Chrysler recalls trucks with defective fuel lines

Laguna Hill, Calif. — July 26, 2019 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel line assemblies, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel pickup trucks produced between May 9, 2019, and May 18, 2019; 2019 Dodge RAM 3500 diesel pickup trucks and cab chassis produced between May 7-18, 2019 and 2019 Dodge RAM 4500 and 5500 diesel cab chassis. The American automaker suspects just 10% of the recalled vehicles contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could contain fuel lines with incorrectly configured end fittings that are prone to leakage. These problematic parts drastically increase the risk of engine fire and therefore pose a serious risk to owners, occupants and pedestrians. However, FCA has yet to receive reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the defective fuel lines.

Timeline of Events

The FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an investigation May 21, 2019, after personnel from the FCA quality department alerted it to leaking fuel line assemblies found at a Cummins diesel engine production plant. The VSRC then initiated several internal actions, including multiple packaging studies and an exhaustive review of Cummins’ records to grasp the approximate number of potential ignition sources present within associated vehicle engine compartments.

That organization also spearheaded customer-consequence studies, remedy tests, root-cause investigations and vehicle-scope analyses. These inquiries, all of which unfolded throughout May 2019, revealed that the leaking fuel lines could drip gasoline directly onto multiple combustible engine parts and cause fires. And the root-cause investigation showed that the leakage could be traced to incorrectly formed fuel line end fittings. Cummins confirmed these findings through dyno tests conducted during the week of May 27, 2019. 

The VSRC confirmed the suspected field population in early June 2019 by assessing all vehicles on quality hold, along with those already in the field. The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee then reviewed the VSRC’s final findings June 20, 2019, and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

The Solution

FCA has directed dealers test and, if necessary, replace the fuel lines in recalled vehicles, free of charge. The automaker intends to notify dealers via first-class mail Aug. 16, 2019. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with FCA customer service representatives by calling (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the recall code V76. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236. 

  

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls trucks with defective fuel lines

Ram Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Laguna Hills, CA – July 24, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler is recalling a limited number of 2019 Ram models over concerns that the fuel lines may leak. Should such a scenario occur, a fire could occur, thus posing a safety hazard for the driver and anyone in proximity to the blaze. The automaker says that while the chances for this to happen are remote, but is encouraging 2019 Ram owners to err on the side of caution and return the truck to the dealer. 

The recall is expected to get underway officially Aug. 16 and drivers can expect to be notified by mail.

The Defect

As chronicled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling 498 of the following Ram vehicles, all of which are 2019 models:

  • Ram 2500
  • Ram 3500
  • Ram 4500
  • Ram 5500

While it’s not clear if all of these vehicles have been purchased or remain on dealers’ lots, the recall concerns the trucks’ diesel engines and the potential that some of them may leak fuel due to incorrectly formed end fittings. The placement of this flaw is such that the liquid could leach onto the engine, potentially causing a fire. Of the 498 vehicles that may be affected, the truck models most likely to contain the flaw are the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. These vehicles were likely built between May 7 and 20, though precise dates could only be determined by knowing the trucks’ body and cab types.

Timeline of Events

The genesis of recalls often derive from current vehicle owners, but in this instance, Chrysler noticed the issue after learning that the supplier of the Rams’ diesel engines had other engines leaking fuel. That happened May 21. Later on that month, Chrysler worked in concert with the supplier to see what, if anything, could occur if motorists’ fuel lines were compromised, aside from the loss of fuel, a problem in and of itself. The assessment determined that a worst-case scenario was a fire, given that the leaks were occurring at connection points in the lines.

Surveys were conducted June 3 to see which Ram vehicles were potentially vulnerable. The investigation ultimately determined that the parts themselves weren’t necessarily compromised but rather that the trucks were assembled around the same time as when the leaking fuel lines at the diesel engine supplier’s plant were originally reported.

Vehicle fires are surprisingly common. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 171,500 automotive-related fires occurred on U.S. highways each year between 2014 and 2016. These resulted in $1.1 billion in property losses, 1,300 injuries and 345 fatalities. Approximately 45% of these blazes stem from mechanical failure and 62% derive from the engine. Crashes themselves are also a common cause of deadly vehicle fires.

No accidents, injuries or fatalities are linked to the recall in question as of June 20, according to NHTSA documents.

The Solution

Chrysler says that it plans to brief Ram owners of this problem that could affect their safety by first-class mail starting on August 16. Recipients are strongly encouraged to have their truck examined by their local dealer. The potentially vulnerable fuel lines have codes inscribed on them, which refer to the manufacturing date. Those that align with the suspect time period will be replaced free of charge. 

