May 2014 Safety Recall Alerts: Import Vehicles

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NHTSA 2So far the month of May has given us several interesting safety recalls for domestic vehicles, carefully filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are also many safety recalls associated with imported vehicles. In the news for this past weekend, the Hyundai Motor Company announced that they will recall approximately 140,000 Tucson crossover SUVs manufactured between 2011 and 2014. The Korean automaker stated that they had notified the NHTSA of the impending recall but there has been no official recall number posted, as of yet. Since the recall was not announced until Saturday, May 17, it is probably a matter of the NHTSA updating their website and that should be done on Monday.


TucsonThe affected Tucson models have driver’s side airbags that are loose because of an error in tightening the air bag retainer bolts properly. When the bolts become loose, the airbag will rattle and could fail to deploy when needed or deploy without cause. There have been over 100 service procedures performed to rectify this situation already with no parts required. In other words, the bolts were tightened and the problem was fixed. 2011 through 2014 Hyundai Tucson owners should be notified by mail of the recall and given further instructions. If you feel that you own a Hyundai Tucson that is affected by this condition, you may contact your local Hyundai dealer directly.


Other notable safety recalls include:


odysseyNHTSA Recall Number: 14V175000

Honda Recall Number: JE2

Vehicles Affected: Certain 2014 Honda Odyssey Vehicles (potentially 24,880).


Cause: While assembling the side curtain airbag the shorting terminal, an electrical connector that is designed to prevent airbag deployment during vehicle assembly, may have been damaged on certain vehicles.


Consequence: If the terminal was damaged, the passenger side curtain airbag could fail to deploy in an accident or deploy without cause (you can’t very well say “accidentally” because that is exactly what it is designed to do), increasing the risk of passenger injury in a motor vehicle collision.


Correction: Odyssey owners should be notified by mail (if their vehicle is affected) with specific instruction for having the shorting pin terminal replaced at the local Honda dealership, free of charge. The recall officially begins May 13, 2014, so be watching your mail boxes.


NOTE: If you feel that you own a 2014 Honda Odyssey that is affected by this condition, and Honda fails to notify you of the recall, you may contact Honda directly at 1-999-1009. Please drive safely and avoid passenger side collisions until the condition is tested and/or repaired.


6NHTSA Recall Number: 14V170000

Mazda Recall Number: 7414D

Vehicles Affected: Certain Mazda vehicles manufactured between October 25, 2012 and May 9, 2013 (approximately 19,000 vehicles affected).


Cause: A faulty fuel shut-off valve in the fuel tank could make it possible for the fuel tank to be overfilled with fuel.


Consequence: If the fuel tank is overfilled and fuel is allowed to enter the fuel tank vent system, various evaporative emission control components and/or sensors could be damaged, resulting in poor fuel economy, increased engine exhaust emissions levels, increased risk of vehicle fire, and the illumination of a service engine soon light.


Correction: Mazda of North America will notify owners of affected vehicles with further instructions regarding having their vehicle tested and, if necessary, repaired free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in late May, 2014 so be on the lookout for that letter.


NOTE: If you own a Mazda vehicle, manufactured between the dates aforementioned, then you should be notified by mail with further instructions. You may also contact Mazda directly at 1-800-222-5500, if you fail to receive a recall notification.


NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 14V177000

C63Vehicles Affected: Certain C300, C300 4Matic, C350, and C63 AMG vehicles manufactured between January 26, 2007 and July 13, 2011 (approximately 252,887 vehicles).


Cause: Faulty tail light bulb holders are leading to an insufficient electrical ground connection, which can result in dimming, flickering, or inoperative tail lights or turn signals..


Consequence: Failure to display legal lighting on the rear of these vehicles, whether it may be running lights, turn signals, or reverse lamps, could result in a variety of driving dilemmas from traffic tickets to motor vehicle collisions, especially during night time driving conditions.


Correction: Mercedes-Benz will notify owners of the affected vehicles by mail with instruction for rectifying the situation. Currently parts are not available for all vehicles, so Mercedes-Benz owners will get a second letter, when the parts become available at your local Mercedes-Benz dealership. The parts are expected to arrive during August or September of 2014.


NOTE: Not for nothing, if this thing is a Cadillac — badda-boom badda-bing — a couple of new bulb sockets and you are on your way. However, if you feel that you own a Mercedes-Benz that is affected by this egregious condition, you may contact Mercedes-Benz directly at 1-800-367-6372. Use care when operating your vehicle at night until this problem can be repaired.


NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 14V176000

128iVehicles Affected: BMW of North America 2010-2011 128i Coupe, 128i Convertible, 328i Sedan, 328i xDrive Sedan, 328i Coupe, 328i Convertible, 328i Sports Wagon and Z4 sDrive 30i, 2011-2012 135i Coupe, 135i Convertible, 335i Sedan, X5 xDrive 35i, and X6 xDrive 35i, 2011 335i xDrive Sedan, 335i Coupe, 335i Convertible, 528i Sedan, 535i Sedan, 535i xDrive Sedan, X3 xDrive 28i, and X3 xDrive 35i, 2010 X3 xDrive 30i, and X5 xDrive 30i, 2012 640i Coupe, and 640i Convertible and 2010-2012 535i Gran Turismo.(approximately 156,137 vehicles).


Cause: The bolts that secure the variable camshaft timing (VANOS) adjustment solenoid to the cylinder head can loosen over time and potentially break-off.


Consequence: If the bolts break, the engine will experience reduced power and possibly increased engine noise.


Correction: BMW will notify owners of affected vehicles by mail with further directions. Owners will be asked to deliver their cars to BMW dealerships for replacement of the four VANOS bolts for each solenoid, free of charge. The recall s expected to begin in May, 2014.


NOTES: Additionally, owners of certain BMW cars equipped with an inline 6-cylinder engine (that is not covered under this recall) will receive extended service plans, free of charge in the event that these engines also  experience a similar problem in the near future. If you feel that you own a BMW that is affected by this condition and you do not receive a recall notification, you may contact BMW North America directly at 1-800-525-7417.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.