Ford Escape GearshiftFord has discovered a problem affecting specific hybrid vehicles, including the 2022-2024 Maverick, 2020-2022 Escape, and 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair models. These vehicles may contain software that could cause the vehicle to shift into neutral unexpectedly.

Investigation and Findings

In March 2024, Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) initiated an investigation following field reports indicating that some vehicles were shifting to neutral after receiving a Hybrid Powertrain Control Module (HPCM) software update at dealerships. The powertrain controls and calibration team discovered that the new Hybrid Transmission Internal Park Module (HTIPM) software, which had been released for service in January 2024, was incorrectly detecting noise in the Park Motor Position Sensor. This led to the generation of erroneous Park Motor Position Sensor Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) U1010 and U1011.

Field Action Approval

On May 3, 2024, Ford’s Field Review Committee examined the issue and approved a field action to address the problem. According to the defect report, the affected vehicles received HPCM software that could force the vehicle into a neutral state while driving. As the vehicle coasts to a stop, the transmission will automatically shift to “Park”. Despite this issue, drivers retain functionality for power braking and power steering. Once the driver shifts back to drive, the vehicle enters a limp home mode, which provides limited torque at low speeds up to 30 mph.

Reported Incidents and Warranty Claims

Ford has reported 315 warranty claims in North America and 125 Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs) that may be related to this software issue. These incidents highlight the importance of addressing the defect to ensure driver safety and vehicle reliability.

Recall Details and Owner Notification

To rectify the problem, dealers will update the HPCM software free of charge. Ford plans to mail owner notification letters starting on May 23, 2024. For reference, Ford’s recall number for this issue is 24S33, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number is 24V-330.

Owners of the affected vehicles are encouraged to contact their dealers promptly to schedule the necessary software update. Ensuring that your vehicle receives this update is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and safety.

Summary

  • Affected Vehicles: 2022-2024 Ford Maverick, 2020-2022 Ford Escape, and 2021-2022 Lincoln Corsair hybrid models.
  • Issue: Software may cause unexpected shifts into neutral.
  • Investigation Start: March 2024 by Ford’s CCRG.
  • Findings: Noise in Park Motor Position Sensor detected by HTIPM software, causing erroneous DTCs U1010 and U1011.
  • Action Approved: May 3, 2024, by Ford’s Field Review Committee.
  • Incidents Reported: 315 warranty claims and 125 VOQs in North America.
  • Solution: HPCM software update by dealers.
  • Owner Notification: Letters to be mailed starting May 23, 2024.
  • Recall Numbers: Ford 24S33, NHTSA 24V-330.

In recent years, advancements in automotive technology have led to increasingly sophisticated control systems within vehicles, aimed at enhancing performance, efficiency, and safety. However, with these advancements come the potential for unforeseen challenges and issues to arise.

One such challenge has been identified in certain models of Ford vehicles, specifically the 2021-2024 Ford Bronco Sport and the 2022-2023 Ford Maverick. The concern centers around the failure of the body control module (BCM) and powertrain control module (PCM) to accurately detect changes in the state of charge of the 12-volt battery. This oversight has significant implications, as it could result in a loss of drive power, thereby increasing the risk of accidents and compromising the safety of both drivers and passengers.

The issue first came to light in October 2023, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation (NHTSA ODI) initiated an inquiry following reports of loss of motive power (LOMP) and subsequent loss of 12-volt accessories in 2021 model year Bronco Sport vehicles. Upon receiving 29 potentially relevant Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs) from NHTSA, Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group (CCRG) promptly launched an investigation to delve deeper into the matter.

Subsequent testing and analysis revealed a fundamental flaw in the BCM and PCM calibrations, rendering them incapable of accurately detecting battery failure in the affected vehicles. This deficiency becomes particularly pronounced during instances where the alternator struggles to meet the electrical load demand or during Auto Stop-Start events. As a result, drivers may experience unexpected loss of drive power, posing a serious safety hazard.

In response to these findings, Ford’s Field Review Committee took decisive action and authorized a vehicle recall to address the underlying issue. Under the recall, authorized dealerships will undertake corrective measures by re-calibrating the BCM and PCM to ensure accurate monitoring of the 12-volt battery state of charge. The recall process is expected to commence soon, with owner notification letters slated to be mailed out on May 13, 2024.

However, the implications of this issue extend beyond the immediate safety concerns. Ford acknowledges a significant number of warranty reports, field reports, and customer complaints related to this issue, totalling 917, 11, and 54 respectively. Moreover, there have been alarming reports of three unverified incidents of fire and two property damage claims allegedly linked to this concern. These statistics underscore the urgency of addressing the issue promptly and comprehensively.

In light of these developments, Ford has assigned a unique recall number, 24S24, and the corresponding NHTSA campaign number is 24V-267.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC CanyonIn the realm of automotive safety, the emergence of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has promised to revolutionize the driving experience, offering heightened levels of safety and convenience. However, as with any technological advancement, occasional glitches and malfunctions can arise, potentially jeopardizing the safety of drivers and passengers alike. Such is the case with the “phantom braking” issue that has plagued certain 2023 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks.

