Ford Motor Company (Ford) will be contacting the owners of certain 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Lincoln Aviator SUVs because the vehicles they are driving may not comply to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for occupant crash protection and fuel system integrity.

Ford first became aware of the problem in April 2022 when one of their assembly plants started experiencing intermittent bolt strip-out conditions when securing the front sub-frame to the front apron assembly. An investigation into engine rail sub-assembly failures found that the mechanical properties of the engine rails did not meet the intended strength requirements. Supplier records showed that over six hundred engine rail sub-assemblies were sent out for an unapproved repair procedure (thermal e-coat stripping) which degraded the mechanical properties and weakened the metal. Some of the suspect rails were used at the Tier 1 supplier and 137 suspect rails were shipped to the assembly plant. A Stop Shipment was issued on April 28, 2022 and an inspection of engine rail hardness was carried out on over 5000 vehicles.

According to the defect report, the vehicles affected were built with an engine rail that may not
maintain its integrity in a crash and as a result, does not meet the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards (FMVSS) for Occupant Crash Protection and Fuel System Integrity requirements. A weakened engine rail could also become loose, resulting in a clunking noise during acceleration, deceleration, or contact with potholes, speed bumps, or other road surface irregularities.

Owners will be notified by mail and instructed to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for an engine rail inspection. If the vehicle does not pass the strength test, owners will be given the option of a replacement of the engine rail assembly or, because of the extensive nature of this repair, vehicle replacement or a buyback. Owners opting for repairs will be sent awareness letters and instructed to bring their vehicles in when parts become available. Ford’s number for this recall is 22C13 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-454.

Are you thinking of taking a replacement or buyback? Under the California Lemon Law, if your vehicle qualifies, you should recover your down payment, (including registration fees, licensing fees, taxes, transportation costs, etc.), plus your total monthly lease or loan payments. The manufacturer will also pay off the balance of your loan or lease. The manufacturer will also pay all or most of your attorney’s fees.

If you have any questions about your rights and the California Lemon Law, please call our office at 1-888-395-3666 and get some great Lemon Law advice!

 Automotive Defect Investigation
Certain 2016-2020 Honda Pilot vehicles with 3.5L engines and 9-speed automatic transmissions could experience a problem with the automatic Start/Stop feature. The Honda Pilot Touring and Elite vehicles are equipped with Auto Start/Stop capability to help improve fuel efficiency. When the driver enables the system and certain operating conditions are met, the Auto Start/Stop system will automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The engine should automatically restarted when the driver releases the brake pedal.

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 221 complaints and several field reports claiming that there is an issue with the Auto Start/Stop feature on certain 2016-2020 Honda Pilot vehicles. The complaints say that the Auto Start/Stop function fails to restart the engine on its own after it has come to a complete stop at a traffic light or road intersection. Some of the complainants allege that a jump was required for the vehicle to be restarted.

The ODI met with Honda on several occasions on this issue. Honda indicated that per the information provided from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints and TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation) reports, they have found a correlation with customers’ allegations for the Auto Start/Stop failure to restart the vehicle when the system is activated. Honda also indicated other Honda models (Honda Odyssey, Acura TLX & Acura MDX) with the 3.5L engines equipped with the 9-speed automatic transmissions experience the same failure mode.

ODI is opening this Preliminary Evaluation (PE) to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem as well as to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.

One of the most critical legal elements under the California lemon law is that a vehicle must be a “new motor vehicle” to qualify under the law. Since its inception decades ago, the California lemon law has enjoyed a very broad definition of the term, “new motor vehicle” which included new vehicles, but also included used vehicles which had some of the factory warranty left remaining on the used vehicle at the time of purchase. For example, if you purchased a used vehicle from a dealership with 25,000 miles on the odometer, and the vehicle had a 36,000 mile warranty when sold as new, the vehicle would still qualify under the lemon law despite being a used vehicle.

Sadly, however, the new recent case law sent a punch to consumers who have bought used vehicles. In Rodriguez v. Us, the California Court of Appeals determined that a used vehicle with some of the factory warranty remaining is not to be considered a “new motor vehicle” and is therefore not protected by the lemon law. (There are some exceptions to this such as the vehicle was a certified pre-owned vehicle, and dealership demos.) Rodriguez basically wipes out access to the lemon law for about 30% of all consumers.

