EPA Has Cummins Recall 500,000 Consumer Trucks Over Emissions


U.S. – Aug. 29, 2018 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a massive voluntary recall of certain medium and large trucks and engines. According to The Daily Journal Online, roughly 500,000 models from 2010-2015 are part of this recall, though specific makes have not been made known yet. Cummins produces the engines inside of each of these vehicles.

The Defect

In certain medium to large trucks, the EPA has found a faulty emissions control system (NOx). This is a potentially dangerous emission, contributing to smog and fine particles in the air, that needs to be dispersed or controlled through special internal equipment.

Each truck in the recall has a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which controls the NOx system. The real issue is the SCR system itself, as it was found to be less durable than expected. So the emissions are not trackable in the long run and may be giving out faulty readings, saying the NOx is at an acceptable level.

For the repairs, the SCR system will be replaced so it reaches the acceptable level of the minimum full life of the truck. For instance, the medium-sized trucks are expected to last 185,000 miles, or 10 years with the replaced system. The heavy-duty trucks can be considered full-term at 435,000 or 10 years.

According to the EPA, emissions are regulated in all types of non-road and on-road vehicles. This included cars, trucks, trains, airplanes and construction equipment, to name a few. The vehicles and workable equipment need to have one of two types of gas to begin standardizing under the EPA rules – low sulfur gasoline or ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

Timeline of Events

On July 31, the official announcement was made for the voluntary recall. Bill Wehrum, EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator, said the recall was a good step in the right direction in how government and industry can work together to ensure the health of the public and environment of the world is secure.

Wehrum stated, “This is the way it’s supposed to work. Our follow-up testing seeks to make sure that pollution controls work throughout an engine’s useful life. And, if they don’t, then companies step up to set things right.”

Earlier this year, there was a similar recall announced by the EPA. About 232,000 Dodge Ram trucks and an additional 3,500 pickups for high NOx emissions.

Through regular government emission and equipment checks, the faulty SCR systems were discovered over the summer. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board found out about the problem and addressed the issue efficiently with the engine manufacturer. Cummins, the global power leader in diesel and alternative fuel engines, is partnering with the EPA over the recall, as they conducted their own tests shortly afterwards. According to the Cummins website, these engines are used in both Nissan and Dodge trucks.

The Solution

Cummins plans to contact all owners of the trucks to offer them complimentary repairs of the SCR system. They will receive instructions about when are where this can be done. Owners are encouraged to contact Cummins directly via their website or helpline: 1-800-286-6467. More information about this recall and other instigated by the EPA can be found on their recall page.

Sean ReyesEPA Has Cummins Recall 500,000 Consumer Trucks Over Emissions

Chrysler Fiat Automobiles recalls 12,000 vehicles over powertrain problem


United States – Aug. 26, 2018 – According to Consumer Reports, in a recent string of recalls, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a recall of 12,779 vehicles. Various Jeep, Dodge, Fiat, and Ram SUVs and cars are involved in this particular recall, which is for a faulty part in the powertrain system.

The Defect

Due to the powertrain system having a potentially broken or a wrongly manufactured circuit board, the problem can connect directly to stalling and starting the vehicle. This is on the drivetrain and does not include the main engine of the car. Powertrain systems are in both manual and automatic vehicles and include transmission, drive shafts and differentials components.

Specifically, inside the circuit board, there is a voltage regular chip that helps control some of the automating controlling and driving of the cars. When this fails, the cars will not start or will stall out after being turned on via ignition. When vehicles stall unexpectedly, there is a risk of an accident or injury from a crash. Issues with starting vehicles can cause drivers to be stranded or without a working car.

Of more than 12,000 vehicles affected, the list includes certain Jeep Renegade, Compass and Grand Cherokee (2018), RAM 1500 and Promaster, Fiat 500x, Dodge Journey, Challenger, Charger and Durango and Chrysler 300x vehicles; the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles (2018-2019) and the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica vehicles (2018-2019).

Timeline of Events

The recall is expected to officially begin September 28 of this year to solve the ignition problem. FCA states they will replace the powertrain control module free of charge for consumers and dealerships.

Also this month, FCA recalled similar 2018-2019 Jeep and Dodge models for brake fluid issues. More than 200,000 vehicles were included in this recall, which required brake fluid to be replaced complimentary to avoid potential bigger issues with the systems. Breaking and steering issues are imperative to fix immediately, due to the higher risks of crashes involved.

In June, a woman in Ohio claimed to have a steering issue with her Jeep, causing it to lockup while she was operating her car. However, FCA and Jeep spokespeople said her particular car did not fall under any current recall.

Alongside the recent recalls, FCA is facing some issue is court as well. According to the Detroit Free Press, Alphons Iacobelli, a former vice president of employee relations for FCA, is facing charges of embezzlement. The company took funds allocated for worker trainers and used them for extraordinary perks, trips and bonuses instead.

