In December 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) received a petition that requested an investigation into alleged sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) in certain 2017-2019 Tesla Model 3, 2013-2019 Tesla Model S and 2016-2019 Tesla Model X vehicles. The petition cited 127 consumer complaints including 110 crashes and 52 injuries.

On January 13, 2020, the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a Defect Petition (DP20-001) to assess the request. The investigation included reviews of all complaints and supporting information, as well as an additional 14 complaints that were either not included in the petition or were submitted after the petitioner’s submission. The review also included analyses of available crash data (EDR, Tesla log data, and/or video data) the NHTSA acquired from Tesla, as part of the investigation.

After reviewing the data, ODI has not identified evidence that would support a defect investigation into SUA in the subject vehicles. According to the NHTSA, “In every instance in which event data was available for review by ODI, the evidence shows that SUA crashes in the complaints have been caused by pedal misapplication. There is no evidence of any fault in the accelerator pedal assemblies, motor control systems, or brake systems that has contributed to any of the incidents. There is no evidence of a design factor contributing to increased likelihood of pedal misapplication. The theory provided of a potential electronic cause of SUA in the subject vehicles is based upon inaccurate assumptions about system design and log data.”

“NHTSA is authorized to issue an order requiring the remedy of a defect if the Agency’s investigation shows a defect in design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle that presents an unreasonable risk to safety. Since the information is not indicative of a vehicle based defect, it is unlikely that any investigation opened because of granting this petition would result in an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect. Therefore, upon full consideration of the information presented in the petition and the potential risks to safety, the petition is denied. The denial of this petition does not foreclose the Agency from taking further action if warranted or the potential for a future finding that a safety-related defect exists based upon additional information the agency may receive.”

General Motors has decided that a seat belt safety issue exists in certain 2020-2021 Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. They will be contacting owners with instructions to return to their dealerships for repairs.

According to the safety report filed with the NHTSA, the wrong seat belt bolt may have been used at one or multiple locations to secure the seat belt to the vehicle. If an incorrect bolt was used, the seat belt may not be properly attached and may not properly restrain an occupant during a crash.

Vehicles Affected Include
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2021 Chevrolet Blazer
2021 Chevrolet Camaro
2021 Chevrolet Colorado
2021 Chevrolet Equinox
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
2021 Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
2021 GMC Canyon
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 2500
2021 GMC Sierra 3500
2021 GMC Yukon
2021 GMC Yukon XL

Dealers will correct the problem by replacing any suspect bolts. GM’s number for this recall is N202322230 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-811.

A small number of 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV owners will be returning to their dealerships to repair a problem affecting the brakes in their vehicles. General Motors has decided that this defect can affect vehicle safety.

According to the defect report, certain 2020 Chevy Bolt EVs may have improperly cast front left brake calipers. (Iron used to manufacture the caliper was not properly treated by the supplier prior to casting.) During a high pressure braking event, the caliper could fracture and brake fluid would be lost to half of the vehicle’s braking system. The problem could result in an unexpected reduction in brake performance and an increased chance of an accident.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealerships to have the casting lot number of the front left brake caliper inspected and replace as necessary. GM’s number for this recall is N202321400 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-808.

A defect relating to seatbelt safety will have approximately 624,000 Chevrolet and GMC truck owners returning to their dealerships for an inspection and repairs. These vehicles are equipped with a center front row seating position.

According to the NHTSA defect report, the center front row seatbelt bracket may not be properly secured to the seat frame. If the bracket is loose, the seatbelt will not restrain the occupant during a crash or high-speed braking event.

WARNING: Signs that the problem exists include a rattling coming from the center seat / console area, the center front seat belt will feel loose or could detach from the seat completely.
Vehicles Affected Include
2019-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
2021 Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
2019-2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2020- 2021 GMC Sierra 2500
2020- 2021 GMC Sierra 3500
2021 GMC Yukon XL

Dealers will inspect the left-side and right-side front-row center seat-belt bracket attachments and reassemble it correctly as necessary. GM’s number for this recall is N202314670 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-792.

Drivers experiencing engine vibrations in their 2020-2021 Ford Explorer and 2020-2021 Lincoln Aviator SUVs could have vehicles manufactured with engine mounting fasteners that were not correctly installed.

According to a defect report filed with the NHTSA, the automated tool used to secure the right-hand motor mount fasteners was not functioning properly and a manual handheld tool was used.  The manual backup process was not calibrated correctly and the motor mounts were improperly torqued.  Over time, one or more of the mounts could loosen and the engine will begin to vibrate.  If the problem is not fixed the engine mounts could eventually break.

Ford will notify owners to return to their dealers to have the right-hand motor mount fasteners replaced. The recall is expected to begin February 8, 2021. Ford’s number for this recall is 20S72 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-788.

Some 2021 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV vehicles may fail to comply to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for controls and displays of the occupant crash protection system.

According to the defect report, the front passenger seat belt and airbag status lights on the overhead console could be unknowingly set to night mode, making them not visible to vehicle occupants.  The body control module (BCM) software in these vehicles may inadvertently set the “night mode” in the daytime when the remote start is used or when the vehicle is turned off and re-started without opening the door for ten minutes.  If night mode is active during the daytime the driver and front passenger may not notice the warning that the seat belt is unbuckled or that the airbag is deactivated.  This problem can increase the risk of injury during a crash.

General Motors will be notifying owners of affected vehicles beginning in February.  Dealers will correct the problem by updating the BCM software.  GM’s number for this recall is N202319980 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-790.

Honda will be asking owners of certain 2018-2020 Accord, 2018-2020 Accord Hybrid and 2019-2020 Insight vehicles, to return to their dealerships to repair a problem that could affect various electrical systems in their vehicles.

According to the defect report, a software programming error combined with certain driver actions could disrupt the communication between the body control module (BCM) and other systems. The problem could result in illumination of several warning indicators and the malfunction of one or more electronic components. The affected components include:

  • Windshield defrosting and defogging.
  • Windshield wiping and washing.
  • Headlights and turning indicators.
  • Rear view camera display.
  • Warnings for electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection on electric powered vehicles.
  • Audible warning of a stopped vehicle and placing it into park.
  • Powered windows, partition and roof panels.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealerships to have the BCM software updated. Honda’s number for this recall is X95 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-771.

 

The owners of certain 2020-2021 General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen vehicles will be contacted by the automobile manufacturer regarding a problem that could exist with their tires. Continental Tires of America (CTA) have initiated a recall for tires that may have been installed as original equipment on some models.

General Motors Vehicles Affected
2020 Buick Enclave
2020 Cadillac XT5
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2020 Chevrolet Traverse
2020 GMC Acadia
2020-2021 GMC Sierra 1500
Nissan Vehicles Affected
2020 Nissan Altima
Volkswagen Vehicles Affected
2021 Volkswagen Atlas
2020-2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

According to CTA, over-cured tires could experience a break in the sidewall with sudden air loss or could develop a belt edge separation that could lead to partial or full tread/belt loss. These conditions could increase the risk of an accident.