The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced another BMW and Volkswagen recall. Both companies show concern that, should these recalls not be adhered to, drivers and passengers would increase their likelihood of a crash and/or injuries.
Volkswagen has issued two sets of recalls. The first focuses on 3,837 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 2013 and 2014 sedans. There is apprehension that the transmission fluid could be corrosive and lead to an electrical short. If this short were to happen, the transmission could fail and the vehicle would lose power all together. Volkswagen has found that this issue could be worse in vehicles that are driven in hot and humid weather and/or heavy stop-and-go traffic.
The second Volkswagen recall is for its 2009 to 2011 Tiguan compact crossover SUVs. The housing for the exterior lights could melt and cause the lights to stop working. If you were driving in inclement weather or at night time, this could easily put you in an at-risk position for being in an accident. Or, say you’re crossing the street at night. You’re walking in the crosswalk, but it’s a fairly poorly lit street. The car coming around the corner is a 2009 Tiguan whose lights have just melted, making it difficult for you and the driver to see each other. Pedestrians are just as much at risk during these types of recalls as those in the vehicles.
BMW’s 76,000 vehicle recall primarily concerns 2006 and 2007 model 3-Series and 5-series sedans and SUVs. These vehicles have been found to have a defective mat in the front passenger seat that could fail to to tell the vehicle’s airbag system if and how to deploy in an accident; this could lead to the airbag not deploying at all, further injuring the passenger. This is an expansion of a recall reported on these vehicles in 2008.
Volkswagen has already begun to offer free repairs to the defects beginning in December, and BMW will also offer free repairs after notifying affected owners in January.
To put this in context, neither BMW nor Volkswagen has reported any accidents or injuries from these defects. So we could certainly have worse problems. Still, you would think with the high prices you pay for vehicles like these you would not have to worry about these sorts of things happening (or, more realistically, at least not as frequently as they seem to happen).