Jeep recalls vehicles with incorrect jump-starting information

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 7, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nearly 13,000 vehicles containing user guides with inaccurate jump-starting instructions, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicles produced between Oct. 17, 2016 and April 28, 2017. FCA estimates 100 percent of the models named in the recall are equipped with the faulty information.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain user guides with inaccurate jump-starting instructions. These flawed reference materials feature an image of the Jeep Compass battery terminal with reversed polarities. This not only confuses owners in need of assistance, but also creates a serious safety hazard, as attaching jump starting cables in the manner shown in the instructions may produce a dangerous electrical charge. However, the FCA has not received reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the inaccurate user guides.

Timeline of Events

On May 31, an FCA supplier reported that the user guides installed in some 2017 Jeep Compass models might contain inaccurate information. The car company’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group immediately launched an investigation into the supposed issue. Roughly one week later, FCA engineers reviewed the user guides and confirmed that the instructions did indeed contain an error. The VSRC group then initiated an internal review in search of customer complaints, injury reports or warranty claims connected to the defective user guides. This review ultimately uncovered one customer complaint mentioning the inaccurate materials.

On June 30, the FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee reviewed the findings and recommended an immediate voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

FCA will order dealers to distribute accurate user guides containing correct jump-starting directions. The automaker has pledged to reimburse owners for the amended instructions, provided they can submit proof of purchase in the form of a receipt or other documentation. FCA plans to notify dealers and owners Aug. 21, 2017. Individuals in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service at (800) 853-1403 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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In May Jeep recalls, 2017 Compass could have axle faults

 

Auburn Hills, Mich.—May 22, 2017—Structural issues have led to a new Jeep recall this month, with drivers at possible risk of their vehicles suddenly slowing or failing to park. According to CNet, the recall isn’t scheduled to begin until next month but could affect 1,178 Compass vehicles with the model year of 2017.

The Defect

The source said that these vehicles may not have axles in the correct place, potentially leading to transmission connection problems. Though it could manifest in different ways, the axle that fails to connect with the rest of the transmission could make it difficult to operate the vehicle normally, making basic functions involving the car difficult.

Timeline of Events

  • February 2017: The 2017 Jeep Compass first became available for sale, according to Forbes.
  • May 2017: Inventory availability increased, the source said, while the CNet piece appeared on May 22.
  • June 2017: CNet said this was when the recall itself would actually take place, sometime around June 23.

The Resolution

Before the fix even happens, owners can try engaging the parking brake, since this is not affected by the issue prompting recall. For a long term solution, dealers plan to replace any defective half-shafts in these vehicles to offset the risk of disengagement. The problem is specifically said to be with the “left front half-shaft,” CNet said. Cars.com confirmed that the recall won’t cost owners.

An earlier article from the same source mentioned a December recall launched for a different reason. Some 2016 Jeep Compass models were part of a larger recall that affected a total of 43,000 vehicles from the same year, including other brands, such as Dodge. In addition to stalling, these vehicles could have possibly experienced instrument cluster errors, due to camshaft or crankshaft connector issues.

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Family of Anton Yelchin suing FCA [Video]

St. Petersburg, FL – Nov. 15, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group is being sued for both negligence and product liability by the family of late actor Anton Yelchin, according to Automotive News. On June 19, his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away unexpectedly and pinned him against a gate, ultimately resulting in his death. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1.1 million other vehicles are currently under recall for a defect in the shifter that causes drivers to think a vehicle is in park when it is not. Gary Dordick, the family attorney, told variety that the actor received a recall letter from F-C-A for his Grand Cherokee about a week after he died.

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Takata Airbags In Jeeps Leads To Recall

Fiat Chrysler has announced the recall of certain Jeep Cherokee vehicles after a problem was discovered that could prevent airbags from properly inflating. Takata Corporation, the maker of these airbags, has already been involved in a major safety recall.

The Defect

Some 2017 Jeep Cherokees manufactured between Oct. 13, 2016 and Oct. 17, 2016 may have improper welds on the driver’s knee airbag inflator. During a crash, these defects could stop the airbags from opening and protecting the driver.

Timeline

Sept. 24, 2016 – The Tier 2 ARC Automotive Inc. KAB inflators were produced. Maintenance was done on the optical lens covers of the welders used on the inflators.

Oct. 14, 2016 – The Takata Corporation reported two inflator failures in tests.

Oct. 17, 2016 – Takata notified Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Supplier Quality that some inflators had been welded improperly.

Oct. 18, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Suppliers Quality told Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance that an investigation would be needed.

Oct. 18-24, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, Takata and ARC considered their immediate response, as well as correctives that could be taken in the long term to address this issue and prevent the problem from spreading to additional parts.

Oct. 23, 2016 – Takata made plans to keep inflators and ensure that they are all validated before being shipped out.

Oct. 24, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US determined that it would be best to issue a voluntary recall.

