Stellantis recalls Jeep Cherokees for transmission fluid leak

Auburn Hills, MI – May 15, 2021 – Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – which owns the Jeep brand – has recalled 18,800 2021 Jeep Cherokee SUVs that may leak transmission oil, creating the risk of fire.

The component in question is called “3.2L TOC Hose,” with multiple part numbers, including 68399015AA.

Recall summary  

The oil cooler is a component of the engine system designed to keep the engine from overheating, while curing is a process that is used to give final shape to some parts of the car, such as rubber hoses and tires.

Due to a supplier error, the oil cooler hose – which carries lubricating oil from the transmission to the oil cooler – has been cured for too long, making it weak and prone to breaking.  

Risks

The weak hose may rupture, igniting the oil and resulting in an engine fire. Vehicle fires are extremely dangerous, putting occupants at a serious risk of injury or death. Read more about what to do in case of a vehicle fire in this article about a recent Kia Stinger recall.

Warning signs 

The manufacturer says there are no warning signs. If your car is part of this recall, take it in for repair immediately! 

Complaints

Stellantis acknowledges that it knows of four customer assistance records, 160 warranty claims, and seven field reports related to this problem. The automaker estimated that 1 in 10 of the recalled vehicles contained a defective hose.

The repair

Dealers will inspect the transmission oil cooler hose and replace it, if needed, for free. Drivers who paid to have this issue fixed before the recall may be eligible for reimbursement. Owner notifications with more information about when and how to seek repairs will be sent out starting  June 23.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 18,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep recall. To see if your SUV is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandStellantis recalls Jeep Cherokees for transmission fluid leak

Stellantis recalls Ram trucks that may catch fire

Auburn Hills, MI – April 8, 2021 – Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), which owns the Dodge brand, is recalling 19,214 vehicles with a faulty relay, or a switch, inside the engine compartment that may cause fire. This recall includes the following Ram pickup trucks :

  • 2021 Ram 2500
  • 2021 Ram 3500 
  • 2021 Ram 4500 
  • 2021 Ram 5500

Recall summary  

The recalled cars are equipped with Cummings 6.7L diesel engines that have an electric heater that warms up the air coming into the engine and helps it reach running temperatures faster. The operation of this heater is controlled by a so-called solid state relay, which is an electric switch that turns electrical power on and off. This switch may be defective and can short circuit, which may lead to fire in the engine compartment.  This may occur regardless of whether the ignition is on or off.

The defect is caused by a supplier error.

Risks

A fire can be a serious safety concern if it happens while driving. Potential hazards range from failure to stop and evacuate the vehicle in time to increased risks of collision. In addition, a burning vehicle on the road is a threat to other drivers and their passengers. 

Safety tips

Chrysler does not explicitly say this, but in the case of other recent recalls because of an increased fire risk, manufacturers like Hyundai have recommended to park recalled vehicles outside and away from structures, such as houses and garages.

For tips on what to do if your vehicle catches fire, please read this article about a Hyundai recall.

Other Chrysler recalls

In November, over 19,000 Ram 1500 and Ram 2500 pickup trucks were part of a recall due to the driver-side mirror issue, where the mirror glass detached from the backing plate and no longer showed a reflection of what was behind.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will install a protective barrier around the relay. If it short-circuits, the barrier will act as a thermoresistant capsule, which will contain the spread of heat and prevent the fire. The repairs are free of charge. The recall begins on April 30.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

This Ram recall includes over 19,000 pickups. To see if your Ram is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicStellantis recalls Ram trucks that may catch fire

Stellantis recalls Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators for burnt-out clutch

Auburn Hills, MI – February 11,  2021 – Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), which owns the Jeep brand, is recalling 42,887 Jeeps because a part of the clutch may overheat and fracture, creating the risk of a fire. The recall includes the following manual transmission vehicles:

  • 2018 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2019 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2020 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2021 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2020 Jeep Gladiators
  • 2021 Jeep Gladiators

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the clutch, specifically the clutch pressure plate, which temporarily stops the “transmission of engine power” to allow the driver to switch gears. Due to excessive friction because of a design error, the plate may overheat. The heat may fracture the pressure plate and the resulting hot debris could land on flammable parts of the car, causing a fire.

Prior recall

All vehicles that were part of a similar Jeep recall in 2020 are included in this latest recall. In this recall, Jeep blamed the problem on “air in the hydraulic system,” and the repair involved rerouting the vehicles’ wiring. Testing performed for this recall showed that with excess friction, the clutch could reach 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit, plenty hot to ignite other parts of the car. It is not clear whether this latest recall supersedes the first one.

Recent Jeep recalls

A Jeep recall in 2019 of 2011-2018 Wranglers concerned a weak seat belt mount which could fracture and separate from the seat, rendering the belt useless. 

