FCA Recalls Vehicles for Defective Tire Pressure Warning System

Auburn Hills, Mich. — March 7, 2017 — Fiat Chrysler Automotive, also known as FCA or Chrysler, is recalling vehicles for possible tire pressure detection concerns. As the Recall Safety Report said, all of the approximately 278 vehicles involved in the action are believed to have this problem, which are 2017 Fiat 500X models.

The Defect:

The problem springs from a possible lack of compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 138, which covers tire pressure monitoring systems. Vehicles under this recall could potentially fail to trigger their warning light for tires with low pressure. With no clear way to tell if a tire is underinflated, the driver and passengers could face a risk of crash while driving.

Timeline of Events:

  • December, 2016: Production on the affected models began on Dec. 15.
  • February, 2017: The latest production date for these models was Feb. 20. This was also the month where component manufacturer Magneti Marelli Electronics reported the noncompliance issue before FCA US Italy S.p.A agreed to conduct a voluntary recall.
  • March, 2017: The newly developed software needed for the fix was put into production, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report could be submitted.

The Resolution:

The aforementioned software should be enough to fix this issue, the source said, as FCA US plans to reimburse owners affected by these problems. The report said that both dealers and owner notification should begin “on or about” April 21, 2017. The FCA Customer Services Field Operations did send out a notice about the recall on March 10 in addition to the official NHTSA recall.

Though not directly related, a similar Hyundai recall also addressed problems with the tire pressure sensor system. In that case, the fault was in the external sensor itself, not the internal warning signal.

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Software Problems Part of New Fiat Chrysler Recall

Auburn Hills, Mich. — August 12, 2016 — Some relatively recent model year FCA vehicles could leave passengers in danger because of a wire harness problem. Autoblog recently featured a press release from the manufacturer of the 323,361 U.S. vehicles involved in the recall. These include the 2014 and 2015 Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee and other vehicles.

According to this source, affected vehicles were produced before Sept. 23, 2014. Though the vast majority of these are in the U.S., a total of 43,927 are outside of the NAFTA region, with thousands more in both Canada and Mexico.

The issue itself involves a wire-crimping problem, which could be temporarily fixed if drivers turn their vehicles on and off. The newer versions of these models will benefit from an updated harness manufacturing system.

Crimping a wire can require the right hardware. including a crimp cap or an appropriate crimping tool. The quality of the wire makes a difference, too, as it needs to match the appropriate engine system.

Last year, the 2015 Cherokee was part of multiple Jeep recalls. One of these was in December and involved a possible short circuit in the power liftgate module that may have left drivers at risk of fire. Dealers were instructed to add a water shield in an acknowledgement statement dated for December 17.

Another recent recall with the same make and model was reported in October. That action concerned Jeeps with air conditioning hose issues that could have also left the occupants at risk of fire. The solution involved replacing the hose after inspection to keep it from contacting the exhaust manifold.

MotorSafety.orgSoftware Problems Part of New Fiat Chrysler Recall

Software flaw in electric cars leads to further Fiat Chrysler recall

Detroit, MI — June 22, 2015 — A total of more than 9,000 electric vehicles from Fiat Chrysler have now reportedly been affected by a recall involving electric cars. Earlier this year, the manufacturer took action to address a systems problem that may affect the transmission functionality of Fiat 500 Battery Effective Vehicles (BEV). Transport Evolved reports that the company is expanding the original recall, the inaction of which will take effect “on or around” this upcoming July 5.

Fiat Chrysler has issued similar recalls since the car was first produced in 2013, the source notes. The fault itself traces back to an inconsistency within the vehicles’ speed monitor, which could go unnoticed until too late.

The source cites the official Safety Recall Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which says the Elective Vehicle Control Unit in some cars may shift into neutral unexpectedly, posing a risk of a crash.

As this document further elaborates, the problem was investigated this April, with errors attributed to flaws within vehicle software.
“Due to software updates, the internal vehicle speed monitor was incorrectly changed to ‘mph’ from ‘kph’ while the System Torque Monitoring Ring (‘STMR’) was not,” the report states. “This created a math error and a subsequent trouble fault code error state due to implausible torque readings.”

The manufacturer’s remedy will include both the voluntary recall and update to software in the affected vehicle systems. A planned dealer notification is scheduled for June 27, and owners will be notified soon.
Ensuring an effective recall, especially one that includes more vehicles than originally planned, lays out a path for dealers and owners to follow as potentially hazardous features are corrected and consumers kept safe, no matter how long the entire process ends up taking.

MotorSafety.orgSoftware flaw in electric cars leads to further Fiat Chrysler recall

Fiat limp home problem could lead to stalling

Detroit, MI — April 15, 2015 — Electric cars are attractive to some consumers because they are energy efficient, but owners need to be on the lookout for important messages about possible flaws. One recent recall from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles attempts to respond to a software-related issue in thousands of its Fiat 500 electric vehicles that concerns the associated “limp home mode.”

For those that don’t use an electric car, limp mode is a special setting designed to give a car with low energy enough power to get to a safe place where the battery can be recharged. The problem addressed in this recall arises in certain models that can’t process the limp mode command due to software compatibility issues.

Instead of switching modes, the afflicted cars, manufactured between 2012 and 2014 could suddenly shut down, leaving drivers vulnerable to an accident if they are on the road at the time. The Car Connection reports that this fault doesn’t affect other important vehicle systems, like steering and brakes, and that cycling through the ignition multiple times should reset the system to normal.

A total of 5,600 vehicles were addressed in this recall, and dealers will fix the chance of a sudden shutdown by updating the relevant software. Although the recall has been announced, it won’t officially take place until halfway through next month, which is when owners can expect to stop receiving notices from the manufacturer.

On the surface, a software problem could sound relatively innocuous, but in the wrong circumstances they may be far more dangerous to the consumer. Recall notices that are effectively distributed give every link in the chain, from dealer to owner, some idea of what the effects of an untended flaw will be and why immediate service is necessary.

MotorSafety.orgFiat limp home problem could lead to stalling