Chrysler recalls Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators for burnt-out clutch

Auburn Hills, MI – February 11,  2021 – Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU), which owns the Jeep brand, is recalling 42,887 Jeeps because a part of the clutch may overheat and fracture, creating the risk of a fire. The recall includes the following manual transmission vehicles:

  • 2018 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2019 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2020 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2021 Jeep Wranglers
  • 2020 Jeep Gladiators
  • 2021 Jeep Gladiators

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the clutch, specifically the clutch pressure plate, which temporarily stops the “transmission of engine power” to allow the driver to switch gears. Due to excessive friction because of a design error, the plate may overheat. The heat may fracture the pressure plate and the resulting hot debris could land on flammable parts of the car, causing a fire.

Prior recall

All vehicles that were part of a similar Jeep recall in 2020 are included in this latest recall. In this recall, Jeep blamed the problem on “air in the hydraulic system,” and the repair involved rerouting the vehicles’ wiring. Testing performed for this recall showed that with excess friction, the clutch could reach 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit, plenty hot to ignite other parts of the car. It is not clear whether this latest recall supersedes the first one.

Recent Jeep recalls

A Jeep recall in 2019 of 2011-2018 Wranglers concerned a weak seat belt mount which could fracture and separate from the seat, rendering the belt useless. 

‘The entire vehicle was burned to ashes’

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received numerous complaints describing burning clutch smells, fractured clutch pressure plates and clutch-related fires in vehicles included in the 2020 and 2021 recalls.

Many drivers reported a “burning clutch smell.” This odor may be a sign that the clutch pressure plate is about to fail, according to Chrysler’s report to NHTSA.

Other complaints illustrate the worst-case scenario. “While my 16-year-old daughter and I were driving on the FL 528/Beachline Expressway, the entire clutch pressure plate assembly exploded off my vehicle,” said one Florida driver’s  report. “Fluids drained and ignited. The entire vehicle was burned to ashes.”

Despite the dramatic nature of the accident, no injuries have been reported thus far in connection with the latest recall.

Safety concerns

Chrysler acknowledged that a fractured clutch pressure plate could also generate road debris, creating a hazard for other drivers on the road.

Vehicle fires increase drivers’ and passengers’ risk of injury or death. You can read more about what to do if you smell something burning while driving in this article about a 2020 Audi recall.

Repair

Chrysler will add software to affected Jeeps that will reduce the engine torque – essentially how hard the engine works – if the clutch starts getting too hot. Owners who have already paid to repair their clutch pressure plate may be eligible for reimbursement. Recall notification letters will be sent to owners on March 21.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 42,000 vehicles are included in this Chrysler recall. To see if your Jeep is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandChrysler recalls Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators for burnt-out clutch

Jeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Auburn Hills, MI – December 14, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has recalled 28,884 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles with 3.0L EcoDiesel engines and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler. The cooler may crack and release coolant that may cause an engine fire. The recall includes 2014-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Recall summary  

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) cooler is a car part designed to absorb heat to reduce emissions from an engine. Due to a supplier error, the recalled vehicles are prone to “thermal fatigue,” which may cause coolers in them to crack.

Vaporized coolant can then flow through the crack and into the EGR system while the engine is running. There it may interact with hydrocarbons and air in an area called the intake manifold, which forms part of the engine. This may lead to an engine fire.

This is not the first time Chrysler’s cars are having issues with EGR coolers. In 2019, Chrysler recalled a number of Ram 1500 trucks for the same EGR cooler issue. This past August a number of owners filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the manufacturer “botched” the recall, not making enough parts available for replacement.

Risks 

Vehicle fires are not uncommon. It is estimated that 212,500 vehicle fires occurred in 2018, causing 560 deaths, 1,500 injuries and $1.9 billion in property damage. If the EGR cooler issues cause a fire, the driver will receive very little warning. If you suspect that there is a fire in your engine compartment, pull over, turn off the vehicle, move all occupants out and away from it and call 911.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will replace the EGR cooler. They will also inspect the intake manifold and replace that as well if necessary. The repair is free of charge. This Jeep Grand Cherokee recall is expected to begin on December 31, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 28,000 vehicles are included in this Jeep Cherokee recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydJeep Grand Cherokees recalled for engine cooler issue

Chrysler Ram trucks recalled for driver side mirror issue

Pleasanton, CA – November 17, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) has recalled 19,075 Ram trucks, due to an issue with the driver side mirror. The mirror glass may detach from the backing plate such that it may no longer show a reflection of what’s behind. The recall includes 2020 Ram 2500 and Ram 1500 luxury heavy-duty pickup trucks.

