Dodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US is recalling certain 2005-2006 Dodge Viper vehicles. Affected vehicles may deploy their air bags  and/or seat belt pretensioners without warning due to a defect in the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC). 

The potential number of vehicles affected is 3329.

The Defect

The Occupant Restraint Control, which was made for Chrysler by ZF (TRW), may inadvertently deploy the vehicle’s air bags and/or seat belt pretensioners. The unexpected deployment of either air bags or seat belt pretensioners may cause injury or a vehicle crash. In addition, the defect may cause increased the risk of an accident because the air bag warning light may not precede an inadvertent deployment of the air bag or the seat belt pretensioners.   

The defect occurred in vehicles that were manufactured from May 18, 2004, when production of the 2005 MY Dodge Viper began, until August 28, 2006, when production ended. FCA used vehicle production records to identify affected vehicles. 

Timeline Of Events

On January 27, 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) informed the National Highway Transportation Administration that they would be doing a voluntary recall of certain 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2003-2004 MY Dodge Viper vehicles. Each of the models had an issue with the Occupant Restraint Control, which was replaced in the affected vehicles. On January 28, 2019, an Occupant Restraint Control issue also occurred on a 2005 MY Dodge Viper in the field. The incident involved both passenger and driver air bags deploying without warning or an accident. The incident was reported as a Customer Assistance Inquiry Record (CAIR) by Fiat Chrysler. On October 2, 2019, Chrysler participated in an inspection of the reported vehicle that showed electrical overstress to one of the application specific integrated circuits controlling the air bag squibs, the same issue that occurred in Chrysler’s 2015 recall.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler US’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is aware of one injury that was related to the issue.       

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is conducting a voluntary safety recall to replace the Occupant Restraint Control in all affected vehicles.The current model of ORC will be replaced with a new one that uses the next generation of electrical architecture and does not have a history of unexpected air bag deployment.

According to Fiat Chrysler, both dealers and owners will be notified either on or around January 31, 2020. Owners should take their vehicles to a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer. Owners of recalled vehicles can seek reimbursement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. To ensure a smooth reimbursement process, FCA requests that owners send in either an original receipt or another adequate proof of payment. FCA will make this request formally in their recall letters to owners.   

Dealers are required by federal law to complete the recall service on vehicles that are still in the dealer’s new vehicle inventory. Failure to do so could result in a  $21,000 civil penalty for each incomplete vehicle. A stop sale is currently in effect. 

Owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safecar.gov.

Sean ReyesDodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly

2019 Dodge Challengers and Chargers recalled for brake issues

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 12, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. recently issued a recall for well over 100 of its model year 2019 Dodge Challengers and Chargers, due to concerns over front and rear brake packages.

Specifically, the recall involves 173 vehicles, including:

  • 111 four-door 2019 Dodge Chargers
  • 62 two-door 2019 Dodge Challengers

All are believed to have the defect described below, which can lead to an increased risk of crashing.

The Defect

In both cases, the vehicles in question may have been built with front and rear brake packages that are incompatible with each other, and may not leave enough space between the tires’ inner sidewalls and the suspension steering knuckle. In these cases, there may be contact between the components, which could result in damage to the tires that would lead to a sudden loss of air pressure.

That, in turn, would potentially result in drivers losing control of the vehicle without warning, increasing the risk of an accident.

All Challengers in the recall were produced from May 28 to Sept. 20, 2019, and affected Chargers were made between May 29 and Sept. 25. FCA used vehicle production records to determine which cars were made with these incompatible wheel and brake packages. Other Chargers and Challengers produced in the 2019 model year do not have this issue.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 13, 2019, FCA’s assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, alerted its parent company of a possible issue related to how close tires in some vehicles might be to the steering knuckles that are part of the brake packages.

Five days later, the company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization launched an investigation into the issue after completing an engineering evaluation of one potentially affected vehicle. Between Sept. 18 and 27, 2019, all involved – including FCA U.S. Engineering – held meetings to look at the problem, its potential consequences and the scope of the issue.

As of Oct. 14, the company had not received any field reports of accidents related to the defect, nor had any warranty claims been filed. Furthermore, it was not aware of any accidents or injuries that might have been related to this problem.

Nonetheless, the company decided through its VSRC that it would conduct a voluntary recall beginning on Oct. 17, 2019.

The Solution

Drivers will be asked to bring their affected vehicles to an auto technician that can install the proper brake packages, as well as inspect the front tires on that car to determine whether they need to be replaced. They will also replace the rear tires to ensure they match the front replacements. If necessary, these mechanics might also need to adjust the wheel alignment. The company will provide reimbursement for any such repairs already undertaken, as long as owners have the original receipt or other proof of the transaction.

Both dealers and owners will receive notification of the recall on Dec. 13, 2019.

