Acura Recalls 19 TLXs Because a Robot May Have Cut the Tires
A plastic “shoe” on a robot tire-unstacking arm came off, exposing a sharp edge. This machine has since been replaced by a human worker.
Acura is recalling just 19 TLX sedans for tires that may have gotten cut during the tire sorting/loading process. According to the NHTSA report, tire supplier Bridgestone "determined that the tires equipped on a small number of Acura TLX vehicles may have sustained cuts/tears to the bead area during their tire sorting and loading process." A tire's "bead," by the way, is the inner edge area that sits closest to the metal wheel or rim.
Bridgestone says a plastic "shoe" of a robotic tire depalletizer used to unstack tires "rotated out of position," exposing a sharp edge that may or may not have cut up some tires destined for Acura sedans. Out of the 19 affected cars, the recall estimates 95% (or 18 cars) to have damaged tires. All affected cars are from the 2022 model year and were manufactured on a single date: Sept. 1, 2022.
"If the tire sustained cuts/tears to the bead area, over time air and moisture could damage the tire’s belts or bead wires," reads the report. "As a result, the tire could deflate rapidly, potentially leading to a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash or injury."
As of mid-December, Acura is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or warranty claims stemming from the issue. Owners will be notified on Jan. 30 and will be instructed to take their cars to a dealership for inspection. The report says dealers will inspect all four tires and replace them based on whether or not they fall within the affected date range, not whether or not they can see actual damage.
What's more, as a result of this snafu, the offending robotic tire-unstacker has (for now, at least) reportedly been replaced by a human worker.
Humans, 1. Automation, 0.
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