Recall summary  

The backing plate holds the mirror glass in place. In recalled trucks, the mirror glass was not adhered to the backing plate properly, due to a manufacturing error. This limits the visibility for the driver and may result in a crash.

Recalled trucks fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rear Visibility.” Specifically, the “mirrors must be mounted according to certain specifications, and must provide the driver with a specified minimum field of view.”

Risks 

Side rear view mirrors are critically important for safe driving, particularly if an object is blocking the rear window view. They help drivers enter traffic and safely change lanes. If these mirrors are not functioning properly, the driver may not see other vehicles, pedestrians or physical objects. All of these conditions increase the risk of an accident.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the glass in the driver side mirror. The recall begins on November 27 and the repair is free of charge. The estimated repair time is 30 minutes, but plan for additional time for check in and check out.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?Over 19,000 vehicles are included in this Ram truck recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandChrysler Ram trucks recalled for driver side mirror issue

FCA recalls Jeep and RAM vehicles for seat belt malfunction

Pleasanton, CA – Sept 25, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) has recalled 2,114 SUVs and pickup trucks and SUVs whose front seat belts may not lock properly during a crash, putting drivers and passengers at risk of injury. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickups
  • 2019 Jeep Wrangler SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Ram 1500 pickups
  • 2019 RAM 2500 pickups

Recall summary  

Ever wondered why seatbelts sometimes “lock” up if you yank them too hard? This is a design feature that is meant to make the belt easy to pull over your body and comfortable to move around under, but will firmly hold you if you crash. In these recalled Jeeps and Rams, a connection part called the “wave disc” may be misshapen, causing the seatbelt to have a much weaker hold on the driver and front seat passenger.

Chrysler first noticed the problem this July when a seatbelt held the crash dummy less forcefully than it was supposed to during a crash test. A part in the seat belt retractor wasn’t formed correctly, weakening the whole seat belt system.

Chrysler is not aware of any complaints, injuries, or deaths relating to this problem.

Risks

If you’re riding in a pickup truck or SUV and you crash, wearing a functioning seat belt will reduce your risk of injury by at least 60% and your risk of dying by at least 65%. A malfunctioning seat belt may not protect you, and could increase your risk of getting hurt.

The repair

Owners will be notified about the recall starting on November 17 and Chrysler will replace the faulty seat belt retractors for free. The repair, however, is not yet available. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 2,000 vehicles are part of this Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle identification number look up tool.

Rebecca RandFCA recalls Jeep and RAM vehicles for seat belt malfunction

RAM recalls pickups for engine fire risk

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 28, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) (NYSE: FCAU)  has recalled 32,318 Ram pickups for an engine oiling issue. The recall includes:

  • 2019-2020 Ram 3500 heavy duty trucks
  • 2019-2020 Ram 4500 commercial trucks
  • 2019-2020 Ram 5500 commercial trucks

Recall summary  

The vehicles in questions are equipped with 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engines. A software problem can starve engine parts of oil as the car warms up. This could damage the engine and the related parts and cause a fire.

Risks

Car fires kill over 300 people a year on average and injure over a thousand, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Their report blames at least 20% of vehicle fires between 2009 and 2017 on equipment failures.

FCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have not received any reports of injuries or deaths resulting from the Ram software problem. 

Fire safety tips

If you suspect your engine is on fire:

  • Stop your car someplace safe. 
  • Do not open the hood. Oxygen will rush in and feed the flames. 
  • Get yourself and others away from the vehicle, at least 100 feet. 
  • Call the fire department at 911 when you are in a secure location.
  • Do not return to the vehicle for any reason.

