Photo: Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeos are known, chiefly, for their reliability. So it’s unfortunate that, in recent weeks, Alfa Romeo was forced to issue two recalls affecting thousands of Stelvios. One recall addresses the liftgate, which may pop open unexpectedly; the other has to do with corrosion that may cause windshield wipers and head lamps to stop working.

Let’s start with the liftgate, described here in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document, which says that 12,595 Stelvios are affected:

Certain 2018 MY Alfa Romeo Stelvio vehicles built from March 20, 2017, through February 14, 2018, may experience water intrusion and subsequent corrosion in wiring connectors in the rear liftgate wiring harness and the liftgate-opening switches. Similar vehicles not included in the recall were built after February 14, 2018 and utilize an ergonomically improved application process for the sealant, protective tape and shrink tube to seal water leak paths and provide additional protection to affected connectors.

[...]

An unintended activation and opening of the rear liftgate door may result in a loss of unrestrained cargo. Lost cargo may create a road hazard and could cause a following vehicle to crash without prior warning.

Alfa first learned of the potential issue in January after a warranty claim, confirming it a couple months later and finally determining that it needed to issue the recall on March 23.

The second recall is somewhat similar, and affects the same number of Stelvios, though this leak is at the other end of the car:

Certain 2018 MY Alfa Romeo Stelvio vehicles built from March 20, 2017, through February 14, 2018, may experience water intrusion and subsequent corrosion in the body control module A-pillar connector and/or the body control module. Similar vehicles not included in the recall were built after February 14, 2018 and contain additional body sealer, an improved gasket crimping process, additional shielding to the body control module and sealing tape between the plenum and body sheet metal to prevent water intrusion onto the A-pillar connector and body control module.

[...]

In certain conditions, loss of windshield wiper function and/or exterior lighting may reduce driver visibility and could result in a vehicle crash without warning.

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The NHTSA documents indicate that Alfa had known about this problem for significantly longer than the first, hearing of it originally in September as part of a warranty claim. Months of testing ensued, and, by late March, Alfa determined it needed a recall for this leak as well. That timing isn’t necessarily problematic, since recalls are expensive and automakers like to be certain there’s a problem before sounding the siren. Still!

What percentage of Stelvios are affected in total? Well, according to goodcarbadcar, Alfa has sold somewhere approaching that number of Stelvios in the U.S. in total, meaning that if 12,595 isn’t every Stelvio on the streets of America, it’s pretty close. The recalls are the third and fourth recalls for the 2018 Stelvio, after much smaller recalls in January and March.