Purchasing or leasing a new or gently used vehicle usually requires some research and exploration. As you consider the type of car or truck that will best suit your needs, you also want to know that the vehicle you buy or lease will operate smoothly and safely. Unfortunately, defective parts or manufacturing errors can (and do) happen, even with rigorous safety and inspection procedures in place. Suddenly, you may find yourself struggling with a recurring problem in your car or truck, such as a braking system failure, an engine that struggles to respond or that shuts off completely when the vehicle is in motion, or ongoing acceleration issues. If you have taken your vehicle to the dealership on more than one occasion for the same reason, you may have a lemon on your hands. When a specific safety issue has been investigated and identified, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will announce a safety recall campaign. Customers who own or lease a vehicle impacted by the recall campaign will receive a notification by mail informing them of the recall and urging them to visit their local dealership to receive the recommended repairs at no cost to the customer. The NHTSA has announced several auto safety recall campaigns within the last few months, so here are just a few. Those who drive vehicles under the most recent recall campaigns should follow the NHTSA recommendations to ensure they remain as safe as possible until they have received the necessary repairs.
Dodge Ram Exploding Airbag Recall
In July 2023, the NHTSA announced that an exploding passenger-side inflator in a Takata airbag caused another fatality. According to the press release, the incident occurred in a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. In 2015, over 385,686 vehicles were recalled in 2015 because of this safety issue. To date, an estimated 84,000 of these vehicles under the recall have yet to receive the recommended repair. Failing to obtain the recall repair leaves drivers and occupants at “grave risk of serious injury or death.” The NHTSA is urging those who own or lease a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 to avoid driving their trucks until the dealership replaces their defective airbags. According to the Acting Administrator of the NHTSA, “The older a defective Takata airbag inflator gets, the more dangerous it becomes.” Those impacted by this auto safety recall should take their trucks to the dealership as soon as possible to receive the replacement components free of charge. So far, 26 people in the United States have died because of a defective Takata airbag.
Some Lincoln Vehicles Pose Significant Fire Risk
Within the last few months, the NHTSA acknowledged that Lincoln issued a new auto safety recall impacting over 142,730 vehicles. According to the press release, “the battery monitor sensor may short-circuit and overheat, causing a fire in the engine compartment while parked or driving.” It’s essential to recognize that the risk of fire is still there when the vehicle is parked and turned off. Because of this extreme risk, Lincoln is urging those who own or lease a 2015-2019 Lincoln MKC vehicle to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until customers have obtained the recommended recall repairs. Those impacted by this recall should take their vehicles to the dealership for an inspection and to have an in-line fuse added to the battery monitor sensor power circuit. So far, the company has been made aware of 19 incidents of under-hood fires potentially related to this issue, 11 of which have happened in the United States.
Ford Motor Company Issues Recall Over Engine Fire Risk
Over the summer, Lincoln was not the only company impacted by potential engine fire risks. In June 2023, Ford Motor Company announced a recall affecting 125,322 vehicles. Those who own or lease a 2020-2023 Ford Escape, a 2022-2023 Ford Maverick, or a 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair were notified of an increased risk of fire due to engine failure. The safety issue stems from a 2.5 liter HEV/PHEV engine that has been discovered to fail prematurely. When this happens, engine oil and fuel vapor may start to accumulate near ignition sources, leading to under-hood fires, smoke, or localized melting of components. The company notified affected drivers of this danger, urging them to “safely park and shut off the engine as quickly as possible if they hear unexpected engine noises, lose power, or see or smell smoke.” The replacement parts were not available when the company announced the recall. Still, Ford reassured customers that the remedy is under development and will be made available in the third quarter of 2023. This recall concerns 86,656 Ford Escape cars, 25,501 Ford Maverick vehicles, and 3,165 Lincoln Corsairs.
Chrysler Urges Some Jeep Customers to Park Vehicles Outside
In late spring of 2023, Chrysler issued a safety recall over an increased fire risk in certain 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles. According to information presented in the press release, “An electrical short in the power liftgate module may lead to a vehicle fire with the ignition on or off.” So far, the manufacturer has not provided a remedy, leaving impacted customers concerned for their safety. Until the replacement part becomes available to consumers, Chrysler urges those who own or lease these vehicles to park outside and away from structures and other vehicles to minimize damage in the event of a fire. An estimated 132,100 vehicles are impacted by this recall. What’s more, these vehicles were involved in a previous safety recall issued in 2015. Once the manufacturer has identified a repair, it will notify customers and urge them to visit the dealership to obtain this replacement part at no additional cost.
If you need help seeking a refund or a replacement vehicle in Oakland or the Greater Bay Area, the dedicated legal team at Lemon Law Partners, LLP, is here to help. Call (510) 944-0336 today to arrange a free case evaluation with a dedicated and friendly attorney.