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

Nearly 250,000 minivans getting recalled due to faulty parking part

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 25, 2018 – Around a quarter million minivans are being recalled across the U.S. as a result of malfunctioning component that may cause affected vehicles to roll away despite being in the parked position, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Chrysler says its recalling approximately 240,242 Pacifica models that come equipped with a manual park release plug attached to steering column, based on an internal briefing document available through NHTSA’s website. Under normal circumstances, the pull-capable feature enables Pacifica owners to shift from “park” into “neutral” mode if the rotary shift knob malfunctions or if the vehicle won’t start. The easiest way to do this is through the use of a common screwdriver.

However, according to the Michigan-based automaker, the manual park release plug in affected vehicles may not require a screwdriver or similar device to manipulate the plug because some were installed improperly during the manufacturing process. As a result, the component can be engaged mistakenly, causing the vehicle to roll away, potentially resulting in the injury of a bystander or damage to property surrounding the minivan.

Although the automaker can’t be sure which specific Pacificas may be impacted, Chrysler says it has been able to determine where they originated. The minivans were built at the Windsor Assembly Plant somewhere between mid June 2016 and early April of this year, the model years confined to 2017 and 2018. Chrysler says any Pacificas assembled after April 6 should be in the free and clear with respect to this component problem because the MPR plugs were redesigned with a “higher pull-out force, requiring the use of a screwdriver” or similar tool.

Timeline of Events

Chrysler became aware of the instrumentation failing on March 22 during routine performance testing, according to a chronology of events compiled by NHTSA. A few days later, upon closer examination of the issue, an internal investigator discovered the problem wasn’t unique to just one Pacifica, but potentially many more, when the plug could be adjusted too easily in several other vehicles examined. Additional testing conducted over the course of a month revealed that the nature and scope of the flaw necessitated a voluntary safety recall due to non-compliance.

The Solution

Chrysler says the recall will go into effect officially on August 3, the date in which owners of the impacted Pacifica models will be notified of the plug problem by mailers sent to owners’ home addresses. Motorists are urged to take their vehicles to their nearest Chrysler dealership so the MPR can be repaired or replaced. This fix will come at no charge to the owner.

For further information regarding the recall, call Chrysler’s customer service department at 1-800-853-1403. The reference number is U50. NHTSA’s has a toll-free number as well at 1-888-327-4236, which is the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline. Its online home for recalls is www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesNearly 250,000 minivans getting recalled due to faulty parking part

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pumps

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 14, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nine vehicles potentially equipped with defective oil pumps, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Jeep Renegade sport utility vehicles produced between Nov. 8, 2017, and Nov. 9, 2017, at the Toulca Assembly Plant in Toulca, Mexico, and the Belvedere Assembly Plant in Belvedere, Illinois. FCA suspects just 1 percent of the models named in the action actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could contain 2.4-liter engines with cracked oil pump housings. These defective fixtures may inhibit oil pump operation, eventually leading the feature to fail and cause unexpected engine stalling. The defective component therefore poses a serious safety risk to occupants as it increases the likelihood of an accident. However, FCA has yet to receive field reports connecting the problematic part to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 5, 2017, engineers at the Fremont, Indiana-based parts supplier Metaldyne BSM discovered a recently assembled oil pump with a crack in its housing, according to an internal recall chronology document given to the NHTSA. Eight days later, Metaldyne alerted FCA. On Sept. 15, 2017, the automaker brought the problem to the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group, which immediately launched an investigation.

FCA Supplier Control and engineers from the Dundee Engine Plant in Dundee, Michigan and the Saltillo North Engine Plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico confirmed the problem via material inspection and oil pump traceability studies Oct. 5, 2017. The VRC on Oct. 17, 2017, decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall for approximately 357 vehicles believed to contain the defective oil pumps., according to an NHTSA safety recall report. By this point, FCA had found nine separate engine assemblies that had not been installed in vehicles. The oil pumps in these engines, despite originating from the flawed Metaldyne batch, were not included in the recall.

On Feb. 14, 2018, the VRC discovered that nine potentially problematic engine assemblies were not properly inspected before being installed in vehicles. This led the group to launch another voluntary recall Feb. 15, 2018.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to inspect the oil pumps in affected vehicles and replace them if necessary, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. These repairs will be done free of charge. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners April 13, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service representatives at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U18. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pumps

Chrysler recalls vehicles with noncompliant tire placards

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 9, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 3,400 vehicles potentially equipped with noncompliant tire placards, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The actions affects 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo vans produced between June 29, 2017, and Dec. 18, 2017. FCA estimates that all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the problematic parts.

