By Richard Read
This morning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published two recalls from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Together, the recalls affect more than 1.3 million Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles worldwide, including over 805,000 vehicles registered in the U.S.
RECALL #1: 2011-2014 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango; 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
UNITS AFFECTED: 442,214 in the U.S. and approximately 123,000 registered elsewhere
This recall affects vehicles equipped with electro-hydraulic power steering systems, 5.7L or 3.6L engines, and 160, 180, or 220 amp alternators. In those vehicles, NHTSA says that the alternator may fail without warning.
Should the alternator fail, the vehicle can stall. Depending on where and when the stall occurs, it could dramatically increase the risk of a crash.
In a worst-case scenario, NHTSA notes that it’s also possible for the alternator to short-circuit and catch fire.
FCA has received two reports of collisions that may be linked to the issue, but there have been no reports of injuries so far.
Owners of these vehicles will receive recall notices from FCA by mail, instructing them to schedule service appointments with their local dealerships. Notices are expected to be sent around August 24, 2017.
Dealers will inspect each vehicles’ alternator and replace it, depending on its part number. The fix will be carried out at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and ask about recall T36. Alternately, you can call NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #17V-435.
RECALL #2: 2011-2015 Dodge Journey
UNITS AFFECTED: 363,480 in the U.S. and approximately 407,520 registered elsewhere (including the Fiat Fremont)
In these vehicles, NHTSA reports that the driver’s frontal airbag may deploy without warning. Should that happen, it could result in an crash, injure the driver, or both.
FCA says it has received reports of six injuries potentially related to the issue, but no reports of collisions.
The problem stems from a wiring harness that’s associated with the driver’s frontal airbag and is located within the steering wheel. Over time, the wiring harness may get chafed, resulting in a short circuit, and that, in turn, can cause the airbag to deploy suddenly.
FCA plans to mail recall notices to owners by August 21, 2017. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to dealerships for service. The fix involves an inspection of the airbag wiring within the steering wheel and replacement of that wiring, if necessary. NHTSA says that FCA dealers will also install a protective cover to prevent chafing in the future. All repairs will be made at no charge to owners.
For additional information, you’re asked to contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and ask about recall T47. Or, if you prefer, you can call NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #17V-432.