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 vehicles with defective break booster shields

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Oct. 5, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 646,000 vehicles potentially equipped with improperly installed brake booster shields, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2011-2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Jan. 5, 2010 to Sept. 8, 2013. FCA estimates that roughly 41 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles may include incorrectly installed brake booster shields that do not effectively divert water away from the critical drivetrain features they are intended to protect. This increases the likelihood of brake booster corrosion and could lead to freezing in particularly cold environments. Both of these phenomena are capable of reducing vehicle stopping power, which poses a serious risk to occupants. FCA has not received reports connecting the defective fixtures to any injuries. However, the automaker has received one report correlating the defect to an accident.

Drivers encountering braking issues stemming from ineffective brake booster shields will see their dash warning lights illuminate and experience abnormal resistance when compressing the brake pedal. In some cases, the anti-lock brake system may activate.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 18, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an internal investigation into field reports detailing customer complaints surrounding brake booster shield assemblies installed as part of an earlier recall, according to NHTSA documents. In February, engineers began evaluating approximately 20 brake boosters returned for further inspection. Between Feb. 23 and March 14, the third-party parts supplier responsible for fabricating the fixtures performed its own tests. On March 14, the NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center performed an independent evaluation and found that the returned brake boosters passed vacuum tests but failed to do so when brake assist was activated. The agency sent the results of this trial to FCA approximately seven days later.

FCA collaborated with the NHTSA and its supplier to conduct numerous other brake booster tests throughout April, May, June and early July. On July 6, NHTSA officials performed a road test with a vehicle equipped with returned brake boosters. The testers also adjusted brake leak rates to simulate different levels of corrosion. The vehicle used in the trial exceeded Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements. However, during a post-run physical evaluation, the NHTSA officials noticed that brake booster water shields had been installed incorrectly. Five days later, the agency contacted FCA and requested that it examine all of the returned parts to determine the frequency of these incorrectly installed features. The NHTSA also asked the car company to conduct an accompanying field investigation.

On July 18, FCA reported that 12 of the remaining returned brake boosters in its possession included incorrectly installed water shields. It also found that of the 117 vehicles used in its field study, 41 percent had these parts. On July 27, FCA conducted an additional test which involved incorrectly installing brake booster water shields on a production vehicle, spraying it with water and letting it sit in an enclosed chamber with a temperature of -20 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours. During a post-spray drive, the vehicle displayed reduced pedal functionality, requiring 22 to 24 pounds-per-square-foot of power to depress. This reading was well outside of the FMVSS-approved range of 4-16 psf.

FCA reported the results of the cold-chamber test to the FCA Aug. 8 and three days later assembled an internal committee to discuss further evaluations. The automaker performed another cold-chamber trial Aug. 23 and saw results similar to those collected during the first test. It conducted another evaluation three days later and again saw similarly problematic results. The pedals in the vehicle used in the trial required 22 to 28 psf of compression power. FCA reviewed these and other test results over the course of late August and early September.

On Sept. 11, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee determined that the defect posed a serious safety hazard to owners and issued a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to re-install the brake booster water shields in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document. The car company plans to notify dealers and owners Nov. 7. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can reach out the Chrysler customer service personnel at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T59. Owners can also contact the NHTSA via the agency’s 24-hour Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Recall MastersChrysler recalls vehicles with defective break booster shields

Chrysler recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 21, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled multiple vehicles likely equipped with defective driveshafts, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from May 25, 2017 to June 2, 2017. FCA suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected models contain overly shortened halfshafts that could disengage from differentials during operation. Should this occur, vehicles will unexpectedly lose motive power and the ability to shift gears. This increases the likelihood of high-speed collisions and therefore poses a serious risk to occupants. That said, FCA has not received reports linking the defective drivetrain features to any accidents or injuries. Drivers may hear noise coming from the underside of the vehicle prior to halfshaft disconnect.

Timeline of Events

On July 20, 2017, FCA engineers notified the company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance department that the halfshaft in one experimental model had disconnected during operation. From July 20 to Aug. 4, personnel from the automaker’s Supplier Quality Engineering group reached out to parts providers and worked with these firms to identify the structural issues that might have caused the instance of disengagement. On Aug. 4, the SQE group confirmed that GKN Driveline North America, based in Mexico, had shipped a total of eight driveshafts with incorrect lengths, five of which were installed in production vehicles. Four days later, the FCA VSRC department opened an investigation into the SQE group’s findings. FCA also determined that the shortened driveshafts had been used in 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles, but they did not cause technical issues.

