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Audi, Merc, Volkswagen involved in latest safety recalls

The Audi A4 has been called back due to a faulty heater element which could, in theory, overheat and cause a fire.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued its latest round of safety recalls, with German-brand models from Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen called back alongside Jeep, Ford and Fiat vehicles.

Audi has issued a notice for 14,435 examples of its A4, A5, A5 Cabriolet and Q5 models built between April 2011 and May 2015 for a potential problem with the auxiliary heater element in the air conditioner, which may overheat, leading to smoulder damage or a fire.

Mercedes-Benz has also initiated a recall for a potential fire risk, concerning five C- and E-Class luxury sedans.

According to the notice, the left cut-out for the exhaust systems on the aforementioned models may be missing due to incorrectly installed paneling, which in high-temperature conditions could cause a fire.

A total of 15,264 examples of the previous-generation model year 2017 and 2018 Volkswagen Polo light car has been called back due to improper welds on the towing eye.

The risk here is that the towing eye could tear, forcing the towrope to sling back and cause injury to bystanders or damage to a vehicle.

Fiat Chrysler Australia (FCA) also joins the list of companies to call back some of its cars in August, this time for two 2018 Jeep KL Cherokee and 1847 2015-2018 Fiat 500X units.

The notice for the Cherokee details an issue with the halfshaft assembly, which could lead to a loss of power or the inability to park the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the affected Fiat 500X small SUVs may be subject to faulty rear seat latches, which could cause the rear seats to unintentionally fold forward in the event of an accident.

Importantly, child restraints using the ISOFIX anchors could be impacted by this issue, potentially causing increased risk of injury to children.

Ford's Australian wing has called back 49 examples of the EcoSport small SUV built between May and June of 2017.

Those affected vehicles may be fitted with poorly-welded front lower control arms, which in the event of a failure, could cause the front wheel assemble to hit the inner guards leading to a front wheel lock-up and reduced steering control.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be contacted by their respective manufacturer, at which point they can arrange to have the issue fixed, free-of-charge.

For those looking for more information – or to check if their vehicle is affected – can go to the ACCC's product safety website.

Have you owned a vehicle caught up in a recall? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.