Chrysler recalls vehicles with damaged alternator diodes

Auburn Hills, Mich. – July 14, 2017 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled an estimated 442,214 vehicles potentially equipped with damaged alternator diodes, according to a company press release. The campaign affects a variety of models across multiple brands, including:

  • 2011-2014 Chrysler 300 sedans
  • 2011-2014 Two-door Dodge Challenger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Four-door Dodge Charger sports cars
  • 2011-2014 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles
  • 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles

Approximately 318, 781 of the vehicles originated from U.S. dealers, while 37,504 are circulating the Canadian and Mexican markets. The remaining 85, 292 are outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement zone. FCA estimates 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective part, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Administration.

The Defect

Vehicles named in the recall are suspected to contain alternators with diodes susceptible to thermal fatigue failure stemming from overstressed electric hydraulic power steering systems. In the event of a diode failure, the alternator ceases supplying the engine with electricity, leading to the unexpected loss of multiple features, including the antilock braking system, the electronic stability control system and the engine control module. In some cases, the vehicle my cease operation entirely. The diodes can also short circuit and cause fire, heat and smoke to rise from the engine.

FCA has received reports of two accidents related to the faulty diodes. However, the car company has yet to receive notification of any injuries connected to the defect.

Timeline of Events

FCA has not released details into the internal investigation that uncovered the problem. The company is expected to notify dealers on or around Aug. 24.

The Solution

FCA will direct dealers to replace the alternators in affected vehicles, free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgement document filed with the NHTSA. Owners should expect to receive notification via first-class mail on or around Aug. 24. However, those in need of more immediate assistance can contact the FCA U.S. Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403 or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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