Several Jeep, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Jaguar and Vauxhall cars frequently used for towing caravans have just been recalled on safety grounds. The manufacturer should contact you if your tow car is on the latest recall list (issued on 7 April 2016), and should offer to fix the fault free of charge. 

Jeep airbag fault

The Jeep Liberty, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Dodge Viper have all been recalled because passengers could accidentally activate the front airbag and the seatbelt pretensioner. This fault affects 14,551 cars built between January 2002 and the end of December 2004. Jeep is writing to owners and offering to replace the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC) module. You can check your Jeep’s ID with the DVSA to see if it is affected.   

Jeep Cherokee fire risk

A new Jeep Cherokee recall is due to a fire risk. If water gets into the power lift gate module’s electrical connectors, this can lead to corrosion and higher resistance. This in turn can cause the module to fail and/or cause a fire. The recall involves checking 1115 Jeep Cherokee models made between 18 February 2015 and 9 September 2015. If there is a water leak and corrosion, the vehicle will be repaired and all the affected cars will receive a power lift gate module water shield to prevent future problems. Check your Jeep Cherokee vehicle ID number to see if it’s been recalled.

Toyota Verso stalling

The Toyota Verso, made from January 2014 to January 2015 has been recalled because the engine may stall. The DVSA explains that 2223 vehicles are affected. Under certain conditions condensed water in the intake air can corrode the needle bearing housing, which might allow water into the throttle body actuator circuit. Water leaks could cause a short-circuit and make the engine stall while driving.

If your Verso is affected, Toyota will replace the throttle body with a newly designed one. In addition, the engine wire harness and the engine ECU will be inspected and replaced if necessary. Check your Toyota Verso vehicle ID number

Vauxhall Astra fire risk

Both the Vauxhall Astra J and Astra GTC have been recalled due to the possibility of a vehicle fire.

If the radiator cooling fan is blocked, an electrical short-circuit might occur, damaging the cooling fan module. In the worst case this could potentially cause a vehicle fire. As part of this recall Vauxhall will remove any battery cover and ensure that the radiator cooling fan is not blocked in any way. Then they will fit a new additional wiring harness, which will prevent damage to the radiator wiring harness. Check your Vauxhall Astra ID to see if it’s one of the 48,155 cars affected by this recall. They were built between 19 May 2009 and 15 April 2011.

Mercedes-Benz fire risks

Just 27 Mercedes-Benz C-Classes have been recalled due to a risk of fire. Check your vehicle ID if your car was made from 20 May 2014 to 30 November 2014. The threaded connection of the battery ground may not be tightened correctly, which could lead to a temporarily higher transition resistance, causing sparks, heating and a potential fire risk. 

This recall follows hot on the heels of a January 2016 notice regarding a potential fuel leak-related fire risk concerning the high pressure fuel lines on 1327 cars made by Mercedes-Benz. Models affected are the CLA, GLA, A-Class, B-Class, SLK, SLC, C-Class and CLS cars made from 28 October 2015 to 19 November 2015. The high pressure fuel lines can crack over time and now need replacing on some of these cars – check your vehicle ID.

Jaguar engine cut-outs

Diesel Jaguar XE and XF cars made from 4 January 2015 to 25 February 2016 have been recalled because the engine may cut out with little warning and then fail to restart. This could cause a crash. A total of 16,673 cars are affected and the fault is that the under-bonnet low pressure fuel feed hose may detach from the fuel filter. This could cause a fuel leak in the engine bay and, if the hose detaches the engine will cut out. Power assisted brakes could become basic brakes. The engine will not restart. The Jaguar recall simply involves adding a spring wire retention clip to the low pressure fuel feed hose joint. Check your vehicle ID.

Suzuki’s loose axle bolts

Finally, the Suzuki Vitara, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross and Swift have been recalled because the rear axle may fail. Some incorrect fixing bolts were used for the rear axle and it’s possible that they might loosen, fall off or break. Suzuki will replace the rear axle bolts on 4395 cars made from 29 October 2015 to 17 December 2015, with these Suzuki ID numbers

Can you ignore a recall?

Never ignore letters or emails telling you that your vehicle is subject to a recall. The manufacturers have to try to contact you if there’s a safety issue, to let you know why it’s being recalled, what to do next, and who you should contact. The good news is that you won’t usually have to pay for any repairs or parts under a safety recall.

Check for car recalls and car accessory recalls on the DVSA website.

What you need to do

You’re legally responsible for making sure that your vehicle is kept in a safe condition, and is safe to drive whenever you drive it. If you don’t get your vehicle inspected and fixed, it could affect any insurance claim you might need to make, as well as potentially putting you, your passengers and other road users at risk. You could even be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. 

So, make sure you check your car online in case it’s affected by any recall notices and get the work done as soon as possible – for free!