For more information on this recall, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesRam Recall Underway Over Fuel Line Leakage

Chrysler Recalls Ram 1500s Due To Restraint System Errors

Laguna Hills, CA – June 10, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC (FCA) is pulling nearly 300,000 Ram 1500 trucks – model years 2019 and 2020 – from the marketplace due to an onboard software flaw that may prevent the vehicle’s air bag from deploying in the aftermath of a crash, thus increasing the risk of injury. The automobile’s seat belt pretensioners may also fail to function due to the tech defect. The company says it will reach out to Ram 1500 owners by mail later this summer, advising them to take their trucks to their nearest Chrysler dealership so repair work can be arranged. The fix will come at no cost to drivers.

The Defect

According to documents submitted to and produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 295,981 2019-2020 Ram 1500s are due for recall because the truck’s occupant restraint controller (ORC) system may not work properly in the event of a traffic accident. Specifically, the issue seems to affect the ORC’s flash memory, in which the computer module doesn’t reset as it’s supposed to when powering down the vehicle. This reset failure could then prevent the airbags and/or seat-belt pretensioners from operating correctly in a collision-related event.

In a statement acknowledging that the company is aware of the problem, FCA said that while they are making this move out of an abundance of caution, the chances that such a scenario occurs for motorists is highly unlikely.

“Data collected by FCA US indicate the potential for such an event is highly remote,” the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer said in a press release. “Further, the Company is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.”

Timeline of Events

The issue came to FCA’s attention April 8, when an engineer on the manufacturer’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance team observed a corrupted software notification that occurred when turning off the truck. A formal investigation by Fiat Chrysler occurred in the immediate aftermath, which extended to May 3. The inquiry determined that the flaw had the potential to prevent the seatbelt pretensioner or airbags from serving their purpose during an accident. However, through May 20, the company wasn’t aware of any operator complaints or injuries that occurred – in the U.S. or elsewhere – related to the software glitch. This may be due to the fact that many of the affected automobiles – up to 33% – are still at dealerships, yet to be purchased by would-be operators. Those impacted were likely assembled at some point between Oct. 31, 2018 and April 29, 2019.

FCA deemed it appropriate that a voluntary recall be ordered for the Ram 1500s, which is what prompted the safety notification to NHTSA.

The Solution

On June 1, FCA sent out letters to dealerships, informing them of the problem and that 2019-2020 Ram 1500s should be set aside for the time being. Current operators will also be made aware of the glitch, which is slated to begin on July 20. Owners are urged to bring their trucks to their nearest FCA dealer so the ORC can either be reprogrammed or replaced, whichever fix is deemed appropriate by the attending mechanics. This repair will be free of charge.

To learn more, dial 1-888-327-4236, which is NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline. You can also enter your VIN at MotorSafety.org to see if your make and model is under recall.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Ram 1500s Due To Restraint System Errors

Ram 1500 Trucks Up For Recall Due To Flawed Driveshafts

Laguna Hills, CA – June 7, 2019 – Thousands of Ram 1500 pickup trucks, model years 2018 and 2019, are under recall notice by Fiat Chrysler because the installed rear driveshaft may be compromised and at risk of fracturing. This could cause the component to physically fall from the vehicle, which trailing motorists could hit, potentially resulting in a crash or injury. The detachment of the driveshaft would also cause the vehicle to lose power, increasing the operator and passengers’ risk for injury as well due to an accident. 

FCA says it will notify owners, starting on June 15, of the potential component failure. Motorists can get their driveshaft replaced free of charge by taking their automobile to any authorized Chrysler dealership.

The Defect

According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 10,160 Ram 1500 pickup trucks, whose model years range between 2018 and 2019. An investigation determined that the vehicle’s rear driveshaft, a component whose main responsibility is to power the engine through the transmission of torque, may be vulnerable to fracturing due to an improper weld fusion that connects the driveshaft’s tube and its tube yoke.

The progressive nature of this cracking could cause the component to break away from the vehicle and fall into the road, becoming a hazard and potential source of an accident for other motorists. It could also cause Ram 1500 operators to lose control of their automobile due to a sudden loss in power, which may also raise the risk of a crash.

Because the component is underneath the vehicle, it’s virtually impossible to know whether the part is compromised. However, Fiat Chrysler says that unusual noise or vibrations emanating from beneath the vehicle may presage the fracturing.

Timeline of Events

The issue came to the attention of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicle safety and regulatory compliance office in August 2018 when the company received six warranty claims – all submitted within a month of one another – each of which complained of broken driveshafts. Days later when the driveshafts were examined, they all had the same issue – an incomplete weld fusion. No other flaws were found in follow-up inquiries, which concluded in January. Later than month and into February, however, FCA was informed of additional driveshaft failures, which, unlike the original six, occurred at mileages greater than 5,000. A more thorough investigation that transpired in March and April determined that the failures were isolated incidents but that the similar nature of the driveshaft flaws warranted a voluntary recall. FCA says it’s unaware of any actual accidents or injuries stemming from these incidents.