Seven other higher-ups have already been convicted and charged in the scandal. The Justice Department and other government entities may be looking further into investigations that could cost FCA millions, if not billions, in court fees and fines. However, further actions are speculative due to FCA being incorporated in the Netherlands and the charges happening in the U.S.

The Solution

Chrysler announced plans to directly notify owners. If auto dealerships and drivers would like more information, they can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can be reached via their website, and reference the campaign number 18V524. Costumers who would like to contact Chrysler directly in the US can call their helpline at 1-800-334-9200. For reference, the recall official number from FCA is U87.

Sean ReyesChrysler Fiat Automobiles recalls 12,000 vehicles over powertrain problem

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system


Auburn Hills, Mich. – Feb. 20, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 180,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brake transmission shift interlock modules, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple vehicles, including:

  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 13, 2018.
  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 10, 2018.
  • 2017-2018 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup trucks produced between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 24, 2018.

FCA suspects 3 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles, all of which feature column gear shifting assemblies, come with BTSI systems that prone to dysfunction after long periods of use. Specifically, the plastic housing surrounding the BTSI components swells in high temperatures and causes the locking pin to remain in open position. When this occurs, drivers are free to shift the vehicle transmission out of park without depressing the brake pedal or even switching on the car. This defect poses increases the likelihood of unintended rollaway and therefore poses a serious threat to occupants. However, FCA has not received reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee on Dec. 8, 2017, requested an internal investigation into vehicles produced after Dec. 31, 2016, suspecting that some may suffer from mechanical flaws. Roughly one month later, engineering personnel tested a BTSI solenoid by heating in an oven set to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The component reached 250 degrees Fahrenheit within five minutes, indicating that problems could development in real-world operational environments. Soon after, members of the VRC requested insight into the production processes behind the development of the BTSI housing and pin components. FCA engineers looked into the matter and found that the fabrication process had remained consistent prior to and following Dec. 31, 2016.

The VRC continued to investigate the matter throughout January 2018, opening a nationwide field review and repair order search. The latter effort yielded three reports that referenced vehicles that suffered BTSI failure and were produced after Dec. 31, 2016. Owners reported being able to shift out of park without pressing the brake pedal or turning the ignition. On Jan. 26, 2018, the VRC found two additional field reports outlining the same issue.

On Feb. 1, 2018, the VRC decided that a voluntary safety recall was required.

The Solution

FCA is currently working on a mechanical remedy, which it will offer free of charge through an owner reimbursement program. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners March 30, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can reach out to the NHTSA directly using its vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

adminChrysler recalls vehicles with defective braking system

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.

adminFCA recalls vehicles with defective fire extinguishers

Chrysler Recalls Millions of Ram Pickups over Rollaway Concerns


Auburn Hills, Michigan – Jan. 9, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced a recall of more than 1.48 million of its Dodge Ram pickup trucks, from model years 2009 to 2017, over concerns about the vehicles’ potential to roll away in certain situations, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Specifically, this recall affects Ram trucks of various types, but all of which were equipped with a column shifter, rather than a floor shifter. In certain situations, the shifter can move the transmission out of “park” without a key in the ignition or the brake pedal being applied, which can lead to rollaways and, potentially, vehicle crashes or injuries.

The recall affects nearly 1.483 million Ram trucks, though only 3 percent are expected to carry this defect. The first vehicle group includes model year 2016 and 2017 Rams 3500 cab chassis with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds. These vehicles were produced from April 22, 2015.

The second group is model years 2011 to 2017 Ram 4500 and 5500 cab chassis, produced starting on Feb. 3, 2010. The third includes Ram 1500s from the model years 2009 to 2017, produced beginning on May 28, 2008. The fourth includes model years 2010 to 2017 Ram 2500s produced starting Aug. 31, 2009. The fifth includes Ram 3500s from model years 2010 to 2017, produced beginning Sept. 1, 2009. The sixth and final group includes Ram 3500 cab chassis from model years 2011 to 2017, manufactured starting on Feb. 3, 2010.

All affected vehicles had production end dates of Dec. 31, 2016, but there is a lack of field input beyond that date.

The Defect

The issue arises when the vehicle is running and in park, and the brake pedal is depressed. This energizes the vehicle’s brake transmission shift interlock. When the BTSI is energized for too long, it can overheat, causing its housing plastic to grow in size and the grease around it to degrade. That, in turn, could lead to the system’s locking pin to be stuck in the on position. When that happens, the vehicle can be shifted out of park without the brake pedal being depressed again or a key in the ignition.

Unfortunately, this defect would not be in any way detectable for consumers.

Timeline of Events

Beginning March 3, 2017, FCA’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization opened an investigation into the defect stemming from a 2016 model year Ram with a column shifter being involved in a rollaway incident that led to driver injury.

A few months later, in May, the organization began searching for customer complaints related to the column shifters in Ram trucks and began further reviewing warranty part return data in June. It was then that the potential cause of the defect – the BTSI locking pin – was first suspected.

