Chrysler recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Recall Masters – September 22, 2017

Chrysler recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled multiple vehicles likely equipped with defective driveshafts, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from May 25, 2017 to June 2, 2017. FCA suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.
The Defect
Affected models contain overly shortened halfshafts that could disengage from differentials during operation. Should this occur, vehicles will unexpectedly lose motive power and the ability to shift gears. This increases the likelihood of high-speed collisions and therefore poses a serious risk to occupants. That said, FCA has not received reports linking the defective drivetrain features to any accidents or injuries. Drivers may hear noise coming from the underside of the vehicle prior to halfshaft disconnect…

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Sean ReyesChrysler recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

 

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

The Defect

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

Timeline of Events

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

The Solution

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

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

Chrysler recalls sports cars with defective oil cooler lines

 

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

The Defect

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

Timeline of Events

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

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

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

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

The Solution

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

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls sports cars with defective oil cooler lines

Chrysler recalls vehicles with damaged alternator diodes

 

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

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

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

The Defect

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

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

Timeline of Events

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

The Solution

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

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with faulty wiring

 

Auburn Hill, Mich. – July 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled approximately 363,480 vehicles thought to contain defective air bag wiring fixtures, according to a press release from FCA. The campaign affects 2011-2015 Dodge Journey crossover models produced between Oct. 14, 2010 and April 20, 2015, as well as 2011-2015 Fiat Freemont crossovers sold outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement zone. FCA estimates that 1 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the faulty wiring fixtures, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with air bag wiring fixtures that chafe against steering wheel components. In this scenario, short-circuiting is likely. This may lead to unexpected driver-side air bag deployment. FCA has received reports of six injuries connected to the defect. In these cases, the air bag warning light illuminated prior to deployment. Drivers also observed unintended windshield wiper operation.

The car company has yet to receive reports of any accidents related to the defective wiring fixture.

Timeline of Events

In October 2014, FCA investigated an instance of inadvertent air bag deployment involving a Dodge Caravan minivan, according to a chronology document filed with the NHTSA. Engineers reporting to the auto maker’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group analyzed the issue and suggested the steering column clockspring conductor tape was to blame.

FCA continued the investigation and in March 2015 determined the actual root cause of the IAD: shorted wires due to friction between the air bag wiring harness and the metal horn plate located within the steering wheel assembly. In May, FCA engineers successfully tested tape-based wiring harness protection, which was then implemented in production facilities in September. This improvement applied to both Caravan and Journey models.

The car company continued to monitor the issue throughout 2015, while also identifying and quarantining damaged steering wheel assemblies.

In January 2016, FCA confirmed all of the updated wiring protections for Caravan and Journey vehicles were successfully installed in September 2015. One month later, the company requested a series of vehicle inspections to assess the efficacy of these production improvements.

In March, engineers conducted 26 corporate vehicle inspections and discovered that three models showed signs of contact between air bag wiring fixtures and steering wheel components. The FCA Quality Engineering Center obtained the inspection results the following month. After an initial review, QEC sent the results to the engineering laboratory, which conducted vehicle vibration tests and found that steering wheel components penetrated the air bag wiring protection. FCA continued to investigate and monitor the issue throughout 2016.

In January 2017, the VSRC received reports of IADs linked to other causes not addressed in previous investigations. One month later, FCA engineers opened a new inquiry and reviewed parts from the vehicles named in these reports and discovered a separate production anomaly limited in scope.

FCA closed this new investigation in early February but continued to monitor the issue. Over the course of late February, March and April the auto maker received new IAD reports involving shorted air bag wiring fixtures. It re-opened the brief investigation initiated in January. FCA received additional IAD reports in May.

On June 6, the Vehicle Regulations Committee conducted voluntary recall for Caravan models and requested more information on the Journey crossover. On June 20, engineers determine that shortened clockspring assemblies were the root cause in IAD instances involving Journeys.The VRC extended the campaign on June 30 to apply to Journey models.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers to inspect the air bag wiring on affected vehicles and replace and reinforce these fixtures, free of charge. Owners are expected to receive notification via first-class mail between Aug. 7 and Aug. 21. Those in need of more immediate help can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403 or call the NHTSA 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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Daimler Vans Recalls Vehicles For Faulty Brake Lights

Atlanta – Nov. 11, 2016 – Daimler Vans USA has announced a recall of Dodge and Freightliner Sprinter 2500 and 3500 vans due to problems with brake warning light illumination.