On Aug. 24, members of the FCA VRC group decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the halfshafts in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document from the NHTSA. The automaker plans to notify dealers and owners of the action Oct. 20. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service representatives at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T55. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly via the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

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.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 20, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 443,000 vehicles likely equipped with defective water pump bearings, according to a company press release. The campaign affects 2013-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 medium-duty pickup trucks, as well as 3500, 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty pickup trucks.

The Defect

The vehicles referenced in the recall possibly contain water pumps with bearings that could overheat and catch fire under certain conditions. These fixtures increase the likelihood of engine fires and therefore pose a serious to occupants. However, FCA has not received reports connecting the defective water pump bearings to any accidents or injuries. Warning lights in affected vehicles may illuminate when water pump functionality has been compromised.

Timeline of Events

The automaker launched an investigation after receiving a customer complaint mentioning the defect. FCA engineers determined the root cause, finding that the issue existed only in Ram pickups with 6.7-liter engines.

The Solution

FCA has yet to release a timetable for owner notification or information on a workable remedy. Owners in need of immediate assistance can contact the FCA USA Recall Information Center at (800) 853-1403 or reach out to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration via the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

Chrysler recalls sports cars with defective oil cooler lines

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Aug. 24, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 1,200 sports cars with defective oil cooler lines, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Dodge Charger and Challenger sports cars equipped with eight-cylinder Hellcat performance engines. FCA suspects 10 percent of the total number of vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The models involved in this recall are equipped with engines whose engine oil cooler lines are not properly joined. Specifically, on the section of the EOC lines where chlorinated polyethylene hose meets aluminum tubing, the joints are not suitably crimped. This can lead to line separation and engine oil spillage, resulting in engine seizure and the risk of fire. Additionally, drivers may lose visibility due to oil spray covering the windshield. All of these outcomes pose serious safety hazards to drivers and increase the risk of an accident. However, FCA has not received any reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries thus far.

Timeline of Events

On May 13, 2017, engineers at the FCA assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, initiated a product recall after receiving three warranty claims mentioning EOC line separation, according to a chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. The FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance division immediately launched an investigation to better understand the consequences of the issue. On May 15, the parts supplier, Hutchings Automotive Products, performed production tests to determine if increasing the adhesive temperature during assembly would improve the structural integrity of the EOC line connections. These trials failed. Fifteen days later, FCA tested EOC line joints from aftermarket Mopar stock. These fixtures showed no signs of failure.

Over the week of June 12, FCA conducted more in-house tests to pinpoint the root cause of the EOC line separation. More than two weeks later, dealers in the U.S. market inspected approximately 50 vehicles to determine if they were equipped with the defective parts and needed repair.

On July 12, Hutchinson sent FCA results from an internal evaluation of the EOC hose material. The parts provider concluded that the material used to make the defective lines was out of specification. Two days later, FCA US Master Black Belt performed a parallel materials test and determined with 95 percent certainty that Hutchinson engineers were correct in their examination of the hose material.

With this information in hand, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee called for an official voluntary safety recall Aug. 1. As of that date, the car manufacturer had received a total of eight customer assistance and information requests, zero vehicle owner’s questionnaires and zero field reports related to the defective EOC line.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the EOC lines in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document sent to the NHTSA. The automaker plans to notify both owners and dealers on or around Sept. 22. However, owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service personnel at (800) 853-1403 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls sports cars with defective oil cooler lines

Chrysler recalls vehicles with damaged alternator diodes

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled an estimated 442,214 vehicles potentially equipped with damaged alternator diodes, according to a company press release. The campaign affects a variety of models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2011-2014 Chrysler 300 sedans
  • 2011-2014 Two-door Dodge Challenger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Four-door Dodge Charger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles
  • 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles

Approximately 318, 781 of the vehicles originated from U.S. dealers, while 37,504 are circulating the Canadian and Mexican markets. The remaining 85, 292 are outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement zone. FCA estimates 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective part, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Administration.

The Defect

Vehicles named in the recall are suspected to contain alternators with diodes susceptible to thermal fatigue failure stemming from overstressed electric hydraulic power steering systems. In the event of a diode failure, the alternator ceases supplying the engine with electricity, leading to the unexpected loss of multiple features, including the antilock braking system, the electronic stability control system and the engine control module. In some cases, the vehicle my cease operation entirely. The diodes can also short circuit and cause fire, heat and smoke to rise from the engine.

FCA has received reports of two accidents related to the faulty diodes. However, the car company has yet to receive notification of any injuries connected to the defect.

