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.

 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 December 2020, Toyota began an investigation into certain 2021 Toyota C-HR crossover SUVs after receiving field reports from the Japanese market alleging that when using the Traffic Movement Notification feature (a Japanese market feature not available in the U.S.), the vehicle radar sensor did not detect a vehicle driving in front of it. An inoperative radar sensor also meant that other features, such as Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) could be affected. In these cases, dealer technicians observed that the beam axis for the radar sensor was out of specification and adjusted it during the inspection. After completing the adjustment and initializing the radar sensor, the vehicles were able to detect the preceding vehicle.

According to the defect report, certain 2021 Toyota C-HR vehicles are equipped with a millimeter-wave sensor (radar sensor) and a camera to detect objects in front of it. These sensors also support certain driver assistance features, including the Pre-Collision System (PCS).

Under certain circumstances, the initialization of the radar sensor may not have been completed correctly, resulting in the PCS not being able to detect an object in front of it. As a result, the vehicle will not provide warnings or braking assist, and would not display a message or indicator to the driver that PCS is not functional. An inoperative PCS, without a PCS malfunction indicator to the driver, may increase the risk of a crash in certain driving situations.

As of January 2022, Toyota has not received any U.S. field reports or warranty claims related to this condition. Based on their investigation results, however, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign. Owners of the subject vehicles will be asked to take their vehicles to their Toyota dealer to have the radar sensor inspected and properly initialize if necessary. Toyota’s number for this recall is 22TA02 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-107.

The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) have opened up an investigation into certain 2019-2020 RAM trucks after receiving 22 complaints and 2 field reports alleging incidents of stalling and loss of engine power. The vehicles affected are equipped with 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel engines. According to the investigation report, the complaints found that most stall/loss of motive power incident allegations occurred at speeds above 25 MPH and resulted in permanent disablement of the vehicle.

The Vehicles Affected Include:
2019-2020 Ram 2500
2019-2020 Ram 3500
2019-2020 Ram 4500
2019-2020 Ram 5500

In November 2019, FCA issued Warranty Bulletin D-19-02 to announce to its dealers a Fast Feedback Program wherein they were notified of a campaign to collect, monitor, and correct quality issues on certain 2018-2020 Ram trucks equipped with the 6.7L Cummins engine. As a result of this campaign, high-pressure fuel pumps have been collected and inspected by the manufacturer and pump manufacturer.

ODI is opening this investigation to further assess the scope, frequency, root cause, and potential safety-related consequences of the alleged defect leading to stall/loss of motive power on 2019-2020MY RAM heavy-duty trucks.

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.

The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation have opened an investigation to whether a safety defect related to propellant degradation exists in non-recalled desiccated PSAN frontal air bag inflators manufactured by Takata. This investigation will include information on the Takata production processes, a study of inflators in the field, lists of recall actions that may have used desiccated PSAN inflators as remedy parts, as well as the makes and models originally manufactured with them.

From 2000 through 2017, Takata produced air bag inflators using two types of phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) propellant – propellant 2004 and propellant 2004L. After prolonged exposure to high temperature cycles and humidity, inflators using propellant 2004 can degrade, causing the propellant to burn too quickly when ignited. The rapid burning can cause the inflator to rupture during deployment, potentially causing serious or even fatal injury to vehicle occupants.

“Takata have been studying the long-term behavior of Takata desiccated PSAN inflators using propellant 2004L (as well as 2004) in the presence of moisture and temperature cycling. The research efforts are ongoing and to date, none have identified field evidence showing that propellant 2004L is undergoing a degradation process that leads to aggressive deployment and potential rupture. However, the time in service of such inflators remains short compared to that of the inflators using propellant 2004. Further study is needed to assess the long-term safety of desiccated inflators using propellant 2004L. “

NHTSA Action Number: EA21002

Click Here to see the complete list of vehicles involved in this investigation.

Toyota will be asking owners of certain 2018-2021 Tundra trucks, to return to their dealership for a problem affecting the electrical circuits controlling the headlights in their vehicle.

The problem began in early April 2020 when Toyota received a field report alleging the headlamp connector on a subject vehicle overheated and caught fire. Since then, there have been 18 Toyota Field Technical Reports (12 alleging an inoperative headlamp and/or damage to the headlamp connector (e.g., connectors melting), but no apparent flame, and 6 alleging a flame at the headlamp assembly). There has also been 47 warranty claims (44 alleging an inoperative headlamp and/or damage to the headlamp connector (e.g., connectors melting), but no apparent flame, and 3 alleging a flame at the headlamp assembly).

According to the defect report, the subject vehicles are equipped with halogen headlamp electrical circuits that were designed incorrectly to allow the circuits for both the high and low beam bulb filaments to be energized simultaneously when the high beams are switched on. If the high beams are subjected to repeated extended use (e.g., continuously switched “on” in a commercial setting when the vehicle is idling or driving at low speed for extended periods of time and not allowing air flow to cool the headlamp connector), excess heat could lead to degradation of the bulb insulation and eventually the bulb connector. This can cause an open headlamp circuit, leading to an inoperative headlamp that can be noticed by the driver and repaired. However, if an open circuit does not occur, there is a possibility that the connector could continue to overheat, resulting in an increased risk of a fire.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the engine wire harness assembly and headlight assembly inspected and replaced as necessary. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are 21TB06 and 21TA06 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-688.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) have opened an investigation into certain 2020-2021 Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles because of a problem affecting the airbag system. The ODI have received fifteen complaints from consumers who say that the air bag system in their GM vehicle malfunctioned. Nine complaints allege the illumination of an air bag malfunction indicator (MIL) and six crash incidents had significant frontal collision damage but the driver frontal air bags failed to deploy. All the complaints received involve either GM vehicles covered by GM Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 21-NA-005 or CT4, CT5 and XT4 vehicles.

The TSB, issued in March 2021, addresses air bag MIL illumination accompanied by diagnostic trouble codes B0001-1B or B0012-0D. It also cites rust particles in the connection terminal interface of the driver air bag inflator as the cause of the air bag MIL illumination. Illumination of the air bag MIL under these circumstances may result in a non-deployment of the driver airbag during a frontal collision and increased risk of injury to the driver.

ODI is opening this preliminary investigation to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem and to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.

Vehicles Affected Include
2020-2021 Cadillac CT4
2020-2021 Cadillac CT5
2020-2021 Cadillac Escalade
2020-2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2020-2021 Cadillac XT5
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 5500HD
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 6500HD
2020-2021 Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
2020-2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
2020-2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2020-2021 GMC Sierra 2500
2020-2021 GMC Sierra 3500
2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2020-2021 GMC Yukon
2020-2021 GMC Yukon XL