Chrysler Fiat Automobiles recalls 12,000 vehicles over powertrain problem

 

United States – Aug. 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 certain Jeep Renegade, Compass and Grand Cherokee (2018), RAM 1500 and Promaster, Fiat 500x, Dodge Journey, Challenger, Charger and Durango and Chrysler 300x vehicles; the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles (2018-2019) and the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica vehicles (2018-2019).

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 issue is 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. 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, and reference the campaign number 18V524. 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 U87.

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

Chrysler recalls vehicles with noncompliant tire placards

 

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

The Defect

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

The Solution

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

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with noncompliant tire placards

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

 

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

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

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

The Defect

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

The Solution

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

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective 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.

adminChrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

 

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

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

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

The Defect

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

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

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

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

The Solution

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

adminChrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

 

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

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

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

The Defect

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

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

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

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

The Solution

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

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective brake pedal switches

FCA recalls vehicles with defective fire extinguishers

 

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

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

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

The Defect

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

The Solution

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

adminFCA recalls vehicles with defective fire extinguishers

Dodge Recalls Dakota Pickups With Faulty Seat Warmers

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 8, 2018 – Chrysler recently issued a recall of 16,900 Dodge Dakota pickup trucks from the 2005 model year, citing concerns that the driver or passenger seat warmers installed in some trucks may overheat, according to a defect filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, the overheating issue could present itself in both front seats of the vehicle, in either the seat cushion itself, or the seat back. The risk presents itself because of “fatigue failure” – that is, long-term regular use of the warmers – within the carbon elements of the seat warmers themselves. These can lead to specific spots where the warmers overheat and potentially burn holes in the seat cushions or even result in open flames within the vehicle.

All vehicles in the recall were manufactured between May 17, 2004, and June 24, 2005. Only about 10 percent of the trucks being recalled are expected to carry this defect.

The Defect

If the “hot spots” present themselves in a seat cushion’s heating element, it could lead to a high resistance electrical connection that generates heat beyond what would normally be expected. Unfortunately, the seat cushion control system in the Dakota pickups would not be able to detect the hot spots and therefore cannot automatically shut down the heating component.

Because of the risk of burning through the seats and starting fires, owners will likely notice extreme heat or burning smells as a result of the defect, as well as potential holes in the seat cushions or seat backs themselves. This risk can result in injury or fire in the vehicles.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 13, 2017, reports of issues with seat heaters in the 2005 Dakotas led Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to convene its U.S. Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization to open an investigation into the problem.

In the week of Sept. 25, the organization reviewed designs with the company’s engineering team. About a month later, the two FCA groups met with the supplier of the heated seat carbon element pad to go over the design parameters of the parts in question.

Then from October to November, FCA conducted a test of the heated seat systems in question, to compare with other such systems, and determined that in the affected Dakotas, the system used to operate the seat heaters was unique from similar systems.

In late November, the VSRC and engineering teams did a more thorough design review of the heating system in affected trucks and found that they do not have automatic-off settings after the seat heaters have been used for a certain amount of time, potentially allowing them to stay on indefinitely. In early December, the teams were able to reproduce failures in laboratory settings.

The voluntary safety recall order was finally made Dec. 18, 2017.

The Solution

Chrysler’s recall plan will ask owners to bring in their 2005 Dakotas for repair, to enhance the seating systems with updated control features.

In addition, the company will also reimburse owners who have paid out of pocket to have these issues addressed on their own, as long as they can provide proof of payment to confirm the amount they paid.

FCA dealers were first notified of the recall Dec. 20, 2017, while owners will receive their notifications beginning on Feb. 8, 2018.

adminDodge Recalls Dakota Pickups With Faulty Seat Warmers