FCA recalls vehicles with defective fire extinguishers

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Jan. 22, 2017 – Chrysler Fiat Automobiles has recalled more than 62,000 vehicles believed to contain defective fire extinguishers, according to documents submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Per an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document, the campaign affects numerous models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
  • 2014-2016 Chrysler Town and Country minivans.
  • 2007 Dodge Caliber sedans.
  • 2009 Dodge Challenger sports cars.
  • 2017 Dodge Charger sports cars.
  • 2015-2016 Dodge Dart sedans.
  • 2004 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles.
  • 2014-2016 Dodge Caravan minivans.
  • 2014 Dodge Journey sport utility vehicles.
  • 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles.
  • 2017 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles.
  • 2011 Jeep Patriot sport utility vehicles.
  • 2012 and 2015 Ram 1500 pickup trucks.
  • 2013-2018 Ram 2500 pickup trucks.
  • 2012-2018 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks.
  • 2014-2017 Ram Promaster and Promaster City pickup trucks.

FCA believes 100 percent of the vehicles named in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

The models referenced in the action come equipped with miniature fire extinguishers prone to clogging or breakage due to defective lever and valve assemblies. These items pose a serious threat to owners, especially those involved in accidents where gasoline ignition is likely to occur. That said, FCA has yet to receive reports linking the defective components to any injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Nov. 3, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group learned that fire extinguishers supplied by Walter Kidde Portable Equipment were defective. The FCA Global Regulatory Compliance compared the items to a roster of Kidde fire extinguishers involved in an earlier U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall and found multiple matches. The automotive conglomerate then retrieved samples of the defective products and sent them to specialists at FCA U.S. Engineering and Mopar, an FCA-owned autoparts organization.

Between Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, analysts at Mopar reviewed the parts and found that production teams were installing them in multiple models across a number of brands. At the same time, the VSRC group launched an investigation into the parts and began evaluating the vehicle populations containing them. On Nov. 10, FCA initiated a yard hold in an effort to stop the production and shipment of vehicles equipped with the Kidde fire extinguishers. Ten days later, an investigator with the VSRC group started combing through historical parts and production information with timestamps dating back to 1973.  Over the next three weeks, employees for FCA U.S. Engineering, Mopar and the VSRC group reviewed individual part identification codes and associated vehicle identification numbers to understand the breadth of the impact of the defect.

On Dec. 18, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA intends to swap the defective fire extinguishers installed in affected vehicles for new models with metal valves that prevent clogging. The automotive company plans to notify both dealers and owners Feb. 2, 2018. individuals in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service at (855) 271-0773. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T82. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Jeep Compasses recalled over instrument panel lighting

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Dec. 15, 2017 – Chrysler recently issued a recall of nearly 26,000 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles from the 2017 and 2018 model years over concerns related to the photo sensor calibrations that may lead to the instrument panel not lighting up during day-to-night transitions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Federal vehicle safety standards require that backlighting for dashboard panels come with at least two brightness settings, but this issue means some Compasses may not meet that standard. Moreover, the dimmer settings on the dashboard panel will not be able to manually override the setting, putting the vehicles out of compliance with federal standards.

In all, about 10 percent of the Compasses in the recall – all produced between July 29 and Sept. 11, 2017 – are expected to carry this defect.

The Defect

Specifically, an investigation found two engineering changes made to the light sensors’ calibrations affected its ability to allow the dashboard panel lighting to transition properly from day mode to night mode. That means that when drivers are operating the vehicle late in the afternoon or before dawn, the dashboard panels might not dim properly as natural light fades.

That issue, in turn, may lead to reduced driver visibility and a higher risk of crash or injury.

Chrysler was able to identify many of the vehicles affected by the issue using part traceability.

Timeline of Events

In mid-October 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration informally asked Chrysler to investigate a complaint about an inability to dim a Compass’s instrument panel cluster. Five days later, the company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization started that investigation after reviewing a number of similar complaints and records, and in doing so identified the engineering changes that affected the dimmer.

The same day, Chrysler and the supplier of the parts in question reviewed the light sensor performance to determine just how widespread the issue might have been, then began a thorough search of part numbers and vehicle ID numbers to determine the plants from which these problems may have arisen.

By Oct. 31, Chrysler and the supplier reviewed a sample field return of the panel cluster, and on Nov. 31, Chrysler’s Vehicle Regulations Committee determined it would initiate a recall.

The Solution

Chrysler plans to reimburse owners for any costs they incur – or have already incurred – repairing the issues in the recall, and asks Compass owners send the original receipt or other proof of payment to confirm the cost.

On Nov. 21, Chrysler announced it would notify both dealers and owners of the recall on Jan. 10, 2018.

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Chrysler recalling nearly 27,000 Jeep Compasses

 

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Dec. 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler USA recently announced the recall of 26,971 Jeep Compasses from the 2018 model year, over concerns that there may be loose inflator mounting nuts in the passenger airbag module assembly.

