Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 5, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 1,200 sport utility vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel lines, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk SUVs manufactured between Oct. 10, 2017, and Dec. 10, 2017. FCA suspects just 5 percent of the models referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.
Affected vehicles contain supercharged 6.2-liter engines featuring fuel lines prone to separation due to faulty connectors. When disconnected, the lines leak gasoline into the engine compartment, causing stalling and increasing the likelihood of an engine fire. Consequently, these fixtures pose a serious risk to occupants. However, FCA has yet to receive reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On Dec. 14, 2017, FCA received a Product-Related Issue complaint mentioning an instance of fuel line separation that occurred in a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, prompting the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group to open an official investigation. FCA collaborated with Martinrea International, the company that provided the fuel line assemblies used in these models, to analyze explore the issue and pinpoint a root cause. The parts provider soon discovered that a misaligned sensor in its insertion machine had resulted in the manufacture of defective fuel lines prone to disconnection.
Between Dec. 21, 2017, and Jan. 2, 2018, engineers at FCA’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, the production facility from which the defective vehicles originated, reviewed assembly records and identified all of the vehicles potentially equipped with the defective fuel lines. On Jan. 8, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. The automaker notified dealers of the impending action Jan. 11.
FCA has directed dealers to inspect the vehicles involved in the recall and, if necessary, replace the fuel lines free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automotive firm intends to notify owners via first-class mail March 2. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U02. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.