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    Ford’s recall of Mustang Mach-Es in 2022 is under investigation by feds / ArsTechnica · Monday, 21 August - 15:34 · 1 minute

A Ford Mustang Mach-E seen from the front 3/4 angle

Enlarge / Like the FedEx arrow or the elephant in GM's new logo, once you see the bandito mustache, you'll never unsee it. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Last year, Ford issued a recall for almost 49,000 Mustang Mach-E crossovers due to a problem with the electric vehicles' high-voltage battery contactors. The automaker's fix was a software update to two control modules on the Mach-E, but on Monday Reuters reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation has opened a recall query to see if Ford's software recall actually did the job.

On June 21, 2022, Ford issued a recall for 48,924 Mustang Mach-Es, also instructing dealerships to stop delivering the EVs to customers until the software fix was ready. The problem was battery contactors that could overheat during DC fast charging or with repeated use of full throttle; that overheating could lead to either arcing or the contact surfaces deforming, which in turn could lead to a complete loss of power while driving.

According to the recall safety notice , Ford had 286 warranty claims for open or welded contactors between July 2021 and May 2022. Ford's fix was a software update to the secondary on-board diagnostic control module and the battery energy control module.

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    Tesla misses deadline to inform NHTSA about Autopilot problems / ArsTechnica · Monday, 24 July - 17:35

A Tesla Model X with Roger the inflatable autopilot (from the movie Airplane!) in the driver's seat

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Tesla | Airplane!)

On July 3, 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made public a letter it sent Tesla in August 2022, demanding that the company provide updated responses to some questions. NHTSA is investigating the performance of Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system after identifying more than a dozen crashes in which Tesla vehicles struck stopped emergency vehicles . The agency is also investigating whether Tesla vehicles adequately ensure drivers are paying attention when using the Autopilot system.

Following a string of notable crashes, NHTSA officially initiated an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot system. And on July 3 , NHTSA wrote to Tesla again, asking the automaker for updated information by July 19. As far as anyone can tell, that didn't happen.

Recalls galore

If NHTSA decides to issue a recall, it wouldn’t be the first time. Tesla has faced a significant number of recalls over the past decade, covering various issues ranging from seatbelts to battery-related concerns.

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    First Tesla, now Nissan: Another EV recall to replace a steering wheel / ArsTechnica · Monday, 13 March, 2023 - 13:34

Nissan Ariya cockpit

Enlarge / This wheel should not be loose or wobbly. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Nissan is recalling some of its newest Ariya electric SUVs this month. The culprit? Yet another possibly loose steering wheel. As a result, the automaker has also issued a stop sale for the new EV until inventory vehicles can all be inspected and, if necessary, fixed. The recall affects 1,063 Ariyas in total.

The problem arose once the EVs had been imported to the United States from Japan. These cars required some quality control work to be performed at the port once they arrived, work that necessitated the removal of the steering wheels. But in some cases the bolt that holds the steering wheel in place might not have been properly torqued.

Nissan was first alerted to the problem at the end of January, when someone working at a dealership noticed a loose steering wheel on an Ariya. Just over a week later a second dealership reported something similar, and upon investigation, Nissan discovered the steering wheel bolt was missing in this case. Nissan says both cars had been serviced by the same technician at the port.

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    Tesla is recalling 3,470 Model Y crossovers for second-row seat fix / ArsTechnica · Monday, 6 March, 2023 - 14:55

Tesla Model Y middle seats

Mistorqued bolts may need to be fixed in some Model Y second rows. (credit: Tesla)

Rivian was not the only electric vehicle startup to feature in my weekly recall email from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this morning. Both Electra Mecchanica and Lordstown are recalling a small number of EVs, but, more significantly, Tesla has issued yet another recall , and this time there's no software patch that can remedy the problem; affected cars have to actually be physically inspected.

Tesla is recalling 3,470 Model Y crossovers built between May 2022 and February 2023 in order to check that the bolts that secure the frame of the second-row seats are properly torqued. Those that aren't could potentially increase the risk of injury to occupants of the second row during a crash.

For owners worried their cars may be affected, Tesla says that a "second-row seat back frame that has this condition may not fold properly or may be loose and rattle during normal vehicle operation."

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    Rivian recalls nearly 13,000 electric trucks and SUVs for seatbelt fix / ArsTechnica · Monday, 6 March, 2023 - 14:24 · 1 minute

A pair of Rivian SUVs next to a motel

Enlarge / The recall affects both the Rivian R1S (pictured) and the R1T pickup truck. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Rivian is in the process of recalling nearly 13,000 R1T trucks and R1S SUVs due to a potential seatbelt problem. It believes that in some vehicles, a sensor within the seatbelt system is missized or "dimensionally out of tolerance," and that could prevent the automatic locking retractor from working properly. That in turn could lead the front passenger airbag to believe the seat was unoccupied during a crash, resulting in it failing to trigger.

Last July, Rivian and its supplier were investigating a vehicle that was displaying a message that the front passenger airbag was off despite having a passenger in that seat. Rivian and its supplier, Autoliv, worked on the problem until January, collecting more potentially suspect parts from other Rivian EVs. In February the startup determined that vehicles with the suspect parts would not be compliant with federal safety regulations and initiated the recall.

Unlike many problems we see on new EVs, this one is not the sort that can just be fixed with a software patch. Although Rivian thinks that only 1 percent of the 12,716 affected cars actually have a defective part, it will inspect and, if necessary, replace the passenger seatbelt components in those affected vehicles.

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    Almost every Ferrari sold since 2005 is being recalled / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 9 August, 2022 - 12:46

All these Ferraris have to be recalled because of a faulty brake fluid reservoir cap.

Enlarge / All these Ferraris have to be recalled because of a faulty brake fluid reservoir cap. (credit: Ferrari)

Spare a thought for Ferrari. Not its F1 team, repeatedly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as rival Red Bull romps away with the championships, but the road car division, which is in the process of recalling nearly every car it has sold since 2005.

The problem is the cap of the brake fluid reservoir. It's designed to vent pressure if necessary, but evidently that design isn't so hot. Venting can fail to happen, causing a vacuum to build up, resulting in a possible leak of brake fluid. And if you don't have any brake fluid in your brake lines, you aren't going to be able to slow down or stop (without hitting something large and solid).

The fix is therefore pretty simple—a new brake fluid reservoir cap, and a software patch that lets a driver know if their brake fluid reservoir is running low. (Should this occur, Ferrari says pull over immediately and get the car towed.)

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