The Defect

Affected models are fitted with tires that feature incorrect informational placards. These components display inaccurate “vehicle capacity weight” and “designated seated capacity” numbers. Consequently, the defective placard poses a serious threat to occupants as they could unintentionally overload their vehicles, cause tire failure and wreck. In addition to constituting a driving hazard, the parts violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110, which states that “each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete vehicle,” must have tire information placards that include entries for vehicle capacity weight, designated seated capacity, “recommended cold tire inflation” and “tire size,” according to the Government Publishing Office.

Timeline of Events

The FCA Corporate Audit team on Dec. 18, 2018, reached out to the FCA Vendor Management group about an incorrect seating capacity figure displayed on tire placard affixed to a 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo van. The FCA VM connected with the engineering team to verify the error. Engineering personnel verified the inaccurate tire placard and launched an investigation, which revealed that incorrectly calibrated production software caused the issue.

FCA corporate leaders on Dec. 22, 2017, brought the problem to the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group via email. VSRC leaders received the message Jan. 2, 2018, and initiated another investigation. On the following day, the FCA VSRC group placed a hold on 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo vans and hosted a meeting with cross-functional stakeholders to review the issue, identify the root cause and develop actionable corrective action. The VSRC also requested that engineering look into the seemingly incorrect placard, confirm its inaccuracy for a second time and judge its compliance with FMVSS.

On Jan. 12, 2018, the VSRC team officially designated the root cause, the overall scope of the issue and its impact to customers. With this data in hand, FCA decided on Feb. 15, 2018, to conduct a voluntary safety recall. The automaker began notifying dealers of the impending action Feb. 22, 2018.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers to inspect and, if necessary, amend the tire placards installed on the recalled vehicles, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturer intends to notify owners through first-class mail April 13, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact FCA customer service representatives via telephone at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use internal recall identification code U17. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with noncompliant tire placards

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 20, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 180,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake transmission shift interlock modules, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple vehicles, including:

  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 13, 2018.
  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 10, 2018.
  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 24, 2018.

FCA suspects 3 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles, all of which feature column gear shifting assemblies, come with BTSI systems that prone to dysfunction after long periods of use. Specifically, the plastic housing surrounding the BTSI components swells in high temperatures and causes the locking pin to remain in open position. When this occurs, drivers are free to shift the vehicle transmission out of park without depressing the brake pedal or even switching on the car. This defect poses increases the likelihood of unintended rollaway and therefore poses a serious threat to occupants. However, FCA has not received reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee on Dec. 8, 2017, requested an internal investigation into vehicles produced after Dec. 31, 2016, suspecting that some may suffer from mechanical flaws. Roughly one month later, engineering personnel tested a BTSI solenoid by heating in an oven set to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The component reached 250 degrees Fahrenheit within five minutes, indicating that problems could development in real-world operational environments. Soon after, members of the VRC requested insight into the production processes behind the development of the BTSI housing and pin components. FCA engineers looked into the matter and found that the fabrication process had remained consistent prior to and following Dec. 31, 2016.

The VRC continued to investigate the matter throughout January 2018, opening a nationwide field review and repair order search. The latter effort yielded three reports that referenced vehicles that suffered BTSI failure and were produced after Dec. 31, 2016. Owners reported being able to shift out of park without pressing the brake pedal or turning the ignition. On Jan. 26, 2018, the VRC found two additional field reports outlining the same issue.

On Feb. 1, 2018, the VRC decided that a voluntary safety recall was required.

The Solution

FCA is currently working on a mechanical remedy, which it will offer free of charge through an owner reimbursement program. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners March 30, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can reach out to the NHTSA directly using its vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 16, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 39,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake pedal switches, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple vehicles across two brands, including:

  • 2017 Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicles produced between Aug. 7, 2017, and Sept. 20, 2017.
  • 2017 Dodge Caravan minivans produced between Aug. 7, 2017, and Sept. 18, 2017.

FCA suspects just 1 percent of the models referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could contain brake pedal switches prone to malfunction. In the event that these fixtures fail, shifting out of park without depressing the brake pedal becomes possible. This poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, FCA has yet to receive reports connecting any accidents or injuries to the defect.

Owners operating vehicles equipped with the defective brake pedal switches have noticed that rear brake lights and interior malfunction indicator lamps illuminate continuously when failure has occurred.

Timeline of Events

Engineers conducting end-of-line production testing on Sept. 11, 2017, at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada encountered a vehicle with an out-of-position brake pedal, according to an NHTSA chronology document. The FCA engineering team immediately notified Multicraft International, the U.S.-based vendor responsible for manufacturing brake switch components. The firm immediately quarantined the potentially defective parts. FCA initiated containment protocol, requesting the staff at the Ontario facility and Toledo South Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio to set aside all brake switch parts that arrived from Multicraft.