Specifically, it is believed that a small number of the 2018 Compasses were manufactured outside of specification, with some vehicles having a box of inflator mounting nuts kept above the module assembly area before the airbag inflator was installed. In those instances, nuts could be resting within the airbag assembly and, in case of a crash and airbag deployment, those nuts could become projectiles and significantly increasing the potential for injury.

It’s expected that this defect impacts only about 1 percent of the vehicles in the recall, and all of them were produced between Sept. 4 and Nov. 19, 2017.

The Defect

The issue was first noticed when Chrysler’s Supplier Quality Engineering organization noted a rattle inside the instrument panel of one of the vehicles that would later be recalled. That prompted an investigation, which determined that with the box resting above the assembly area, it was possible for loose nuts to fall into module assembly due to its having multiple openings.

In the event of a crash in which the airbags deploy, it’s possible that these nuts would be launched at high velocity toward an occupant, even through the cushion of the airbag itself.

Timeline of Events

Chrysler’s SQE reported the initial concern about the rattling in the instrument panel on in early November, prompting an investigation from the company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization. Once the cause of the potential issue was determined within the manufacturing process, it was discovered that five airbag module assemblies – all produced between Oct. 20 and Nov. 2, 2017 – were found to have loose mounting nuts inside. Of those five, two of the assemblies had the nuts outside the fabric of the airbag itself.

Then, on Nov. 17, the company determined it would conduct a recall of the affected vehicles.

The Solution

Chrysler is conducting a voluntary recall to replace all the airbag module assemblies for the vehicles in the recall, and will reimburse drivers for any repair costs they incur getting the airbag problem remedied. It asks that any proof of payment, such as the receipt for the transaction, be forwarded to the company.

The automaker announced in late November that it would notify both dealers and vehicle owners of the recall on Jan. 10, 2018.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective oil pump housings

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Nov. 30, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 350 vehicles potentially equipped with defective oil pump housings, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles produced on Sept. 11, 2017 and Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles produced between Sept. 9, 2017 and Sept. 28, 2017. FCA estimates that just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action possess the defective features.

The Defect

The affected models include 2.4 liter engines that were constructed using cracked oil pump housings that are prone to failure. Should failure occur, the vehicle engine will stall without warning. This poses a serious safety threat to owners as an unexpected stall could result in a collision. That said, FCA has not received any reports connecting the defective feature to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 13, 2017, an oil pump supplier collaborating with FCA notified that company that cracks had been discovered in the housing for multiple oil pumps. Two days later, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance committee launched an investigation into the matter, which engineers at assembly plants in Toluca, Mexico and Belvedere, Illinois had independently confirmed via separate Product Related Issue reports.

Throughout September and October, FCA confirmed the existence of the defective components in finished vehicles through production inspections and parts data. On Oct. 5, the automaker finished gathering data and submitted the evidence to the Vehicle Regulations Committee, which decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall Oct. 17. FCA notified dealers Oct. 24.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has directed dealers to inspect and replace the oil pump housing assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. FCA plans to notify owners on or around Dec. 13. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T65. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective occupant restraint features

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Nov. 3, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 414,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective occupant restraint controllers, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2012 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles manufactured between June 17, 2011 and Aug. 16, 2012.
  • 2012-2013 Chrysler 200 midsize sedans produced between June 25, 2011 and Jan. 15, 2012.
  • 2012-2013 Dodge Avenger midsize sedans produced between June 25, 2011 and Jan. 15, 2012.

FCA speculates that approximately 5 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain defective parts.

The Defect

The models referenced in the action may come equipped with damaged ORC assemblies that are prone to jumper resistor failure, a condition that materializes following prolonged electrical overstress. ORC shutdown may cause the active headrests in affected vehicles to malfunction. This poses a serious risk to occupants involved in collisions, as the lack of AHR support may increase the likelihood of cranial concussion. That said, FCA has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective ORC assemblies to any accidents or injuries.

The air bag warning light normally illuminates in vehicles with defective ORC assemblies.

Timeline of Events

On July 2, 2013, FCA launched a voluntary safety recall for 2012 Jeep Liberties, 2012-2013 Chrysler 200s and 2012-2013 Dodge Avengers, after discovering that these vehicles contained integrated power modules that were causing ORC failure and inhibiting AHR operation, according to a chronology document. Dealers reprogrammed the TIPM units in these models to address both issues. Almost four years later on May 16, 2017, the NHTSA contacted FCA and notified the company of several driver complaints referencing the three models included in the 2013 recall. These reports described instances in which the air bag warning light turned on with no clear explanation, apparently indicating some safety feature malfunction. On May 19, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an investigation into the reports. One day later, the auto conglomerate ordered parts from the field for analysis. The NHTSA opened a concurrent inquiry June 1.