‘The entire vehicle was burned to ashes’

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received numerous complaints describing burning clutch smells, fractured clutch pressure plates and clutch-related fires in vehicles included in the 2020 and 2021 recalls.

Many drivers reported a “burning clutch smell.” This odor may be a sign that the clutch pressure plate is about to fail, according to Chrysler’s report to NHTSA.

Other complaints illustrate the worst-case scenario. “While my 16-year-old daughter and I were driving on the FL 528/Beachline Expressway, the entire clutch pressure plate assembly exploded off my vehicle,” said one Florida driver’s  report. “Fluids drained and ignited. The entire vehicle was burned to ashes.”

Despite the dramatic nature of the accident, no injuries have been reported thus far in connection with the latest recall.

Safety concerns

Chrysler acknowledged that a fractured clutch pressure plate could also generate road debris, creating a hazard for other drivers on the road.

Vehicle fires increase drivers’ and passengers’ risk of injury or death. You can read more about what to do if you smell something burning while driving in this article about a 2020 Audi recall.

Repair

Chrysler will add software to affected Jeeps that will reduce the engine torque – essentially how hard the engine works – if the clutch starts getting too hot. Owners who have already paid to repair their clutch pressure plate may be eligible for reimbursement. Recall notification letters will be sent to owners on March 21.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 42,000 vehicles are included in this Chrysler recall. To see if your Jeep is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandStellantis recalls Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators for burnt-out clutch

Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Auburn Hills, MI – December 14, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has recalled 28,884 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler. The cooler may crack and release coolant that may cause an engine fire. The recall includes 2014-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Recall summary  

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler is a car part designed to absorb heat to reduce emissions from an engine. Due to a supplier error, the recalled vehicles are prone to “thermal fatigue,” which may cause coolers in them to crack.

Vaporized coolant can then flow through the crack and into the EGR system while the engine is running. There it may interact with hydrocarbons and air in an area called the intake manifold, which forms part of the engine. This may lead to an engine fire.

This is not the first time Chrysler’s cars are having issues with EGR coolers. In 2019, Chrysler recalled a number of Ram 1500 trucks for the same EGR cooler issue. This past August a number of owners filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the manufacturer “botched” the recall, not making enough parts available for replacement.

Risks 

Vehicle fires are not uncommon. It is estimated that 212,500 vehicle fires occurred in 2018, causing 560 deaths, 1,500 injuries and $1.9 billion in property damage. If the EGR cooler issues cause a fire, the driver will receive very little warning. If you suspect that there is a fire in your engine compartment, pull over, turn off the vehicle, move all occupants out and away from it and call 911.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will replace the EGR cooler. They will also inspect the intake manifold and replace that as well if necessary. The repair is free of charge. This Jeep Grand Cherokee recall is expected to begin on December 31, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 28,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep Cherokee recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydJeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

FCA recalls Jeep and RAM vehicles for seat belt malfunction

Pleasanton, CA – Sept 25, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) has recalled 2,114 SUVs and pickup trucks and SUVs whose front seat belts may not lock properly during a crash, putting drivers and passengers at risk of injury. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickups
  • 2019 Jeep Wrangler SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Ram 1500 pickups
  • 2019 RAM 2500 pickups

Recall summary  

Ever wondered why seatbelts sometimes “lock” up if you yank them too hard? This is a design feature that is meant to make the belt easy to pull over your body and comfortable to move around under, but will firmly hold you if you crash. In these recalled Jeeps and Rams, a connection part called the “wave disc” may be misshapen, causing the seatbelt to have a much weaker hold on the driver and front seat passenger.

Chrysler first noticed the problem this July when a seatbelt held the crash dummy less forcefully than it was supposed to during a crash test. A part in the seat belt retractor wasn’t formed correctly, weakening the whole seat belt system.

Chrysler is not aware of any complaints, injuries, or deaths relating to this problem.

Risks

If you’re riding in a pickup truck or SUV and you crash, wearing a functioning seat belt will reduce your risk of injury by at least 60% and your risk of dying by at least 65%. A malfunctioning seat belt may not protect you, and could increase your risk of getting hurt.

The repair

Owners will be notified about the recall starting on November 17 and Chrysler will replace the faulty seat belt retractors for free. The repair, however, is not yet available. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 2,000 vehicles are part of this Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle identification number look up tool.

Rebecca RandFCA recalls Jeep and RAM vehicles for seat belt malfunction

RAM recalls pickups for engine fire risk

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 28, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) (NYSE: FCAU)  has recalled 32,318 Ram pickups for an engine oiling issue. The recall includes:

  • 2019-2020 Ram 3500 heavy duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Ram 4500 commercial trucks
  • 2019-2020 Ram 5500 commercial trucks

Recall summary  

The vehicles in questions are equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engines. A software problem can starve engine parts of oil as the car warms up. This could damage the engine and the related parts and cause a fire.

