FCA Recalls Continue Debate About Reliability
The last few months haven’t been kind to Fiat Chrysler Autos (FCA). Since May, the automaker has recalled more than 3 million vehicles. The problems range from rollaways – the same type of accident that killed 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin, last year – to faulty equipment causing fire hazards. Yelchin was a key member of the revived “Star Trek” series. In the June 2016 accident, Yelchin exited his Jeep Cherokee, thinking it was in park. The Jeep rolled down the driveway and pinned him between his mailbox and a security gate, killing him in less than a minute according to the coroner. FCA recalled 1.6 million vehicles worldwide in 2017, following last year’s recall of 1.1 million, for the same or a similar rollaway issue.
FCA Recalls 443,712 Ram Pickups Recalled
In the automaker’s latest truck recall, FCA recalled 443,712 Ram three-quarter-ton and one-ton pickups – 2500s, 3500s, and cab-chassis versions – to repair faulty water pumps. The pumps can catch fire due to defective bearings. The bad bearings overheat and catch fire.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only pickups with the 6.7-liter inline six are affected by the latest recall. According to the automaker, when FCA has found a complete fix for the problem owners will be notified. Part of the free repair will be the replacement of the water pump
A spokesman for FCA said the automaker is “aware of a small number of incidents” where there were fires that met the “regulatory definition of fire.” The spokesman downplayed the complaints, saying the blazes include “ … everything from a burning odor to open flame.” FCA apparently used two types of water pump. Thus, some pickups require replacement, while others do not. The FCA spokesman claims there had been no reports of accidents or injuries.
Since May, FCA has recalled another 1.1 million RAM quarter- and half-ton pickups. The issue is front passenger airbag and seatbelt tensioner failures. A software glitch that can be caused by undercarriage impacts can cause the airbag/seatbelt problem. So far one death and two injuries have been attributed to this issue.
FCA Recalls 1.1 Million Dodge Challengers For Rollaways
And, in another recall, FCA called back another 1.1 million Dodge Challengers for a rollaway problem similar to the one that killed Yelchin. Drivers can exit their vehicles thinking the cars are in Park when they aren’t. To date, 68 injuries and 266 accidents have been linked to this problem. FCA will make the software fix free of charge to the affected vehicles. Finally, in another FCA recall, the carmaker has called back 442,214 Jeep Grand Cherokees, Dodge Challengers, Chrysler 300s and Dodge Durangos for a stalling problem. Because of issues with the electro-hydraulic power steering, vehicles can suddenly stall in traffic. The stalling can lead to crashes and injuries. So far no injuries or crashes have been reported. The problem occurs in vehicles equipped with 5.7L and 6.6L engines and 160- to 220-amp alternators.
The moral of the story? Buy Japanese, y’all.
Categories: Automotive News