The repair

The fix is a free software update that a dealer will upload to your vehicle. The new software will make sure that plenty of oil is sent to the engine as the car warms up. The repair should take less than half a day, and is currently available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 32,000 vehicles are included in this Fiat Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandRAM recalls pickups for engine fire risk

Fiat-Chrysler recalls Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500s with stalling risk

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 14, 2020 – Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) has recalled 58,016 SUVs and pickup trucks that may stall on the road. The recall includes:

  • 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs
  • 2014-2018 Ram 1500 pickup trucks

Recall summary  

The recall stems from an issue inside these vehicles’ diesel engines. The car uses a magnet-coated wheel to keep the engine in sync. The magnetic material, however, may chip off, causing the engine to get out-of-sync and stall. 

Fiat-Chrysler started looking into the issue in March. As of July 31, Chrysler had identified 13 customer complaints (which Fiat-Chrysler calls “CAIRs”), 1,020 warranty claims, and six field reports related to these failing magnetic wheels. 

Risks

Stalling in moving traffic can raise the risk of crashes, injuries, or worse. Vehicles may not be able to react in time and could ram a stalled car from behind. Even if the driver safely gets to the shoulder, they are still at risk of being hit. 

If your car stalls, turn on the emergency hazard lights. If you can do so safely, try to shift into neutral and maneuver your car to the side of the road. Call  your roadside assistance provider and be sure to stay in the car. The shoulder is very  dangerous for pedestrians.

The repair

Fiat-Chrysler will offer a free software update that will keep the car from stalling in the case that the magnetic wheel is damaged. Chrysler will notify owners of the recall on October 2. The repair should take less than half a day.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 58,000 vehicles are part of this Chrysler recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandFiat-Chrysler recalls Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500s with stalling risk

Chrysler recalls 8,933 Fiat Spider 124 vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions

Laguna Hills, CA – March 11, 2019 – Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017-2019 Fiat Spider 124 vehicles equipped with Aisin Rear Wheel Drive automatic transmissions. Because of incorrect programming within the transmission control module, certain conditions may cause the vehicle to downshift without warning and abruptly slow down.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, incorrectly programmed transmission control modules may cause vehicles to unexpectedly downshift and suddenly decelerate under certain conditions. Electrical noise in the range signal may be detected while driving in Drive mode (including “Manual” mode). Due to inappropriate control logic of the clutch control software in the transmission control module, this signal noise may cause the vehicle to unexpectedly downshift, causing an abrupt deceleration of the drive wheels. This would negatively affect directional stability, increasing the risk of lost control and potentially causing a vehicle crash without prior warning.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 22, 2019, Chrysler first became aware of another automaker encountering a comparable issue with its vehicles. Mazda had announced its intention to announce a voluntary safety recall on a similar vehicle, and subsequently conducted a field action to remedy the problem.

Chrysler had not received any field reports or warranty claims as of Jan. 29, reporting that it was unaware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to this issue. Nevertheless, on that date, Chrysler’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

Beginning March 27, Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update the transmission control module software free of charge.

Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V20. 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 19V068000.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls 8,933 Fiat Spider 124 vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions

Chrysler Fiat Automobiles Recalls 12,000 Vehicles Over Powertrain Problem

United States – August 26, 2018 – According to Consumer Reports, in a recent string of recalls, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a recall of 12,779 vehicles.

Various Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and Ram SUVs and cars are involved in this particular recall, which is for a faulty part in the powertrain system.

The defect

Due to the powertrain system having a potentially broken or a wrongly manufactured circuit board, the problem can connect directly to stalling and starting the vehicle.

This is on the drivetrain and does not include the main engine of the car. Powertrain systems are in both manual and automatic vehicles and include transmission, drive shafts and differentials components.

Specifically, inside the circuit board, there is a voltage regular chip that helps control some of the automating controlling and driving of the cars. When this fails, the cars will not start or will stall out after being turned on via ignition.

When vehicles stall unexpectedly, there is a risk of an accident or injury from a crash. Issues with starting vehicles can cause drivers to be stranded or without a working car.