The Solution

Although the recall is not mandatory, FCA recommends that operators and owners of 2018-2019 Ram 1500s err on the side of caution and take their vehicles to their nearest Chrysler dealer so a fix can be scheduled. If necessary, the driveshaft will be replaced at no expense for neither parts nor labor. For additional specifics on this recall, contact FCA’s customer service department at 1-800-853-1403. The recall order is classified as V48. Entering your VIN at MotorSafety.org can help as well.

Sean ReyesRam 1500 Trucks Up For Recall Due To Flawed Driveshafts

Chrysler Recalls 2017-19 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 18, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2017-2019 Pacifica vehicles equipped with stop/start systems. A loose battery to ground connection may lead to an occasional loss of power steering assist as well as intermittent stalling. If this happens, there is a greater chance of a crash. As many as 198,731 vehicles could be affected by this problem.   

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the affected vehicles could have a loose connection between battery and ground, which may cause the driver to lose power steering or even experience stalling of the vehicle. Either of these situations could result in a crash. 

Timeline of Events

Chrysler’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance office received field study reports Jan. 23, 2019 of 14 vehicles experiencing power steering problems potentially caused by loose ground connections.

Chrysler began investigating the issue between February and March, examining field and warranty data. The automaker’s engineering and manufacturing experts determined in April that the wire harness manufacturing process may have deposited sealer on the harness tab, leading to an accumulation that could eventually cause a loss of clamp load over a period of time. When that happens, intermittent electrical connection could result.

As of April 26, Chrysler had received numbers of complaints and field reports concerning this issue, but said that it was unaware of any related accidents or injuries. Consequently, the automaker’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided May 2 to launch a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Chrysler will notify owners, informing them to take their vehicles to the nearest dealership, so that dealers can inspect battery ground surfaces, clean contacts as required and correctly reassemble the ground connection, at no cost to owners.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA US’ number for this recall is V53. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V348000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2017-19 Pacifica Vehicles With Battery Issue

Chrysler Recalls 2015-17 Ram Pickup Trucks Because of Tailgate Latching Failure

Laguna Hills, CA – May 18, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks that have an 8-foot truck bed and a power-locking tailgate, as well as 2018 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks built before April 1, 2018 that are equipped with the latter of those two attributes. The tailgate actuator limiter tab in these vehicles may be subject to fracturing, which could lead to the tailgate unexpectedly unlatching and opening while driving. As many as 410,351 vehicles may be affected by the failure of this tailgate latching mechanism. 

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, the affected vehicles have an actuator limiter tab that may fracture and cause the tailgate to pop open while driving. If this were to happen, cargo could unexpectedly fall out of the vehicle, creating a road hazard and potentially causing an accident or crash, leading to injuries.

Timeline of Events

Chrysler, through its Vehicle Regulations Committee, decided July 19, 2018 to conduct a voluntary safety recall of certain 2015-2017 Ram pickup trucks equipped with a power-locking tailgate – except for vehicles that also had an 8-foot truck bed.

From July 2018 to April 2019, the automaker monitored trucks that hadn’t been included in this first recall, looking for field incidents involving tailgates unexpectedly falling open while the vehicles were in motion or standing still. By April 29, Chrysler had received numerous complaints, warranty claims, repair orders and vehicle owner questionnaires potentially related to this issue, although it was not aware of any injuries or accidents resulting from the tailgate latch failure.

As a result, Chrysler decided May 2 to launch a voluntary safety recall for all affected vehicles.   

The Solution

The recall is expected to start June 28, 2019. Chrysler will notify owners to bring their vehicles to the nearest dealership. Dealers will repair the tailgate latch at no cost to the owners. The remedy for this item is designed to put a limit on the locking actuator’s travel, not permitting the pivot arm to over-travel and pull on the locking/unlocking rods.

Owners may contact FCA US customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V44. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the NHTSA’s www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V347000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2015-17 Ram Pickup Trucks Because of Tailgate Latching Failure

Jeep Wranglers Recalled Due To Safety Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – May 16, 2019 – Erwin Hymer Group USA, doing business as American Fastbacks, is recalling 2018 Badlands Edition Jeep Wranglers equipped with roof top tents. The tent cover may break or crack, which could result in it coming loose from the vehicle while it is moving. As many as 94 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this recall action, the affected 2018 Jeep Wrangler vehicles have a roof top tent installed in which the top cover may break or crack under extreme weather conditions. As a result, the cover could detach from the vehicle. If this were to happen while the vehicle is moving, it could create a road hazard, increasing the chance of a crash.