Resolution

Fiat Chrysler will conduct a voluntary recall on all affected vehicles in order to replace the defective inflators. The company also plans to reimburse drivers for any expenses associated with repairing this problem on their own.

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Burning a Jeep With a Phone

St. Petersburg, FL – Oct. 20, 2016 – A Galaxy Note 7 was responsible for burning a Jeep Cherokee down to the ground in St. Petersburg, Florida. The owners of the vehicle left the Samsung smartphone on the charger while unloading a desk from the back of the vehicle in to their home. Earlier that day, they had been in the Jeep with their daughter and service dog taking a tour of garage sales all over town. After the Florida family got their new desk inside, they headed back outside to run some more of the day’s errands. But instead of climbing back into their Jeep Cherokee, the family was left shocked standing in front of a pile of smoke and ash.

Samsung sent a statement to Fox 13, the St. Petersburg affiliate, that read:

“We are aware of the incident and we are working with Mr. Dornacher to investigate his case and ensure we do everything we can for him. Consumer safety is Samsung’s highest priority. With regard to the Galaxy Note7, we are asking owners to take advantage of the Product Exchange Program announced on Friday of last week. The program offers Note7 owners the opportunity to exchange the phone for a new one. More details on the program can be found at http://www.samsung.com/us/note7exchange/.”

The Defect

Luckily for Jeep, all evidence obtained through investigations have pointed to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the reason for the fire, not any component of the Jeep. Unfortunately for the Florida family, they are out a Jeep and smartphone. The problem stemmed from severe overheating of the Samsung device. Although Samsung refers to incidents in vague terms of safety hazards, there have been multiple reports of the phones exploding and catching fire.

Timeline Of Events and Responses

Samsung announced the release of their latest smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, on August 2, 2016. The phones were shipped to customers on August 19, 2016, according to CNN. Although the device began to rack up positive reviews from technology critics, a major problem occurred not long after its release: 35 customers complained about the battery after the phone exploded while left on the charger. So far, Samsung has issued recalls in the U.S. as well as South Korea. Though the phones have been sold in China as well, Samsung says those devices are safe from the defect. The batteries used on those smartphones were manufactured by a different company. On Monday, September 5, 2016, the Dornachers went garage sale shopping around the area of St. Petersburg, Florida, near their home. They purchased a desk and transferred it from the hatch of their Jeep Cherokee to the inside of their house – they left a Samsung Galaxy charging in the vehicle. Due to an overheating problem with the device, it exploded and caught the Jeep on fire.

The Solution

The good news for Jeep owners is that there is no recall for the vehicles in regards to this matter. But if you own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it’s a good idea to follow the recall instructions from Samsung.

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Fiat Chrysler Moves Away from Takata Air Bags for Jeeps

Auburn Hills, Mich. — August 26, 2016 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is officially halting the use of certain Takata air bag inflators in its new Jeeps. These inflators are the subject of an ongoing and extensive recall, which has affected millions of vehicles and resulted in multiple deaths. While FCA said that it isn’t aware of any failures, it will cease including these models in newer vehicles.

According to a press release from the source, the manufacturer will identify unsold vehicles that use these devices. Around 6,300 of the components were subjected to tests and proved stable, even in “potentially problematic environmental conditions.”

As with the other inflators involved in the Takata air bag recalls, the FCA has previously used “nondesiccated ammonium-nitrate” units, which could degrade in certain conditions. However, the source said that most of the American FCA vehicles “employ alternate propellants.” The last vehicle from the company to be produced with these inflators will be the 2016 Jeep Wrangler.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tracked completion rates for all the automakers involved in this action. As of June 17, the Fiat Chrysler recalls had led to exactly 1,097,955 air bag repairs, which is 22.7 percent of the total amount. Within this number, it has repaired 24.5 percent of driver-side air bags and 12.1 percent of passenger-side.

So far, the company with the highest completion rate is Honda, which has repaired 48.3 percent of its total air bags. Toyota is second with 30.4 percent repaired, and Nissan is third with 25 percent. Overall, the recalls have seen more than 8.8 million units repaired, most of which are driver-side units.

The NHTSA accelerated the recall May 4, addressing Takata directly and prompting it to support the new additions of as many as 40 million inflators.

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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.

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Fiat Chrysler Addresses Two New Issues in a Pair of Recalls

Auburn Hills, Mich. — June 23, 2016 — Two new voluntary Fiat Chrysler recalls will target issues in a range of different vehicles. In a pair of press releases published May 18, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles explained the conditions leading to each recall. Neither of these are connected to any known injuries or accidents, and both of them have repercussions outside of North America, although the majority of vehicles in each case are within the United States.

The first recall: Clockspring assemblies
This action concerns the systems that may prevent some Jeep Wrangler SUVs from deploying their air bags correctly. The statement said that exposure to contaminants could weaken the clockspring and interfere with the circuit that controls air bag function. Drivers are particularly at risk, since the driver-side air bag is the one that could be disabled through this action.

