Chrysler (FCA US, LLC) will be contacting the owners of certain 2017-2018 Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) for a problem that could result in a vehicle fire.

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.

Letters notifying owners of the safety risk are expected to be mailed later this month. Second letters will be mailed once the remedy is available. FCA US LLC’s number for this recall is Z11 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-077.

Don’t live with a Lemon, especially if the problems you are having is safety related. If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666 for some great Lemon Law advice.

chevy malibu engine power reducedLoss of Continuity within Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor Circuit in some 2016-2018 model year Chevrolet Malibu, 2017-2018 model year Buick LaCrosse and 2018 model year Buick Regal vehicles

The automobiles listed above do not have a mechanical connection for the accelerator pedal, instead, there is an electronic throttle control responsible for engine acceleration. The system includes an accelerator pedal position sensor, which tells the power train how much acceleration the driver requests.

General Motors have identified a problem affecting the acceleration position sensor in some 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu, 2017-2018 Buick LaCrosse and 2018 Buick Regal vehicles.

According to the Special Coverage Adjustment report N182188250 Loss of Continuity within Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor Circuit, the above vehicles may have a condition that affects the electrical connection to one of the vehicle’s position sensors in the accelerator pedal. If the electrical connection is interrupted, the accelerator pedal will still function, but the vehicle will enter a reduced engine power mode in which the maximum acceleration and torque are reduced.

When this problem occurs the driver will notice a reduction in engine power, the malfunction indicator lamp and the check engine lights illuminate and a diagnostic trouble code P2138 will be set. The problem could result in an unexpected and instant loss of power, which puts everyone on the road in danger.

General Motors will be offering special coverage for the condition described above for a period of 10 years or 150,000 miles (240,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership. 2016-2018 model year Chevrolet Malibu, 2017-2018 model year Buick LaCrosse and 2018 model year Buick Regal vehicles.

Click Here to see the complete Special Coverage Adjustment N182188250 Loss of Continuity within Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor Circuit.

The rear-wheel driveshaft assemblies on certain 2021 Cadillac, 2021 Chevrolet and 2021 GMC SUV trucks could fail and cause an increased chance of an accident. GM will be contacting owners and asking them to return to their dealership for repairs.

In October 2021, GM’s supplier of rear-wheel drive-shaft assemblies informed them that certain assemblies shipped to GM’s Arlington, Texas plant may have been manufactured improperly. GM opened an investigation and found that the suspect components could deform over time and result in drive shaft seizures.

According to the defect report, the rear-wheel drive-shaft assemblies may have been manufactured with recirculating balls that were not properly heat treated. The recirculating balls could deform over time, resulting in noise and vibration. If the vehicle continues to be driven, the affected joint in the drive shaft assembly could seize and the vehicle could lose propulsion.

Vehicles manufactured with these defective driveshafts assemblies include:
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2021 Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
2021 GMC Yukon
2021 GMC Yukon XL

The supplier’s equipment failure was corrected on June 4, 2021 and components produced after that time were properly heat treated. Vehicles produced after October 4, 2021, were equipped with drive shaft assemblies containing components that were produced outside of the suspect window.

Owners will be asked to return to their dealers to have the left and/or right rear driveshaft assemblies replaced. GM’s number for this recall is N212351030, N212351031 and N212351032. The NHTSA campaign number is 22V-036. Customer interim notifications are estimated to be sent out on March 14, 2022.

Don’t live with a Lemon. If you are having problems with your vehicle and have questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666.

General Motors believes that they have the final resolution for the Chevy Bolt saga by replacing the entire battery system on the Bolts. While the new batteries are starting to make their way into the Chevy dealerships, and into the vehicles, the waitlist is long, and the dealerships are getting limited inventory. One dealership we recently spoke with informed us that due to the physical complications in replacing the batteries, the process is slow, yielding perhaps only one or two vehicles per day. At this pace, the replacement of batteries into all Bolts will take several months.

In the meantime, GM has offered repurchases to many owners of the Bolts, but they’re not following up with consumers with time frames or logistics. While promises are being made, actions are not. And while a case is pending with GM, consumers are still struggling with how to protect themselves from dangerous fires, or something even as simple as where to safely park their Bolt.

We now have a client whose Bolt actually did catch fire in the middle of the night causing the destruction of the vehicle and other property. So, we know first-hand just how dangerous these vehicles are, and the destruction they’re capable of. Please heed all of the warnings GM has given and especially do not park a Chevy Bolt in an enclosed area.

We are still successfully pursuing Bolt cases against GM on a daily basis. For a free consultation, please email attorney Barry Edzant directly at BarryE@valencialaw.com and I will personally discuss your case with you. Be safe!

Ford Motor Company (Ford) will be contacting the owners of certain 2018 F-150 vehicles with manual and power release tailgates because the tailgate latches on their trucks could unlatch unexpectedly while driving.

In September 2021, a problem affecting tailgate latches on certain 2018 Model Year F-150 trucks, was brought to the attention of Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group. The affected vehicles were built with a tailgate latch that could unlatch under certain loading conditions and cause unintended opening of the tailgate while the vehicle is in motion.

According to the defect report, the suspect tailgate latch design incorporates a latch pawl that is perpendicular to the catch mechanism. This latch design is susceptible to pawl walkout (unlatching) under certain dynamic loading conditions in this tailgate application. Unintended tailgate opening without vehicle operator knowledge may result in loss of unrestrained cargo increasing the risk of a crash. An unintended tailgate opening will only be apparent to an operator if they notice it prior to entering the vehicle.

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have both the left-hand and right-hand tailgate latches replaced. The recalled tailgate latches (JL3A-9943150-AC and JL3A-9943150-BC) will be replaced with tailgate latches that incorporate a different latch pawl design (5L3Z-9943150-A).

