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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Software Problems Part of New Fiat Chrysler Recall

Auburn Hills, Mich. — August 12, 2016 — Some relatively recent model year FCA vehicles could leave passengers in danger because of a wire harness problem. Autoblog recently featured a press release from the manufacturer of the 323,361 U.S. vehicles involved in the recall. These include the 2014 and 2015 Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee and other vehicles.

According to this source, affected vehicles were produced before Sept. 23, 2014. Though the vast majority of these are in the U.S., a total of 43,927 are outside of the NAFTA region, with thousands more in both Canada and Mexico.

The issue itself involves a wire-crimping problem, which could be temporarily fixed if drivers turn their vehicles on and off. The newer versions of these models will benefit from an updated harness manufacturing system.

Crimping a wire can require the right hardware. including a crimp cap or an appropriate crimping tool. The quality of the wire makes a difference, too, as it needs to match the appropriate engine system.

Last year, the 2015 Cherokee was part of multiple Jeep recalls. One of these was in December and involved a possible short circuit in the power liftgate module that may have left drivers at risk of fire. Dealers were instructed to add a water shield in an acknowledgement statement dated for December 17.

Another recent recall with the same make and model was reported in October. That action concerned Jeeps with air conditioning hose issues that could have also left the occupants at risk of fire. The solution involved replacing the hose after inspection to keep it from contacting the exhaust manifold.

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Some Chrysler Windshields Could Dislodge in Crash [Video]

Detroit, MI — March 07, 2016 — Starting next month, a Chrysler recall will affect hundreds of vehicles manufactured with expired urethane primer. This chemical may make it more likely for the windshields in these vehicles to dislodge.

This action comes from tests that revealed the possible effects of using primer past its expiration date. Older coats of primer were found to ineffectively bond on the windshield. There have currently been no reports of injuries from this problem, though the dislocated windshields could potentially hurt a vehicle’s occupants.

The recall extends to two models: the Town and Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Manufacture dates range from August 2014 to December 2015. Dealers will remedy the issue by replacing the windshields as needed

Be sure to visit our blog often for the latest news on Chrysler recalls. Thank you for watching!

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Chrysler Recall Should Make Changing Tires Safer [Video]

Detroit, MI — February 24, 2016 — A new recall focuses on more than 441,000 Dodge Chargers. According to official recall documents, this action concerns vehicles produced between August 2010 and January 2016.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling these vehicles because they may accidentally fall off their jacks and possibly hurt owners trying to change a tire. The body-side sill assembly could possibly fail if owners don’t use wheel chocks. Because of this, the manufacturer will supply chocks to owners as part of the remedy.

Once they are installed, these will reduce the chance of injury during a tire change. The company released an official statement on this recall earlier this month. There are three minor injuries connected to this issue.

Thank you for watching. Be sure to visit our blog for more information on the latest Chrysler recalls.

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Are cyber-hacks a new concern for vehicles? [Video]

Chrysler recently recalled more than 1 million vehicles over cybersecurity concerns. With so much new technology going into our cars, does this signify a new source of possible recalls?

[marker] Although the manufacturer has taken steps to reduce the possible damage this defect could cause, it has brought attention to a modern kind of threat. This danger in particular is problematic for two reasons: it stems from software issues that were present before it was even released, and it could have allowed hackers from anywhere to access important functions like steering within the target vehicle.

[marker] There is a silver lining to this discovery, at least for Chrysler customers: the fix is easy enough, thanks to a USB drive provided by the manufacturer. But even if the company successfully remedies this problem, others need to be ready for the implications.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to check back often for more auto recall news.

adminAre cyber-hacks a new concern for vehicles? [Video]

More than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern

Detroit, MI — July 26, 2015 — Vehicle recalls can occur not just because of faulty components, but out of fears for outside attacks on vulnerable systems. According to the Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) latest recall addresses cybersecurity issues within affected vehicles that could have massively damaging consequences for owners. Dodge Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee and other vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015 reportedly have potentially dangerous software flaws in their “radios.”

While most of the recalls this blog has covered concern internal problems with defective autos, this issue is a concern because of the way it could potentially be exploited by hackers. The official recall acknowledgement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that outsiders could gain “unauthorized remote modification” of vehicle systems through these vulnerabilities.

As alarming as that may sound, there are some factors that mitigate the potential danger somewhat. For one, the manufacturer has already taken steps to prevent outsiders from accessing the vehicle, leading to real risk for only 3 percent of mobile hot spot subscribers.

The recall safety report issued for this action also emphasizes the unlikelihood that an exploit might take place, given how much knowledge is needed to put one into action. The remedy for this problem is a software update that can be downloaded to a USB drive.

“Some 2013-2015 MY vehicles equipped with RA3 or RA4 model radios have certain software security vulnerabilities which could allow unauthorized third-party access to some networked vehicle control systems,” the source says. “Exploitation of the software security vulnerabilities required extensive technical knowledge, physical access to a subject vehicle and a long period of time to write applicable code.”

Along with acknowledgment and government action, recalls should be supported through education and informative services that encourage drivers and owners to respond correctly.

Recall MastersMore than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern

Fiat ‘limp home’ problem could lead to stalling

Detroit, MI — April 15, 2015 — Electric cars are attractive to some consumers because they are energy efficient, but owners need to be on the lookout for important messages about possible flaws. One recent recall from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles attempts to respond to a software-related issue in thousands of its Fiat 500 electric vehicles that concerns the associated “limp home mode.”

For those that don’t use an electric car, limp mode is a special setting designed to give a car with low energy enough power to get to a safe place where the battery can be recharged. The problem addressed in this recall arises in certain models that can’t process the limp mode command due to software compatibility issues.

Instead of switching modes, the afflicted cars, manufactured between 2012 and 2014 could suddenly shut down, leaving drivers vulnerable to an accident if they are on the road at the time. The Car Connection reports that this fault doesn’t affect other important vehicle systems, like steering and brakes, and that cycling through the ignition multiple times should reset the system to normal.

A total of 5,600 vehicles were addressed in this recall, and dealers will fix the chance of a sudden shutdown by updating the relevant software. Although the recall has been announced, it won’t officially take place until halfway through next month, which is when owners can expect to stop receiving notices from the manufacturer.

On the surface, a software problem could sound relatively innocuous, but in the wrong circumstances they may be far more dangerous to the consumer. Recall notices that are effectively distributed give every link in the chain, from dealer to owner, some idea of what the effects of an untended flaw will be and why immediate service is necessary.

Recall MastersFiat ‘limp home’ problem could lead to stalling