cars can inflate if the driver or passenger doors are slammed too hard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe covers about 155,000 cars from the 2012 model year.

The agency says it has three complaints that the side curtain and seat-mounted thorax air bags can inflate when the doors are shut, possibly when they’re slammed too hard.

The agency will determine how often the problem happens and decide if a recall is needed.

Photo Copyright: argus/Shutterstock
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