The full effect of this new law is still unfolding and the full impact yet unknown. Rodriguez may also be appealed before California’s Supreme Court. However, in the meantime, we do know that the Rodriguez case has sent a shock wave in the California lemon law legal world, and significantly impacts consumers who have purchased used vehicles.

General Motors is still rolling out new batteries for the troubled Chevy Bolt electric vehicle, albeit very slowly. We are hearing from clients and potential clients that dealerships are putting them on “wait lists” for the new battery but are not hearing again from the dealership. The dealerships give the owner no times table for getting their new battery as well. Obviously, this is very frustrating for consumers who are tired of figuring out ways to safely charge their EV. To date, we have only heard of the new batteries actually being installed in the 2017 – 2019 year models, but not for any 2020-2021 models. The good news is that once the battery has been installed, consumers seem to be happy with the new battery giving them a longer range than the original. More importantly, we have not heard of any problems associated with the new battery. This is good news for consumers.


With that said, we are still accepting Chevy Bolt cases, regardless of whether the new battery has been installed, and we continue to achieve favorable settlements with General Motors. Many of our settlements are for cash, allowing the consumer to receive compensation while being allowed to keep the vehicle.

Please call us at 1-888-395-3666 for more details about this problem.

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Here is a summary of the defect.
General Motors recalled all of their Chevrolet Bolt EVs because there is a manufacturing defect affecting the battery cell. The problem is aggravated when the battery is charged to a full or nearly full state after it has been substantially depleted. The battery could overheat and catch fire, causing damage to the vehicle and structures around it. As a temporary solution, GM asked owners to reprogram their hybrid propulsion control module to limit a full charge.

The safety recall from the NHTSA states the following:
As an interim remedy, dealers will reprogram the hybrid propulsion control module to limit full charge to 90%. Until this interim is completed, customers should enable either “Hilltop Reserve” (for 2017-2018 model year vehicles) or “Target Charge Level” (for 2019 model year vehicles) using their vehicle’s infotainment center. These two features will limit the vehicle’s state of charge to 90% until the HPCM2 software re-calibration is applied. If customers are unable to successfully make these changes or do not feel comfortable making these changes, they will be advised to not park their car in their garage or carport until after they have visited their dealer.

General Motors (GM) has decided that a safety defect affecting suspension exists in certain 2022 Cadillac XT5, 2022 Cadillac XT6, and 2022 GMC Acadia vehicles. Owners will be receiving notices with instructions to return to their Cadillac or GMC dealer to have the suspension in their vehicle inspected and repaired as necessary.

GM became aware of the problem in March 2022, after a quality engineer at one of GM’s assembly plants identified a Cadillac XT6 that was missing a toe link to a knuckle bolt in the vehicle’s left side rear suspension. The manufacturing records showed that the bolt had been fully tightened, but further investigation found that the supplier’s error-proofing equipment had been improperly configured following a change in the assembly process. As a result, the tool operator could have failed to fully tighten the bolt without the error-proofing equipment detecting it.

According to the defect report, after an assembly process was moved to a new area, error-proofing equipment was not initially set up properly. This allowed a window where the operator may miss tightening certain fasteners without the failure being flagged. The affected toe links may be loose or become separated, resulting in misalignment of the left-rear wheel and increasing the risk of a crash

GM investigated the potentially affected population and inspected 271 suspensions that had been contained at the plant, with six more instances of loose fasteners identified. Although GM have not received any claims or complaints related to the subject condition and they are not aware of any associated accidents or injuries but have decided to conduct a safety recall.

Dealers will inspect the left-rear suspension and replace the fastener if it is loose or missing. GM’s number for this recall is N222364330 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-427. Approximately 736 vehicles may be affected.

Certain 2014-2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2014-2019 Ram 1500 vehicles equipped with 3.0L diesel engines, could experience high-pressure fuel pump failure. If the pump fails while the vehicle is being operated, drivers will experience an unexpected loss of engine power and an increased chance of an accident.

In February 2022, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance (TSRC) organization started an investigation into Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 trucks, after receiving field reports that the fuel pump in some vehicles were prematurely failing. An investigation of the stall patterns and vehicle histories showed that the affected trucks were equipped with Bosch CP4.2 high-pressure fuel pumps (HPFP).

