Stellantis recalls Ram trucks with faulty airbag inflators

Auburn Hills, MI – September 17, 2021 – Fiat Chrysler, owned by Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), has recalled 212,373 Ram pickup trucks with potentially faulty side-curtain airbag inflators that may rupture and injure vehicle occupants. The recall includes:

  • 2015 -2020 Ram 1500 trucks
  • 2015-2016 Ram 2500 trucks
  • 2015-2016 Ram 3500 trucks

The affected component is the Side Airbag Inflatable Curtain with multiple part numbers, including 68161578AJ.  The airbags were made by Takata’s successor, Joyson Safety Systems.

Recall summary  

As reported, the side-curtain airbags – also known as roof rail airbags – deploy over the windows to drivers’ and passengers’ heads during a crash. The inflators inside them release gas to inflate the airbags quickly.

Due to a manufacturing mistake, moisture got inside some airbag inflators, which could corrode the casing from the inside. The casing could rupture, releasing compressed gas and inflator pieces into the vehicle at high speeds.

Fiat Chrysler is aware of one report of inflator rupture in a 2015 Ram 1500. The automaker expects that 22 percent of trucks in this recall have defective inflators. 

Risks

Read more about the risks of corroded inflator rupture in this recent article about a recall of 2015-2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks with corroded Joyson inflators.

Takata airbag recalls

Millions of older cars have been recalled because of faulty airbag inflators that may explode when the airbag is being inflated and hurl sharp metal components at the driver or the passengers. You can read more about these ongoing recalls here.

This recall is not part of the Takata airbag recall, however, because it involves a different type of inflators, according to recall documents.

The repair

Ram dealers will inspect and replace one or both side curtain airbags  as needed. Owner notifications will be sent out starting October 1, 2021. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 212,000 vehicles are included in this Fiat Chrysler airbag recall. To see if your Ram truck is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandStellantis recalls Ram trucks with faulty airbag inflators

Stellantis is recalling vehicles over a risk of windshield detachment

Auburn Hills, MI  – August 18, 2021 – Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) – that owns both Chrysler and Dodge brands – has announced a recall for 21,258 vehicles whose windshields may have been improperly fitted. This may lead to its separation from the vehicle during a collision, which increases the risk of injury. This Dodge and Chrysler recall includes the following vehicles: 

  • 2020 Chrysler 300
  • 2021 Chrysler 300
  • 2020 Dodge Challenger
  • 2021 Dodge Challenger
  • 2020 Dodge Charger
  • 2021 Dodge Charger

Recall summary  

The vehicles affected by this recall may have been painted with a “non-conforming” coat which does not adequately bonds the windshield with the metal beneath it. As a result, the windshield could detach from the vehicle during a collision.  

Risks

A large piece of glass that is flying out of control can injure passengers inside the vehicle, other motorists and nearby pedestrians. In addition, such vehicles fail to comply with a U.S. safety standard which requires at least half of the windshield to stay in place during a collision. 

Other Dodge Challenger recalls

In April of last year, the 2019 Dodge Challenger was part of a 300,000-unit strong recall for a lingering rearview camera image which could distract the driver and lead to a crash. The 2020 model-year is not subject to any additional recalls.

Other Dodge Charger recalls

The 2018, 2019 and 2020 Dodge Charger were recalled in August of last year because the backup camera image would not display when these cars were in the so-called stealth mode, as reported. The 2021 model-year does not have any additional recalls outstanding.

The repair

Chrysler and Dodge authorized dealers will fix this issue by removing the windshield and applying a different type of urethane sealant which will ensure that the windshield will stay in place. Notifications will be sent to owners around August 27. 

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This Chrysler and Dodge recall includes more than 20,000 vehicles. To see if yours is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicStellantis is recalling vehicles over a risk of windshield detachment

US government investigates Dodge and Chrysler vans’ sliding door issues

Washington, D.C. – July  21, 2021 –  The arm of the U.S. government that regulates vehicle safety is conducting an investigation to determine if Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) will need to recall 233,084 2016 Chrysler Town and Country and the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan vans because of faulty sliding doors. The doors may allegedly become stuck, potentially trapping passengers in the vans in the event of an emergency.

Summary  

The vans in question are equipped with power sliding rear doors that open at the push of a button inside the car or on the key fob. However, 426 drivers complained that they could not get the doors to open, even manually. This prompted the regulator – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – to open an investigation on July 9. 

Consumer complaints

Many of the complaints described “consumers having to remove passengers in the rear of the vehicle through the front doors, the second sliding door (if it was operational), the windows, or the rear hatch of the vehicle.”

Previous issues

Stellantis, Dodge and Chrysler’s parent company, has been aware of the issue since 2016, when they issued a bulletin to dealers instructing mechanics to replace sliding door lock actuators on vans whose doors got stuck. The automaker discovered a defect in the lock actuators that would cause the doors to get stuck, sometimes emitting a loud buzzing noise when the car was locked or unlocked.

It is not clear how big the population affected by this issue was or how many cars were actually repaired at the time.

Risks

Many complaints NHTSA received expressed concern that in an emergency or crash, vehicle occupants could become trapped inside the vehicle.  This represents a grave risk in the event of, for example, vehicle fires, where occupants need to leave a vehicle quickly.  If someone is hurt, first responders may also have a hard time getting to the patient quickly if they cannot open doors from the outside.

More dangers

Through the investigation, NHTSA is set to find out how often these rear door failures, confirm the risks that the complaints are referring to and potentially flesh out any additional dangers.

Next steps

The investigation is currently in the “preliminary evaluation” stage, which NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) usually completes within four months. If the evaluation shows a potential safety defect, the office will conduct an engineering analysis to decide whether to initiate a safety recall. That stage usually takes around a year, as reported.

Will your vehicle be part of a recall?

Over 233,000 vans could be implicated in a future Fiat Chrysler recall or Dodge recall. To see if your van is one of them, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and check back for open recalls in the future.

Rebecca RandUS government investigates Dodge and Chrysler vans’ sliding door issues

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