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

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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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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

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 Nov. 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 Nov. 4-17, Chrysler’s Chassis Engineering team completed dimensional component testing. From Nov. 19 to Jan. 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 Nov. 20, 2018, and Feb. 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 Feb. 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.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V15. 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 19V143000.

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

Fiat Chrysler Adds 1.4 Million Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall

Fiat Chrysler Adds 1.4 Million Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is adding 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to its list of those that should have their Takata airbag inflators replaced. The action includes Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram vehicles.

This latest announcement from FCA covers passenger-side front airbag inflators, and is part of the effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers to space out the replacement of Takata airbag inflators based on the risk to drivers and passengers.

The goal has been to get replacement inflators to vehicle owners in the highest-risk regions first, and then to the rest of the country later as the supply of replacement inflators grows. The last wave of recalls is scheduled for early in 2020…Read more on ConsumerReports.org

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler Adds 1.4 Million Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall

Chrysler Fiat Automobiles recalls 12,000 vehicles over powertrain problem

 

United States – Aug. 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 certain Jeep Renegade, Compass and Grand Cherokee (2018), RAM 1500 and Promaster, Fiat 500x, Dodge Journey, Challenger, Charger and Durango and Chrysler 300x vehicles; the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles (2018-2019) and the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica vehicles (2018-2019).

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 issue is 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. If auto dealerships and drivers would like more information, they can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can be reached via their website, and reference the campaign number 18V524. Costumers who would like to contact Chrysler directly in the US can call their helpline at 1-800-334-9200. For reference, the recall official number from FCA is U87.

Sean ReyesChrysler Fiat Automobiles recalls 12,000 vehicles over powertrain problem