The issue came to light in September 2023, when reports of unexpected automatic emergency braking (AEB) incidents surfaced in General Motors (GM) vehicles in China. GM initiated an investigation through its Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program, aiming to identify the root cause of the problem and implement appropriate corrective measures.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the faulty behavior stemmed from the Front Camera Module (FCM) system, a crucial component responsible for detecting obstacles and triggering AEB when necessary. Under certain conditions, the FCM’s software exhibited erroneous detection of obstacles, resulting in unwarranted activation of the AEB system. This phenomenon, referred to as “phantom braking,” poses a significant safety risk, potentially leading to accidents and injuries.

GM, in collaboration with its supplier, conducted rigorous testing and analysis to pinpoint the underlying cause of the malfunction. This involved examination of field data from various sources, including different versions of the FCM software, vehicles produced in different periods, and reports from both the U.S. and China.

A total of 234 field complaints in the U.S. were potentially linked to the phantom braking issue. Among these incidents, four resulted in accidents, with three causing minor injuries to occupants. GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) made the decision to initiate a safety recall in February 2024.

The recall, identified by GM as A232424660 and by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as campaign number 24V-133, involves a corrective measure aimed at rectifying the software glitch in the FCM. Authorized dealerships will apply updates to the FCM software, effectively addressing the root cause of the phantom braking issue and restoring the intended functionality of the AEB system.

In conclusion, while the emergence of advanced driver assistance systems has undoubtedly enhanced automotive safety, incidents such as the phantom braking issue serve as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and proactive intervention. Through swift action and collaboration between manufacturers, suppliers, and regulatory agencies, the automotive industry can continue to push the boundaries of safety innovation, ensuring that drivers can enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising their well-being on the road.

Chrysler (FCA) will be contacting the owners of certain 2021-2024 Jeep Wrangler and 2022-2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee over a failure to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) related to windshield defrosting and defogging systems. Owners of affected vehicles are urged to take immediate action to rectify this potentially hazardous issue.

In June 2023, FCA Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance (TSRC) organization received reports indicating a potential malfunction in the windshield defrost system of certain 2021-2024 Jeep Wrangler Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and 2022-2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEVs. This issue raised concerns about the vehicles’ compliance with FMVSS.

An investigation conducted by FCA determined that a subset of these vehicles may have been built with incorrectly programmed hybrid control processor (HCP) software. This flaw could result in the disabling of the windshield defrost system under specific conditions. The affected period for the Jeep Wrangler spans from September 2, 2020, to August 24, 2023, while for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it extends from July 23, 2021, to December 5, 2023.

A disabled windshield defrost system poses a significant safety risk, as it can impair outward visibility during critical driving conditions, potentially leading to accidents. In response to this safety concern, FCA has initiated a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

To address the issue, authorized dealerships will update the HCP software to rectify the programming error. This corrective action aims to restore the proper functioning of the windshield defrosting and defogging systems, ensuring optimal visibility and driving safety for affected vehicle owners and occupants. This recall, identified as recall number 04B by Chrysler, carries the NHTSA campaign number 24V-111.

Chevy Blazer EV Stop Delivery

General Motors (GM) has announced an immediate stop delivery order for certain 2024 model vehicles, including the Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Terrain vehicles. This decision, taken as a precautionary measure to ensure customer satisfaction and vehicle reliability.

The specific issue prompting this stop delivery order has not been publicly disclosed by General Motors. The order is categorized under “Global Safety Field Investigations,” suggesting that GM is actively working to identify and rectify the underlying problem. The lack of detailed information at this stage highlights the company’s cautious approach in handling potential vehicle issues.

Affected vehicles have been identified through their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), with a clear directive that these vehicles should not be sold or delivered by dealers until further details and solutions are provided. This restriction also prohibits dealer trades, auction releases, demonstration uses, or any other dealership activities involving these models. To facilitate this process, GM has updated the Investigate Vehicle History (IVH) screen in the Global Warranty Management (GWM) system, which now tags the affected vehicles with a “Stop Delivery” status and labels the VIN as “Incomplete Remedy Not Available.”

One significant concern that has emerged is related to software issues in the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, which uses GM’s advanced Ultium battery system. A small number of Blazer EV owners have reported issues with the software quality, prompting Chevrolet to temporarily halt sales and deliveries of this model. This pause is intended to ensure that the vehicles delivered meet GM’s high standards for quality and reliability. Notably, the software problems cannot be resolved through an over-the-air (OTA) update, necessitating a visit to the dealership for service.

GM has assured customers and stakeholders that these software issues are not safety-related and do not pertain to the Ultium battery system or the Google Built-in features. The engineering teams at GM are actively working on a solution. Affected vehicle owners will be contacted by GM with instructions on scheduling their software updates.

This stop delivery order, labeled under GM number N232429910, is a measure by GM to preemptively address potential issues before they impact customers. As the situation evolves, GM is expected to provide further updates and guidance to both dealerships and vehicle owners.