The SUVs featured in this recall have model years between 2007 and 2010, with an estimated 392,464 of these vehicles inside the United States. Owners may see a lit air bag warning lamp in their vehicles if the clockspring has been compromised. This condition could be especially prevalent inside vehicles used for off-roading, the source said.

Dealers will resolve the issue by modifying the steering wheel, installing a new steering-column shroud and back cover. Though no schedule was listed, the release did say that customers will receive notification once the recall progresses.

The second recall: Clutch release updates
The other recall centers around gradual changes that could hurt vital transmission functions in Fiat 500 cars with model years between 2012 and 2016, but only the models that don’t use turbocharged engines. The statement mentions that approximately 39,217 vehicles are affected by this.

Unlike the other recall, this one has some reports of damage to the vehicles involved. The source said that .01 percent of the affected cars have been damaged, according to recent investigations, and that the recall notices sent out will give customers the necessary guidance for updating their vehicles as necessary.

If left unchecked, these affected vehicles can potentially see a moving clutch, which prevents the driver from using standard manual transmission functions. No specific remedy was described in this statement.

Previous related issues
In addition to these recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration features some information about other issues that could also affect the same vehicles. One complaint about a 2016 Fiat 500 filed in September 2015 stated that a vehicle suddenly shut off while the drivers were in the middle of the highway. The anonymous driver stated that the parking brake, service engine soon and transmission lights all turned on at once after the vehicle stalled.

The Jeep Wrangler has also been subject to previous recalls similar to the most recent one. A report from May 2013 described a clockspring issue in Wrangler right-hand-drive vehicles manufactured between February 2007 and October 2011. Investigations associated with that case found that dust contamination led to circuit fatigue, a condition that may have caused steering column problems and also triggered air bag warning lights.

The initial recall acknowledgment letter for this issue referenced 5,400 potentially affected vehicles. As with the newer actions, these vehicles were at risk of air bag circuit issues that could have left occupants less safe. The chronology of this action dated back to May 2011, when the NHTSA opened its investigations. The decision to conduct an official safety recall was made that October, after months in the wake of the safety issues.

Originally, the remedy for this problem involved a steering wheel dust shield and a new clockspring, both of which the dealer was slated to replace beginning in May 2013. There were no accidents or injuries traced to this condition, either.

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Government Clarifies Jeep Hacking Vulnerability

Washington D.C. — January 27, 2016 — Concerns over whether a hacker could remotely take control of a vehicle in motion grew in 2015, but the government is trying to stem fears. Despite reports that this sort of technology could pose a serious operational hazard, officials are clarifying which brands are most at risk and which are safe from the defect.

“The issue is limited to Fiat Chrysler vehicles.”

According to the Associated Press, more than 1 million vehicles were included in Jeep and Chrysler recalls last year, which were designed to fix possible hacks that could override vehicle systems. In tests conducted by hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the manufacturer discovered that individuals could influence important systems like the brakes and transmission.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now says that the issue is limited to Fiat Chrysler vehicles. Audi, Bentley and Volkswagen vehicles that contain the same infotainment systems as the hacked Jeeps are not at risk.

In a piece for Wired published last July, Andy Greenberg explained that the central Uconnect system is what made the vehicles targets in the first place.

“All of this is possible only because Chrysler, like practically all carmakers, is doing its best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone,” he wrote. “Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of Fiat Chrysler cars, SUVs, and trucks, controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot.”

Investigation EQ 15-005 into this issue officially closed on January 4 2016. Harman International produced the vulnerable units and submitted information to the Office of Defects Investigation to help aid the review of affected units.

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FCA Recall Affects Jeep Hose Clamps

Auburn Hills, MI — January 20, 2016 — On December 23, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received report of a recall from Chrysler concerning 60,107 Jeeps from 2015. According to this statement, both Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass vehicles may contain improperly placed power steering hose retention clamps, which could trigger a fluid leak and fire risk if not corrected.

Improperly placed power steering hose retention clamps could trigger a fluid leak.

Although the risk of fire was noted as being “rare,” it nevertheless makes this a crucial act for the manufacturer to prevent possible injuries. Only one percent of the recalled vehicles are believed to suffer the defect.

The investigations into this issue began this past October, when the manufacturer decided to look closer at Compass and Patriot vehicles that had suffered fires. The fault was traced back to the hose clamp on October 21.

In the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, the NHTSA notes the purpose of the remedy program. This reflects the manufacturer’s need to “conduct a voluntary safety recall, on all affected vehicles to inspect the return power steering hose for proper placement of the hose clamp, and reposition the hose clamp as needed.”

A chronology document from the same source notes that the failures all took place when the vehicles were operating at slow speeds, 50 miles or lower. This led to the discovery that the power steering hose was the cause of the problem, confirmed by later testing.

Another series of Chrysler recalls recently affected thousands of Jeep Cherokee vehicles last month for a water leak problem that could have led to a fire risk due to electrical damage.

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