Laguna Hills, CA – March 11, 2019 – Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017-2019 Fiat Spider 124 vehicles equipped with Aisin Rear Wheel Drive automatic transmissions. Because of incorrect programming within the transmission control module, certain conditions may cause the vehicle to downshift without warning and abruptly slow down.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, incorrectly programmed transmission control modules may cause vehicles to unexpectedly downshift and suddenly decelerate under certain conditions. Electrical noise in the range signal may be detected while driving in Drive mode (including “Manual” mode). Due to inappropriate control logic of the clutch control software in the transmission control module, this signal noise may cause the vehicle to unexpectedly downshift, causing an abrupt deceleration of the drive wheels. This would negatively affect directional stability, increasing the risk of lost control and potentially causing a vehicle crash without prior warning.
Timeline of Events
On Jan. 22, 2019, Chrysler first became aware of another automaker encountering a comparable issue with its vehicles. Mazda had announced its intention to announce a voluntary safety recall on a similar vehicle, and subsequently conducted a field action to remedy the problem.
Chrysler had not received any field reports or warranty claims as of Jan. 29, reporting that it was unaware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to this issue. Nevertheless, on that date, Chrysler’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.
Beginning March 27, Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update the transmission control module software free of charge.
Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V20. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V068000.