Throughout June and August, FCA received 13 ORC assemblies from the vehicles mentioned in the initial NHTSA reports. In July, the car company determined that at least two parts showed signs of jumper resistor failure due to electrical overstress. On Aug. 11, FCA engineers pinpointed a third part that ceased working following overstress and on Oct. 2, they encountered a fourth problematic component. Two days later, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee determined that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.

As of Sept. 29, FCA has received 122 vehicle owner questionnaires, 367 customer assistance inquiry requests and 2,453 warranty claims related to defective ORC equipment.

The Solution

FCA intends to direct dealers to replace the ORC assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document submitted to the NHTSA. The vehicle manufacturer will notify both dealers and owners on or about Nov. 29. The latter should expect to receive word from FCA via first-class mail. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T56. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective break booster shields

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Oct. 5, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 646,000 vehicles potentially equipped with improperly installed brake booster shields, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2011-2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Jan. 5, 2010 to Sept. 8, 2013. FCA estimates that roughly 41 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles may include incorrectly installed brake booster shields that do not effectively divert water away from the critical drivetrain features they are intended to protect. This increases the likelihood of brake booster corrosion and could lead to freezing in particularly cold environments. Both of these phenomena are capable of reducing vehicle stopping power, which poses a serious risk to occupants. FCA has not received reports connecting the defective fixtures to any injuries. However, the automaker has received one report correlating the defect to an accident.

Drivers encountering braking issues stemming from ineffective brake booster shields will see their dash warning lights illuminate and experience abnormal resistance when compressing the brake pedal. In some cases, the anti-lock brake system may activate.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 18, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an internal investigation into field reports detailing customer complaints surrounding brake booster shield assemblies installed as part of an earlier recall, according to NHTSA documents. In February, engineers began evaluating approximately 20 brake boosters returned for further inspection. Between Feb. 23 and March 14, the third-party parts supplier responsible for fabricating the fixtures performed its own tests. On March 14, the NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center performed an independent evaluation and found that the returned brake boosters passed vacuum tests but failed to do so when brake assist was activated. The agency sent the results of this trial to FCA approximately seven days later.

FCA collaborated with the NHTSA and its supplier to conduct numerous other brake booster tests throughout April, May, June and early July. On July 6, NHTSA officials performed a road test with a vehicle equipped with returned brake boosters. The testers also adjusted brake leak rates to simulate different levels of corrosion. The vehicle used in the trial exceeded Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements. However, during a post-run physical evaluation, the NHTSA officials noticed that brake booster water shields had been installed incorrectly. Five days later, the agency contacted FCA and requested that it examine all of the returned parts to determine the frequency of these incorrectly installed features. The NHTSA also asked the car company to conduct an accompanying field investigation.

On July 18, FCA reported that 12 of the remaining returned brake boosters in its possession included incorrectly installed water shields. It also found that of the 117 vehicles used in its field study, 41 percent had these parts. On July 27, FCA conducted an additional test which involved incorrectly installing brake booster water shields on a production vehicle, spraying it with water and letting it sit in an enclosed chamber with a temperature of -20 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours. During a post-spray drive, the vehicle displayed reduced pedal functionality, requiring 22 to 24 pounds-per-square-foot of power to depress. This reading was well outside of the FMVSS-approved range of 4-16 psf.

FCA reported the results of the cold-chamber test to the FCA Aug. 8 and three days later assembled an internal committee to discuss further evaluations. The automaker performed another cold-chamber trial Aug. 23 and saw results similar to those collected during the first test. It conducted another evaluation three days later and again saw similarly problematic results. The pedals in the vehicle used in the trial required 22 to 28 psf of compression power. FCA reviewed these and other test results over the course of late August and early September.

On Sept. 11, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee determined that the defect posed a serious safety hazard to owners and issued a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to re-install the brake booster water shields in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document. The car company plans to notify dealers and owners Nov. 7. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can reach out the Chrysler customer service personnel at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T59. Owners can also contact the NHTSA via the agency’s 24-hour Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Recall MastersChrysler recalls vehicles with defective break booster shields

Chrysler recalls vehicles with non-compliant labeling

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 26, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 22,000 vehicles potentially equipped with noncompliant tire and rim labels, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017-2018 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Feb. 27, 2017 to Aug. 10, 2017. The car company suspects that 100 percent of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective labels.

The Defect

Affected vehicles likely have tire and rim labels that fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110, which stipulates that all road-worthy models include labeling showing the “size designation and, if applicable, the type designation of rims (not necessarily those on the vehicle) appropriate for the tire appropriate for use on that vehicle, including the tire installed as original equipment on the vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer,” according to the Government Publishing Office. The vehicles named in the recall feature wheels and tires that do not contain the proper information, which may lead to the installation of noncompliant tires or wheels, and therefore increase the likelihood of an accident.

