US, Japanese brands recall faulty vehicles in UAE

Customers assured that defective products will be replaced free of cost

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, UAE.

REUTERS/Karim Sahib

Three global automakers have recalled thousands of vehicles in the UAE due to mechanical problems and assured customers that they will replace the defective products free of cost.

Arabian Automobiles and Al-Masaood Automobiles, distributors of Nissan vehicles in the UAE, have started a recall campaign affecting 4,145 vehicles manufactured in 2017. The affected vehicles include its popular 4x4 Patrol, saloon car Sentra and commercial van Urvan.

The vehicles have been recalled because the internal ignition switch spring can break with repeated usage and when heavy items are attached to the key.

"In this condition, there is a possibility that the engine could be unexpectedly turned off while driving and in the most extreme case, should this event coincide with a road traffic accident, the vehicle's airbag system may not function," the distributors said in a statement.

The company will replace, if needed, the ignition switch with a new one at no cost to the customers.

On Tuesday, Liberty Automobiles, distributor of the US-based car manufacturer General Motors in the UAE, announced service recall of 2014-2016 models of Cadillac CTS from December 23, 2018.

The car has been recalled because the occupant's pressure on the seat can, over time, bend and damage the flexible heating mat inside the seat which can cause high electrical resistance in the damaged area of the mat.

"In cold ambient temperature, the seat-heater in these vehicles can turn on automatically when the vehicle is remotely started. If the seat heater is turned on and left on without an occupant, areas of the seat subject to high electrical resistance may overheat while open to airflow. In rare cases, these areas of the seat may smoke or melt, increasing the risk of fire and injury when the vehicle is unattended," the company said in a note on Tuesday.

Distributors of General Motors' Chevrolet brand also announced a recall of its Equinox 2018-2019 model.

"Some of these vehicles may have their headlight beam placed too high, which could in some cases, increase glare and distract drivers of other vehicles. The vehicles are safe to drive and customers who own models will soon be contacted by the dealers to arrange for repair work," the company said.

General Motors, however, didn't disclose how many vehicles had been affected by the recall.

Residents expressed concern about the increase in the number of vehicles being recalled in the UAE. "I am into the auto spare parts business and, of late, we have been hearing often about vehicle recalls due to defects," says Sheikh Najam-us-Saqib.

More than 70,000 vehicles had been recalled in the first seven months in the UAE, with Al Habtoor Motors recalling 4,000 units of Mitsubishi and Al-Futtaim Motors recalling over 9,300 Hilux and Prius vehicles. Similarly, Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors recalled Discovery Sports, Evoque and Velar. In March 2018, nearly 54,000 units of Pajero were recalled by Al Habtoor Motors due to airbag problems.

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