For additional details about this recall, consumers can contact Fiat Chrysler by phone at 1-800-853-1403, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

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

Sean Reyes2019 Dodge Challengers and Chargers recalled for brake issues

TransitWorks Recalls Ford Transit and Dodge Ram Vehicles For Rear Seat Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – May 7, 2019 – TransitWorks is recalling certain 2015-18 Ford Transit, 2018 Ford Transit Connect and 2016 Dodge Ram ProMaster vehicles equipped with Freedman Seating GO-ES seats. The back seat cushion may not lock in place properly. In the event of a crash or a sudden stop, if the seat back moves the occupant would have an increased risk of injury. As many as 776 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, when the back seat cushion is changed from the stowed position to an upright one, the cushion may not remain locked in place when under load, such as in a crash or a sudden stop. During the operation of the seat, and specifically when rotating the seat back cushion from the stowed to the upright position, there needs to be an audible click of the mechanism locking into position. In addition, the mechanism will rotate downwards. If the seat back failed to lock into place as designed, the back seat occupant would be at increased risk of injury during a crash or unexpected stop.

Timeline of Events

Freedman Seating Company GO-ES seats may have been manufactured with a back frame weldment that was too narrow, resulting in deformation of the seat back cushion dump mechanism, which may cause it to malfunction.

TransitWorks was notified of the recall Nov. 1, 2018 via email by Freedman Seating Company. On Nov. 6, TransitWorks requested additional information to determine whether single seats were also affected by the recall, and also began the process of identifying affected vehicles at this time.

The Solution

The recall began Dec. 19, 2018. TransitWorks has notified owners and instructed them to contact Freedman seats for a repair kit, along with information on obtaining any necessary repairs.

Owners may contact Freedman Seating customer service at 1-800-443-4540 or TransitWorks customer service at 1-855-337-9543. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V229000.

Sean ReyesTransitWorks Recalls Ford Transit and Dodge Ram Vehicles For Rear Seat Defect

Chrysler Recalls 2019 Dodge Charger Vehicles With Missing Air Bag Information

Laguna Hills, CA – May 4, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2019 Dodge Charger vehicles in which both of the front sun visors may lack the required air bag warning information. Not having this information available could increase the risk of injury. As many as 1,097 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the driver- and passenger-side sun visors on the affected 2019 Dodge Chargers may not have had the required air bag warning information attached. The driver-side sun visor may contain no air bag warning label at all, and the passenger sun visor may contain warning labels intended for non-U.S. markets. Because of these omissions, these vehicles do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, “Occupant Crash Protection.” Failure to provide the air bag warning information increases the chance of driver or occupant injury.

Timeline of Events

A 2019 Dodge Charger built for the U.S. market but containing non-U.S. sun visor air bag warning labels, was reported Feb. 1, 2019 in a customer protection audit at Chrysler’s Brampton Assembly Plant.

On Feb. 6, Chrysler Engineering was notified that non-U.S. sun visor air bag warning labels had been built into some U.S. market vehicles. The location and content of the non-U.S. sun visor air bag warning labels were compared against the federally mandated requirements, revealing differences between the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the non-U.S. labels.

Chrysler decided March 21 through its Vehicle Regulations Committee to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall began April 17, 2019. Chrysler has notified owners, and dealers will replace the driver and passenger sun visors, at no cost.  Consistent with past practices, the automaker will reimburse Dodge Charger owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently became the subject of a field action. Chrysler requests that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.

Owners may contact FCA US customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V35. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V246000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2019 Dodge Charger Vehicles With Missing Air Bag Information

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

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Recall One Million Dodge Trucks Over Tailgate

 

U.S. – Aug. 29, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a recall for more than 1.1 million Dodge Ram trucks. According to USA Today, FCA is calling to fix vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and in other countries globally due to a faulty tailgate issue. The official recall will begin in September of this year.

The Defect

Through an investigation by the automakers, it was discovered that certain power locking mechanisms in the tailgate system have problems. The component that helps automatically latch the tailgate can corrode over time at a faster rate than normal, which can cause the system to not operate correctly. If the tailgate unlatches unexpectedly, it could cause cargo to fall out the back of the pickup truck. This can put drivers and others on the road in danger of an accident, injury or crash.

The trucks affected in the recall include models with the 5′ 7″ or 6′ 4″ truck bed. They are the 2015-2017 RAM 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks. The current models of 2018 and 2019 Ram trucks are not part of this recall over tailgate issues, as they are equipped with new features such as lift-assist.

According to The Drive, the overall average for car recalls per make and model is 0.79 per 100,000 units sold. In the list of top 10 vehicles with the most recalls, the Ram Pickup comes in at number six, behind the Nissan Pathfinder and Dodge Durango. The Ram Pickup has a 1.99 rating per 100,000 units sold, more than double the average. Domestic automakers take up six of the top 10 spaces for the most recalled vehicles, while Japanese automakers are among the lowest.

Four of the top 10 vehicles are offered by FCA: Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler or Fiat. Due to a large recall in May involving 4.8 million vehicles, this tipped the scales for the averages this year. In comparison, some of the least recalled makes and models in the U.S. include the Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Equinox and the Toyota Corolla.