The vendor inspected its production processes between Sept. 13, 2017, and Sept. 15, 2017, and ultimately found that the brake switches manufactured at its space in Pelahatchie, Mississippi were not properly ratcheted at the minimum required standard of seven pounds. The error occurred due to gas buildup in a plunger mold tool core and resulted in the production of between 90,000 and 180,000 out-of-specification parts.

FCA filed a Product Related Issue report for the defective brake pedal switches Oct. 8, 2017. And, on Oct. 24, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance took up the issue.

The American automaker conducted an extensive read-across investigation throughout the remainder of October and November. The inquiry revealed that the brake switch had been used across multiple models but that it did not pose a serious issue for some due to production quirks or the presence of brake system redundancies. On Dec. 8, 2017, engineering personnel conducted an internal test evaluate the impact of the defective brake switch and determined that drivers with manual vehicles could shift out of park without depressing the brake pedal. A similar test involving a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission was conducted Dec. 19, 2017, and yielded identical results.

On Feb. 1, 2018, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter opted to launch a voluntary safety recall. As of Jan. 26, 2018, FCA has received two customer assistance inquiry records and five field reports related to the defective brake pedal switches.

The Solution

FCA intends to direct dealers to replace the brake pedal switches in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The company will notify both dealers and owners March 30, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. They should use the internal recall reference code U09 when calling. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

FCA recalls vehicles with defective fire extinguishers

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jan. 22, 2017 – Chrysler Fiat Automobiles has recalled more than 62,000 vehicles believed to contain defective fire extinguishers, according to documents submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Per an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document, the campaign affects numerous models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
  • 2014-2016 Chrysler Town and Country minivans.
  • 2007 Dodge Caliber sedans.
  • 2009 Dodge Challenger sports cars.
  • 2017 Dodge Charger sports cars.
  • 2015-2016 Dodge Dart sedans.
  • 2004 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles.
  • 2014-2016 Dodge Caravan minivans.
  • 2014 Dodge Journey sport utility vehicles.
  • 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles.
  • 2011 Jeep Patriot sport utility vehicles.
  • 2012 and 2015 Ram 1500 pickup trucks.
  • 2013-2018 Ram 2500 pickup trucks.
  • 2012-2018 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks.
  • 2014-2017 Ram Promaster and Promaster City pickup trucks.

FCA believes 100 percent of the vehicles named in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The models referenced in the action come equipped with miniature fire extinguishers prone to clogging or breakage due to defective lever and valve assemblies. These items pose a serious threat to owners, especially those involved in accidents where gasoline ignition is likely to occur. That said, FCA has yet to receive reports linking the defective components to any injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Nov. 3, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group learned that fire extinguishers supplied by Walter Kidde Portable Equipment were defective. The FCA Global Regulatory Compliance compared the items to a roster of Kidde fire extinguishers involved in an earlier U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall and found multiple matches. The automotive conglomerate then retrieved samples of the defective products and sent them to specialists at FCA U.S. Engineering and Mopar, an FCA-owned autoparts organization.

Between Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, analysts at Mopar reviewed the parts and found that production teams were installing them in multiple models across a number of brands. At the same time, the VSRC group launched an investigation into the parts and began evaluating the vehicle populations containing them. On Nov. 10, FCA initiated a yard hold in an effort to stop the production and shipment of vehicles equipped with the Kidde fire extinguishers. Ten days later, an investigator with the VSRC group started combing through historical parts and production information with timestamps dating back to 1973.  Over the next three weeks, employees for FCA U.S. Engineering, Mopar and the VSRC group reviewed individual part identification codes and associated vehicle identification numbers to understand the breadth of the impact of the defect.

On Dec. 18, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA intends to swap the defective fire extinguishers installed in affected vehicles for new models with metal valves that prevent clogging. The automotive company plans to notify both dealers and owners Feb. 2, 2018. individuals in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service at (855) 271-0773. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T82. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pump housings

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Nov. 30, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 350 vehicles potentially equipped with defective oil pump housings, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles produced on Sept. 11, 2017 and Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles produced between Sept. 9, 2017 and Sept. 28, 2017. FCA estimates that just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action possess the defective features.

The Defect

The affected models include 2.4 liter engines that were constructed using cracked oil pump housings that are prone to failure. Should failure occur, the vehicle engine will stall without warning. This poses a serious safety threat to owners as an unexpected stall could result in a collision. That said, FCA has not received any reports connecting the defective feature to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 13, 2017, an oil pump supplier collaborating with FCA notified that company that cracks had been discovered in the housing for multiple oil pumps. Two days later, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance committee launched an investigation into the matter, which engineers at assembly plants in Toluca, Mexico and Belvedere, Illinois had independently confirmed via separate Product Related Issue reports.

