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

Chrysler Recalls 2017 – 2019 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 18, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2017 – 2019 Pacifica vehicles equipped with stop/start systems. A loose battery to ground connection may lead to an occasional loss of power steering assist as well as intermittent stalling.

If this happens, there is a greater chance of a crash. As many as 198,731 vehicles could be affected by this problem.   

The defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the affected vehicles could have a loose connection between battery and ground, which may cause the driver to lose power steering or even experience stalling of the vehicle.

Either of these situations could result in a crash. 

Timeline of events

Chrysler’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance office received field study reports January 23, 2019 of 14 vehicles experiencing power steering problems potentially caused by loose ground connections.

Chrysler began investigating the issue between February and March, examining field and warranty data.

The automaker’s engineering and manufacturing experts determined in April that the wire harness manufacturing process may have deposited sealer on the harness tab, leading to an accumulation that could eventually cause a loss of clamp load over a period of time.

When that happens, intermittent electrical connection could result.

As of April 26, Chrysler had received several complaints and field reports concerning this issue, but said that it was unaware of any related accidents or injuries.

Consequently, the automaker’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided May 2 to launch a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The solution

The recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Chrysler will notify owners, informing them to take their vehicles to the nearest dealership, so that dealers can inspect battery ground surfaces, clean contacts as required and correctly reassemble the ground connection, at no cost to owners.

The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V348000.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2017 – 2019 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

Chrysler Recalls Over 47,000 Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid Vehicles for Steering Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – March 18, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2018 Pacifica and Pacifica hybrid vehicles. The right front lower control arm could separate from the steering knuckle, causing loss of directional control and increasing the risk of a crash.

As many as 47,771 vehicles are potentially affected by this issue.

The defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, the right front lower control arm can separate from the steering knuckle in some 2018 MY Chrysler Pacifica vehicles.

The issue came to light due to an increase in warranty claims for buzz, squeak and rattle relating to the suspect joint were reported.

If the right lower control arm separates from the steering knuckle, the driver may experience a loss of directional control, which can result in the vehicle crashing without advance warning.

Timeline of events

Chrysler’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization launched an investigation November 20, 2018 following the field report of a vehicle that exhibited a separated right front lower control arm ball joint separated from the steering knuckle.

Between November 4 – 17, Chrysler’s Chassis Engineering team completed dimensional component testing. From November 19 to January 14, 2019. Chassis Engineering did system level testing to confirm failure mode and the scope of the issue.

In addition, Chrysler and its Chassis Engineering team held meetings between November 20, 2018, and February 15, 2019 to review the issue and discuss customer consequences, potential root cause, the scope of vehicles affected, potential corrective actions being investigated and component and system test results.

Following receipt of five Customer Assistance and Information Requests and one field report, Chrysler decided on February 21, 2019 to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The solution

Starting April 19, 2019, Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the right front knuckle and lower control arm for damage and replace as needed, replacing the right front lower control arm knuckle pinch bolt with a larger diameter pinch bolt free of charge.

Some of the affected vehicles may be in dealers’ new vehicle inventory. Federal law requires that repairs must be completed before retail delivery. These vehicles will be eligible for a reimbursement allowance through Chrysler.

The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V143000.

To check if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Over 47,000 Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid Vehicles for Steering Issue

Chrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

Auburn Hills, Mich. – February 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, Ram 4500/5500, 2010-2011 Dodge Dakota, 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger, 2010-2015 Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300, and 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler vehicles as part of the ongoing multi-manufacturer recalls associated with Takata airbags. The potential number of units affected is 1,413,222

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safety Report regarding this matter, Takata’s non-desiccated front passenger air bag inflators containing phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant were installed in certain 2010 MY Dodge Ram 3500 vehicles and have not been addressed by prior recalls. These systems may experience propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high levels of heat, absolute humidity and temperature cycling.

