Automotive Defect Investigation

The NHTSA have a continuing investigation into certain LGES high voltage batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The investigation was prompted by the number of fire recalls on the electric and hybrid vehicles listed below. The purpose of this investigation is to find other companies that might have purchased the same or similar equipment from LG and to notify them if this defect has shown up in any vehicles they manufactured.


Recall No. 20V-107
Date: February 2020

Mercedes Benz USA notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in one 2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vehicle.
Note: This vehicle received an LG Chem high voltage battery that may contain a defect allowing for an electrical arc, which can ignite inside the battery cells, increasing the risk of a fire.


Recall No. 20V-630
Date: October 2020

Hyundai Motor America notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2019-2020 Kona Electric vehicles. Note: The high-voltage battery system in the subject vehicles, supplied by LG, may have been produced with internal damage to certain cells of the lithium-ion battery increasing the risk of an electrical short circuit, which could result in a fire.


Recall No. 20V-701 & 21V-650
Date: November 2020

General Motors notified NHTSA of a safety defect in all 2017-2018 and certain 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV vehicles.
Note: These vehicles were built with high voltage batteries, produced by LG, that may contain latent cell-level manufacturing defects posing a risk of fire when charged to full, or nearly full, capacity. In August 2021, GM expanded this recall to include certain 2020-2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV vehicles. GM stated, “the root cause of the failure is the simultaneous presence of two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell.”


Recall No. 21V-127
Date: March 2021

Hyundai notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2019-2020 Kona Electric and 2020 Ioniq Electric vehicles .
Note: These vehicles are equipped with LG produced Lithium-ion battery cells where, if the Anode (Negative) tab is folded, the battery cell could allow the Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact the Cathode resulting in an electrical short, thereby increasing the risk of a fire while parked, charging and/or driving.


Recall No. 22V-077
Date: February 2022

Chrysler notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2017-2018 Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicles.
Note: These Pacifica vehicles contain hybrid battery packs produced by LG. FCA has not yet determined whether the battery packs were defective or the root cause of the fires.


Recall No. 22V-162
Date: March 2022

Volkswagen notified NHTSA of a safety-related defect in certain 2021 ID4 vehicles.
Note: The high voltage batteries used in the vehicles may contain insufficient soldering points and thus contain unreliable connections inside the high voltage battery. As a result of the unreliable connections, the vehicles may break down or stall while driving, leading to a crash.

Over the years, automakers have invested billions of dollars into studies and research in an attempt to build the best electric vehicle, and as a result, electric vehicles have become more attractive and affordable for the average driver. The cost of an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) are usually higher than a gas powered vehicles, but there are some federal and state electric car tax credits and incentives that can bring the upfront cost down. The Plug-In Electric Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is the main federal program for electric cars in the United States. Under this program, a new electric vehicle is eligible for a tax credit as long as it meets the federal electric car tax credit criteria. The federal tax credit applies to both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The amount you can claim varies based on the vehicle model.

California is a leader in clean vehicle adoption with more plug-in electric vehicles on its roadways than any other state. This move away from gasoline and diesel brings environmental and economic benefits, including less air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. As long as funds are available, eligible California residents can apply for a Clean Vehicle Rebate (CVR) after purchasing or leasing an eligible vehicle.

It’s been thirty years since the first lithium-ion battery cell was used in camcorders, laptops and cell phones, and in those thirty years there have been fires. In 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation jointly banned the shipment of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger airplanes, and limited how they can be shipped on cargo aircraft, after several incidents were linked to battery fires. Now that they are in much larger products, like automobiles, battery fires draw even more media attention, especially when they occurred while vehicles are parked inside a garage.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV battery recall is one of the recalls that received a large amount of publicity for risk of fires. One case documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration talks about a Bolt that caught fire in a home where firefighters spent an hour trying to put out the flames. The fire restarted an hour later and reignited a third time after it was towed to a dealership. General Motors traced the problem to a manufacturing defect at the plant which supplied defective batteries that resulted in the Hyundai Kona EV recall as well. Ford recently recalled a small number of 2021-2022 Ford Escape and 2022 Lincoln Corsair hybrid power-train SUVs because the high voltage battery could experience an overheat situation, and Tesla cars have also, been investigated for fires. The most recent recall for battery problems affects certain 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles that could experience a fire, even with the ignition in the “OFF” mode.

Many plug-in electric vehicle fire incidents have taken place since the production of plug-in electric vehicles. As a result of these incidents, the United States, Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts studies to establish whether lithium-ion batteries in plug-electric vehicles pose an exceptional fire hazard. The research looks into whether the high-voltage batteries can cause fires when they are being charged and when the vehicles are involved in an accident. The NHTSA “Battery Safety Initiative” for Electric Vehicles works to coordinate research and other activities to address safety risks relating to batteries in electric vehicles. They continue to examine data related to electric vehicle battery safety, field incidents and conduct special investigations of electric vehicle crash and non-crash events, to ensure that electric and hybrid vehicles don’t pose an unnecessary risk for drivers.

