The following vehicles have been recalled over the past couple of weeks, ranging from the Fiat-controlled Chrysler Group, which includes Dodge, RAM, and Maserati (which is owned by Ferrari), to the major German automakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Even the now-defunct Japanese automaker Suzuki has been affected, and Honda has issued yet another Honda Odyssey recall.
Chrysler is recalling the all-wheel-drive versions of their 300 full-sized luxury sedan, as well as the Dodge Charger, which share the same platform for the ZF transmission that is prone to fracture. Over time, the vehicle could inadvertently shift out of Park if the vehicle's handbrake has not been engaged, and could ultimately fail. The latest Chrysler recall also includes the RAM 1500 pickup truck, which is also equipped with the same transmission. In all, 4,194 of the 2013 models will be affected.
From the other side of the pond, Fiat's Maserati division is recalling 39 of their flagship Quattroporte luxury sedans for faulty battery cables. According to the NHTSA, "The affected vehicles have an improper Y-connection crimp in the alternator-starter motor wiring harness". Furthermore, "the improper crimp could cause the battery positive cable to short to ground which may cause the wiring harness to overheat and result in a fire". The defect could either cause a fire or stall the engine. Although there haven't been any reports from owners that reside in the United States, Maserati wanted to issue the recall campaign as a precautionary measure.
Speaking of Europe, this report would not be complete without checking in with the Germans. BMW has issued two recalls recently, for their best-selling 3-Series lineup, M5, and the X3 Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV). The first BMW recall is actually a follow up to the original BMW recall that was announced back in May of this year, as a part of the massive worldwide multi-automaker recall for defective airbags from the supplier Takata. More specifically, it concerns 42,080 of the following vehicles from the 2002-2003 model years:
2002-2003 BMW 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi sedans
2002-2003 325Ci and 330Ci coupes and convertibles
2002-2003 325iT and 325xiT sports wagons
2002-2003 M3 coupes and convertibles
The second BMW recall involves only three X3 xDrive28i and 35i vehicles for an instrument panel defect. More specifically, due to an error in the production process, it appears that the tear seam in the instrument panel was not produced properly. The end result could result in the airbag not properly deploying in the event of an accident, as well as possibly impacting the passengers with fragments from the panel itself.
Across the way, Mercedes-Benz is already issuing a recall for 290 of the 2014 S550 full-sized sedans for a seat belt anchor that could become loose, due to it not being installed properly. The defect was found during routine quality assurance inspections. In the event of an accident, this might reduce the amount of protection that would normally be afforded to the occupants, thus increasing the risk of injuries.
Over in Japan, still reeling after ending sales in America, Suzuki has issued a recall for 142 of their SX4 crossover vehicles that were equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) . The recall concerns the drive plate bolts that connect it to the torque converter. It has been determined that they may have not been installed properly, and that over time, may loosen and fall off. If they were to detach from the torque converter, they could get caught between the drive plate and the cylinder block. This could cause the engine to stall unexpectedly, which would increase the risk of an accident or injuries. As with all Suzuki recalls, owners can contact their local Suzuki Auto Service Provider for more information, or to schedule a service appointment.
Finally, Honda has issued a recall for their oft-recalled Odyssey minivans, this time for the 2007-2008 model years. Approximately 344,187 minivans are being recalled because the Vehicle Safety Assist System may apply the brakes inadvertently, and without warning to the driver. In addition, if the malfunction were to occur, they would not illuminate the brake lights, thus increasing the risk of the vehicle and its occupants being involved in an accident. The defect has been traced back to a combination of system components and software. Honda had received about 109 warranty claims, as well as 205 field reports relating to the issue.
The latest Chrysler, Maserati, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, and Honda recalls will have their respective technicians correct the issues, by either repairing or replacing the affected components. Although the recalls are expected to begin right away, some issues may not be resolved, due to a shortage in parts supply. It is advisable that owners contact their local dealerships for more information.