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.
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.
Fearful of missing anything? Read on. Below are the biggest recalls we covered from November, in terms of how many 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.
For a month that started off quietly — of the literal handful we covered in the first two weeks, the biggest was for a child-safety seat, and none of the automotive recalls topped 400 cars affected — November sure came through with recalls in the back half, none larger than GM’s campaign on 556,000-plus pickup trucks. The afflicted trucks suffer a leaky pretensioner bracket that could possibly set your carpet floor covering ablaze. Mind the cardinal mark of hot gas and get yourself to a dealer ASAP, where the opening in the pretensioner bracket will be closed off free o’ charge.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles didn’t have an easy time of it in November, either, thanks to its own half-million-plus recall. This one hit Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs previously recalled to address a fuel pump relay in the totally integrated power module (yes, “totally” is part of the actual component name), but FCA’s earlier fix didn’t work on the relay, which could fail and cause an unexpected stall. The bad news for owners is that a remedy was still under development as of Nov. 25. The good news? FCA will keep owners informed with notices as well as a free repair for any fuel pump failure before a final remedy is implemented.
If you’re looking for the exact day when the sleepy November of old opened up into a whole new November chock-full of recall action, take a good look at the 15th. I’ve been writing these roundups since mid-2018 and writing recalls in general since 2016, and I can’t remember the last time we covered four recalls in a single day, so it’s no understatement to say this was a pretty bad Friday for automotive reliability. None on that day had it worse than Nissan and its luxury sub-brand, Infiniti, which topped the list with some 394,000 affected Maxima sedans and assorted SUVs. Long story short, leaking brake fluid onto an internal circuit board could lead to an electrical short and a fire. Two things worth noting: First, Nissan dealers know the solution is to simply replace the antilock brake system actuator, but remedy parts aren’t expected to become available until summer 2020. Second, if the ABS warning light remains illuminated for more than 10 seconds after engine startup, park outdoors away from other vehicles and structures and don’t drive your car. If you have questions about the practicality of this advice given the delay in parts, Nissan and Infiniti customer service representatives are no doubt awaiting your call.
Ford followed the aforementioned Friday flurry of recall activity with this Monday drop on Nov. 18 for more than 135,000 of its newest 2019-2020 model-year F-150 pickups. A fastener that secures certain items to the positive battery terminal may loosen and affect various other systems (this includes stuff like instrument panel displays and braking or steering assist). The engine could also stall. Either outcome can increase the risk of a crash, a fire or both. Dealers will inspect the equipment of old for excess sealant adhesive and remove it, reassemble the joint and retorque the fastener. As with all of these recalls, the best thing to say about it is that your wallet is spared.
The Detroit Three had a genuinely dreadful month, taking four of our top five spots, but even though Ford is on here twice, it still had a comparatively easier go of it in terms of raw numbers. We’ve covered five recalls on the Ranger since we first evaluated the truck last December, but this is the biggest yet (logical, given there are more new Rangers now on the road). The affected trucks suffer from a technical problem that can result in intermittent or inoperative taillamps. Though the high-mounted center stop lamp above the bed isn’t affected, it remains concerning particularly because winter months have less daylight. Dealers have to make some electrical connector adjustments to solve the problem, so it hopefully won’t require much of your time to bring it in.
More From Cars.com:
- Recall Basics: Everything You Need to Know
- My Car Is Recalled, But There’s No Fix Yet: What Do I Do?
- Why Can Dealers Sell Used Cars With Unfixed Recalls?
- The 10 Biggest Recalls in 2018
- Recall Recap: The 5 Biggest Recalls in October 2019
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