Tag Archives: recall


Following DMV false advertising accusations, Tesla is recalling almost every vehicle it’s sold in the U.S.

To say Tesla’s driver assistance features are polarizing would be a massive understatement. The company has been under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 2016 because so many people died that there’s a whole website dedicated to tracking fatalities. Cool! Now, literally one day after the LA Times reported that the DMV is taking Tesla to court over the alleged false advertising of its limited autonomous capabilities as “Full-Self Driving,” nearly every vehicle it’s sold in the U.S. is being recalled.

All Tesla models equipped with Autosteer are affected by the recall, including the 2012-2023 Model S, 2017-2023 Model 3, 2016-2023 Model X, and 2020-2023 Model Y.  The feature is supposed to assist with steering by detecting lane markers and other vehicles, but the recall states that it doesn’t have the proper safeguards in place to prevent misuse.

“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the prominence and scope of the feature’s controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse of the SAE Level 2 advanced driver-assistance feature.” For reference, Level 2 systems provide steering and brake/acceleration support but require driver attentiveness and a readiness to take control at any time. Adaptive cruise control with lane centering is considered a Level 2 system, which is where most automakers have landed with the tech for now.

Tesla will issue an over-the-air software update to remedy the issue and said that owners will start seeing the update after December 12, while some models won’t get the fix until later on. The automaker said it had received nine warranty claims related to the issue. Still, the NHTSA’s investigation opened in late 2021 to examine eleven crashes involving stationary first responder vehicles and Teslas with Autopilot engaged.

While this recall should improve the safety of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving systems, the fact remains that calling something “Autopilot” or “Full Self-Driving” is almost sure to cause confusion. Neither system can functionally drive the vehicle without a human’s supervision and input, and we’re still years away from anything even slightly resembling a self-driving car. 

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2017 Kia Rio front quarter view

Hyundai and Kia will recall over 3 million vehicles due to engine fire risk

Hold your horses on that used Kia or Hyundai purchase! A combined 3.37 million Hyundais and Kias from the previous decade are being recalled due to reports of an engine fire risk. Owners are being instructed to park outside and away from structures until repairs are completed. Such news of the Korean duo comes courtesy of a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as detailed below.

Owners of the approximately 1.64 million select Hyundai and Genesis vehicles listed below should park their vehicles outside and away from homes until their vehicles have been repaired, due to a new recall for the risk of fire.

Hyundai’s safety recall (NHTSA ID: 23V-651000) applies to the following vehicles and model years: 2012-2015 Accent, 2012-2015 Azera, 2011-2015 Elantra, 2013-2015 Elantra Coupe, 2014-2015 Equus, 2011-2015 Genesis Coupe, 2013-2015 Santa Fe, 2013 Santa Fe Sport, 2011-2015 Sonata HEV, 2010-2013 Tucson, 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell, 2012-2015 Veloster and 2010-2012 Veracruz. 

Owners of the approximately 1.73 million select Kia vehicles listed below should also park their vehicles outside and away from homes until their vehicles have been repaired.

Kia’s safety recall (NHTSA ID: 23V-652000) applies to the following vehicles and model years: 2014-2016 Cadenza, 2011-2013 Forte/Forte Koup, 2015-2017 K900, 2010-2015 Optima, 2011-2013 Optima Hybrid, 2011-2017 Rio, 2010 Rondo, 2011-2014 Sorento, 2011-2013 Soul and 2010-2013 Sportage. 

The vehicle’s anti-lock brake system module could leak brake fluid internally and cause an electrical short. An electrical short could result in significant overcurrent in the ABS module, increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire while driving or parked.   

2015 Kia Optima front quarter view
Image: Kia

As reported by NHTSA, the engine fire risk is a matter of potential brake fluid leaks, which can lead to an electrical short, causing a fire. Hyundai has announced its plans to inform owners to have their ABS module fuse replaced at a local dealer. Owners should follow instructions to refrain from driving their Hyundai or Kia unless they bring it to their dealer to remedy.

Thankfully, this shouldn’t affect new buyers or used car buyers shopping for some Korean metal from the last few years. According to the release, the engine fire recall seems to only affect Kias from 2010 to 2017 and Hyundais from 2011 to 2015. So new buyers are, in theory, safe. But that’s still a fat chunk of cars to call back for a wellness check.

Such a recall is sure to blemish the reputations of the highly respected pair who have worked tirelessly to transcend their past associations with mediocrity with genuinely compelling products. This is especially disconcerting given how brake fluid, while flammable, is rarely ever a cause for car fires. But then again, this isn’t the first instance of widespread modern car fires, and it surely won’t be the last.

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