According to the defect report, a failure inside the fuel pump could introduce internal debris that could build up and cause fuel starvation. Fuel starvation may result in an unexpected loss of motive power, which could contribute to a vehicle to crash. The suspect period began on June 12, 2013, when 3.0L Diesel engines with suspect HPFPs were introduced into vehicle production, and ended on December 13, 2019, when 3.0L Diesel engines with suspect HPFPs were no longer used in vehicle production.

Warning signs that your vehicle may be experiencing this problem include:
Drivers may notice a Malfunction Indicator Lamp, a service Electronic Throttle Control indicator, a fuel leak at the HPFP, or excessive noise from the HPFP.

FCA US is aware of 215 customer assistance records, 1,061 warranty claims, and three field reports that could be related to this issue.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the HPFP replaced. Dealers will also inspect the entire fuel system and replace components as necessary. FCA’s number for this recall is Z46 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-406.

Ford will be contacting the owners of certain 2021-2022 Mustang Mach E vehicles because the high voltage battery in their cars may overheat. The problem may lead to loss of power and could increase the chance of an accident.

Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group first became aware of the problem in April 2022, after hearing of an issue pertaining to the high voltage battery main contactor overheating in a Mustang Mach E. A review of warranty reports found approximately 286 warranty claims where the problem was an open or welded battery contactor. According to the defect report, it is possible that the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat, which can result in an open contactor or a welded condition.

Contactors that are welded shut while driving, will result in an illuminated powertrain malfunction warning light on the next drive cycle, along with a no-start condition.

Contactors that become open while driving, will result in a powertrain malfunction warning light, the vehicle will display “Stop Safely Now” on the instrument panel, and the vehicle will lose power.

In both cases, all 12V systems including power brakes and steering will remain functional.

Ford will correct the problem by installing a Secondary On-Board Diagnostic Control Module (SOBDMC) and updating the Battery Energy Control Module (BECM) software. Ford is expected to begin Over-The-Air (OTA) updates for the SOBDMC and BECM software in July 2022. Owners will also have the option to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the software update completed.

The updated SOBDMC software (LJ98-14G069-AXG, LJ98-14G069-AZG, LJ98-14G069-BBG, LJ98-14G069-BDG) will monitor contactor temperature and intelligently reduce battery power to prevent damage to the contactor. The updated BECM software (NJ98-14C197-AE, NJ98-14C197-BD) will monitor contactor resistance to identify an overheated contactor and reduce vehicle power to prevent further damage.

Ford’s number for this recall is 22S41 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-412.

Certain 2019-2020 Mustang vehicles equipped with 5.0L engines and manual transmissions, could experience a problem with the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The PCM could broadcast a faulty signal to the modules controlling the reverse camera, reverse light, and driver-assist features. Owners will be instructed to return to their dealerships for repairs.

According to the safety report, the 2019 Mustang 5.0L Manual Transmission Model is the first to introduce a new Rev matching feature that includes a new Manual Gear Position Sensor and associated software/calibration.

In July 2020, Ford Product Development engineers identified a small number of warranty claims associated with the Manual Gear Position Sensor which caused the rear view camera and reverse lamps to stop functioning, but based on the low occurrences, the Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) closed the investigation. By April 2022, 102 warranty claims alleging non-functioning rear view camera display and/or non-functioning reverse lamps and 94 warranty claims of potentially related non-functioning of various driver-assist features (traction control, forward collision warning, blind-spot warning, cross-traffic indicator) caused Ford’s Field Review Committee to reopen the investigation and issue a recall.

According to the defect report, some unique driving scenarios or vehicle conditions, including clutch slip, causing incorrect ratio, extended reverse driving, miscalibration of odd/even shift gates, customer modifications, a mismatch between the gear position sensor signal and the estimated gear calculation, might be detected by the PCM. The PCM will interpret the degraded signal to mean a fault and may disable the modules controlling the reverse camera, reverse lamps, and driver-assist features.

Owners receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the PCM software updated in their Mustang. Ford’s number for this recall is 22S37 and the NHTSA campaign number is 22V-382.

If you are experiencing repeated problems with your vehicle, 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!