Of more than 12,000 vehicles affected, the list includes:

  • 2018 Jeep Renegade
  • 2018 Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Ram 1500
  • Ram ProMaster
  • Fiat 500x
  • Dodge Journey
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Durango
  • Chrysler 300x
  • 2018 – 2019 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2018 – 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2018 – 2019 Chrysler Town and Country vehicles
  • 2018 – 2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2018 – 2019 Chrysler Pacifica vehicles

Timeline of events

The recall is expected to officially begin September 28 of this year to solve the ignition problem. FCA states they will replace the powertrain control module free of charge for consumers and dealerships.

Also this month, FCA recalled similar 2018 – 2019 Jeep and Dodge models for brake fluid issues. More than 200,000 vehicles were included in this recall, which required brake fluid to be replaced complimentary to avoid potential bigger issues with the systems. Breaking and steering issues are imperative to fix immediately, due to the higher risks of crashes involved.

In June, a woman in Ohio claimed to have a steering issue with her Jeep, causing it to lockup while she was operating her car. However, FCA and Jeep spokespeople said her particular car did not fall under any current recall.

Alongside the recent recalls, FCA is facing some issues in court as well. According to the Detroit Free Press, Alphons Iacobelli, a former vice president of employee relations for FCA, is facing charges of embezzlement.

The company took funds allocated for worker trainers and used them for extraordinary perks, trips and bonuses instead.

Seven other higher-ups have already been convicted and charged in the scandal. The Justice Department and other government entities may be looking further into investigations that could cost FCA millions, if not billions, in court fees and fines.

However, further actions are speculative due to FCA being incorporated in the Netherlands and the charges happening in the U.S.

The solution

Chrysler announced plans to directly notify owners. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reference number for this recall campaign is 18V524.

To check if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesChrysler Fiat Automobiles Recalls 12,000 Vehicles Over Powertrain Problem

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.

MotorSafety.orgChrysler recalls vehicles with faulty wiring

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective software

Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 21, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler has recalled more than 25,000 vehicles with incorrectly calibrated software. The recall affects Fiat 500L compact cars produced between March 6, 2013 and Oct. 21, 2014, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The Defect

Models named in the recall are equipped with incorrectly calibrated powertrain control module software, which has been shown to limit engine capabilities. Drivers have experienced instances in which their vehicles will only idle even when the accelerator is fully engaged. Many have been able to regain normal operation after depressing and then releasing the gas pedal, but this can make it difficult to maintain consistent speeds when navigating roadways. This can increase the likelihood of an accident, though no crashes or injuries have yet been connected to this defect.

Timeline of Events

  • On June 14, 2014, engineers at Fiat Chrysler discovered the issue after updating the PCM software on newly produced 500L models, according to the NHTSA. Roughly one month later, the automaker initiated an investigation and ultimately correlated the problem to faulty accelerator calibration. In September, production staff implemented new gas pedal assemblies to improve accelerator calibration.
  • On Dec. 2, 2016, Fiat Chrysler received a field report that indicated diminished drivability among 500L models. The car company launched an investigation and reviewed the performance data included in the field report. Seven days later, engineers determined that accelerator calibration was once again to blame. On Dec. 14, engineers developed revised calibration standards, which were finally published Feb. 6, 2017.
  • On Feb. 10, Fiat Chrysler’s Technical Service Organization issued a service bulletin outlining proposed PCM software updates for 500L models. The car company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group reviewed the draft document and outlined risk factors associated with the vehicle, including delayed throttle response and vehicle hesitation. Six days later, the VSRC launched an investigation into the 500L, and after an initial data review upgraded the inquiry Feb. 21.
  • On March 2, VSRC notified the Fiat Chrysler home office in Italy and continued to review field reports and other data. By March 6, the group had seen 35 warranty claims, 16 computerized accident reports and 13 field reports related to the defect. On March 9, Fiat Chrysler connected with NHTSA to review the investigation. On March 16, the car maker decided to initiate a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler is expected to request that dealers update the PCM software on affected models. The car company will reimburse owners for the repair. However, owners must submit service receipts or alternative proof of payment following the update. Both owners and dealers will receive official notifications May 5, 2017.

MotorSafety.orgChrysler recalls vehicles with defective software