Power Steering Recall

Roughly two years ago, Chrysler recalled approximately 442 Dodge Ram pick up trucks for a problem with the electric power steering (EPS) module.  The recall applied specifically to 2015 -2016 Ram 1500 trucks manufactured between January 22, 2015 and September 13, 2015.  The problem had to do with short circuiting of the EPS circuit board that would cause the loss of power steering and increase the risk of a crash.  Since that recall was put in effect, reports have been received that indicate that the short circuit is not enough to cause the 100 amp fuse, that is supposed to protect the module, to open.  As a result, the short circuits are causing wiring to overheat and ignite resulting in vehicular fires.  It should be noted that overheating of the wiring has not been addressed and is not part of the original recall.  The original recall is identified as NHTSA campaign # 16V16700 and Chrysler recall # S19.  A copy of the recall is attached below.  The second page shows a wiring diagram and the connection between the EPS module and battery through the 100 amp fuse that is in question.  Also shown is the connection between the battery and the power center.  If a fire occurs, the origin appears to be in the area of the battery and power center, both of which are located on the driver’s side of the engine compartment above the left front wheel well.  Complaints regarding vehicular fires related to this recall should be reported to NHTSA through their website at www.nhtsa.gov.

Recall & wiring diagram0001

Recall & wiring diagram0002

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Fiat Chrysler Recalls 4.8 Million Vehicles

Fiat Chrysler has recalled approximately 4,800,000 vehicles because of a problem with the cruise control.  If the control short circuits, the driver might not be able to deactivate the control in order to reduce speed.  Use of the malfunctioning cruise control increases the driver’s risk of a crash.   The following vehicles are involved in this recall: 2014-2018 Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Charger sedans, Journey and Durango SUVs, Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks, Ram 3500 trucks (greater than 10,000 pounds), 4500 and 5500 cab-chassis trucks, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs; 2014-2019 Ram 1500 trucks, 2015-2018 Dodge Challenger sedans, 2015-2017 Chrysler 200 sedans, 2016-2018 Ram 3500 (less than 10,000 pounds) cab-chassis trucks, 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, and 2018 Jeep Wrangler SUVs.  The recall applies to those vehicles with automatic transmissions and gasoline engines.  Fiat Chrysler is advising drivers to stop using the cruise control.  If the driver cannot disengage the cruise control once engaged, the driver should press firmly on the brake pedal and shift the transmission lever from drive to neutral.  Let the vehicle coast to a stop while steering safely to the side of the road and then placing the shift lever in park once the vehicle has come to a complete stop.  Owner notification will begin on or about July 6, 2018.  Owners should then take their vehicles to their local dealer for a free repair.  For additional information, owners can contact Fiat Chrysler by calling 1-800-853-1403.

BMW Recalls

BMW has recalled issued two recalls for approximately one million vehicles.  The first recall involves a defective PCV valve heater that can short circuit and cause a vehicle fire.  The recall applies to 2008 through 2011 model 128i; and 2007 through 2011 models 328i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3, X5, and Z4.  The second recall is for a defective blower motor wiring connector that also poses a fire hazard.  The connector can cause the wiring to overheat and ignite.  The recall applies to 2006 through 2011 models 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi, and M3; 2007 through 2011 model 335is; and 2009 through 2011 model 335d.  Vehicle repairs are expected to start on December 18 and will be fixed free of charge.  For additional information, consumers can contact BMW by calling 1-800-327-4236.

General Electric Pays $3.5 million Civil Penalty

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that it has come to an agreement with General Electric regarding an imposed penalty for not reporting defects in two of its product lines. The products were identified as the “Profile” dual fuel ranges and “Profile and Monogram” dishwashers. According to the CPSC, press release number 15-082 dated February 19, 2015; General Electric had been notified about overheating of a wiring harness connector back in 2004 but did not report the problem until 2009. It was further determined that the overheating of the connector could also pose a fire hazard. In April of 2009, General Electric recalled 28,000 dual fuel ranges because of the hazard. Furthermore, the CPSC has determined that the control board in “Profile” and “Monogram” dishwashers can short circuit as result of the buildup of condensation on the boards. The short circuiting can also pose fire and burn hazards. According to the CPSC, General Electric had known about the problem since 2007 but failed to report the defect to the CPSC until 2010. Instead, the company chose to settle claims and make payments based on reports of defective units. In October of 2010, the company recalled 174,000 units.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to notify the CPSC immediately after learning of a potential defect in a product that could be hazardous to consumers. Consumers can report a dangerous product by going on line to www.saferproducts.gov or calling the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772.

Mini Cooper Water Pump Fire Hazard

Several months ago, BMW recalled thousands of Mini Coopers for a problem with a auxiliary water pump.  The pump is equipped with an electronic circuit board that can short circuit and lead to an engine fire.  Recently, we conducted an investigation into a 2009 Mini Cooper S with just such as problem.  The vehicle was supposed to have been repaired at a BMW dealership for the recall.  However, after the vehicle was returned to the european auto dealership for a coolant leak, the vehicle ignited.  During the initial examination, it was discovered that origin of the fire was in the area of the auxiliary water pump.  The damaged components were later inspected and the source of the fire confirmed.  It should be noted that the repair effected by BMW may not be the correct action if fires are occurring after the vehicle have supposedly been repaired.  Has anyone experienced a reignition?

Since posting the above information, there has been a question as to whether the actual recall work was performed.  However, it appears that the auxiliary water pump was replaced.  Since an ignition occurred AFTER the recall work was performed, the ignition suggests that the replacement of the pump was not the correct remedy for the recall and BMW/Mini still has a problem.  Again, has anyone experienced a reignition after a repair was performed?

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