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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

This Is Why Carmakers Have To Take Recalls Seriously


I can’t fathom why, but there’s a strong stigma against vehicle recalls here in the Philippines. In as much as carmakers design and engineer their vehicles to the highest possible standard, sometimes shit happens. Because modern cars are composed of hundreds of thousands of parts, manufacturers can’t be expected to scrutinize every nut, bolt, or screw that goes into their cars.

Once in a while, something escapes their quality assurance process, and that means that a defective part could potentially end up in the car parked in your driveway. But is it a sign that we’re getting less reliable cars? Not at all. In fact, recalls are evident that the system of checks and balances is working. It’s also a visible sign that carmakers are proactive about the safety and security of its owners and even the general public.

That’s why you have to laud local makers such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mazda who’ve been proactive in releasing special service bulletins. On the other hand, it also puts into question why some brands want to keep recalls dead and buried.

One potential recall hit close to home since he’s not only lost his prized vehicle, but also his home.

In a sworn affidavit, submitted to the Bureau of Fire Protection, 61-year-old Nesty Narciso recounts what happened to him on May 26, 2022 because of his 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. The excerpt appears below and has been edited for clarity (check out the CCTV footage as well):


Fire started in the Hyundai Santa Fe 2009 model which was parked in the garage. My daughter went out of the house to throw garbage near the garage and saw the Santa Fe was burning in the engine despite it being unattended, and with everything turned off. She tried putting out the fire, but in vain.

I immediately went to the nearby police station where the policeman on duty grabbed a fire extinguisher, and upon reaching the garage started extinguishing the flames although unsuccessfully.

We have no insurance for the cars and house that burned. The estimated value of the vehicles is P 1.2-million. I have no idea on the cost of the house.
Nesty tells me that he’s sought legal counsel regarding the case, but it’s an uphill battle locally where consumer laws aren’t as strong as they are in places such as the United States. New Hyundai distributor, Hyundai Motor Philippines (HMPH) and Hyundai Quezon Avenue, the servicing dealer, also managed to contact Nesty after I brought this matter to their attention. Nesty hopes that HMPH offers him some sort of help or assistance.

The Santa Fe engine bay fire that Nesty experienced sounds similar to several ongoing recalls now covering more than 8 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles worldwide. In these cases, the problem centers around the anti-lock brake system (ABS) module. In certain instances, the module could malfunction and cause an electrical short which could then result in an engine compartment fire.

It’s so bad that owners in the United States are being told by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) to park their cars outside and away from structures until the recall repair is completed.

As for the fix itself, dealers will replace the ABS multi-fuse.

Now, there are some lessons to be learned here and the most important one is that we cannot underestimate the importance of issuing a product recall.

In most cases, vehicle recalls stem from a possible irritation an owner might face—a power tailgate that won’t close properly, or instrument clusters with washout displays. In some cases, it could mean that a vehicle might end up unexpected stalling—an inconvenience. In some rare cases, however, it’s downright a matter of life and death. This is one such case (the Takata airbag is another, and on a side note, the fix is easy).

Now, imagine if Nesty were informed of a potential safety-related recall for his Santa Fe. That would have saved him the trouble of losing not just his car, but his home as well.

We don’t even have to look far since Kia Philippines did it right. They announced recalls for the ABS module way back in 2018 under then distributor Columbian Autocar Corporation. Even as they become an Ayala-owned subsidiary, they issued another recall in 2020.

For car manufacturers, getting in touch with affected owners is good. Putting up a searchable database on their official website is even better. But you know what the best course of action is? Coming out with a statement informing the general public of any recall. That way, it ensures that owners will be on the look out for notices in their mailboxes and on their phones. It will also enable them to take preventive measures to ensure their safety even if that means not being able to drive their vehicle at all.

The best car manufacturers take recalls the most seriously, and because of that, it’s time for us to remove the stigma surrounding them. It’s about time carmakers consider the safety of the vehicle owners. Perhaps it is also time for a legislation to be passed making vehicle recalls public, and that a centralized database be made available for everyone to access.


31 comments:

  1. Maraming bobo sa atin pag nagrerecall ang Ford, pinagtatawanan at sinasabihan na problematic

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  2. Don't be selective. The Takata airbag recall is just as bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've covered the Takata airbag extensively already. And each time we get a notice about them, we post it as news.

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  3. I really wondering why i never heard a chinese car brand issuing recall here in ph??? But i knew a lot of pipol who has a horror stories on realiability on chinese cars d bought. At least d territory had issued a recall

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    Replies
    1. Pangalanan mo nga yung mga "horror stories on reliability" ng mga chinese cars na dapat irecall na! Sige na tapangan mo at wala naman nakakakilala sayo dito, for awareness ika nga kung meron man!

