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
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