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

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.

adminFCA Recalls Vehicles for Defective Tire Pressure Warning System

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