When looking at current auto news on any given day, it’s easy to get sidetracked with stories about big reveals, new features on upcoming models, or the implications of trade disputes on sales numbers for various companies. But as someone shopping for a car, a lot of those things don’t really affect you. Sure, features on vehicles are important, but unless they are specific models you are considering buying, that’s not very helpful for you.
Recall notifications, however, are something you should very much be aware of when shopping for new or used vehicles. Any time you find a car, truck, or SUV that might match what you need, then you should search to make sure there is not a recall notification for that vehicle. If there is, request documentation that shows that the recalled part on that vehicle has been properly replaced to make sure your new ride is safe. Safercar.com has a great free recall VIN look-up on their site.
Here are some of the biggest recalls in the news right now, with information about the vehicles that have been affected, and what you should do if you have one of them. Staying informed on current auto news as a car buyer will always benefit you – and taking swift action on a recalled item ensures you stay safe on the road.
#1 – 2011-2019 Volkswagen Models
Let’s start with one of the biggest recalls recently announced, covering nearly 680,000 Volkswagen vehicles. The specific models affected by this recall include 2015-2019 Volkswagen GTI and Golf GTI hatchbacks, 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 Golf hatchbacks, 2012-2019 Beetle coupes and convertibles, 2017-2019 Golf SportWagens, and 2011-2019 Jetta sedans. In particular, it affects these models that have an automatic transmission, manual handbrake, and keyless entry as a feature.
The issue requiring a recall is that there is a chance the key can be removed from the ignition when the vehicle is not in park. This creates a very real risk of a rollaway as there is no power, but the Volkswagen vehicle is not parked properly to keep the brake engaged. Anyone with one of these affected vehicles can go to a dealership to have an additional switch and circuit board installed to prevent this from happening.
#2 – 2015 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ
Next up is a recall with a smaller range, though still a pretty big one. This affects about 103,000 vehicles and is specifically an issue for 2015 Ford Fusions as well as Lincoln MKZ sedans from the same year. That’s a lot easier to check than that rather lengthy list of affected Volkswagen vehicles from before, so you can quickly tell if you might be affected or not.
Affected vehicles suffer degraded tensile strength in seatbelts due to increased temperatures and usual seatbelt use. Only the front passenger and driver’s side seatbelts are affected by this issue, but the result is a potential failure of the seatbelt to work properly. This greatly increases the risk of serious injury in a collision where the seatbelt is necessary to protect someone. Affected vehicles can be taken to a dealership to have a simple fix applied that will ensure proper strength and security in the seatbelts.
#3 – 2019 Mazda Mazda3
This issue affects a very specific set of models: 2019 Mazda3 sedans and hatchbacks that are equipped with manual dimming rearview mirrors. It is predicted that it could affect about 22,000 models and is only for those with manual dimming mirrors. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors are not affected.
Affected vehicles have an issue where the adhesive used to keep the rearview mirror in its housing was flawed and failed to create a secure bond. Because of this, affected mirrors can come out of their housing while driving the vehicle, which increases the risk of a collision and greatly reduces overall safety while operating the car. Affected vehicles can be easily fixed by a Mazda dealer replacing the rearview mirror with one that is properly bonded and will not come loose.
#4 – 2019 Toyota Camry
Another very specific recall was recently released that affects about 700 models of the 2019 Toyota Camry. Since this is such a recent vehicle, it could affect not only people shopping for used models but also new vehicles from a local dealership. This is an issue specific to a pretty narrow number of sedans, so you may have to check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to see if yours is one of them.
The issue affecting these vehicles involves the occupant classification system used by the car’s computer to tell how many people are inside. There is an issue that makes the vehicle think no one is in the front passenger seat even though it is occupied. This means that in the event of a collision, airbags for the front passenger will not deploy because the vehicle does not think anyone is sitting there. You can look more into this recall on Cars.com A simple fix is available from Toyota dealers that requires recalibration of the occupant classification system without any part replacements.
#5 – 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG SL-Class
About 460 models are affected by this recall, specifically 2018 Mercedes-AMG SL65 models, 2019 Mercedes-AMG SL63 models, and 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz SL450 and SL550 coupes and convertibles. These are pretty recent model years, so if you are checking out a new 2019 model within this category, then you should be sure it has been properly serviced to fix the issue. Used models from 2018 and 2019 could also be affected so require any dealership you are interested in to provide proof of service to address the recall.
The issue with these vehicles concerns the sewing of the front passenger airbag. Errors in the sewing allow it the tear during deployment, which can increase the risk of injury during a collision when the airbag would be needed to help ensure safety. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed by a dealer replacing the front passenger airbag with one that was properly sewn and does not have this flaw.
#6 – 2019 Honda CR-V
This recall only affects about 134 vehicles and a pretty specific batch at that, but it’s a very serious issue. Only 2019 Honda CR-V models are affected, which is a compact SUV, and you can see that only a small number of them have this issue. If you have this model, then you should definitely check with the NHTSA to see if your specific vehicle is one of them.
The issue with these vehicles involves their fuel tank. In affected models, the joint between the fuel tank and the vapor return was not properly welded, which can let fuel leak and create a very serious risk of fire while operating the vehicle. A Honda dealer will fix this issue by replacing the fuel tank on the CR-V to ensure a proper seal that eliminates the risk of fuel leaking.
#7 – 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
Finally, we have a small recall affecting some of the newest vehicles to hit the road. While only about 130 models are affected by this issue, they include 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 and GLE450 SUVs. Since these are 2020 models, you should keep this in mind if you are interested in a brand new Mercedes-Benz SUV.
On affected models, the connection between the fuel tank and the fuel filler pipe may have been improperly welded, allowing a fuel leak to occur. This flaw creates the risk of fire – similar to the 2019 Honda CR-V issue. Much like with that recall, a Mercedes-Benz dealer will replace the fuel tank on an affected model to ensure there is no risk of leakage. Continue reading about this recall on Cars.com.