Timeline of Events

FCA has not released details into the internal investigation that uncovered the problem. The company is expected to notify dealers on or around Aug. 24.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the alternators in affected vehicles, free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document filed with the NHTSA. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail on or around Aug. 24. However, those in need of more immediate assistance can contact the FCA U.S. Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vans with faulty wiring

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 13, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 200,000 minivans that could be equipped with defective wiring. The campaign affects Dodge Caravans manufactured between August 2010 and July 2015, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The car maker estimates that the defect is present in 1 percent of the vehicles named in the recall, 87,000 of which came from Canadian showrooms.

The Defect
Models named in the recall contain steering wheels with trapped wire harnesses. The electrical lines within these fixtures, some of which support driver-side front air bag functionality, can snag on a tab located between the back of the steering wheel cover and the horn plate. This contact can wear down the wire insulation, eventually causing complete breakage and resulting in inadvertent air bag deployment. This increases the likelihood of an accident. Vehicles with this issue have been shown to warn drivers when a dangerous situation is developing. The illuminated air bag indicator may come on prior to untriggered air bag deployment. Additionally, tests revealed that windshield wipers switch on and steering capabilities decrease immediately following the severance of air bag wires within the steering wheel.

The defect has caused no accidents to date, according to FCA. However, the automaker has connected eight driver injuries to inadvertent air bag deployment stemming from disconnected wires.

Timeline of Events
A recent internal investigation revealed the problem, according to a press release from FCA.

The Solution
The car maker has ordered dealers to inspect steering wheel wiring harnesses and replace them if necessary. FCA will reimburse owners for the expense. However, they must submit proof of payment before receiving refunds. The company notified dealers June 13, 2017 and plans to send communications to owners on or around July 28, 2017, according to a recall acknowledgment filed with the NHTSA. Owners in need of more immediate assistance are encouraged to contact the FCA customer service department or call the NHTSA Safety Hotline, (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls hybrid minivans with defective batteries

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 9, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 1,600 hybrid minivans equipped with defective batteries, according to a company press release. The campaign affects 2017 Chrysler Pacific minivans, roughly 1,300 of which originated from American showrooms. The remaining vehicles were sold on the Canadian market. The car manufacturer is unsure how many of the models named in the recall contain the defective battery.

The Defect
Affected vehicles may include hybrid batteries with improperly functioning control module diodes. These fixtures, which manage the flow of electrical current between the battery and dependent parts, are prone to involuntary shutoff. If this occurs, the vehicle loses propulsion and ceases to operate. This possess a risk to owners, as such a stoppage could result in an accident. However, the automaker has found no accidents or injuries related to the faulty battery diode as yet. Should propulsion suddenly halt due to the defect, drivers will be able to continue their forward momentum and pull over, Road Show by CNET reported.

Timeline of Events
FCA discovered the defect after receiving reports from customers who experienced propulsion loss while driving. Engineers with the car maker investigated the issue and eventually found that defective diodes were to blame.

The Solution
The automaker has requested dealers replace the control modules in affected vehicles with models equipped with working diodes, free of charge. However, FCA is still working on developing a workable alternative, meaning owners will have to wait some time for service. Those in need of immediate assistance can contact the FCA Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403. They can also call the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler Recalls 300 and Charge Models Over Loose Bolts

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 16, 2017 – Chrysler has recalled more than 69,000 vehicles due to loose driveshaft bolts. The recall affects Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger all-wheel-drive sedans produced between 2014 and 2017, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

The affected all-wheel-drive models feature abnormally loose driveshaft bolts. These fixtures can slacken to such an extent that the driveshaft disconnects completely and the vehicle loses power. This poses a serious hazard to drivers and can result in injury. There have been no reports of related injuries, according to the car manufacturer.

Timeline of Events

  • In January 2016, police departments across the country reported loose driveshaft bolts in interceptor versions of the Dodge Charger. Chrysler investigated the claim, and one month later evaluated fabrication procedures at its assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario.
  • On March 2, 2016, Chrysler launched an additional investigation into consumer models with the same driveshaft assembly. This included all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 models produced between 2014 and 2017.
  • On June 30, 2016, the automaker advised engineers at the Brampton plant to increase the torque on driveshaft bolts to achieve optimal clamp load. Field reports following this change showed no signs of looseness.
  • Between June 2016 and February 2017, Chrysler collected and analyzed vehicle and warranty data to determine the scope of the problem.
  • On Feb. 3, 2017, Chrysler closed its review, identifying 69,298 potentially affected models.
  • On Feb. 7, 2017, the vehicle manufacturer initiated a voluntary recall.

The Solution

Chrysler has directed dealers to replace the driveshaft bolts in affected models free of charge. The recall is scheduled to begin March 31, 2017. Owners should expect to receive notice soon.

 

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