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Recall Recap: The 5 Biggest Recalls in July 2019

2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Nobody likes when things don’t work the way they’re supposed to, especially when it’s the two-ton hunk of car parts sitting in your driveway. That’s why, when a problem becomes a complaint becomes an investigation becomes a recall, automakers try their hardest to get your attention so you can get it fixed. It’s not just junk mail — it’s a letter that could potentially save your life.

Related: Is Your Car in One of the 5 Biggest Recalls of 2018?

Thing is, recalls happen all the time. Some are relatively minor; some are, well, the Takata airbag inflator crisis. Each one is important no matter the month, but it can be hard to keep up with knowing if your vehicle is involved.

Not feeling up to speed? We got you. Below are the biggest recalls we covered from July, in terms of volume of vehicles affected. For more coverage, check out our Recalls page, and for a comprehensive list of recalls that include all things road-going, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s page here.

1. 662,100 Volkswagen Passat Sedans and Atlas SUVs

Volkswagen certainly put an exclamation mark at the end of July. Bookending the month, it cut provisions to its new-car warranties for the 2020 model year and on … which isn’t a great look when you consider that the German brand also managed to open up our recall account for July with the largest recall of the past 31 days — by a comfortable margin, no less. The recall affects more than 662,000 Passat sedans (some of them 2020s) and Atlas SUVs, though the problem is a minor annoyance, mostly for other drivers: Headlight aim might be off due to the lack of a blocking cap. Dealers will simply inspect and block the headlight adjustment, as necessary, to repair it.

2. 262,200 Mazda Sedans, Hatchbacks and SUVs

Mazda also had a massive six-figure recall in early July, the issue being a software error in the powertrain control module that could potentially cause stalls. To get your CX-5, Mazda3 or Mazda6 repaired, the fix (as is often the case with these powertrain control module issues) requires nothing more than the dealer reprogramming the erroneous software. If you’re an owner, look for a notification no later than the end of August.

3. 91,300 Nissan Titan Pickup Trucks

Nissan’s first appearance for 2019 on our monthly rundown of high-count recalls comes courtesy of its Titan pickup truck. If you’re the owner of a relatively new Titan from 2017-19, your truck may be affected by an alternator harness that may have been damaged during engine installation and could cause an electrical short, another way to potentially stall out. Dealers have some work to do for this one, including an inspection of the alternator harness for proper routing and damage, as well as correct positioning or replacement. As ever, however, the repair will be done for free.

4. 81,000 Jeep Cherokee SUVs

Jeep’s first appearance since the March roundup is a hefty one for its model-year 2014 Cherokee SUV. In a big surprise (and by that I mean we are not surprised at all), the problem involves the transmission: If a clutch becomes stuck in the transmission, the transmission software may unexpectedly shift it to Neutral. Nobody needs a random loss of power while they’re driving, so be sure to get this repaired sooner than later — assuming you haven’t brought it in already for something else, that is.

5. 57,400 Ford Focus, Focus ST Sedans and Hatchbacks

Ford makes this list for a third straight month with a litany of Focus and Focus ST sedans and hatchbacks affected by yet another powertrain control module gremlin. In this instance, a previous recall went incomplete and the repair wasn’t adequately performed, so if you think your Focus got all straightened out since the fall, think again. Same goes for dealers, who will once again need to reprogram the powertrain control module and check for fault codes, as well as replace the canister purge valve and associated parts if needed.

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