Mazda has recalled more than 10,600 crossovers to replace corroded suspension ball joints, and BMW is calling back nearly 3,000 vehicles in which electrical connections may have been damaged by exposure to saltwater.
In Mazda’s case, the rusty ball joints could separate from the lower front suspension control arm, causing a sudden loss of control that could lead to a crash. Mazda will replace the lower control arms on all affected vehicles.
BMW’s recall comes following February ice storms in Halifax, where 2,966 cars were parked at the port following their arrival in Canada; Transport Canada says these vehicles may have been exposed to “excessive standing water and salt” for an extended period. On some Mini models, the starter motor’s electrical connections could rust and prevent the engine from restarting after being shut down by the car’s auto start/stop system. In some BMW models, that saltwater may have infiltrated the steering gear and may cause binding or higher than normal steering effort. And finally, wiring corrosion in other BMW and Mini vehicles could cause an increase in electrical resistance that may lead to a fire. BMW says it’s still working on its inspection procedures for these cars; once that’d done, it will announce what corrective actions are necessary.
Another suspension recall comes from Chrysler, whose Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs were built with rear suspension control arms that were improperly heat-treated during manufacturing and could fracture. Dealers are being instructed to inspect vehicles and replace control arms where necessary. This recall supercedes one issued earlier this year, and Transport Canada says vehicles repaired under that notice must be inspected again.
Another 165,000 Chrysler vehicles are under recall for overly-sensitive side airbag modules. In these Ram pickup and Dodge Charger models, the fault could could deploy a side airbag unnecessarily, or activate the seatbelt pretensioner. The fear is that this can startle the driver and lead to a crash. Dealers are to update the airbag module with revised software.
A different Challenger recall deals with faulty Takata airbags that could propel debris toward vehicle occupants or prevent proper airbag deployment. Dealers will replace the driver’s airbag inflator.
In more than 15,000 Chevrolet Impalas, a miscalibrated front passenger seat occupant detection system may not deactivate the airbag when an infant seat is placed in it. Cars with this fault will display an “airbag on” light when the front passenger seat is unoccupied (or occupied with a baby seat), and warning lights and chimes will come on when the seat is empty and the belt is unbuckled. Dealers will reprogram the airbag control module.
Volkswagen dealers will be busy making repairs to 250,000 vehicles (including Passat, CC, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta and Tiguan) from model years 2010 through 2014 after it was discovered that long hairs or other fibres could get tangled in the steering wheel’s clock spring and damage the electrical connection to the driver’s airbag. If this happens, the airbag warning light will come on, and the airbag will not deploy in a crash. VW will make the necessary repairs to affected vehicles.
In 1,400 Audi SQ5 models sold in 2014 and 2015, the electric power steering system could shut down in cold weather, causing an increase in steering effort that could cause a crash. Audi dealers will update the power steering control module software.
Nearly 8,000 Cadillac ATS models have sunroof mechanisms whose switches may inadvertently cause the roof to close automatically. Dealers will replace the trim plate around the upper console-mounted switches; this recall supercedes a recall issued earlier this year, and vehicles serviced during that campaign must be re-inspected.
In 9,500 Prius V models, a hybrid drive system fault could cause the powertrain to shut down unexpectedly, following the illumination of a variety of warning lights. Dealers will update the software for the drive system and make any necessary mechanical repairs caused by this fault.
More than 7,000 examples of the Chrysler 200 could stall due to electric connectors damaged during manufacturing; the resulting intermittent electrical connection may cause the engine to shut down, or the transmission to shift into neutral. Dealers will inspect and replace damaged connectors.
Finally, some 2016 Nissan Maximas may have an improperly-installed gasket on the fuel gauge sending unit where it fits into the fuel tank. A poorly-fitted seal could cause a fuel leak and risk of vehicle fire. Transport Canada says Nissan is working on a fix, which we can’t imagine will be all that complicated.