Risks

Car fires kill over 300 people a year on average and injure over a thousand, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Their report blames at least 20% of vehicle fires between 2009 and 2017 on equipment failures.

FCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have not received any reports of injuries or deaths resulting from the Ram software problem. 

Fire safety tips

If you suspect your engine is on fire:

  • Stop your car someplace safe. 
  • Do not open the hood. Oxygen will rush in and feed the flames. 
  • Get yourself and others away from the vehicle, at least 100 feet. 
  • Call the fire department at 911 when you are in a secure location.
  • Do not return to the vehicle for any reason.

The repair

The fix is a free software update that a dealer will upload to your vehicle. The new software will make sure that plenty of oil is sent to the engine as the car warms up. The repair should take less than half a day, and is currently available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 32,000 vehicles are included in this Fiat Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandRAM recalls pickups for engine fire risk

Fiat Chrysler’s loose brand emblem may impale drivers, passengers in a collision

Pleasanton, CA – July 7, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (NYSE:FCAU) is recalling 925,239 vehicles because of a loose or a missing brand emblem that may be flung at the drivers and passengers during a crash, potentially causing serious injury. The recall includes:

  • 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2007-2011 Dodge Nitro

Recall summary

The plastic brand emblem on the steering wheel, as well as the nuts securing it, form part of the airbag cover. As a result of a design flaw, these components may detach and injure the driver and passengers, especially if the driver airbag deploys  during a crash.

Safety risks

There are 14 known injuries caused by this defect. One report filed in 2013 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes how one man received a “huge laceration” from a Dodge emblem that was flung into his forearm during a crash. “It could have knocked out his eye, entered his heart or even slashed his throat,” his spouse said in the report. Another near miss was reported in 2011, when an Oregon driver noticed, after a crash, that the emblem on her 2007 Dodge Nitro had shot off the steering wheel when the airbags went off and ended up in the passenger-side door. The driver was concerned with how forcefully the emblem had flown off the wheel.

Airbags deploy at speeds between 100 and 200 miles per hour within 30 to 50 milliseconds. Additionally, “objects in the path of a deploying airbag can become injurious, potentially lethal projectiles.” Even without the boost of an airbag, any loose object in a crashing vehicle can impale an occupant at close to the speed the vehicle was going before it crashed. For example, in 2015, surgeons in Rhode Island found a dime lodged in a crash victim’s leg. It had passed through his femur. The dime was bent.

Repair

FCA intends to replace the driver airbag cover on all affected vehicles. Replacements are set to be available by September. In the meantime, FCA has offered to remove emblems from the airbag cover as an “interim repair.” 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 900,000 cars are included in this Fiat Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Nate GouldsbroughFiat Chrysler’s loose brand emblem may impale drivers, passengers in a collision

Chrysler Recalls Jeep, Ram, Dodge Vehicles to Fix Distracting Rear-View Camera

Laguna Hills, CA – May 12, 2020 – Chrysler (NASDAQ: FCA) announced the recall of several models of Jeep SUVs, Ram pickup trucks, Dodge SUVs and Chrysler minivans equipped with 8.4” or 12” radio displays.

The recall includes the following models:

  • 2020 Jeep Gladiator
  • 2020 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2019-2020 Ram 1500 Pickup
  • 2019-2020 Ram 2500 Pickup
  • 2019-2020 Ram 3500 Pickup
  • 2019-2020 Chrysler Pacifica
  • 2019-2020 Dodge Durango
  • 2019-2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2019-2020 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2019-2020 Jeep Renegade
  • 2019 Dodge Challenger

Recall Summary

Because of a software error, the rear-view camera image remains displayed after the vehicle shifts out of reverse, which could distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.

In addition to the safety issue related to distracted driving, Chrysler initiated the recall to ensure vehicles meet federal standards that require rearview cameras to turn off within 10 seconds after shifting out of reverse.

The remedy will be available as early as May 22, 2020. The manufacturer will cover the cost to repair vehicles, which consists of a software update that could take up to a half day to repair at a certified service center.

Driving Risks

The rear-view camera potentially leads to a crash because once the driver shifts into drive, the vehicle is in forward motion while the navigation system displays an image in backward motion. If this were to happen while the driver pulls into traffic or an area with pedestrians, the risks of a crash increase.

