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.

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.

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

Hyundai Motor America will be asking owners of certain 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona Electric vehicles to return to their dealerships because of a problem affecting the lithium-ion battery.

In March 2019 Hyundai received three reports of Kona electric vehicles catching fire while parked. All vehicles involved were reportedly parked with a fully charged battery. Further investigation found several similar incidents which initiated an investigation into the problem. As a result of this investigation, a campaign was launched to upgrade the BMS software for early detection of abnormalities in the battery while the vehicle is parked. The software update was developed as a fail safe countermeasure as they continued their investigation

In February 2021 Hyundai became aware of a Kona EV. with the updated software. that caught fire while at full state of charge. Further investigation into the cause found an internal short within the battery cells caused by a folded Anode tab could result in Lithium plating on the Anode tab to contact and short circuit to the Cathode. Based on this information a safety campaign will be conducted to replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA)

Once parts are available, dealers will replace the Battery System Assembly (BSA). Owners are advised to park their vehicles outside and away from structures until the recall is complete. The recall is expected to begin end of April. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 200 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-127.

In October 2020 the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV because of potential battery fires while charging. In November, Chevrolet announced a recall affecting 2017-2018 and select 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EVs manufactured by LG Chem’s Ochang Korea facility. More than 68,000 Chevy Bolt EV’s have been recalled.

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.

The final remedy is still under development. Owners were notified of the interim repair beginning November 17, 2020. A second notice will be mailed when the final repair becomes available. GM’s number for this recall is N202311730 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-701 .

If you own one of these vehicles and are concerned or have questions about your recourse under the California Lemon Law, please contact the Law Office of Barry L. Edzant at 888-395-3666 to speak with the attorney.

In December 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) received a petition that requested an investigation into alleged sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) in certain 2017-2019 Tesla Model 3, 2013-2019 Tesla Model S and 2016-2019 Tesla Model X vehicles. The petition cited 127 consumer complaints including 110 crashes and 52 injuries.

On January 13, 2020, the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a Defect Petition (DP20-001) to assess the request. The investigation included reviews of all complaints and supporting information, as well as an additional 14 complaints that were either not included in the petition or were submitted after the petitioner’s submission. The review also included analyses of available crash data (EDR, Tesla log data, and/or video data) the NHTSA acquired from Tesla, as part of the investigation.

After reviewing the data, ODI has not identified evidence that would support a defect investigation into SUA in the subject vehicles. According to the NHTSA, “In every instance in which event data was available for review by ODI, the evidence shows that SUA crashes in the complaints have been caused by pedal misapplication. There is no evidence of any fault in the accelerator pedal assemblies, motor control systems, or brake systems that has contributed to any of the incidents. There is no evidence of a design factor contributing to increased likelihood of pedal misapplication. The theory provided of a potential electronic cause of SUA in the subject vehicles is based upon inaccurate assumptions about system design and log data.”

“NHTSA is authorized to issue an order requiring the remedy of a defect if the Agency’s investigation shows a defect in design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle that presents an unreasonable risk to safety. Since the information is not indicative of a vehicle based defect, it is unlikely that any investigation opened because of granting this petition would result in an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect. Therefore, upon full consideration of the information presented in the petition and the potential risks to safety, the petition is denied. The denial of this petition does not foreclose the Agency from taking further action if warranted or the potential for a future finding that a safety-related defect exists based upon additional information the agency may receive.”

An investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S autopilot system has safety regulators warning drivers to not use semi-autonomous cars as if they were fully self-driving. The investigation began after a driver using autopilot in a 2015 Tesla Model S died when the car failed to spot a tractor trailer crossing its path. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) blamed the driver of the vehicle because he ignored the manufacturer’s warnings to maintain control even while using the driver-assist function. The NHTSA said it found no defects in the vehicle and would not issue a recall.

Just last year, the NHTSA released guidelines to ensure vehicle safety without slowing the development of semi-autonomous and self-driving cars. The agency says self-driving features could dramatically reduce traffic deaths by eliminating human error, which plays a role in 94 percent of fatal crashes. Although Tesla has maintained that autopilot was not responsible for the drivers death, it issued a number of over-the-air updates to the software to increased use of radar sensors and have added a feature that would disable autopilot if drivers took their hands off the wheel too many times.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have upgraded an investigation into exploding airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive Incorporated after a Canadian woman was killed during a low speed accident. According to a spokesman for Transport Canada, the woman may have survived the accident had she not suffered shrapnel injuries. The NHTSA began looking at ARC airbags last year after reports that an Ohio woman was seriously injured by a rupturing airbag when her 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan crashed. Investigators say another injury involving a 2004 Kia Optima also had an ARC inflator installed from the same factory.

The NHTSA are focusing on airbags made between 2000 and September 2004, but do not believe that humidity is the cause of the problem. The probe into the ARC inflators is similar to the Takata issue which resulted in 69 million Takata airbags recalled in the U.S.

View the full details of the NHTSA ARC Airbag Investigation HERE.