Timeline of Events

American Fastbacks first learned of the problem in November 2018, when dealerships in the Midwest reported that covers on the Wrangler roof top tents were cracking due to extreme cold weather. The company, believing it was a quality control defect, started looking for a new supplier.

Additional complaints were received in February 2019, followed by a dealer report April 17 that the roof top cracking was not a cosmetic issue, but rather one that posed a significant safety concern.

American Fastbacks had already instituted an earlier recall of the affected vehicles for another issue. After discussion of the new problem with the NHTSA, the company decided to announce a separate recall for the roof top tent defect.

The Solution

The recall will begin in May 2019. A solution to the roof-cover defect is still under development.

Owners may contact American Fastbacks customer service at 1-844-533-7997 extension 301. Owners should be aware that vehicles in this recall are also included in recall 19V-190. 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 19V-320.

Sean ReyesJeep Wranglers Recalled Due To Safety 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 Recalls 2019 Jeep Cherokees For Loose Passenger Seat Bolts

Laguna Hills, CA – May 3, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., LLC is recalling certain 2019 Jeep Cherokee vehicles due to a manufacturing defect. The front passenger seat mounting bolts may be loose. The resulting seat movement in the event of a crash could increase the risk of injury. As many as 253 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, some 2019 Jeep Cherokee vehicles built at the Belvidere Assembly Plant could have front passenger seat mounting fasteners that were not tightened to the correct torque. When this happens, it could lead to the increased risk of passenger injury in an accident.   

Timeline of Events

Chrysler’s U.S. Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization first received word Jan. 22, 2019 of three vehicles from the first shift of Nov. 26, 2018 with front seat passenger seat mounting bolt torques below specification, and opened an investigation.

Further testing in January showed that vehicles built with front passenger seats not fully fastened down may not reliably be detected when test-driven. After reviewing Belvidere assembly records, Chrysler discovered that torque traceability records had been compromised. The automaker concluded that three factors contributed to the torque traceability problem: an untrained operator, improper tool tethering that allowed the operator to work out of the station and a fastener tool with limited torque traceability.

As of March 21, Chrysler had not received any complaints or field reports related to the issue, nor were they aware of any incidents or injuries resulting from the problem. Despite the absence of any such troubling reports or warranty claims, the automaker decided March 21 to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

The recall formally began April 11, 2019. Chrysler has notified owners, and dealers will inspect the affected vehicles and if needed tighten the mounting bolts, free of charge. Consistent with past practices, the automaker will reimburse Jeep Cherokee 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 Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V31. 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 19V248000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls 2019 Jeep Cherokees For Loose Passenger Seat Bolts

Chrysler Recalls Over 47,000 Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid Vehicles for Steering Issue

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 18, 2019 – Chrysler is recalling certain 2018 Pacifica and Pacifica hybrid vehicles. The right front lower control arm could separate from the steering knuckle, causing loss of directional control and increasing the risk of a crash. As many as 47,771 vehicles are potentially affected by this issue.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, the right front lower control arm can separate from the steering knuckle in some 2018 MY Chrysler Pacifica vehicles. The issue came to light due to an increase in warranty claims for buzz, squeak and rattle relating to the suspect joint were reported. If the right lower control arm separates from the steering knuckle, the driver may experience a loss of directional control, which can result in the vehicle crashing without advance warning.

Timeline of Events

Chrysler’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization launched an investigation Nov. 20, 2018 following the field report of a vehicle that exhibited a separated right front lower control arm ball joint separated from the steering knuckle.

Between Nov. 4-17, Chrysler’s Chassis Engineering team completed dimensional component testing. From Nov. 19 to Jan. 14, 2019. Chassis Engineering did system level testing to confirm failure mode and the scope of the issue. In addition, Chrysler and its Chassis Engineering team held meetings between Nov. 20, 2018, and Feb. 15, 2019 to  review the issue and discuss customer consequences, potential root cause, the scope of vehicles affected, potential corrective actions being investigated and component and system test results.

Following receipt of five Customer Assistance and Information Requests and one field report, Chrysler decided Feb. 21, 2019 to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

Starting April 19, 2019, Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the right front knuckle and lower control arm for damage and replace as needed, replacing the right front lower control arm knuckle pinch bolt with a larger diameter pinch bolt free of charge.

Some of the affected vehicles may be in dealers’ new vehicle inventory. Federal law requires that repairs must be completed before retail delivery. These vehicles will be eligible for a reimbursement allowance through Chrysler.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V15. 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 19V143000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Recalls Over 47,000 Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid Vehicles for Steering Issue