Volkswagen, Ford and Mercedes-Benz endure car recalls

08 April 2022

Hundreds of thousands of vehicles have recently been recalled by a handful of carmakers. Volkswagen (VW) Group brands will reportedly see thousands of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) recalled globally due to a fire risk.

Ford will recall over 345,000 models in the US due to a potential oil leak that could cause an engine fire. Nearly 400,000 other Ford vehicles will also be recalled due to an issue with the trailer braking system. Elsewhere, Mercedes Benz will have to call back some of its cars owning to an indicator software fault.

VW Group PHEV fire risk

More than 100,000 VW Group PHEVs will be recalled worldwide due to a fire risk, Reuters recently reported. The news organisation outlined that some 42,300 Passat, Golf, Tiguan, and Arteon models will be affected. Audi will apparently also be impacted, recalling 24,400 vehicles, as well as SEAT and Skoda.  

‘During extensive inspections, Volkswagen has found that a fuse in the drive system of some plug-in hybrid vehicles may have defects in individual cases. In rare cases, this could lead to this fuse not working correctly in a case of overvoltage,’ a company spokesperson told Autovista24.

A report filed by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), Germany’s automotive authority, describes insufficient engine-cover fastening, which can lead to contact with hot parts, potentially resulting in a fire. It pointed out that there have currently been 16 cases reported in Germany. As part of the recall, VW’s solution looks to involve an insulating mat.

‘Therefore, as part of a recall, an insulating mat is installed as a precaution. Owners of affected plug-in hybrid models from the Golf, Tiguan, Passat and Arteon series will be informed and invited to retailer workshops. At the Volkswagen brand, around 42,300 vehicles worldwide are affected by the measure.’

In early March, VW stopped taking orders for several PHEV models, however, this was reported to be a result of destabilised supply chains following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company spokesperson re-confirmed this was the case with Autovista24, explaining there was a need to reduce the number of orders coming in and build the cars which were already on order.

Ford vehicle recalls

In the US, Ford is recalling a total of 737,000 vehicles due to two separate potential issues, Reuters reports. 345,451 Escape models built between 2020 and 2022, as well as Bronco Sport vehicles made between 2021 and 2022, pose a potential fire risk. This is because the engine-oil separator housing could crack and develop an oil leak.

There have reportedly been at least eight fires potentially related to the issues, but no related injuries or crashes. As noted in a report in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filing, dealers will need to inspect the oil separator for damage or oil leaks and replace parts where necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be sent out on 18 April.

Additionally, the American carmaker is also having to recall a total of 391,836 F-150, Maverick, Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 vehicles. NHTSA documents state this is because of a software error meaning a towed trailer equipped with an electric or an electric-over- hydraulic brake system may not function correctly. Again, dealers will fix the issue free of charge by updating the integrated trailer brake-control module software.

Elsewhere, Mercedes Benz has recalled certain C-Class, S-Class, and EQS models because of troubles with software. A report by the KBA identifies 62,810 potentially affected vehicles built between 2020 and 2022. It highlights issues with the rear signal and control-module software, which could potentially lead to failure of the rear indicators, including the hazard-warning lights, and the reversing lights. Again, a software update appears to be the solution to this problem.