Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 14, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nine vehicles potentially equipped with defective oil pumps, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2017 Jeep Renegade sport utility vehicles produced between Nov. 8, 2017, and Nov. 9, 2017, at the Toulca Assembly Plant in Toulca, Mexico, and the Belvedere Assembly Plant in Belvedere, Illinois. FCA suspects just 1 percent of the models named in the action actually contain the defective parts.
Affected vehicles could contain 2.4-liter engines with cracked oil pump housings. These defective fixtures may inhibit oil pump operation, eventually leading the feature to fail and cause unexpected engine stalling. The defective component therefore poses a serious safety risk to occupants as it increases the likelihood of an accident. However, FCA has yet to receive field reports connecting the problematic part to any accidents or injuries.
Timeline of Events
On Sept. 5, 2017, engineers at the Fremont, Indiana-based parts supplier Metaldyne BSM discovered a recently assembled oil pump with a crack in its housing, according to an internal recall chronology document given to the NHTSA. Eight days later, Metaldyne alerted FCA. On Sept. 15, 2017, the automaker brought the problem to the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group, which immediately launched an investigation.
FCA Supplier Control and engineers from the Dundee Engine Plant in Dundee, Michigan and the Saltillo North Engine Plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico confirmed the problem via material inspection and oil pump traceability studies Oct. 5, 2017. The VRC on Oct. 17, 2017, decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall for approximately 357 vehicles believed to contain the defective oil pumps., according to an NHTSA safety recall report. By this point, FCA had found nine separate engine assemblies that had not been installed in vehicles. The oil pumps in these engines, despite originating from the flawed Metaldyne batch, were not included in the recall.
On Feb. 14, 2018, the VRC discovered that nine potentially problematic engine assemblies were not properly inspected before being installed in vehicles. This led the group to launch another voluntary recall Feb. 15, 2018.
FCA will direct dealers to inspect the oil pumps in affected vehicles and replace them if necessary, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. These repairs will be done free of charge. The automaker intends to notify both dealers and owners April 13, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact FCA customer service representatives at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the internal recall identification code U18. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.