Chrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Laguna Hill, CA – December 27, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling certain 2018 – 2019 Pacifica vehicles. Some vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens may display a rear view image for an entire drive cycle.

The potential number of vehicles affected 20,441.

The defect

The defective radios were placed into vehicles during production from May 1, 2018 through May 23, 2019, at which point vehicle software was updated. As a result, the affected vehicles are not in compliance with S6.2.1 and S62.2, which states that rearview images will not be displayed after the end of the “backing event.”

A “backing event” is defined by NHTSA as “an amount of time which starts when the vehicle’s direction selector is placed in reverse and ends… when the vehicle forward motion reaches a continuous duration of 10 seconds.”

Because of the defect, affected vehicles’ rearview images may stay until the drive cycle ends, which can be longer than 10 seconds. An extended rearview image display may distract the driver and possibly cause a vehicle crash.

According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, 100% of Pacifica vehicles that feature a 8.4″ radio display, 360-degree surround view camera system and seat back video screens carry the defect.

Timeline of events

On August 12, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ US Engineering Department notified the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization of a potential issue with rearview image display.

In November 2019, the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization confirmed the defect. Soon after, Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance determined the scope of vehicles that were potentially affected by the condition.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, based on information from the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization, decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be conducting a voluntary safety recall that will most likely begin during the First Quarter of 2020. Owners can bring their recalled vehicles into a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer, who will be charged with flashing the suspect radios with updated software.

Updated radio software should be able to return to its normal function after a “backing event.” Although the date is not determined, the recall will most likely begin January 31, 2020.

All affected customers will be reimbursed for the cost of repairs. Fiat Chrysler US is requesting that the owners of recalled vehicles send in their original receipt or other proof of payment as a form of confirmation. This process will allow the company to keep a consistent record.  

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

Sean ReyesChrysler Pacifica May Have Rearview Image Issues

Chrysler Announces Recall on Certain Ram 1500 Trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – October 31, 2019 – The recall of certain 2014 – 2019 Ram 1500 trucks, including some 1500 Classic Pickup vehicles, was announced by Chrysler earlier this month.

All trucks involved with the recall are equipped with 3.0L Eco Diesel engines that have been outfitted with a faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler.

The defect

The safety recall report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that the issue involves the EGR coolers on vehicles listed for the recall. The defect leaves the coolers susceptible to thermal fatigue.

“Thermal fatigue may cause the cooler to crack internally over time,” stated Chrysler’s own description of the defect within the safety recall report.

“An EGR cooler with an internal crack will introduce pre-heated, vaporized coolant to the EGR system while the engine is running … potentially resulting in combustion within the intake manifold, which may lead to a vehicle fire.” 

More than 100,000 vehicles are involved in the recall, all of which are expected to contain the defect. Chrysler utilized engine assembly plant records and other information to determine which vehicles were built with the “suspect” EGR coolers.

Timeline of events

The first signs of the defect came in May 2019, when an investigation was opened into engine compartment fires in Ram 1500 3.0L Eco Diesel trucks, according to the chronology report provided by Chrysler.

An inquiry running through October revealed numerous instances of warranty reports and associated repair orders that were related to the defect.

Meetings with diesel engineers and vehicles inspected from other countries allowed the manufacturer to “better understand the fire dynamics involved, and to rule out climate as a potential exacerbating factor.”

The decision to conduct a vehicle recall was made on October 17, after Chrysler had identified more than 60 field reports potentially related to EGR cooler failure.

The solution

According to paperwork Chrysler has filed with the NHTSA, the recall itself is expected to begin sometime in December 2019, although the remedy itself remains under development at the current time.

For more information on vehicle recalls, be sure to use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool

Sean ReyesChrysler Announces Recall on Certain Ram 1500 Trucks

Chrysler Recalls 2017 – 2019 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

January 3, 2022 Update – Chrysler has remedied issues with 171,465 models of the 2017-2019 Chrysler Pacifica dealing with ground connection issues. Additionally, 1,152 of these models have been categorized as unreachable and 1,187 have been removed from the recall. Three groups of Chrysler Pacifica models were remedied in 2019, and Three more were remedied in 2020 due to Engine Stall or Loss of Power Steering Assist caused by these ground connection failures.

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. It’s not the first time that these 2017 Chrysler Pacifica have had problems with defective batteries.

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 that, added to reports of defective seat belts found on 2017 and 2018 Chrysler Pacifica models, could result in even more serious accidents.

Timeline of events

Chrysler’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance office received field study reports January 23, 2019 of 14 vehicles experiencing power steering problems potentially caused by loose ground connections. A similar issue to the 2019 recall when over 150,000 Chrysler RAM 1500 DT vehicles had ground connection issues due to manufacturing faults.

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

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

When that happens, intermittent electrical connection could result.

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

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

The solution

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

The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V348000.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 195,000 vehicles are included in this Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle recall lookup tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2017 – 2019 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

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

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

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

The defect

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

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

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

Timeline of events

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

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

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

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

The solution

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

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

The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V143000.

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

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

Chrysler adds nearly 1.5 million more vehicles to Takata recall list

Auburn Hills, MI – February 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) is recalling 1,413,222 vehicles whose front passenger airbag may explode while deploying, injuring or killing the passenger and other people in the vehicle with metal shrapnel.

The recall includes:

  • 2010 Ram 3500
  • 2010 Ram 4500
  • 2010 Ram 5500
  • 2010 – 2011 Dodge Dakota
  • 2010 – 2014 Dodge Challenger
  • 2010-2015 Dodge Charger
  • 2010 – 2015 Chrysler 300
  • 2010 – 2016 Jeep Wrangler 

The defect

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

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

Timeline of events

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

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

The solution

Chrysler is issuing a recall on all affected vehicles. The recall began February 4, 2019, and owners should be contacted on or around February 28. Owners who incurred the cost of repairing a problem may send adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense and a subsequent refund. Also, the automaker’s dealers will replace the defective non-desiccated passenger frontal air bag inflator desiccated PSAN inflator or GUNI inflator free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

Over 1.4 million vehicles were originally part of this recall. As of April 9, 2021 – the last date for which information was available – 958,175 airbags had been replaced. To see if your car still needs to be repaired, use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.

Note: June 14, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have added the last section where drivers can check if their vehicle is part of this recall and included the recall completion rate. The article has also been updated to reflect the latest editorial standards.

Sean ReyesChrysler adds nearly 1.5 million more vehicles to Takata recall list

Chrysler Fiat Automobiles Recalls 12,000 Vehicles Over Powertrain Problem

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

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

The defect

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timeline of events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The solution

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

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

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

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