The Threat Of Distracted Driving

According to the CDC, distracted drivers pose a serious problem that results in thousands of deaths each year. Several campaigns exist to bring more awareness to the problem, as well as April being designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

In both 2016 and 2017, over 3,000 people lost their lives in a motor vehicle crash involving distracted drivers.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – April 2019

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classified 9% of traffic facilities as distraction-affected crashes, which means the driver was distracted at the time of the crash. In both 2016 and 2017, over 3,000 people lost their lives in a motor vehicle crash involving distracted drivers.

Other Recent Recalls

Earlier this year, some 2018-2020 Jeep Wranglers and 2020 Jeep Gladiators were the subjects of a recall involving the manual transmission. The recall affected almost 30,000 Jeep Wranglers and over 3,400 Jeep Gladiators. In addition to the manual transmission recall, Jeep also recalled over 33,000 Jeep Gladiators because of a clutch defect.

Is Your Vehicle Affected By This Recall?

Over 318,000 cars are included with this Chrysler recall. To find out if your vehicle is one of them, visit MotorSafety.org, where you can search for open recalls on your vehicle, set up an appointment for any needed repairs, and sign up for automatic alerts so you know when your vehicle might be not safe to drive.

Joe GlaserChrysler Recalls Jeep, Ram, Dodge Vehicles to Fix Distracting Rear-View Camera

Chrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Laguna Hill, CA – December 27, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling certain 2018 – 2019 Pacifica vehicles. Some vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens may display a rear view image for an entire drive cycle.

The potential number of vehicles affected 20,441.

The defect

The defective radios were placed into vehicles during production from May 1, 2018 through May 23, 2019, at which point vehicle software was updated. As a result, the affected vehicles are not in compliance with S6.2.1 and S62.2, which states that rearview images will not be displayed after the end of the “backing event.”

A “backing event” is defined by NHTSA as “an amount of time which starts when the vehicle’s direction selector is placed in reverse and ends… when the vehicle forward motion reaches a continuous duration of 10 seconds.”

Because of the defect, affected vehicles’ rearview images may stay until the drive cycle ends, which can be longer than 10 seconds. An extended rearview image display may distract the driver and possibly cause a vehicle crash.

According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, 100% of Pacifica vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens carry the defect.

Timeline of events

On August 12, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ US Engineering Department notified the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization of a potential issue with rearview image display.

In November 2019, the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization confirmed the defect. Soon after, Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance determined the scope of vehicles that were potentially affected by the condition.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, based on information from the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization, decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be conducting a voluntary safety recall that will most likely begin during the First Quarter of 2020. Owners can bring their recalled vehicles into a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer, who will be charged with flashing the suspect radios with updated software.

Updated radio software should be able to return to its normal function after a “backing event.” Although the date is not determined, the recall will most likely begin January 31, 2020.

All affected customers will be reimbursed for the cost of repairs. Fiat Chrysler US is requesting that the owners of recalled vehicles send in their original receipt or other proof of payment as a form of confirmation. This process will allow the company to keep a consistent record.  

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesChrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Chrysler Announces Recall on Certain Ram 1500 Trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – October 31, 2019 – The recall of certain 2014 – 2019 Ram 1500 trucks, including some 1500 Classic Pickup vehicles, was announced by Chrysler earlier this month.

All trucks involved with the recall are equipped with 3.0L Eco Diesel engines that have been outfitted with a faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler.

The defect

The safety recall report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that the issue involves the EGR coolers on vehicles listed for the recall. The defect leaves the coolers susceptible to thermal fatigue.

“Thermal fatigue may cause the cooler to crack internally over time,” stated Chrysler’s own description of the defect within the safety recall report.

“An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce pre-heated, vaporized coolant to the EGR system while the engine is running … potentially resulting in combustion within the intake manifold, which may lead to a vehicle fire.” 

More than 100,000 vehicles are involved in the recall, all of which are expected to contain the defect. Chrysler utilized engine assembly plant records and other information to determine which vehicles were built with the “suspect” EGR coolers.

Timeline of events

The first signs of the defect came in May 2019, when an investigation was opened into engine compartment fires in Ram 1500 3.0L Eco Diesel trucks, according to the chronology report provided by Chrysler.

An inquiry running through October revealed numerous instances of warranty reports and associated repair orders that were related to the defect.

Meetings with diesel engineers and vehicles inspected from other countries allowed the manufacturer to “better understand the fire dynamics involved, and to rule out climate as a potential exacerbating factor.”

The decision to conduct a vehicle recall was made on October 17, after Chrysler had identified more than 60 field reports potentially related to EGR cooler failure.

The solution

According to paperwork Chrysler has filed with the NHTSA, the recall itself is expected to begin sometime in December 2019, although the remedy itself remains under development at the current time.

For more information on vehicle recalls, be sure to use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool

Sean ReyesChrysler Announces Recall on Certain Ram 1500 Trucks