Does your car have a towbar? See 20+ cars that could lose their trailer while driving


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Among the reasons for the recall, problems with the towbar are not rare. They are relatively common with French cars, but can also be found with Audi, Ford, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Toyota or Volkswagen – see the table at the end of this article.

Recently, there have been various recalls due to manufacturing defects, loose bolts, poor welds, or wiring of the tow bar. You may not always be in danger of ripping the trailer off while driving, but it’s still a good idea to be concerned about the condition of the “ball” on your car, at least occasionally.

Most recently, Audi recalls 25,600 A4, A5, A6 and A7 models and Volkswagen 32,000 Tiguan SUVs for a defective locking pin on the towbar swivel mechanism. The pin could break while driving. In Audi’s case, the cars were made between August 2015 and December 2018, while the affected Tiguans were manufactured between February 2016 and March 2019. A limited number of Audi and VWs with this defect were first recalled in 2019.



The manufacturer and supplier SIARR/Westfalia-Automotive has announced a recall of the trailer-hitch system for the Peugeot 3008, Citroen C5 Aircross and Opel Grandland due to a defective weld that may break. As a result, the trailer may inadvertently detach from the vehicle. In this case, the units were manufactured from 7 September 2020 to 7 January 2021. However, these French-built SUVs are being recalled repeatedly due to the towbar problems – see table below.

Sometimes individual parts of the towing equipment also have recalls. Three years ago, a recall was announced for the AL-KO K50 Ø50 balls type E1 SSR-011763. The ball coupling could break in some permissible trailer combinations. At that time, all these parts on the market were affected.

Towbar failure can be dangerous

We went through our extensive archive and found 20+ cars that have had a recall in the last five years due to some towbar fault – see table below. Before the holiday, it may also be worth mentioning that the roof rails are not sufficiently strong with the 2011 – 2019 Opel Zafira‘s. In the event of a rear collision, any objects secured there could fall from the vehicle and end up on the road.

Watch also the video to see what it looked like when a caravan ripped off while driving. It happened on the Prague ring road in June 2019 and were captured by Czech Police.

Reprophoto/video: ČT24, Policie ČR


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20+ cars recalled for towbar problems

Important notice: Recalls listed here refer to the vehicle types only and may not apply to all vehicles of this type. If you think the recall may affect your car, you should make contact with an official dealer or workshop and check the VIN code to see if the recall applies to your car.

Make, Model (years) Problem
Audi A4 (2015 – 2018) The locking mechanism in the articulated trailer hitch may be defective.
Audi A5 (2015 – 2018) The locking mechanism in the articulated trailer hitch may be defective.
Audi A6 (2015 – 2018) The locking mechanism in the articulated trailer hitch may be defective.
Audi A7 (2015 – 2018) The locking mechanism in the articulated trailer hitch may be defective.
Citroen C5 Aircross (2017 – 2020) The welding of the tow bar may be faulty.
Citroën C5 Aircross (2019) The two bolts attaching the trailer hitch can break.
Citroën Jumpy 4 (2015 – 2017) The tow hitch bracket can deform when it is placed under maximum pressure.
Dacia Duster (2016 – 2017) Incorrect contact may occur between the towing harness and the trailer coupling.
Ford Transit (2012 – 2015) The tow bar fitted to the vehicle can fail if the vehicle is loaded to the maximum gross train weight.
Jeep Renegade (2014 – 2016) Fixing components in the trailer coupling device are missing.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2018) A bolt in the locking mechanism of the articulated trailer coupling is defective.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class (2020) The bolts on the cross-member or the coupling device may not have been tightened with the correct torque.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class (2018) A bolt in the locking mechanism of the articulated trailer coupling is defective.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2018) The bolts which connect the cross-member of the trailer coupling device (towbar) to the vehicle may not have been tightened.
Mercedes-Benz CLA (2018) A bolt in the locking mechanism of the articulated trailer coupling is defective.
Mercedes-Benz GLC (2018) The bolts which connect the cross-member of the trailer coupling device (towbar) to the vehicle may not have been tightened.
Mercedes-Benz GLC (2020) The bolts on the cross-member or the coupling device may not have been tightened with the correct torque.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2018 – 2021) Cracks may form at the point where the trailer hitch is connected to the vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2007 – 2020) The fatigue strength of the ball coupling device may be inadequate.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2008 – 2016) Screws on the trailer hitch may not have been screwed tightly enough.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2018) Trailer couplings may develop cracks when operated under load.
Mercedes-Benz X-Class (2017 – 2018) The trailer stability function may not be available.
Opel Grandland (2017 – 2020) The trailer coupling device may be detective.
Opel Grandland X (2019) The screw connection of the trailer coupling module may be defective.
Opel Grandland X (2017 – 2018) The screws attaching the tow-bar are insufficiently tightened.
Opel Zafira (2011 – 2019) As a result of a manufacturing error, the roof rail is not sufficiently strong.
Peugeot 3008 (2016 – 2020) The welding of the tow bar may be faulty.
Peugeot 3008 (2019 – 2020) The bolts attaching the trailer hitch can break.
Peugeot 3008 (2019) The two bolts attaching the trailer hitch can break.
Peugeot 3008 (2017 – 2018) The bolts attaching the tow bar may not be correctly tightened.
Peugeot 5008 (2016 – 2020) The welding of the tow bar may be faulty.
Peugeot 5008 (2019) The two bolts attaching the trailer hitch can break.
Seat Mii (2017) A poorly welded towing eye may have been included in the vehicle’s toolkit.
Škoda Citigo (2017) A poorly welded towing eye may have been included in the vehicle’s toolkit.
Škoda Rapid (2017) A poorly welded towing eye may have been included in the vehicle’s toolkit.
Toyota ProAce (2016 – 2017) The trailer coupling device can become deformed if a trailer is used.
Volkswagen Crafter (2016 – 2017) With intensive trailer use, screws attaching the trailer coupling device may become loose.
Volkswagen Polo (2015 – 2017) A poorly welded towing eye may have been included in the vehicle’s toolkit.
Volkswagen Tiguan (2016 – 2019) The locking mechanism in the articulated trailer hitch may be defective.
Volkswagen Up! (2015 – 2017) A poorly welded towing eye may have been included in the vehicle’s toolkit.

-rb-

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