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.
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.
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.