Owners of certain 2024 Buick and Chevrolet models should be aware of a critical software issue affecting their vehicles. This concern, primarily impacting the Buick Encore GX, Buick Envista, and Chevrolet Trax, has prompted a safety recall due to the risk of instrument panel displays going blank, either at startup or while driving.

In August 2023, General Motors’ Safety and Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) initially addressed this issue through a service update bulletin. The bulletin aimed to update the Virtual Cockpit Unit (VCU) software in the affected models. However, this measure escalated to a safety recall after an intervention by the Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute (KATRI).

During a meeting in September 2023 between GM Korea representatives and KATRI officials, KATRI determined that the issue warranted a safety recall rather than a mere service update. This decision was influenced by the potential danger posed by the software malfunction.

To date, GM has received 255 global complaints regarding the instrument panel blackout, though, fortunately, there have been no reported accidents or injuries related to this issue. Nonetheless, the risk cannot be understated. A blackout of the instrument panel while driving can dangerously divert the driver’s attention, escalating the risk of a crash.

Affected vehicle owners will be notified about the recall, identified by GM’s number A232424320 and the NHTSA campaign number 23V-744. To resolve the issue, owners can opt for a dealer visit to update the VCU software or choose an over-the-air (OTA) update.

The initiative to convert the service update into a safety recall underscores the importance of proactive safety measures in the automotive industry. The issue of the blank instrument displays in select 2024 Buick and Chevrolet vehicles is concerning and vehicle owners are encouraged to respond promptly to the notice to ensure their safety on the road.

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is reaching out to the owners of certain 2023 Ariya vehicles due to an issue with the inverter software. This problem may trigger the inverter to detect a short circuit, causing a shutdown of the EV system and a loss of drive power.

The Discovery of the Problem:

Nissan first became aware of this issue during a production trial involving an Ariya vehicle in January 2022. In this trial, the electric motor abruptly shut off shortly after the vehicle began moving at low speed. A diagnostic trouble code (DTC) revealed a short circuit inside the motor, although no actual damage to the motor or its components was observed. A deeper investigation into the problem found that in some rare instances, conductive fibers generated during the operation from the slip ring in the motor could lead to a momentary short circuit between the electrodes.

Understanding the Problem:

Nissan Ariya dashAccording to the defect report, the root cause of the issue lies in conductive fibrous shavings from the drive motors’ slip ring assembly. These shavings can occasionally cause a momentary short circuit between the two slip rings. When this occurs, the fibrous shavings are instantaneously burned out, causing no harm to any vehicle components. However, when the inverter detects a momentary over-current due to the short circuit, it reduces motor torque to protect the internal components of the controller. This leads to a loss of drive power, and an “EV System Off” message is displayed on the dashboard to alert the driver.

In the event of this issue occurring, the torque to the driven wheels is cut off. This continues until the fail-safe mode is released, which requires turning the vehicle off and then back on. An unexpected loss of motive power while driving at high speeds could potentially increase the risk of an accident.

Nissan’s Solution:

To address this safety concern, Nissan dealers will reprogram the inverter software to enhance the fail-safe protocols. This proactive measure aims to prevent such short circuits from impacting the driving experience and maintaining safety for the driver.

Recall Details:

Nissan has designated this recall as R23C6 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has assigned the campaign number 23V-657 to this recall.

Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is taking action to address a safety matter related to certain 2018-2023 LEAF EVs. These Electric Vehicles could experience unintended acceleration. This issue came to Nissan’s attention during internal testing in December 2021 when a trial vehicle showed a motor torque deceleration delay following the deactivation of Intelligent Cruise Control.

To tackle this problem, Nissan conducted computer simulations, analyzing data from the test vehicle, in an effort to replicate the condition. After several tests, they identified a specific sequence of actions that could potentially lead to the reported phenomenon, although they were unable to recreate the issue on an actual vehicle.

To ensure the safety of their customers, Nissan continued their efforts to replicate the phenomenon under real-world conditions. After extensive computer simulation and on-track testing, they determined that the following sequence of actions must be completed in under eight (8) seconds for the unintended acceleration to occur:

1. Disengage Cruise Control, Intelligent Cruise Control, or ProPILOT Assist.
2. Immediately after disengagement, shift drive modes from ‘D’ to ‘B’ or ‘ECO’, or activate e-Pedal ‘ON’.
3. Press the accelerator pedal and then release it.

Nissan’s evaluation of the risk associated with this issue in real-world driving conditions is very low, as it has not occurred outside of controlled track or simulated test environments. However, taking a cautious approach, Nissan decided to conduct a recall campaign to reprogram the Vehicle Control Module (VCM) as a preventive measure.
For clarification, the ‘B’ mode engages the regenerative braking system more aggressively on downhill slopes, reducing the need for excessive brake use. This mode is manually selected by shifting from ‘D’ to ‘B’ using the shift lever.

To address the issue, Nissan dealers will reprogram the Vehicle Control Module (VCM). You can refer to Nissan’s recall number for this action, which is R23A6, and the corresponding NHTSA campaign number, which is 23V-494.