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Chrysler Announces Six Separate Recalls

April 10, 2013

Chrysler Group LLC announced six separate recalls April 9, affecting about 263,852 vehicles.

The first recall involves approximately 78,500 older-model 4x2 SUVs. Dealers will brace a heat shield that can loosen and contact the driveshaft, causing wear and possible breakage over time.

Chrysler noted it’s unaware of any collisions or injuries associated with the condition. Vehicles equipped with 4x4 drivelines are unaffected.

The action follows fewer than 40 complaints of broken driveshafts on the 2007 and 2008 model-year Dodge Nitro, Jeep Liberty and the Liberty’s sister model sold outside NAFTA. There are no connections between these vehicles and any models currently in production or planned for production, Chrysler said.

To remedy the condition, Chrysler dealers will install a bracket to hold the shield in place. The repair will be performed at no cost to customers. Chrysler will notify these customers directly.

The affected vehicles number approximately 61,400 vehicles in the U.S., 1,000 in Canada, 13,700 in Mexico and 2,300 outside NAFTA. 

The second announced recall involves approximately 9,300 trucks -- more than half of which are in dealer hands – to inspect their parking brakes and, if necessary, reset them according to specification.

A routine internal audit of 2013 model-year Ram 1500 pickups discovered a small number of vehicles whose parking brakes failed to comply with mandated performance standards. Further investigation revealed six field reports alleging insufficient parking brake function, but Chrysler Group said it is unaware of any related accidents or injuries.

Non-compliant trucks were traced to a production window between Dec. 17, 2012 and Jan. 22, 2013, precipitating the recall.

Inspections and repairs, if necessary, will be performed at no cost to affected customers. Chrysler Group will contact vehicle owners directly.

Approximately 6,600 vehicles are in the U.S., 2,400 are in Canada, and 90 are in Mexico. The remaining vehicles are located outside the NAFTA region.

The third recall covers approximately 7,000 2013 model-year Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups – almost all of which are in dealer hands – to replace their engine covers.

Routine, post-production testing revealed that a cover for the 6.7L diesel engine had less heat resistance than intended. The cover will be replaced, at no cost to customers, by one with an alternate design.

Just over 500 of the trucks are in the hands of U.S. customers, 50 are with Canadian customers and the remaining vehicles are unsold.

Chrysler Group said it’s unaware of any injuries, accidents or customer complaints associated with the issue.

The fourth recall covers approximately 139,000 cars to prevent improper warning-light illumination.

The campaign has implications for 2011 and 2012 model-year Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers and Dodge Challengers assembled between April 11, 2011 and Dec. 14, 2011. Affected customers will be notified.

After a small number of customers reported intermittent airbag warning-light illumination, Chrysler Group engineers launched an investigation. This led to the discovery of a seat side-airbag wiring harness terminal that did not meet specification.
Chrysler said it’s unaware of any accidents or injuries associated with this issue.

Dealers will upgrade the connection accordingly, at no cost to customers, the automaker said. This campaign is unrelated to any previous recall.

Affected are approximately 119,000 vehicles in the U.S., 7,000 in Canada, 880 in Mexico and 11,000 outside the NAFTA region.

The fifth recall involves approximately 30,000 2012 model-year SUVs to improve fuel flow when the vehicles are subject to certain driving conditions.

The campaign stems from a worldwide material shortage that forced a design change to the vehicles’ fuel-tank transfer tubes. The shortage forced a material substitution, Chrysler said.

An investigation by Chrysler Group engineers discovered that tubes made with the new material and a corresponding new process did not readily maintain the required shape. As a result, fuel flow can be restricted, creating the potential for engine stall in operating conditions such as extreme high temperatures, high altitudes and the use of fuel with high vapor pressure.

Chrysler Group said it’s aware of one related accident but no injuries.

Affected are Jeep Compass and Patriot models assembled between Oct. 18, 2011 and May 7, 2012. Customers will be notified and their vehicles will be fitted with new fuel-tank transfer tubes at no cost.

Approximately 20,500 vehicles are in the U.S., 2,300 are in Canada, 50 are in Mexico and 7,400 outside the NAFTA region.

The sixth recall affects 52 2013 model-year Dodge Darts. Dealers will correct an issue that may compromise parking brake function.

The Dodge Dart models were built over a 24-hour period in November with brake calipers that fail to meet specification. The issue was discovered at the assembly plant during a routine product-quality review.

Forty-six of the affected cars are in the U.S., while six are in Canada.

Chrysler Group said it is unaware of any injuries, accidents or customer complaints associated with the issue.

The brake calipers on affected vehicles will be replaced, free of charge.

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Patsy Brownson is a fleet professional who retired from Cox Enterprises, Inc. in 2008.

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