Chrysler Recalls SUVs Over Faulty Fuel Level Indicator

Laguna Hills, CA – August 12, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced its recalling more than 21,900 Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Alfa Romeo Giulia SUVs as a result of a fuel indicator issue that may misinform motorists regarding how much fuel is in their tank.

Such a misidentification could cause an accident should the vehicle stall or suddenly turn off while in operation. The Chrysler SUV recall is fixable, however, and operators are urged to take their vehicle to their nearest dealer so this problem can be addressed at no cost.

The defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler will recall 21,915 sport utility vehicles because the body control module, which measures the fuel amount in the tank, may be defective.

In vehicles that contain this problem, the gauge reads that the reservoir is fully supplied, when the opposite may be the case.

[This] may cause the customer to run out of fuel even though the indicator shows that there is still fuel in the vehicle,” Chrysler explained in a press release distributed to FCA dealerships.

The following are the potentially defective vehicles in question, including their model years:

  • 2018 – 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • 2018 – 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

As noted in the release, there are certain conditions in which the fuel level may read wrong. One such scenario is if the SUV is parked at a 10 degree angle for 30 minutes or more.

Depending on how full the tank actually is, the onboard computer may misidentify whether or not it went through a refuel and the fuel level indicator may move higher, suggesting it’s fuller than it actually is.

“Inaccurate fuel indication may increase the risk of an engine stall due to fuel starvation, and can cause vehicle crash without prior warning,” the statement further read.

Timeline of events

What ultimately led to this Chrysler SUV recall was a communique the company received June 3 from an Italian supplier, informing FCA of multiple reports related to Giulia and Stelvio vehicles stalling. 

Two days later, Chrysler opened an investigation to see if it could pinpoint the nature of the problem.

By June 12, the product development team confirmed the issue was related to faulty software, which caused the instrument panel to misidentify the amount of fuel remaining in the reservoir.

Approximately five weeks later, Fiat Chrysler determined that a voluntary recall was necessary and went through the proper channels to inform the NHTSA. The government agency confirmed the automaker’s intentions August 5.

Neither NHTSA nor Chrysler is aware of any accidents or injuries that trace back to this issue. Only one warranty has been filed through July 19.

The solution

The automaker says it will notify registered owners of the Chrysler SUV recall starting September 13 by first-class mail. Owners are strongly encouraged to have their vehicles checked out by an area dealer so the body control module software can be properly updated.

Chrysler believes that virtually all of the 21,900-plus SUVs included in the recall likely have the suspected defect in question.

For more information on this or any other automotive recall, visit MotorSafety.org. Check our section on all the most recent Chrysler recalls as well. You can also take a look at recalls grouped by month

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls SUVs Over Faulty Fuel Level Indicator

Chrysler Recalls More Than 6,000 Alfa Romero Giulia Vehicles for Brake Line Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Fiat (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia vehicles equipped with GME 280HP engines and All Wheel Drive (“AWD”) due to a potential brake fluid leak and subsequent risk of fire. The potential number of units affected is 6,136.

The defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, certain 2017-2018 MY Alfa Romeo Giulia vehicles equipped with GME 280HP engines and All Wheel Drive (“AWD”) may have an out of specification condition between the brake fluid line and a cooling hose clamp.

The recalled vehicles may experience contact between a coolant hose clamp and a brake fluid line in the engine compartment. Over time, this contact may lead to a brake fluid leak onto the engine catalyst.

If the brake fluid line is damaged and brake fluid enters the catalyst, there is potential for an engine compartment fire which may result in an increased risk of injury to motor vehicle occupants or persons outside the vehicle.

In certain circumstances, the customer may smell a burning odor or see smoke prior to an engine compartment fire. A loss of brake fluid may also result in the illumination of the brake fluid tell-tale lamp.

Timeline of events

On June 8, 2018, Alfa Romeo received a field report from the Belgian market of a thermal event in a Giulia Super 2.0L GME 280HP AWD.

On June 11, 2018, Alfa Romeo opened an official investigation. The dealer field report identified possible contact between the coolant hose clamp and the brake fluid line.

Additionally, evidence of a small thermal event was reported, localized within the engine compartment.

Between June 12, 2018 through July 31, 2018, the Alfa Romeo Product Development team performed an audit of all Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio engineering vehicles in EMEA, for evidence of contact between the coolant hose clamp and the brake fluid line within the engine compartment.

Between August 1, 2018 through November 7, 2018, FCA US field service engineers surveyed 21 vehicles to measure the clearance between the coolant hose and brake fluid line.

On November 7, 2018, Alfa Romeo engineering quality concluded that the clearance issue was evident on the 2.0L GME 280HP AWD and determined the scope as vehicles built from September 7, 2016 through September 18, 2017, when a new engine layout for the cooling and brake fluid lines was introduced into production.