Timeline of Events

Earlier this month, FCA announced the recall for the Ram trucks. So far, there have been no injuries or accidents relating directly to this specific recall. There are exactly 1,149,237 trucks involved in the recall in the U.S. An additional 260,315 vehicles in Canada; 19,432 in Mexico and 25,361 trucks in other countries worldwide are also part of the recall.

Beginning September 14, FCA will officially begin the recall. Any trucks at risk for the faulty tailgate will be able to take their truck in for repairs and fixes of the parts. In the meantime, spokespeople from FCA urge owners to make sure cargo is extra secure and all safety precautions are followed in the Dodge RAM manual.

The Solution

Chrysler announced plans to notify owners of the problem with the tailgates. The automaker also suggests using some of the other features and equipment included in the tailgate mechanisms to ensure cargo can be as secure as possible. This includes (but is not limited to) investing in higher friction truck bed liners, bulkhead dividers, bed extenders and tie-down rings.

If auto dealerships and drivers would like more information, they can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can be reached via their website. Costumers who would like to contact Chrysler directly in the US can call their helpline at 1-800-334-9200. For reference, the recall official number from FCA is U74. People concerned about the recall globally can reach the FCA helpline for Dodge specifically at 00800-3634-3000.

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler Automobiles to Recall One Million Dodge Trucks Over Tailgate

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

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to recall 150,000 Jeep and Dodge Vehicles

 

U.S. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Due to potential breaking system issues, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced a recall for certain Dodge and Jeep models. More than 150,000 vehicles are part of this recall, where Chrysler suggests replacement of parts and fixes to avoid potential risk and injury. It is part of a series of recalls this year relating to the breaking system in the Jeep and Dodge models.

The Defect

Coating on the rear break caliber pistons is said to be default on some of the Dodge and Jeep models. Included are select models of the 2018-2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2018 Journey, as well as the 2018-2019 Jeep Compass and 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The piston issue can cause gas pockets to form, which may compromise the use of the rear braking system. As of now, no injuries or accidents have been reported in relation to this particular recall.

According to Haynes Manuals, the break pistons work by allowing the break pads to connect with the brake discs. There are often several found in each breaking system in modern cars. If this part has flow issues, it can cause the breaks to operate incorrectly, such as having break pads stick or unbalanced amounts of brake fluid reaching the metal parts. It can be from common wear and tear, or an issue in manufacturing. This puts the driver and passengers at risk for not having full control in the vehicle.

Timeline of Events

This week, the Chrysler company announced the recall of 154,335 Jeep and Dodge vehicles for the break problems, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). By September 28, owners and dealers will be notified of the defect and offered solutions for repair.

In May of this year, there was a recall of more than 4.8 million Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles from the FCA, according to Cars.com. The large recall affected models from 2014-2018 that have automatic transmissions and gas engines. There was an issue with the cruise control and its electrical components, which ran the risk of the vehicle potentially accelerating and brake disengagement not working when in a cruise control mode. The automakers offered to fix the issue free of charge.

The Solution

So far, the only models affected by this recall announcement are Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep Compass, Dodge Journey and Jeep Cherokee from 2018-2019. Chrysler plans to contact owners and dealers starting September 28. If consumers have any concerns and would like to find out more details, they can contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9153. The NHTSA website also can be consulted for facts at www.safercar.gov. Owners and dealerships can contact Chrysler directly at 1-800-247-9753. The number for this recall is U86.

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler Automobiles to recall 150,000 Jeep and Dodge Vehicles

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective rearview cameras

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 13, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 1,700 vehicles potentially equipped with defective rearview cameras, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The campaign affects 2018 Dodge Journey sport utility vehicles produced between May 1, 2018, and May 25, 2018. The American automaker suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The affected vehicles contain rearview mirror displays with integrated cameras. When in operating in reverse, drivers viewing their progress in dash-mounted displays may encounter cautionary text that obscures their view and therefore increases the likelihood of an accident.

In addition to posing a serious hazard to occupants, the defective cameras violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, which mandates that all manufacturers ensure all models facilitate “clear and reasonably unobstructed view{s} to the rear.”

FCA has yet to receive field reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Quality assurance personnel at the Toluca Assembly Plant in Toluca, Mexico conducted rearview mirror compliance tests May 21, 2018, and found that cautionary text displayed in conjunction with the rearview camera view inhibited visibility. One day later, engineers confirmed the presence of the defect and notified the FCA Safety and Regulatory Compliance, which quickly initiated a noncompliance investigation.

Members of the Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the matter on June 7, 2018, following the conclusion of the inquiry and, based on the evidence uncovered in the investigation, recommended for an immediate voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA intends to direct dealers to replace the rearview mirrors in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The automaker will notify both dealers and owners on or around Aug. 3, 2018. Individuals in possession of the recalled models can expect to receive notification via first-class mail.

Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the campaign can speak with FCA customer service staff by calling (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U58. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective rearview cameras