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

Watch Your Step! Chrysler Recalls RAM 2500 Pickups Over Failing Bed Step

Owners of 2019 and 2020 Ram 2500 pickups and Ram 3500 pickups must have the bed step removed because it can unexpectedly fail during use.

Laguna Hills, CA – May 15, 2020 – Chrysler recalls a total of 37,580 2019 and 2020 Ram 2500 pickup trucks and Ram 3500 pickup trucks that have an attached bed step accessory. During heavy loading, the bed step can break leading to user injury.

Dangers of a Faulty Bed Step

Having a bed step is a convenient feature that makes it easier for the user to climb into the bed of the truck.

In Ram trucks, if too much pressure is applied to the bed step, such as when a user steps up while carrying a heavy item, it can cause the support brace holding the step in place to break. As of March 30, 2020, owners have filed a total of 27 warranty claims. While there are no reported injuries from the faulty steps, the risk of an eventual fall and injury is imminent without the recall in place.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over nine million people went to the emergency room for treatment of an injury related to a fall in 2016. While the NSC considers a fall to be a preventable injury, it is largely unavoidable when it comes to faulty equipment.

Is Your Vehicle Affected?

Based on the production records, the recall consists of 25,822 Ram 2500 pickups. The manufacture dates of all the pickup trucks are between October 18, 2018, and March 1, 2020. The recall also includes 11,758 Ram 3500 pickup trucks manufactured between January 8, 2019, and March 1, 2020. 

Replacement Bed Steps Are Currently Unavailable

Thus far, no repair for the bed step assembly is available. A letter sent to dealers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) instructs them to remove the bed step assembly on all unsold vehicles. Chrysler will notify dealers when a new deployable bed step becomes available. At that time, the dealers will be able to contact the vehicle owners to bring their trucks in for the installation of a new bed step at no cost.

RAM 2500 safety issues

The owners of the Ram recall should be also aware of two previous Ram recalls. In March 2020, Chrysler recalled over 87,000 trucks because of a potential fire hazard caused by leaking transmission fluid.

The same trucks are also among 318,537 recalled vehicles because of a rear-view camera display image that remains on longer than ten seconds. The lingering display image could distract the driver and possibly contribute to a vehicular accident.

Scheduling a Repair

To locate a dealership near you to remove the bed step and avoid the danger of this faulty equipment, visit Motorsafety.org.

Joe GlaserWatch Your Step! Chrysler Recalls RAM 2500 Pickups Over Failing Bed Step

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 and
  • 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

Jeep Recalls 33,000+ Wranglers and Gladiators Due to Fire Risk

re: NHTSA campaign 20V124000

Laguna Hills, CA – March 3, 2020 – Jeep recalls all 2018-2020 manual transmission Wranglers and 2020 manual transmission Gladiators due to a clutch issue. Gladiator owners may be at particular risk since Jeep has also issued a recall on 2020 models for a rear driveshaft installation error. The clutch recall affects 33,237 vehicles and includes a stop sell order to dealerships, halting sales pending a repair for the issue.

The Signs of a Failing Clutch Pressure Plate

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles first became aware of a potential safety issue in late 2019. Customer reports indicated early warning signs like extra movement in the clutch pedal and a burning smell. Any change in the feel of the clutch pedal while driving can be an indicator of future trouble.

Driving Risks

Too much friction between the pressure plate and the clutch can cause the plate to fracture, potentially releasing hot metal pieces into the engine and undercarriage. If those pieces hit the gas tank, a sudden fire is possible. Other risks include dropping debris on the road and a sudden loss of power at the wheel, which increases the risk of a crash.

Currently, this defect has resulted in one minor injury and 35 warranty claims related to clutch failure, according to the NHTSA Safety Recall Report. To date, the default has caused no known traffic accidents.

Manufacturer Policies to Repair Recalled Vehicles

FCA US has policies in place for car owners that may have paid for repairs out of pocket. Reimbursement is typically available when the vehicle owner submits a copy of the repair receipt for any repairs later subject to a recall. FCA US has a history of slow repairs and delayed responses to repair reports, but a $105M fine issued in 2015 has sped up the repair cycle.

Scheduling a Repair

Any Jeep-certified service center can complete repairs. There is no charge for service on Chrysler recalls. Prevent a Jeep Wrangler fire and find out if your vehicle is part of the recall at MotorSafety.org.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyJeep Recalls 33,000+ Wranglers and Gladiators Due to Fire Risk

Chrysler: Leaking Transmission Fluid Poses Fire Risk in Recalled RAM Trucks

re: NHTSA campaign

Laguna Hills, CA – Feb 6, 2020 – Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Pickup vehicles equipped with six-speed automatic (68RFE) transmissions. This recall involves power train components. These vehicles are equipped with six-speed automatic (68RFE) transmissions that are susceptible to wear and tear from thermal loading. Heat can cause transmission fluid to leak from the dipstick tube.

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 84,202.

The Defect:

The affected vehicles are equipped with defective transmission assemblies that are prone to being damaged due to thermal stressors. Chrysler has not specified what specific aspect of the transmission or vehicle itself makes this possible A buildup of heat and pressure inside of the transmission can cause transmission fluid to be expelled from the dipstick tube. Transmission fluid is flammable, and this loose liquid can come in contact with other ignition sources, such as the turbocharger, and start a fire in the engine compartment. The possibility of fire increases the risk of injury and death on part of the operators and also can result in costly damage to the vehicle’s internals. In addition, sufficient amounts of transmission fluid can damage mechanical or electronic components even if no fire is started. This defect is known to have resulted in engine compartment fires several times, and one minor injury was recorded, according to Chrysler. No warranty claims have been made in relation to this issue.

On December 4, 2019, Chrysler’s US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (VSRC) group opened an investigation following reports of 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks suffering from engine compartment fires. Believing a defective part was responsible, VRSC analyzed fire patterns, damaged components, witness statements and other aspects of each event in order to determine trends related to these incidents. Chrysler engineering soon conducted their own tests to duplicate the issue as it was reported in the field, and on Jan. 9, 2020, engineers believed they had found the root cause of the issue: the transmission in these vehicles was being overloaded due to temperature and pressure changes.

Upon receiving these test results, Chrysler manufacturing plants conducted a review of records to determine the size of the recall population. It was determined that only the transmissions in 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks were susceptible to leaking. With the risk confirmed and the size of the recall population determined, Chrysler began planning a process for the voluntary recall and replacement of parts, and on Jan. 24, 2020, they submitted a notice of recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On Feb. 3, 2020, this notice of recall became public.

Solution:

Chrysler will notify owners of 2019 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks of the recall and the danger associated with leaking transmission lines. The company will soon ship out replacement parts to authorized dealers and train them in the remedy process, which involves reprogramming the powertrain control system. Once the remedy process is available, dealers will replace the transmission valve body separator plates and reprogram the control module, free of charge. This is a voluntary recall, however, owners of the affected units are advised to exercise caution when operating their vehicles. The recall is expected to begin on March 14, 2020. This date is subject to change.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyChrysler: Leaking Transmission Fluid Poses Fire Risk in Recalled RAM Trucks

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’s 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 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 – Oct. 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 Oct. 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. Those with further questions should contact the manufacturer’s customer service line at (800) 853-1403, or the NHTSA hotline at 1 (888) 327-4236.

For more information on recent vehicle recalls, be sure to visit MotorSafety.org

Sean ReyesChrysler Announces Recall on Certain Ram 1500 Trucks

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
  • 2019 – 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 Aug. 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 Sept. 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 2017-19 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 Jan. 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 numbers of 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.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA US’ number for this recall is V53. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V348000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2017-19 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue