Curious Auto Recalls of 2015: An Automotive Service Technician's Guide

In 2015, Porsche recalled two Cayenne models over alignment issues.
In 2015, Porsche recalled two Cayenne models over alignment issues.

For auto service advisors, particularly those working for in-house maintenance facilities at dealerships, recalls are an important part of the job. As the first point of contact with customers, service advisors need to inform them clearly about why their car is being recalled, advise on precautions they need to take, and address concerns they might have about the issue. They will also usually coordinate any inspection and necessary repair work required.
Recalls can often bring to light dangerous safety issues, such as the Takata airbag scandal earlier this year. However, not all recalls are quite as serious and often, cars will be recalled to fix tiny glitches or address minor regulation problems, sometimes in bizarre circumstances.
Read on to learn about some of the most unusual and interesting auto recalls that took place in 2015.

Cadillac ATS & Audi Q3 Recalls: Understanding Sunroof Safety

Two of the most interesting product recalls of the past year involved issues with sunroofs. Cadillac recalled 82,620 ATS models as the controls weren’t recessed enough to meet government standards. While this actually made the roof easier to operate, officials felt passengers might activate the autoclose by accident, which could be safety risk.
The Audi Q3 recall was related to a similar issue, when it was discovered that a wiring error meant the roof would continue to close even if the engine was shut off. While it was felt to pose a safety risk, any automotive service technician who had to handle this recall might have found it difficult to explain to customers, many of whom saw it a positive feature.

The Audi Q3’s sunroof contravened safety regulations.
The Audi Q3’s sunroof contravened safety regulations.

Porsche & Rolls-Royce: Automotive Customer Service At Its Best

Even when issues don’t require a massive recall, manufacturers often take the initiative to contact small numbers of affected customers, to ensure they uphold the best possible standards of customer service. For instance, Porsche recalled just two of its Cayenne models last January in order to realign the suspension and tighten the screw connections.
Students in service advisor training might be surprised to learn that this wasn’t even the smallest recall of 2015. After discovering that the front airbags may not have been up to code, BMW Group recalled a single Rolls-Royce Ghost in November in order to repair the problem.

Fiat Chrysler Hacker Recall: Your Future As An Automotive Service Advisor?

Another of last year’s more unusual recalls highlighted how changes in technology could potentially cause new safety issues. After a pair of tech researchers took control of some of the steering, brake, and transmission functions of a Cherokee Jeep by hacking into the car’s infotainment system, Fiat Chrysler issued a voluntary recall of 1.4 million vehicles.
Any automotive service advisor tasked with handling the recall had an easier job than usual, as FCA simply sent out a USB drive containing a software update to drivers. Nonetheless, the incident has many in the industry wondering if, as autos become more reliant on computers, ‘car-hacking’ will become a serious problem in the future.

Fiat Chrysler issued a recall after hackers accessed a Cherokee Jeep’s computer system.
Fiat Chrysler issued a recall after hackers accessed a Cherokee Jeep’s computer system.

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