The triggering of a non-desiccated PSAN inflator with degraded propellant, in a vehicle crash where the air bag would naturally deploy, may result in an inflator rupture. That, in turn, might cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior at high speed, potentially injuring or even killing vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology submitted to the NHTSA, in June 2014, the department’s Office of Defects Investigation opened a case based on six inflator rupture incidents involving vehicles produced by five manufacturers. All six cars were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their product lifecycle, and were equipped with Takata inflators. ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators as Takata’s testing of the passenger inflators to date continued to indicate hot and humid area as having the highest risk, but in light of eight more field incidents, the recall was expanded nationally.

On May 4, 2016, NHTSA expanded the scope of the original recalls to include additional vehicles built with non-desiccated PSAN air bag inflators. On May 16, 2016, Takata submitted a 573 Defect Information Report to NHTSA stating that the front programmable smokeless passenger inflator and non-desiccated air bag inflator could contain a safety defect. Since most of the inflator ruptures are associated with long-term PSAN propellant degradation (caused by years of exposure to temperature fluctuations and intrusion of moisture present in the ambient atmosphere), recall populations have occurred in segments with the oldest vehicles from hot and humid locations recalled first.

The Solution

Chrysler is issuing a recall on all affected vehicles. The recall began Feb. 4, 2019, and owners should be contacted on or around Feb. 28. Owners who incurred the cost of repairing a problem may send adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense and a subsequent refund. Also, the automaker’s dealers will replace the defective non-desiccated passenger frontal air bag inflator desiccated PSAN inflator or GUNI inflator free of charge.  Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V018000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

Chrysler Fiat Automobiles Recalls 12,000 Vehicles Over Powertrain Problem

United States – August 26, 2018 – According to Consumer Reports, in a recent string of recalls, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a recall of 12,779 vehicles.

Various Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and Ram SUVs and cars are involved in this particular recall, which is for a faulty part in the powertrain system.

The defect

Due to the powertrain system having a potentially broken or a wrongly manufactured circuit board, the problem can connect directly to stalling and starting the vehicle.

This is on the drivetrain and does not include the main engine of the car. Powertrain systems are in both manual and automatic vehicles and include transmission, drive shafts and differentials components.

Specifically, inside the circuit board, there is a voltage regular chip that helps control some of the automating controlling and driving of the cars. When this fails, the cars will not start or will stall out after being turned on via ignition.

When vehicles stall unexpectedly, there is a risk of an accident or injury from a crash. Issues with starting vehicles can cause drivers to be stranded or without a working car.

Of more than 12,000 vehicles affected, the list includes:

  • 2018 Jeep Renegade
  • 2018 Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Ram 1500
  • Ram ProMaster
  • Fiat 500x
  • Dodge Journey
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Durango
  • Chrysler 300x
  • 2018 – 2019 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2018 – 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2018 – 2019 Chrysler Town and Country vehicles
  • 2018 – 2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2018 – 2019 Chrysler Pacifica vehicles

Timeline of events

The recall is expected to officially begin September 28 of this year to solve the ignition problem. FCA states they will replace the powertrain control module free of charge for consumers and dealerships.

Also this month, FCA recalled similar 2018 – 2019 Jeep and Dodge models for brake fluid issues. More than 200,000 vehicles were included in this recall, which required brake fluid to be replaced complimentary to avoid potential bigger issues with the systems. Breaking and steering issues are imperative to fix immediately, due to the higher risks of crashes involved.

In June, a woman in Ohio claimed to have a steering issue with her Jeep, causing it to lockup while she was operating her car. However, FCA and Jeep spokespeople said her particular car did not fall under any current recall.

Alongside the recent recalls, FCA is facing some issues in court as well. According to the Detroit Free Press, Alphons Iacobelli, a former vice president of employee relations for FCA, is facing charges of embezzlement.

The company took funds allocated for worker trainers and used them for extraordinary perks, trips and bonuses instead.

Seven other higher-ups have already been convicted and charged in the scandal. The Justice Department and other government entities may be looking further into investigations that could cost FCA millions, if not billions, in court fees and fines.

However, further actions are speculative due to FCA being incorporated in the Netherlands and the charges happening in the U.S.

The solution

Chrysler announced plans to directly notify owners. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reference number for this recall campaign is 18V524.

To check if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Fiat Automobiles Recalls 12,000 Vehicles Over Powertrain Problem