However, FCA has yet to receive field reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Aug. 10, 2017, the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group received an internal report from the Information and Communication Technology division indicating that some 2017-2018 Jeep Cherokee vehicles originating from the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois had rolled off the line with tire and wheel labels meant for passenger cars, rather than multipurpose models. Officials from the FCA VSRC group immediately reached out to the Quality Center Manager at the BVAP facility, who confirmed the existence of the issue and attributed it to a printing error. QA personnel at the plant instituted a yard hold to prevent noncompliant vehicles from departing.

On Aug. 24, after reviewing production logs for the BVAP plant and confirming non-compliance with FMVSS 110, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee called for a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the certification labels in affected vehicles free of charge. The car manufacturer plans to notify both dealers Oct. 20, according to documents filed with the NHTSA. The company will notify owners via first-class mail on or about that same day. Those in need of more immediate assistance leading up to the official recall date can contact Chrysler customer service personnel at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T53. Owners can also reach out directly to the NHTSA via the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls Jeeps with noncompliant software [Video]

Hello, and welcome to another vehicle recall update.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than three thousand sport utility vehicles suspected to contain instrument control panel software that violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The campaign affects two-thousand-seventeen Jeep Renegade models. F-C-A suspects 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective software.

The models named in the campaign are equipped with I-P-C software that causes malfunction indicators to illuminate when no mechanical problems are present. This violates F-M-V-S-S standard 101, which stipulates that warning lights should only shine when actual engine issues occur.

F-C-A has directed dealers to update the software in all affected Jeep Renegades, free of charge. The car company plans to contact owners on or about September sixteenth, two-thousand and seventeen.

Stay tuned for more breaking news on vehicle recalls!

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Chrysler recalls Jeeps with defective software

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Aug. 25, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled more than 3,000 sport utility vehicles possibly equipped with defective instrument control panel software, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Jeep Renegade SUVs manufactured between June 1, 2017 and July 20, 2017. FCA estimates that 100 percent of the models referenced in the recall contain the defective equipment.

The Defect

The vehicles involved in the campaign could be equipped with ICP software that causes warning lights to illuminate even when no engine problems are present. A newly installed integrated circuit chip system is believed to be the root cause of the error, which renders the affected models noncompliant under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 101. The rule states that indicator signals “must not emit light except when identifying the malfunction or vehicle condition [they are] designed to indicate,” according to the NHTSA.

The defective ICP software creates a serious safety hazard, as drivers could be unaware of actual mechanical issues or other problems that may lead to breakdowns or accidents. However, FCA has yet to receive any reports connecting the problematic software with accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On July 19, 2017, engineers at FCA pinpointed an ICP software error during production and immediately opened an investigation, as they believed the flaw put the affected vehicles in violation of FMVSS 101. Two days later, officials from the FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance examined evidence of the software error – video footage, in this case – and compared the issue to the functional requirements set out in the FMVSS. The internal group then connected with individuals from FCA Italy and expressed to them the opinion that the software did indeed pose a serious safety hazard and was in violation of FMVSS 101.

On July 26, FCA chose to conduct an official safety recall. The automaker notified dealers Aug. 2.

The Solution

The car company has directed dealers to update the ICP software in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement filed with the NHTSA. FCA is intends to notify owners via first-class mail on or about Sept. 16, 2017. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service at (800) 853-1403 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Chrysler recalls vehicles with damaged alternator diodes

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled an estimated 442,214 vehicles potentially equipped with damaged alternator diodes, according to a company press release. The campaign affects a variety of models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2011-2014 Chrysler 300 sedans
  • 2011-2014 Two-door Dodge Challenger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Four-door Dodge Charger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles
  • 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles

Approximately 318, 781 of the vehicles originated from U.S. dealers, while 37,504 are circulating the Canadian and Mexican markets. The remaining 85, 292 are outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement zone. FCA estimates 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective part, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Administration.

The Defect

Vehicles named in the recall are suspected to contain alternators with diodes susceptible to thermal fatigue failure stemming from overstressed electric hydraulic power steering systems. In the event of a diode failure, the alternator ceases supplying the engine with electricity, leading to the unexpected loss of multiple features, including the antilock braking system, the electronic stability control system and the engine control module. In some cases, the vehicle my cease operation entirely. The diodes can also short circuit and cause fire, heat and smoke to rise from the engine.

FCA has received reports of two accidents related to the faulty diodes. However, the car company has yet to receive notification of any injuries connected to the defect.

Timeline of Events

FCA has not released details into the internal investigation that uncovered the problem. The company is expected to notify dealers on or around Aug. 24.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the alternators in affected vehicles, free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document filed with the NHTSA. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail on or around Aug. 24. However, those in need of more immediate assistance can contact the FCA U.S. Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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