FCA Recalls Dodge Darts Over Transmissions Concerns

Auburn Hills, MI — October 2, 2015 — Approximately 23,688 Dodge Darts in the United States with model years between 2013 and 2015 are part of a new auto recall from Fiat Chrysler. According to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), conditions within selected vehicles could lead to a problematic Transmission Control Module fault that forces cars into neutral.

The recall traces back to last May, when 12 claims related to clutch problems in these vehicles were discovered. In July, engineers noticed the solder joints within the transmission module related to the difficulty and the following April the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance department began monitoring the interim bracket design warranty. The recall was decided upon as of August 18, and the Part 573 Safety Recall Report was submitted to the NHTSA on August 26.

As this report describes, 15 percent of the total target vehicle population are thought to be affected. The report also listed some of the problems related to this issue that could harm drivers and passengers.

“If a transmission shift to neutral event occurs, the customer may experience a loss of motive power,” the source describes. “In the event of a transmission shift to neutral event, the engine does not shut off, and safety systems, like airbags continue to function.”

The Fiat Chrysler recall includes a corrective replacement of the module and the bracket in these vehicles. Dealers will be informed through the “established methods used in the past,” according to an announcement from the Customer Services Field Operations of FCA, also dated for August 26.

adminFCA Recalls Dodge Darts Over Transmissions Concerns

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

Chrysler recalls cars for rear control arm problems

Detroit, MI — July 8, 2015 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received attention from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over outstanding recalls, and a new action reported last month will add to the list of current issues the manufacturer is addressing.

According to an acknowledgement statement featured on the NHTSA website, a suspension issue in certain Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles has led to 5,608 being recalled. The specific fault concerns the rear lower control arms in these vehicles, which may break off during use.

Both of the models were produced earlier this year, and the concern reportedly stems back to a notification on June 16, when suppliers informed the manufacturer that the materials “may have been incorrectly heat treated.” This led to an attempt at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant to stall shipment of vehicles with faulty parts on that same day. The component manufacturer is listed by the NHTSA as Chassix.

The safety recall report on this issue went into further detail about the heating problems that affected the supplier’s materials.

“The root cause was determined to be a non-standard heat treating process in which the supplier began hand loading materials in the heat treat oven due to a conveyor issue,” the document states. “The supplier’s manual process adversely affected the heat treat profile. The supplier subsequently shipped materials prior to completion of all required material property testing.”

To remedy this condition, the source reports that vehicles will be inspected before control arms are replaced at the car dealer. FCA will reimburse owners for this inconvenience as part of its “longstanding policy” towards these actions.

Recall MastersChrysler recalls cars for rear control arm problems

Chrysler to take part in public hearing over recalls

Detroit, MI — May 20, 2015 — On July 2, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to conduct a public hearing regarding the recall-related actions of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. According to a statement from this organization, the hearing will review several recalls over different features, including ignition switches, air bag inflators and other elements in the company’s vehicles.

The total amount of recalls pertain to millions of vehicles, including such models as Dodge Chargers, Dodge Challengers and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The NHTSA is concerned that Chrysler has not sufficiently addressed the individual problems and is acting partly in response to consumer complaints.

Among this group of recalls, the highest amount of vehicles addressed in a single action is the December 2014 recall, issued in response to defective Takata airbags, which affected more than 2.9 million vehicles.

In the statement from the NHTSA, Administrator Mark Rosekind said that the organization intends to encourage proper behavior from Chrysler that extends beyond the initial recall announcement when a defect is detected.

“It is not enough to identify defects,” he said. “Manufacturers have to fix them. Significant questions have been raised as to whether this company is meeting its obligations to protect the drivers from safety defects, and today we are launching a process to ensure that those obligations are met.”

The Detroit News also quoted Rosekind, who said that the officials will “use all available tools” to spur on compliance from the manufacturer. Some of the vehicles included in older recalls are no longer produced by the company.

To support the NHTSA’s vision for sustained improvement after a recall commences, manufacturers have to commit to making changes and promoting proper information among car dealers and consumers alike. With the proper recall systems, disseminating information is more achievable.

Recall MastersChrysler to take part in public hearing over recalls

Government queries after Chrysler recall

Detroit, MI — May 6, 2015 — According to Reuters, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 900,000 SUVs due to a possible risk of fire last year. Faulty wiring inside the vehicles’ sun visor vanity mirror lights were found to cause fire via an electrical short in Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos.

To fix this, the company ordered plastic guides be installed on the visor to direct the wiring away from problem points on the visor. Despite this action, the problem seems to persist, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the aftereffects of the recall.

An Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Resume released this month noted that eight complaints have been filed related to fires in affected vehicles since the original remedy was put into place, prompting a recall query from the NHTSA. Some of these reports described “smoke sometimes followed by flames” inside.

A New York Times Article on this recall quotes an owner of one of the faulty Jeep Grand Cherokees, who contributed a complaint last month.

“My car filled with smoke and I could not breathe in the car,” this unnamed person said. “The fire could have burned me had I been on a highway and unable to stop. I think it is incredible that I did my part, took the car to get the recall fixed and was returned a car that was clearly not fixed.” The source adds that there have been no official reports of injury, and that Fiat Chrysler is working with the NHTSA in response to the query.

In addition to the original recalls, recall queries and other follow-up actions also have to be communicated to the right dealerships and owners, to ensure that the latest, most relevant actions are taken to fix a possible risk.

Recall MastersGovernment queries after Chrysler recall