The 5 Weirdest Recalls of 2015
After General Motors’ ignition switch debacle and the early hearings into Takata’s exploding airbag inflators, 2014 seemed like the year of the recall, but automotive safety issues continued to surface throughout 2015. Takata’s problems only grew in the last 12 months, and car hacking became a talking point over the summer after researchers took limited control over a Jeep Cherokee on the road leading to a software update for millions of vehicles. Amid these serious concerns, we also brought you stories of weird recalls and tiny repair campaigns. With the year nearly over, let’s look back at five of the most bizarre recalls of 2015.
Cadillac ATS sunroof is too easy to use
Government safety regulations exist to keep people safe, but the arcane rules can cause bizarre recalls in the real world. One such problem hit the Cadillac ATS twice in 2015. Cadillac issued a campaign in February for the 2013-2015 models because the company didn’t recess the sunroof controls enough, and the Feds claimed a person could accidentally auto-close the roof. Caddy installed a new trim panel to fix things, but a second recall in July added even more vehicles, including a stop sale to repair 2016 examples.
Porsche fixes a couple of 2015 Cayennes
The Porsche Cayenne is the German high-performance brand’s bestselling model in the US. However, the automaker repaired just two of the SUVs in January after discovering a manufacturing error. The 2015 Cayenne Diesel and a Cayenne S only needed a suspension alignment and some tightened fasteners, but Porsche showed that no problem in its vehicles was too small for a recall by taking care of this pair of owners.
2015 Audi Q3 just wants to keep the sunroof closed
In an even more bizarre example of how government regulations resulted in a weird repair, 3,646 examples of the 2015 Audi Q3 needed a software update in a recall for something many drivers might have considered a feature, not a bug. If a person shut off the compact crossover while closing the sunroof, then the roof would continue to close. NHTSA claims this seemingly useful quality ran afoul of federal rules because the sliding panel could potentially injure a person if a body part got in the way.
Rolls-Royce gives singular treatment to a 2015 Ghost
Those two Cayenne owners probably felt special after Porsche went above and beyond to fix their SUVs, but Rolls-Royce applied some truly individual safety oversight to a 2015 Ghost in November. The company found the airbags in the front seats might not meet government side impact requirements and recalled a single example of the opulent sedan in the US to replace the necessary components. Now that’s customer service.
Tesla checks every Model S for seatbelt problem
Tesla's electric vehicles pack some of the most advanced technology in the industry, but a more rudimentary problem forced a recall for every Model S worldwide in November. The company found a single example in Europe in which the front seatbelt didn’t properly attach to the outboard lap pretensioner. The automaker couldn’t replicate the issue on other vehicles, but it took the proactive approach to inspect them all. The simple check only required a hard tug on the belt to make sure everything was alright.