Throughout September and October, FCA confirmed the existence of the defective components in finished vehicles through production inspections and parts data. On Oct. 5, the automaker finished gathering data and submitted the evidence to the Vehicle Regulations Committee, which decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall Oct. 17. FCA notified dealers Oct. 24.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has directed dealers to inspect and replace the oil pump housing assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. FCA plans to notify owners on or around Dec. 13. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T65. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

adminChrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pump housings

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective occupant restraint features

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Nov. 3, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 414,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective occupant restraint controllers, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2012 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles manufactured between June 17, 2011 and Aug. 16, 2012.
  • 2012-2013 Chrysler 200 midsize sedans produced between June 25, 2011 and Jan. 15, 2012.
  • 2012-2013 Dodge Avenger midsize sedans produced between June 25, 2011 and Jan. 15, 2012.

FCA speculates that approximately 5 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain defective parts.

The Defect

The models referenced in the action may come equipped with damaged ORC assemblies that are prone to jumper resistor failure, a condition that materializes following prolonged electrical overstress. ORC shutdown may cause the active headrests in affected vehicles to malfunction. This poses a serious risk to occupants involved in collisions, as the lack of AHR support may increase the likelihood of cranial concussion. That said, FCA has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective ORC assemblies to any accidents or injuries.

The air bag warning light normally illuminates in vehicles with defective ORC assemblies.

Timeline of Events

On July 2, 2013, FCA launched a voluntary safety recall for 2012 Jeep Liberties, 2012-2013 Chrysler 200s and 2012-2013 Dodge Avengers, after discovering that these vehicles contained integrated power modules that were causing ORC failure and inhibiting AHR operation, according to a chronology document. Dealers reprogrammed the TIPM units in these models to address both issues. Almost four years later on May 16, 2017, the NHTSA contacted FCA and notified the company of several driver complaints referencing the three models included in the 2013 recall. These reports described instances in which the air bag warning light turned on with no clear explanation, apparently indicating some safety feature malfunction. On May 19, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an investigation into the reports. One day later, the auto conglomerate ordered parts from the field for analysis. The NHTSA opened a concurrent inquiry June 1.

Throughout June and August, FCA received 13 ORC assemblies from the vehicles mentioned in the initial NHTSA reports. In July, the car company determined that at least two parts showed signs of jumper resistor failure due to electrical overstress. On Aug. 11, FCA engineers pinpointed a third part that ceased working following overstress and on Oct. 2, they encountered a fourth problematic component. Two days later, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee determined that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.

As of Sept. 29, FCA has received 122 vehicle owner questionnaires, 367 customer assistance inquiry requests and 2,453 warranty claims related to defective ORC equipment.

The Solution

FCA intends to direct dealers to replace the ORC assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document submitted to the NHTSA. The vehicle manufacturer will notify both dealers and owners on or about Nov. 29. The latter should expect to receive word from FCA via first-class mail. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T56. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vans with defective seatbelts

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 20, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 47,000 minivans possibly equipped with defective second-row seatbelts, according to documentation filed with the National Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans with production dates ranging from Nov. 1, 2015 to Aug. 24, 2017. FCA estimates that all of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective safety features.

The Defect

The affected models contain second-row center seatbelt assemblies that were installed in such a way that can cause the left outboard seatbelt buckle may to come unlatched. This poses a serious safety risk to passengers in the left seating position in the second row, as they could be left unrestrained in the event of an accident. However, FCA has not received reports connecting crashes or injuries to the defective fixtures.

Timeline of Events

On May 12, 2017, members of the FCA Interior Restraints Engineering Department notified the company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance of an issue involving second-row seatbelt assemblies installed in 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Engineers for the department had seen the left outboard seatbelt buckle in one recently assembled vehicle come unlatched during a chassis validation tests involving a water dummy ballast. From May 13 to Aug. 2, members of the FCA VSRU reviewed field information and conducted an investigation to see if the problem could be duplicated for testing. The automaker’s Vehicle Dynamics team succeeded in duplicating the issue during a laboratory test July 31.

On Aug. 2, the VSRU further reviewed the vehicle at the center of the original report and met with engineers from the VD group who confirmed that they had duplicated the issue described in the internal communication. The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter Aug. 24 and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall to address the defective second-row seatbelt assemblies. The car company notified owners of the intended action Aug. 31.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers to install shortened second-row seatbelt buckles designed to prevent unlatching free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement. The automaker will notify owners via first-class mail Oct. 20. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service personnel at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T54. Owners can also reach out directly to the NHTSA via its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

adminChrysler recalls vans with defective seatbelts