Chrysler recommends that owners of select model year 2017-2018 Pacifica plug-in hybrid electric vehicles park their vehicles outdoors and away from other vehicles or structures due to a risk of fire, even if the vehicle is turned off. Owners are advised to NOT charge their vehicles and continue to park outside until a remedy is identified.

In August 2021, Chrysler Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance Organization opened an investigation into a reported trend of fires in certain Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs. Since August 2021, there have been five customer records and twelve field reports relating to this issue. The potentially affected vehicles include 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs manufactured between August 12, 2016, when production of Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs began, and ended on August 7, 2018, when the 2018 model year production ended. Chrysler will conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles.

Although the automaker is still investigating the cause, the fire risk is likely due to corrosion of an electrical connection inside the Pacifica’s 12-volt battery system. This system is used to power auxiliary features, including radios and garage door openers, and is not part of the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid propulsion system. However, only hybrid vehicles are included in this recall.

According to the NHTSA defect report, “Certain 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicles may experience a fire, even with the ignition in the “OFF” mode. A vehicle fire can result in an increased risk of occupant injury and/or injury to persons outside the vehicle, as well as property damage.”

Because the remedy is under development, Chrysler is advising owners of these hybrid vehicles to refrain from recharging them and to park them away from structures and other vehicles. Owners can keep operating the vehicles using the internal combustion engine.

The California lemon law provides protection for consumers of defective vehicles sold or leased in California by making sellers and manufacturers responsible for their warranties. A vehicle is considered a “lemon” if the manufacturer or dealer has had four or more attempts to repair the defect or two attempts if the defect is life-threatening.

Law Office Of Barry Edzant.Since 1989, Mr. Edzant has earned a reputation as the Santa Clarita lemon law and personal injury lawyer, clients can trust. His firsthand knowledge of faulty vehicle repairs helps him better understand the struggle to protect buyers’ rights, giving him the experience to negotiate where possible and the tenacity to litigate when necessary. With his firm on your side, you can feel confident that your rights will be protected and that all available resources will be exhausted in making sure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Our Priority… Protect And Enforce Our Clients’ Rights

Representing Owners Of Dangerously Designed Automobiles

$2,000,000.00 to date – Confidential Manufacturer

August 2021 to March 2022: Our office has been representing owners of a dangerously designed automobile manufactured between 2017 to 2021. To date, we have been successful in getting the manufacturer of this vehicle to either give our clients a full repurchase, or cash sufficient to make them whole. Removing these dangerous vehicles from our clients’ homes has been our firm’s mission since we learned about the defects and the severe risks these vehicles can cause.

Successfully Resolved Lemon Law November 2021

$250,000.00 – Confidential Manufacturer

Our office successfully resolved a case for a buyer of a new vehicle that had suspension failures on two occasions within the first two months of ownership. Prior to filing the lawsuit, we approached the manufacturer and asked them to repurchase the vehicle. They refused, and we filed a lawsuit for our client. The lawsuit resulted in getting our client the repurchase of the vehicle, and a substantial civil penalty for the manufacturer’s rejection of our pre-litigation demands. We are one of the few law firms that attempt to resolve lemon law cases informally prior to filing lawsuits. This cooperative approach will often result in quick resolutions for our clients without the stress of protracted litigation. However, if the case calls for it, we will nevertheless vigorously litigate to protect and enforce our clients’ rights.

Are you experiencing repeated safety problems with your vehicle? Do you think it could be a lemon? If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666 and get some great Lemon Law advice!

Certain 2013-2014 model year Chevrolet Express and 2013-2014 model year GMC Savana HD vehicles equipped with 6.6L Duramax diesel engines (RPO LGH) could experience a malfunction indicator light (MIL) illumination because of a problem affecting the Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) cooler.

clogged EGR

EGR coolers can fail for a few different reasons. Coolant passageways become clogged and prevent exhaust gas from cooling, some EGR coolers may be susceptible to corrosion, and repeated cycling of extreme temperatures (thermal stress) can all cause your EGR to fail.

There are a few indications that your EGR is failing: the engine idles rough and stalls; there is an increase in fuel consumption and a decrease in performance; the engine management light is always on, and there is a smell of fuel in and around the vehicle.

General Motors is providing owners of certain 2013-2014 Chevrolet Express and 2013-2014 GMC Savana HD vehicles equipped with 6.6L Duramax diesel engines vehicles, with additional warranty protection. This special coverage covers the problem described above for a period of 10 years or 120,000 miles (193,000 km), whichever occurs first. The warranty covers the vehicles from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.

** GM should notify customers if this special warranty coverage is on their vehicle.**

Repairs and adjustments qualifying under this special coverage must be performed by a General Motors dealer.

