As consumers, we trust that our vehicles have gone through extensive safety assessments before the auto manufacturers released them into the market. However, defects still happen, some of which increase the likelihood of collision or otherwise put our safety at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) works with auto manufacturers to identify or uncover defects. When an issue is found, the manufacturer must announce a safety recall campaign and notify all customers impacted by the defect. By law, dealerships must provide the recall repair at no charge to the customer. Below are just a few of the most recently announced recalls. If you own or lease one of these vehicles, you can expect to receive an official recall notice in the mail within the next few weeks, informing you of the steps you need to take to obtain the repair.
Ford Recalls Over One Million Vehicles For Brake Issue
In mid-March, 2023, Ford announced a safety recall over defects in the braking system. Investigations into braking issues in these vehicles uncovered a design flaw that causes the front brake hoses to leak due to standard steering and suspension travel. This excessive leaking may impair brake performance over time, making it much more difficult to stop the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash. This recall impacts more than 1.2 million vehicles and includes Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans manufactured between February 3, 2012, and July 19, 2017. Customers affected by this recall will receive official notification via mail. They can schedule an appointment with their local dealership to obtain the replacement brake hoses, free of charge.
Honda Recalls Over 448,000 Vehicles For Seat Belt Defect
Honda announced a safety recall campaign on March 9, 2023. The issue stems from a seatbelt buckle defect that may cause issues with securing or latching the seatbelt properly. An investigation found that the driver and front passenger seat belts were manufactured out of specification, resulting in interference between the buckle channel and the release button. Over time, the buckle channel surface coating can deteriorate and the release button may shrink against the channel to increase friction. When drivers or passengers are improperly latched into their seatbelts, their risk of injury increases substantially. So far, the recall impacts the following models: 2017-2020 Honda CR-V, 2018-2019 Honda Accord, 2018-2019 Honda Accord Hybrid, 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey, 2019-2020 Acura RDX, and 2019 Honda Insight. The manufacturer will mail out recall notices within the next few weeks, urging customers to take their vehicle to the dealership to obtain the replacement seat belt buckle release buttons.
Hyundai and Kia Fire Risk Recalls
Hyundai announced a recall affecting over 500,000 vehicles due to an increased fire risk. These vehicles contain a defective tow hitch harness that has been found to catch fire while parked or driving. Investigators discovered a defective wiring module in the trailer tow hitch that allowed water to leak and cause a short circuit. In such an event, the module could catch fire. Kia has also announced a similar recall, as both manufacturers produce vehicles with this defective tow hitch harness. This latest recall affects the following vehicles: 2019-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, 2021-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid SUV, 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2022-2023 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid SUV, and Kia 2023 Carnival minivan. Both automakers urge customers to keep their vehicles parked outside and away from structures to reduce the risk of a fire spreading. Dealerships will provide customers affected by this recall with a full replacement of the faulty wiring free of charge. This recall is the latest in a series of fire-related safety recalls; Hyundai and Kia have sent recall notices to over 7 million vehicle owners concerning these issues within the past twelve years.
Mercedes-Benz Recalls Over 61,000 Vehicles For Electrical Issues
On March 17, 2023, Mercedes-Benz launched a safety recall impacting 61,450 vehicles. The models impacted by this recall include: the 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450, 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 53, 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 580, 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE 63, 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 450, 2020-2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580, 2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS 600, and 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63. Investigations uncovered air conditioning drain hoses that were incorrectly installed, causing condensation water to enter the passenger compartment. Over time, the condensation may cause corrosion or short circuits in the electrical components, increasing the risk of fire (among other safety concerns). The manufacturer will notify affected customers by early April, encouraging them to visit the local dealership for an inspection of the air conditioning drain hoses. If necessary, the dealership will replace the defective drain hoses.
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