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    2. Not a problem with a chinese car per se but with dealer. The sales agent are shady AF and misappropriated money

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    3. Ask anyone who has mg zad s hows d hill hold assist or much bter try it urself so u wil xprience it na umatras firsthand.

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  4. Hi Uly, I am concerned now, we have a 2009 Hyundai Sta Fe and the ABS light on the dashboard is on. Who do I contact?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know if their customer support can help right now, but you can try e-mailing them: customercare [at] hyundaimotor.ph

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    2. Just sell it as fast as u can, safety first.

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  5. This is a 2009 model, is thisyear model covered by the global recall? Since this is an old model, a good defense lawyer could just bring up owner maintenance issues or non-casa modifications, etc. My point is there could be lots of possible factors here. If this was a new modell under warranty then Hyundai would be in bigger trouble.

    I'm not familiar with this model's engine bay, but based on the video, did the smoke & fire originate in the general area near the ABS module? When did the owner last use the car or took it for maintenance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. 2006-2009 Santa Fe models are covered by the recall.

      His legal counsel has already said that right now, he doesn't stand to gain anything from this. That's why he just wants to warn other Santa Fe owners of a possible problem with their cars as well.

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  6. I took a look at the video again, it seems that smoke started billowing from the left side of the hood (right side of the screen), or maybe it just seemed that way due to the camera's position. Is the ABS module on this model on the left side of the engine bay? On our Toyotas & Hondas it's on the right side.

    Good luck to the owner on his legal case. Tort law in this country, like most other laws, favor the rich & powerful people & companies. 💁

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  7. Scary AF. Imagine the anxiety of the current owners now.

    Uly, can you post here the complete list of year/model of the abs module-related recalls?

    Better check your neighborhood as well. What if more than half of your neighbors in a 10-unit townhouse own tucsons and sportages that are likely included in the recall or you live in a condo and your car is parked between these potentially compromised kia/hyundai models? You just hope that the HOA does something about it.

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    Replies
    1. There are several, but this includes:

      Verified via NHTSA recall bulletins:
      2006-14 Kia Carnival
      2016-2018 Santa Fe
      2019 Grand Santa Fe
      2014-2015 Tucson .
      2007-2010 Elantra
      2011-2019 Optima
      2012-2019 Sorento
      2011-2019 Sportage

      But Reuters also reports:
      It covers many other Hyundai and Kia vehicles from the 2006 through 2021 model years with similar alleged defects.

      This is from owners filling a class action lawsuit in the US.

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    2. Forgot to include the 2006-2009 Santa Fe as well.

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    3. F*** me dead. We have the 2019 Sorento 🥺.

      Thanks Uly for this.

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    4. Hyundai Santa Fe 2019 and later models are not included ba?

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    5. RG willingly and deliberately bought a crappy Kia but he hates Ford. Where's the justice in that?

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    6. Aaawww. I knew you will attack me everytime but I never thought you can get this low dude. Chill lang hehe. Super hateful ka pa rin.

      We bought the car brand new way before the recall, which was announced only this year.

      Compared to our Ford - I admitted in my previous post that I was stupid to proceed to buy that garbage despite the reliability anxiety Id suffer. And I did suffer, miserably hehe.

      Ford SUCKS!!!!!

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    7. Back to the topic.

      @Uly, curiously, when I search 2019 Kia Sorento on NHTSA, it says:

      Recalls: 0
      Investigation: 0
      Complaints: 93

      https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2019/KIA/SORENTO/SUV/FWD

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    8. You mean your non-existent Ford that you made up just so you can bash Ford cause you're a Ford hater? Sure.

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    9. ^ Keep your attacks fresh dude. I am already bored hehe.

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    10. Don't care. I ain't here to entertain you bud. I'm here to expose lying Ford haters like you.

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    11. ^Good job Detective!

      But yeah, it is still entertaining how emo and passionate you are to whatever an RG says in an online forum where we don't know each other lol.

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    12. I know enough that you're a liar.

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    13. There's at least one locally affected Sorento (https://www.carguide.ph/2020/07/kia-ph-recalling-selected-carnival.html).

      Might be related to the 2.2-liter CRDi hence it's not appearing in the NHTSA website.

      Delete
  8. RG - obvious naman na attack dogs Ng ford PR team yang mga fans mo har har.

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  9. baka may anger management problem ang fans ni RG

    ReplyDelete

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