In April 2018, Dearborn Truck Plant reverted to the initial latch design. Vehicles not included in this recall were built with latches that incorporate a different latch pawl design. Ford’s number for this recall is 21S53 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-983.

 Automotive Defect Investigation

In 2017, the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened two Recall Queries (RQ) affecting certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with “Theta II” engines. The investigation looked at both the timeliness and scope of the recalls as well as the compliance of each company to meet their reporting requirements under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Numerous violations of the requirements were found for both companies, and in November 2020, both companies entered into Consent Orders with NHTSA to resolve NHTSA’s assertions of violations of law.

In 2018, the Center for Automotive Safety (CAS) petitioned the Agency to investigate non-crash fires on various Hyundai and Kia models, alleging vehicle fires at varying points of origin and occurring under various non-crash related circumstances (including key-off fires). The ODI found that many of the fire incidents appeared to start in the engine compartment area and made reference to the two open RQ investigations as likely pertinent. After reviewing responses two Preliminary Evaluations were started to investigate incidents of non-crash fires (regardless of origin or operational status of the vehicle) on various model-year Hyundai (Sonata and Santa Fe) and Kia (Optima, Sorento, and Soul) models.

To date, Hyundai and Kia have issued several recalls addressing vehicle fires, including those due to engine failure involving various engine types (Theta II GDI, Theta II MPI, Theta II MPI HEV, Nu GDI, and Gamma GDI). The repair for the engine failure recalls typically involves engine inspection (to detect existing damage), and if necessary, engine replacement. Additionally, both manufacturers are installing an engine control software modification known as Knock Sensor Detection Software (KSDS) which is intended to detect impending engine failure, alert the driver, and limit engine power (to lessen the likelihood of engine failure). KSDS is being installed under recalls and non-safety field actions, and both companies have extended limited engine warranties. They have even replaced engines if the KSDS software detects an impending engine failure.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is opening this Engineering Analysis for two primary purposes. First, the investigation will continue to evaluate the scope of recalls initially begun under prior ODI actions, and will also include other recalls for fires due to engine failure. Second, the investigation will monitor and evaluate the efficacy of the recall remedies for engine fire-related recalls, as well as the long-term viability of related programs and non-safety field actions being conducted by Hyundai and Kia.

The Vehicles Affected Include:
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Santa FE
2013-2014 Hyundai Santa FE Sport
2011-2014 Hyundai Sonata
2011-2013, 2016-2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2017 Hyundai Tucson
2015-2016 Hyundai Veloster
2012-2015 Kia Forte
2012-2015 Kia Forte Koup
2011-2014 Kia Optima
2011-2013, 2017-2018 Kia Optima Hybrid
2017-2018 Kia Optima PHEV
2012-2015 Kia RIO
2011-2014 Kia Sorento
2012-2016 Kia Soul
2011-2013 Kia Sportage

A small number of 2020-2021 Kia Rio vehicles may have been built with brake master cylinders that are not designed to manufacturer specifications. Kia will be contacting the owners of the affected vehicles starting January 11, 2022. The letter will have information describing the problem and how owners can get repairs done.

Kia first became aware of the defect in October 2021 when the supplier of the brake master cylinder notified them of a brake-related complaint in a Hyundai vehicle. Because this vehicle uses the same brake master cylinder as certain Kia Rio vehicles an investigation into the problem was opened for both Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent vehicles.

Based on a review of supplier quality control records and Kia’s vehicle production records, vehicles produced before 7/2/2021 could be equipped with improperly machined brake master cylinder bodies.

According to the defect report, the master cylinder body may have been machined with a sharp edge that could contact and damage the oil seal in the master cylinder. A damaged oil seal can impair vehicle braking functions, such that the driver may experience a hard or spongy brake feel, longer brake pedal travel, and extended stopping distances.

All owners of the affected vehicles will be notified by first class mail with instructions to bring their vehicles to a Kia dealer. Dealers will replace the brake master cylinder with a new one. Kia’s number for this recall SC223 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-936.

This problem also affects certain 2021 Hyundai Accent vehicles. The brake master cylinder may have been manufactured with sharp edges that can damage the inner oil seal and result in reduced braking performance. Hyundai’s recall number is 213 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-937.

Don’t live with a Lemon. If you are having problems with your vehicle and have questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 888-395-3666.

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) will be asking the owners of certain 2021 Nissan Rogue SUVs to return to their dealerships to fix a problem affecting the fuel system in their vehicles. An assembly defect in the fuel pump could lead to an unexpected vehicle stall.

The problem began in March 2021, when Nissan first received a field report about a 2021 Rogue SUV crossover that allegedly experienced a fuel pump failure. According to the driver of the vehicle, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illuminated just before the engine stalled. The driver was not able to restart the vehicle and needed to have it towed. Nissan initiated an investigation into the problem and collected parts from the field to perform duplication testing to identify the scope of the issue. The supplier also conducted a field investigation and process check in an attempt to track down the problem.

Nissan discussed the ongoing investigation with the NHTSA and reviewed their field claims checks for the U.S. Market and identified 87 warranty claims alleging the same problem… engine stalls while driving. Based on manufacturer production records the problem affects certain model year 2021 Nissan Rogue vehicles manufactured between March 2021 and October 2021. No other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles have been affected.

According to the defect report, the problem is the result of an operator assembly error at the supplier. Some fuel pumps may experience excessive friction between the fuel pump brush and commutator. This will cause heat and melting damage that would result in the fuel pump failing. If the fuel pump fails, it will cause the engine to stall and not restart.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the fuel pump assembly replaced. Nissan’s number for this recall is R21B8 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-957.