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

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.

adminFiat Chrysler Addresses Two New Issues in a Pair of Recalls

Shifting Concerns Prompt Worldwide Dodge Charger Recall

Auburn Hills, MI — May 17, 2016 — An issue in many Fiat Chrysler autos has led to a wide-ranging recall concerning vehicle transmission systems. Drivers in these affected vehicles may put themselves at risk if they don’t fully understand what gear is currently engaged

Although there are already alerts in these cars that should signal that a vehicle is parked, the company reports that this isn’t always enough. As a result, at least 41 injuries may be traced to this issue, though a press statement insists that it is not due to any equipment failure.

The source lists three models included in the Chrysler Recalls: Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Model years range from 2012 to 2015, and the majority of the units (811,586) are in the United States. The manufacturer is making efforts to contact affected owners as needed while the recall continues. The new shift strategy will keep the vehicles from moving unexpectedly, further protecting users who don’t understand the initial suggestions.

Currently, these vehicles feature electronic indicators, including lights, to let drivers know if their vehicles are currently in park. To avoid confusion, the adjusted cars will include an automatic stop in case drivers don’t realize their car is able to start rolling away. The gear shift lever is not a reliable signal of which gear the car is using, the source stated.

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was also subject to a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statement from March 22 said that 14,768 units may contain front left brake calipers that might break. This issue was a significant risk because it could prevent drivers from stopping their vehicles early enough and leave them vulnerable to a collision.

adminShifting Concerns Prompt Worldwide Dodge Charger Recall

FCA Recalls Vehicles with Bad Brake Calipers [Video]

Detroit, MI — April 27, 2016 — Some Fiat Chrysler vehicles may have faulty brake calipers, according to a new recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began this month with reports on this latest action.

The recall includes more than 14,700 SUVs from the 2015 and 2016 model years. The left front caliper in these vehicles can fracture, the source said, making it harder for drivers to stop quickly. This can also lead to loss of brake fluid.

The manufacturer did not include a recall schedule in the original March 23 report. However, it did state that the remedy will replace calipers that may be made of weak material. The recall affects both Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles.

You can read more about Jeep and Chrysler recalls on our blog. Check out out archives for other stories involving this manufacturer. Thanks for watching!

adminFCA Recalls Vehicles with Bad Brake Calipers [Video]

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.

adminFCA Recall Affects Jeep Hose Clamps

Chrysler Recalls Jeeps for Short Circuit Potential

Auburn Hills, MI — January 07, 2016—According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,784 Jeep Cherokees with 2015 and 2016 model years are part of a new recall. Although the start date is currently unknown, a good amount of information has been revealed, including the recall number (R67) and the possible threat from water gathering on the vehicle’s control module.

If a leak were to cause this module to short circuit, the affected vehicles could potentially catch fire. To keep the module safe and reduce the chance of corrosion, the manufacturer calls for the mastic shield to be replaced with a specialized water shield. Despite this, no injuries have been reported in connection to this problem.

This remedy is meant to improve upon a previous water shield that didn’t provide enough coverage. The NHTSA features a Part 573 Recall Report that explains the way the new shield has been a response to the old one.

“The mastic water shield was designed to protect the Module from pooling water in the spare tire tub as the original investigation showed this condition as the primary source,” the document states. “As the corrective action identified in the original investigation, a water shield that fully encapsulates the Module was introduced into production on September 10, 2015.”

The recall was announced on December 9 after the manufacturer determined that a recall was the best course of action on December 1. The “fully encapsulating” water shield first began production in September and will be installed free of charge. If necessary, corroded modules and connectors will be fully replaced.

adminChrysler Recalls Jeeps for Short Circuit Potential

Older Jeep Wrangler Recall Gets an Update

Washington, DC — December 11, 2015 — In May, 2013, Chrysler Group LLC announced that it would recall 5,440 vehicles for a concern over airbag clockspring assemblies in Jeep Wranglers for model years between 2008 and 2012. To address this issue, it stated dealers would replace the spring and steering wheel dust shield for free: failing to do so could have left the airbag disabled and prevented it from deploying during an accident.

The Detroit News recently reported that this issue has not quite resolved. According to the source, the manufacturer is aware of hundreds of complaints related to this action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking into more than 628,00 vehicles, despite the previous remedies.

A memo from May of that year lists some of the factors observed in the assemblies, leading to the eventual recall.