On June 22, the VSRC was made aware of a test fleet of 240 Ram trucks, in which 72 were able to move the shifter out of park upon replicating the above conditions. Over the next several months – from June to December – the organization visited with suppliers, tested parts and conducted field surveys to determine the scope of the issue.

Finally, on Dec. 18, 2017, FCA determined that it would need to conduct a voluntary safety recall of all affected vehicles.

The Solution

The fix for the defect is currently being developed by FCA, but the company will reimburse owners for the cost of repairing the issue when applicable. It asks that owners provide the receipts for the service so they can be reimbursed in full.

FCA will begin contacting both Ram owners and dealers about the recall Feb. 8, 2018.

adminChrysler Recalls Millions of Ram Pickups over Rollaway Concerns

Chrysler recalls vans with noncompliant tire placards

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Oct. 13, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 11,000 vehicles potentially equipped with noncompliant tire placards, according to a recall acknowledgment document from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2015-2017 RAM ProMaster City cargo vans.

The Defect

The vehicles referenced in this recall could come with tire information placards that list incorrect information, including capacity weight, optimal tire pressure and spare tire placement data. As a result, these placards are considered noncompliant under current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110, which states that vehicle tires must adhere to “placard requirements relating to load distribution as well as rim performance requirements under conditions of rapid tire deflation,” according to the NHTSA.

The inaccurate placards also pose a safety threat to occupants, as tire overinflation can inhibit vehicle handling and diminish braking capability, increasing the likelihood of an accident, according to an FCA press release. However, the automaker has yet to receive field reports linking the defect to any injuries or accidents.

Timeline of Events

FCA has not released details into the internal investigation that uncovered the defective tire placards.

The Solution

The car company will direct dealers to replace the incorrect placards with updated versions, free of charge. Dealers and vehicle owners should expect to receive notification Nov. 15. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chrysler customer service at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code T62. Vehicle owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly via its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Recall MastersChrysler recalls vans with noncompliant tire placards

Chrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps


Auburn Hills, Mich. – Sept. 20, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 443,000 vehicles likely equipped with defective water pump bearings, according to a company press release. The campaign affects 2013-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 medium-duty pickup trucks, as well as 3500, 4500 and 5500 heavy-duty pickup trucks.

The Defect

The vehicles referenced in the recall possibly contain water pumps with bearings that could overheat and catch fire under certain conditions. These fixtures increase the likelihood of engine fires and therefore pose a serious to occupants. However, FCA has not received reports connecting the defective water pump bearings to any accidents or injuries. Warning lights in affected vehicles may illuminate when water pump functionality has been compromised.

Timeline of Events

The automaker launched an investigation after receiving a customer complaint mentioning the defect. FCA engineers determined the root cause, finding that the issue existed only in Ram pickups with 6.7-liter engines.

The Solution

FCA has yet to release a timetable for owner notification or information on a workable remedy. Owners in need of immediate assistance can contact the FCA USA Recall Information Center at (800) 853-1403 or reach out to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration via the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesChrysler recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

Chrysler recalls trucks with software error


Auburn Hills, Mich. – May 12, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 1.25 million trucks due to a serious software error, according to The New York Times. The recall affects Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups produced between 2013 and 2016, as well as Ram 3500 pickups assembled between 2014 and 2016. Ram pickup trucks are the company’s best-selling vehicles, accounting for roughly 25 percent of all of the company’s sales in the U.S.

More than 1 million of the affected trucks were sold in the U.S. Roughly 216,000 came from dealerships in Canada, while just over 21,000 originated from Mexican dealers.

The Defect
Models named in the recall are equipped with faulty software that switches off airbags and seatbelt tension assemblies, presenting serious risks to both drivers and passengers. In fact, multiple accidents involving Ram owners precipitated the recall, the Los Angeles Times reported. FCA has received reports of at least one fatality and two injuries directly linked the software error. In addition to this defect, FCA officials found that computer components could fail during accidents in which the undersides of the Ram trucks sustained impact.

Timeline of Events
FCA began investigating the issue in December 2015 following an owner lawsuit, The Times said. The plaintiff argued that both the air bags and seatbelts in his Ram truck had failed during a roll-over crash. The carmaker called for an official inquiry. Engineers eventually discovered that the vehicle was equipped with badly designed software that could malfunction in accidents involving underside impact. Specifically, such collisions disrupt normal CPU processing operations and generate errors that ultimately halt computerized air bag and seatbelt components. FCA has declined to say whether the problem is the result of internal or external production processes, according to SpeedLux.

The Solution
The vehicle manufacturer has yet release plans for addressing the issue but has advised owners to carefully monitor their pickups. In the event that the air bag and seatbelt systems fail during normal operation, warning lights on the dash illuminate. When this occurs, owners should turn off and restart their vehicles. FCA claims this action clears the error codes. In the meantime, FCA has agreed to review its production processes and mitigate the issue with the help of a third party, as well as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall is scheduled to begin next month. Owners are encouraged to contact the NHTSA should they have any pressing concerns prior to the recall start date.

adminChrysler recalls trucks with software error