As of November 16, 2018, Alfa Romeo had identified approximately no CAIRs or VOQs and only 4 field reports related to this issue; total warranty is 4 claims.

Alfa Romeo was aware of no accidents and no injuries potentially related to this issue, but determined on that date, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The solution

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install a bracket on the brake fluid line to prevent contact with the coolant hose clamp. If damage is found on the brake line, it will be replaced, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin January 15, 2019. Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

FCA US has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the previous cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of a field action.

To ensure consistency, FCA US, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.

MotorSafety.org can help you determine whether your vehicle is subject to a government-mandated recall or whether there is some factory notice that you should be informed of. Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls More Than 6,000 Alfa Romero Giulia Vehicles for Brake Line Defect

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective body supports

Auburn Hills, Mich. – April 23, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 12,500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective body supports, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
The campaign affects 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio sport utility vehicles produced between March 20, 2017, and Feb. 14, 2018.
FCA suspects that all of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles feature A-pillar joints that are not properly sealed to adjacent heating ventilation air conditioning boxes. Consequently, moisture intrusion can occur, resulting in corrosion to the A-pillar and the body control module.
Should oxidation take place, various vehicle components may fail, including the windshield wipers, turn indicators, the horn and the exterior lighting system. Without these features, the likelihood of accident or injury increases dramatically. However, FCA has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any collisions or injuries.

Timeline of Events

The Alfa Romeo Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group on Sept. 15, 2017, launched an internal investigation after receiving a warranty claim detailing an instance of front wiring harness oxidization. More than one month later, stakeholders for the automaker, an FCA subsidiary, met to discuss the issue and the potential impact. On Oct. 26, 2017, a little over week after the stakeholder meeting, Alfa Romeo received another warranty clam outlining multiple electrical failures. This promoted a more in-depth investigation, which continued into 2018.
Between October 2017 and January 2018, the Alfa Romeo Quality and Product Development Body Engineering team attempted to recreate the outcomes described in the warranty claims in house. This involved testing the vehicle in question for water intrusion. This analysis later revealed the presence of corrosion near where the A-pillar is sealed to the heating ventilation air conditioning box.
Engineers for the automaker concurrently performed water intrusion tests on the nearby body control module, finding similar results. On March 19, 2018, Alfa Romeo concluded its investigation with validation tests performed via handheld wand and end-of-line water analysis.
Members of the Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter March 23, 2018, and decided that a voluntary safety recall was necessary. Alfa Romeo notified dealers of the impending action March 29, 2018.

The Solution

Alfa Romeo has directed dealers to install additional sealant protections in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document.
The automaker intends to notify owners via first-class mail May 18, 2018. Those in need or more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U36. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective body supports

2018 Alfa Romeos Face Recalls over Brake Fluid Contamination

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 16, 2018 – Chrysler Fiat America recently announced a recall of more than 300 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans, citing concerns over contaminated brake fluid that could degrade over time, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the brake fluid in these vehicles may have come into contact with a type of oil that is not compatible with it, which could cause it to degrade over time and reduce braking performance. That, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of accident or injury.

All 307 of the Giulia sedans in the recall are expected to carry this defect, and were produced from Nov. 14 to Nov. 23, 2017.

The Defect

The brake fluid in affected vehicles were limited to the 10-day period in question, before and after which point the contaminated barrels of oil were not present in the factory where the vehicles were put together.

When the brake system is affected by the contaminated fluid, its components will likely be damaged and lead to a decline in overall performance of the vehicle’s braking capabilities. There would be no way for drivers to determine that this was happening, and could therefore result in a crash before the problem could be addressed, unless there was a brake failure during operation. In that case, a warning light in the dashboard would come on to alert the driver about the issue. However, the recall report called this warning “limited.”

Timeline of Events

Two vehicles being tested as part of a Customer Product Audit failed a routine examination on Nov. 23 when they suffered a loss of clutch pressure. This prompted a small population of vehicles to be put on hold. On Nov. 28, Alfa Romeo officially opened an investigation into the issue, and conducted further lab analysis on the vehicles that failed the audits. This analysis found the contamination of the brake and clutch fluid that led to the recall, and determined through internal records that they had both been manufactured at a time when a pallet of brake and clutch fluid, as well as oil, had been used starting Nov. 13. The next day, all vehicles at the plant were held and tested for oil contamination.

Alfa Romeo was able to create a bypass to only use uncontaminated barrels in further production starting Dec. 5.

Then, on Dec. 13, FCA Italy finally decided to issue the formal safety recall.

The Solution

FCA is encouraging owners to get their vehicles’ brake systems inspected and replaced as necessary, as part of the recall. It will fully reimburse owners who incurred any associated costs with repairing the issues.

Consequently, the automaker asks that owners send original receipts or other proof of payment to confirm the cost of the expense.

Fiat Chrysler will notify owners and dealers about the recall starting on or around Feb. 8, 2018.

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