Are we building worse cars?

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A soggy carpet S 90?
A soggy carpet S 90?

Or is it just more sophisticated methods of detecting flaws?

A number of manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Maserati and Volvo have issued recent recalls on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website over defects varying from fire hazards to power steering failures.

Ford has issued a recall for 8878 examples of the Kuga mid-size SUV built between December 11, 2012 and June 19, 2014 due to the potential risk of a fire.

The recall concerns the insulation material on the inner face of the lower B-pillar trim, which can be subjected to a concentrated heat source in the event of an impact that results in the front seatbelt retractor pre-tensioner being deployed.

If this happens, it can result in a fire. However, Ford says there have been no examples of a fire occurring in Australian vehicles. Being overly cautious?

Mercedes-Benz has recalled examples of its GLE, GLS and GL SUV sold between October 2015 and August 1, 2016, due to a power steering fault.

The fault stems from the possibility of moisture in the electric power steering control unit, which may interfere with the signal transmission in the control unit, causing the power steering to fail. The steering is still there. It will just be heavier.

Maserati has recalled 1347 vehicles across its Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante model lines, over a potential fault with the electric seat adjustment.

An incorrect seat wiring harness layout is to blame for the fault, which can cause the seat wiring harness to rub against metal points on the seat and seat frame assembly.

Through regular use over time, the seat adjustment system may become inoperative, which can lead to an electrical short to ground between the seat wiring harness and seat adjustment motor assembly.

Swedish/Chinese manufacturer Volvo has recalled model year 2016 and 2017 examples of its S90 sedan and XC90 large SUV over a fault with the air conditioning drainage hose.

The hose may not have been properly attached, meaning the water condensation that it carries from the air conditioning unit may end up in the passenger compartment. This can lead to air conditioning problems, or in a worst case scenario a loss of function in other electrical systems, which can pose a safety risk to vehicle occupants. (And you might get your feet wet on some smelly carpets.)

The Nanny state is alive and well. Everything is “may” happen