The Office of Defects Investigation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have opened an investigation (PE21-020) into crashes involving first responder scenes and vehicles manufactured by Tesla. The vehicles involved were operating in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control prior to the accident.
|The Vehicles Affected Include:
|2017-2021 Tesla Model 3
|2014-2021 Tesla Model S
|2015-2021 Tesla Model X
|2019-2021 Tesla Model Y
Since January 2018, the NHTSA has identified twelve crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations, encountered first responder scenes and preceded to crash into one or more vehicles involved with those scenes. Most incidents took place after dark and included traffic control measures such as first responder vehicle lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board and road cones. The involved vehicles were all engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes.
Autopilot is an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) in which the vehicle maintains its speed and lane centring. With the ADAS active, the driver still holds primary responsibility for Object and Event Detection and Response (OEDR), e.g., identification of obstacles in the roadway or adverse maneuvers by other vehicles during the Dynamic Driving Task (DDT).
The NHTSA have opened a Preliminary Evaluation of the SAE Level 2 ADAS system (Autopilot) in the Tesla 3, S, X, and Y models. The investigation will evaluate the methods used to monitor, assist, and enforce the driver’s engagement with the dynamic driving task during Autopilot operation. The investigation will also assess the OEDR by vehicles when engaged in Autopilot mode and ODD in which the Autopilot mode is functional. The investigation will also include examination of the contributing circumstances for the confirmed crashes listed below and other similar crashes.
General Motors have decided that a defect affecting vehicle safety exists in certain Hankook tires installed as original equipment on some 2021-2022 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain vehicles.
In July 2021, GM’s Speak Up For Safety program received information that two tires, received through GM warranty return, had suffered delamination. In June, the owner of a 2021 GMC Terrain brought their vehicle to a GM dealer with complaints of vibration and thumping noises while driving. The dealership noted that the owner had a previous issue with a tire on a road trip that resulted in tire replacement. Both tires were shipped to the supplier. GM became aware of a third tire potentially related to this condition in July. All three tires were from DOT number 0521. GM initiated a yard hold and sort for vehicles equipped with tires from that DOT number. Through testing Hankook determined that the delamination was caused by an insufficient amount of curative agent in a particular batch of rubber. In July Hankook informed GM that they intended to issue a tire recall. GM is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with this condition and have decided to conduct a safety recall.
Delamination of tread may occur at high speeds. The tire will likely not deflate or burst, but the tread separation might compromise vehicle handling and/or cause a crash. Warning signs that your tires are delaminated include noise or feel vibration while driving and/or a bulge in the tread may also be noticeable.
Dealers will inspect the tire DOT numbers and replace any affected tires. GM’s number for this recall is N212343560 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-612.
General Motors will be contacting the owners of certain 2020-2022 Cadillac CT4 And CT5 vehicles because of a problem affecting the roof rail side air bags.
In June 2021, GM investigators were contacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding a right-side roof rail airbag (RRAB) in a 2020 Cadillac CT5 that did not deploy properly during a test for out-of-position occupants. Inspection of NHTSA’s test photos shows a twisted condition between attachment points of the affected RRAB.
In July, a yard hold was initiated at GM’s assembly plant. Inspection of approximately 1,300 vehicles on hold found five vehicles with the twisted RRAB condition. GM is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with this condition, but have decided to conduct a safety recall.
Dealers will inspect both left and right-side roof rail air bags and reinstall the air bags, as necessary. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in September. GM’s number for this recall is N212342780 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-611.
Ford will be contacting the owners of certain 2019 Ford Fiesta vehicles regarding a problem affecting the braking system in their cars.
According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, the brake calipers were incorrectly labeled at the manufacturer and may have been filled with an incompatible brake fluid. This incompatible lubricant could cause to the seals to swell and develop leaks, which could lead to reduced braking, brake drag and overheating of the brake pads. If the brake fluid becomes low, drivers will be alerted through an illuminated low fluid warning light.
Ford will notify owners instructing them to return to their dealers to flush the brake fluid and replace the front brake calipers. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S27 and the NHTSA campaign number is 19V629000.
Ford will also be contacting the owners of certain Ford and Lincoln vehicles because of a problem affecting steering. The vehicles affected include:
- 2015-2016 Ford Edge
- 2013-2016 Ford Edge
- 2016 Lincoln MKX
- 2013-2016 Lincoln MKZ
According to the defect report, an improper application of anti corrosion wax on the steering gear motor attachment bolts may result in corrosion of the bolts. As a result, the steering gear motor could become loose or detaching from the gear housing and power steering assist would be lost.
Owners will be asked to return to their Ford or Lincoln dealers to have the wax sealer applied to the steering gear motor bolts. Ford’s number for this recall is 19S27 and the NHTSA campaign number is 19V629000.
Mercedes Benz will be contacting the owners of certain 2017-2018 Coupe vehicles regarding a problem affecting vehicle safety. According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, a production deviation at the supplier has resulted in front seat back locks that to not lock properly. Unsecured objects in the rear seats might not be held back during a crash, increasing the risk of injury to occupants.
The vehicles affected include:
- 2017-2018 C300
- 2017-2018 C43 AMG
- 2017 C63 AMG
- 2017-2018 C63S AMG
- 2018 E400
Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have the seat back locks inspected and replaced as necessary. For more information about the problem, owners can contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 18V-207.
Volkswagen will be contacting the owners of certain later model VW cars, regarding airbags affected by phase three of the Takata airbag recall. The vehicles involved include:
- 2009-2014 Volkswagen CC
- 2010-2011 Volkswagen EOS
- 2010-2014 Volkswagen Golf
- 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat
- 2007-2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon
As reported by Takata, due to high temperatures and humidity, airbag propellant could degrade over time and cause the airbags to deploy with too much force. In the event of an airbag rupture, metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, seriously injuring or killing occupants.
Those receiving notices will be instructed to return to their dealers to have the driver’s frontal air bag inflator replaced. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 69Q9 and the NHTSA campaign number is 18V-148. Note: This recall partially supersedes recall 16V-078.
General Motors has decided that a defect affecting vehicle safety exists in certain 2017 Buick LaCrosse vehicles.
According to the defect report, the terminal cables carrying ground and/or power to the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) connectors could have seals that were poorly crimped. The poor crimps make it difficult to fully seat those cables and could allow water to enter and corrode the connector. Drivers could experience an EPS warning light on the instrument panel, a chime will sounds to alert the driver and the vehicle will become difficult to steer.
Those receiving notices will be asked to return to their dealers to have their vehicles inspected and the problem corrected. Owners wanting more information about the problem are asked to contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300. GM’s number for this recall is 17085 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-116.
The Center for Auto Safety along with five other consumer and safety groups have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its recent decision to permit dealerships to advertise a vehicle as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) despite having open recalls. The FTC reached an agreement last year with General Motors and two other dealerships, allowing them to advertise automobiles as “certified pre-owned” even though they might have an issue related to a safety recall that still needs to be fixed. The agency did require the companies to disclose any uncompleted safety recalls to the buyer.
The groups suing the FTC say that dealerships could previously sell vehicles with dangerous, unaddressed safety recalls, but allowing them to designate them as CPO will permit unscrupulous auto dealers to engage in false and deceptive advertising about the safety of the vehicles they are selling.