“Some vehicles may be equipped with driver’s airbag clockspring assemblies that could experience a compromised airbag circuit resulting in an airbag lamp illumination, which indicates that the airbag may not deploy in the event of a frontal crash,” the statement said. This document went on to connect the condition to “circuit fatigue,” which stemmed from “dust contamination of the grease applied to the flexible conductor, resulting in the conductor bending unnaturally during cycling.”

The NHTSA has not officially called for more Chrysler recalls in this case, but has begun the process that could lead to it. The Detroit News states that this is instead an “engineering analysis,” and follows the preliminary investigation the agency had begun earlier this year.

adminOlder Jeep Wrangler Recall Gets an Update

Cybersecurity risks lead to new Jeep recalls [Video]

Cybersecurity concerns are a new frontier for car safety. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 7,800 vehicles to prevent them from unauthorized remote access.

According to a press release from the company, the manufacturer has already taken steps to patch software flaws that might cause problems, and has no report of any injuries or complaints. All the same, it is urging owners to implements new software updates using a USB drive. The affected 2015 Jeep Renegades contain 6.5-inch touchscreens and radios.

In addition, the company is clearly trying to distinguish this action from a previous recall for a similar issue discovered over the summer. That action, which involved vulnerabilities in the in-car internet that stoked fears of remote takeover, involved more than 1 million vehicles, including Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durango SUVs.

Thank you for watching, and make sure you check our blog for the latest recall news.

adminCybersecurity risks lead to new Jeep recalls [Video]

New recall targets Jeep wiper issues

Detroit, MI — September 1, 2015 — Although it was technically noticed on August 31, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is beginning the month of September with a new recall action concerning windshield wipers in some of its units. While this issue seems to be more of a concern for certain climates, the vehicles are being recalled from all over North America, including the United States, Canada and Mexico, with the majority of the recalls occurring within the U.S.

An Autoblog article on this case, which quotes a press release from the manufacturers in full, describes the scope of the recall, which includes a total of 158,671 vehicles in the United States alone. Altogether, the total includes more than 206,000 2014 Jeep Cherokees in all regions. More than 26,000 are located outside of the NAFTA regions in this continents, the source adds.

If drivers in these vehicles attempt to use the wipers “during dry conditions,” the wiper control module could accumulate a terminal amount of static buildup, rendering them inoperable. This poses a special risk because the loss of function could happen suddenly, surprising the driver. The release also details the steps they can take to fix the issue.

“Dealers will install a ground strap to the control module to eliminate the potential for static buildup,” it reads. “Customers will be advised when they may schedule service, which will be performed at no cost.” There have yet to be any incidents traced back to this recall.

Last month, the same manufacturer also recalled thousands of Jeep Grand Cherokees as part of a different concern over lower control arms susceptible to fractures.

adminNew recall targets Jeep wiper issues

More than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern

Detroit, MI — July 26, 2015 — Vehicle recalls can occur not just because of faulty components, but out of fears for outside attacks on vulnerable systems. According to the Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) latest recall addresses cybersecurity issues within affected vehicles that could have massively damaging consequences for owners. Dodge Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee and other vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015 reportedly have potentially dangerous software flaws in their “radios.”

While most of the recalls this blog has covered concern internal problems with defective autos, this issue is a concern because of the way it could potentially be exploited by hackers. The official recall acknowledgement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that outsiders could gain “unauthorized remote modification” of vehicle systems through these vulnerabilities.

As alarming as that may sound, there are some factors that mitigate the potential danger somewhat. For one, the manufacturer has already taken steps to prevent outsiders from accessing the vehicle, leading to real risk for only 3 percent of mobile hot spot subscribers.

The recall safety report issued for this action also emphasizes the unlikelihood that an exploit might take place, given how much knowledge is needed to put one into action. The remedy for this problem is a software update that can be downloaded to a USB drive.

“Some 2013-2015 MY vehicles equipped with RA3 or RA4 model radios have certain software security vulnerabilities which could allow unauthorized third-party access to some networked vehicle control systems,” the source says. “Exploitation of the software security vulnerabilities required extensive technical knowledge, physical access to a subject vehicle and a long period of time to write applicable code.”

Along with acknowledgment and government action, recalls should be supported through education and informative services that encourage drivers and owners to respond correctly.

Recall MastersMore than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern