Fiat Chrysler is voluntarily recalling an estimated 812,000 mid-size SUVs and full-size cars in the U.S. to reduce the effect of potential driver error by enhancing warnings and transmission shift strategy.
Some 812,000 US vehicles are part of this recall, split between the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, and the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. There are another 300,000-plus vehicles outside the US involved in the recall.
An investigation by FCA US and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found some drivers exited their vehicles without first selecting ‘PARK’. Such behavior may pose a safety risk if a vehicle’s engine is still running.
Chrysler raised the issue very transparently in its statement: “Gear-selection is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights, not gear-selector position, and unless due care is taken, drivers may draw erroneous conclusions about the status of their vehicles.”
The Company is aware of 41 injuries that are potentially related. The vehicles involved in these events were inspected and no evidence of equipment failure was found.
The vehicles affected by this recall are equipped with electronic shift levers that return to the same position after each manipulation. Gear-selection is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights, not gear-selector position, and unless due care is taken, drivers may draw erroneous conclusions about the status of their vehicles.
To mitigate the risks of user-error, Fiat Chrysler will implement additional warnings and program the transmission to keep the vehicle from moving “under certain circumstances,” even if it’s not in Park. It’s also urging affected owners to read their owners’ manuals.
The enhancements will combine warnings with a transmission-shift strategy to automatically prevent a vehicle from moving, under certain circumstances, even if the driver fails to select ‘PARK’.
Affected by this campaign are certain model-year 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, and model-year 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Also subject to recall are an estimated 52,144 vehicles in Canada; 16,805 in Mexico; and 248,667 outside the NAFTA region.
To address customer-satisfaction issues, the Company began equipping the Charger and 300 with a new shift-lever design in model-year 2015. The Grand Cherokee’s shift-lever was updated in model-year 2016