View the complete warranty document here: MC-10150564-9999.pdf

General Motors (GM) will be providing owners of certain 2016-2017 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC trucks additional warranty coverage because of a problem that could affect the fuel injectors in their engines. The trucks receiving additional warranty are equipped with 5.3L or 6.2L engines.

Vehicles manufactured with these defective fuel injectors include:
2016-2017 Cadillac Escalade
2016-2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2016-2017 Chevrolet Silverado
2016-2017 Chevrolet Suburban
2016-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
2016-2017 GMC Sierra
2016-2017 GMC Yukon
2016-2017 GMC Yukon XL

** GM will notify customers if this special warranty coverage is on their vehicle.**

The special coverage will extend the warranty of the above vehicles, for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles (240,000km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally purchased, regardless of ownership. This special coverage only applies to vehicles in these states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

According to documents released by GM, “Under certain circumstances, one or more of the vehicle’s fuel injectors may deliver an improper amount of fuel to the engine. If this happens, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (the Check Engine Light) will illuminate to warn the driver there is a problem. The engine will begin to run rough and will eventually stall. Diagnostic trouble codes, including P0300-P0308 or DTC P050D, will be set.

Other symptoms of a bad or dirty fuel injector include: The vehicle is hard to start and idles rough; Poor performance and increased fuel consumption; and an engine knock or detonation that could lead to complete engine failure.

 Automotive Defect Investigation

The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (NHTSA) has opened two separate investigations related to unexpected breaking in certain Honda and Tesla vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with collision mitigation braking systems (CMBS) or advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which visually and audibly alert the drivers of a potential collision. Under certain circumstances, the system will automatically apply the brakes to help reduce the force of an unavoidable collision.

The problem of unexpected braking has been called “Phantom Braking”. Phantom braking is when a vehicle’s brakes activate unexpectedly even when traffic is flowing normally or there is no obstacle to avoid.

Inadvertent Automatic Emergency Braking
2017-2019 Honda CR-V and 2018-2019 Honda Accord
NHTSA Investigation Number: PE22003

The NHTSA has received a total of 278 complaints and several Early Warning Reports alleging unexpected activation of the collision mitigation braking system (CMBS) in some 2017-2019 Honda CR-V and 2018-2019 Honda Accord vehicles. Driver complaints include high-speed braking incidents occurring with nothing obstructing the vehicle’s path of travel. Of the 278 complaints, 6 allege a collision with minor injuries.

Inadvertent or unexpected braking activation while driving can cause unexpected speed reductions that can lead to increased vulnerability to rear-end impact collisions. The complaints allege that the inadvertent braking events occur without warning and randomly.

Unexpected Brake Activation
2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 and 2021-2022 Tesla Model Y
NHTSA Investigation Number: PE22002

The NHTSA has also received 354 complaints alleging unexpected brake activation in 2021-2022 Tesla Model 3 and 2021-2022 Tesla Model Y vehicles.

Driver reports have been characterized as “phantom braking”. Tesla describes the subject vehicles as equipped with a suite of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features referred to as Autopilot which Tesla states will allow the vehicle to brake and steer automatically within its lanes.

The complaints allege that while utilizing the ADAS features including adaptive cruise control, the vehicle unexpectedly applies its brakes while driving at highway speeds. Complainants report that the rapid deceleration can occur without warning, at random, and often repeated in a single drive cycle.

These investigations are a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem and to fully assess the potential of these safety-related issues. If a defect is found, the NHTSA will issue a recall.

In September 2019, the NHTSA was asked to initiate an investigation into certain Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that received a revised battery management software update in one or more over-the-air updates from Tesla, beginning in May 2019. The petitioner based his request on vehicle fires that took place worldwide and over the air software updates Tesla made to the Battery Management System (BMS) of certain Tesla vehicles that resulted in loss of available vehicle mileage range and increased charging duration’s.

The five non-crash fires referenced in the petition include two fires that occurred in China in early 2019 involving vehicles that:

  • Had recently completed Supercharging sessions.
  • Were at a high state-of-charge (SOC) of the HV battery.
  • Were parked with the battery cooling system shutoff.
  • Had histories of high-stress usage for the HV batteries.

The three fires that occurred outside China did not involve the same patterns regarding vehicle state and charging history. The two fires that occurred in the United States include one involving a vehicle with no Supercharging history that was driving when the fire occurred and another in which the origin of the fire was external to the HV battery. The fifth fire, which also originated external to the HV battery, involved a vehicle in Germany that had been parked at a low SOC for an extended period. To date, incidents of fires involving parked vehicles with recent Supercharging and histories of high-stress use have only been observed in China, where high-stress use factors appear to be more common.

Given the absence of any incidents in the United States related to fast charging, and the absence of any such incidents globally since May 2019, the petition has been denied. The denial of this petition does not stop the Agency from taking further action if future findings find that a safety defect exists based on additional information received. NHTSA could initiate a recall if they find a defect in the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle that presents an unreasonable risk to safety.