The Defect

According to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Daimler will recall vans from the 2003-2006 model years – specifically, those manufactured between June 30, 2003 and Aug. 31, 2006. The problem is that the brake warning lamps located on the vehicles’ instrument clusters are failing to illuminate during startup.

This initial illumination is a good way to let the driver know that the light is functioning as intended. After that point, as long as the light remains off, drivers can be reasonably confident that they do not have any serious brake issues to address. The purpose of the lamp is to warn occupants of low brake fluid, which could severely impact their ability to stop on command.

Timeline of Events

April 2015 – Fiat Chrysler reportedly asked Daimler Vans for support with Dodge vehicles that failed the bulb check during New York State inspections. Daimler Vans examined numerous vehicle models from different years, as well as different instrument clusters, to locate the problems. This was a challenging process that required the manufacturer to study instrument cluster coding and analyze each system to determine the underlying cause. At first, Daimler Vans did not have access to all of the information necessary, forcing it to use other methods to replicate the problem.

October 2016 – Daimler Vans received more information about the faulty bulb, including the proper instrument coding. This allowed the manufacturers to determine exactly which vehicles were being affected.

The Solution

Daimler Vans will conduct a voluntary recall to examine each vehicle’s instrument cluster coding and fix any problems that can be found. This will be done free of charge. A schedule has not yet been announced.

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FCA Recalls Wide Model Year Range of Dodge Journey Vehicles

Auburn Hills, Mich. — June 10, 2016 — A new recall from FCA concerns vehicles from a span of five different model years. As an official press release recently noted, most of the 187,436 recalled vehicles are in Canada, possibly because the action involves a condition made worse in cold temperatures.

Though this issue is not known to have caused any injuries, the source stated that drivers could face steering difficulties in affected autos. When the engine is turned on, some steering fluid could leak out, possibly disrupting the vehicle. The statement specifically noted that the problem exists when the auto is in extreme cold, putting owners in those climates at greater risk.

In the United States, the recall will affect 10,944 vehicles. The statement did not explain what the remedy would entail or when dealers and customers will be notified. It did say that the necessary replacement units “are expected to be available soon.” Impacted model years range form 2009 to 2016.

A different recall from January affected both 2009 Dodge Journey autos and two other models, Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles, both of which are from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

This action addressed occupant restraint controller functions that could interfere with the standard air bag control system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the issue could either lead to unexpected air bag deployment or prevent air bags from inflating when they need to after a collision. Like the Chrysler headquarters, the component’s supplier, Continental Automotive Systems Inc., is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The official Part 573 Safety Recall Report for that issue also advised that a lit warning lamp could indicate a possible ORC malfunction. A later amendment to this report said that final owner notification isn’t scheduled until the end of this year, and that remedy parts are estimated for 2017.

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Shifting Concerns Prompt Worldwide Dodge Charger Recall

Auburn Hills, MI — May 17, 2016 — An issue in many Fiat Chrysler autos has led to a wide-ranging recall concerning vehicle transmission systems. Drivers in these affected vehicles may put themselves at risk if they don’t fully understand what gear is currently engaged

Although there are already alerts in these cars that should signal that a vehicle is parked, the company reports that this isn’t always enough. As a result, at least 41 injuries may be traced to this issue, though a press statement insists that it is not due to any equipment failure.

The source lists three models included in the Chrysler Recalls: Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Model years range from 2012 to 2015, and the majority of the units (811,586) are in the United States. The manufacturer is making efforts to contact affected owners as needed while the recall continues. The new shift strategy will keep the vehicles from moving unexpectedly, further protecting users who don’t understand the initial suggestions.

Currently, these vehicles feature electronic indicators, including lights, to let drivers know if their vehicles are currently in park. To avoid confusion, the adjusted cars will include an automatic stop in case drivers don’t realize their car is able to start rolling away. The gear shift lever is not a reliable signal of which gear the car is using, the source stated.

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was also subject to a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statement from March 22 said that 14,768 units may contain front left brake calipers that might break. This issue was a significant risk because it could prevent drivers from stopping their vehicles early enough and leave them vulnerable to a collision.

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