Recall Alert: 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014JeepGrandCherokeeRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 132,000 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Oct. 3, 2013, and April 11, 2014

The Problem: Due to an issue with the software for the steering column control module, the electronic stability control system may be disabled. If this happens, in certain driving situations the driver may not be able to adequately control the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners Dec. 5, and dealers will update the steering column control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Toyota Leads, Fiat-Chrysler Disappoints in Consumer Reports' Latest Reliability Study

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Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary earned the top two spots in Consumer Reports' 2014 Auto Survey (subscription required), which rates reliability from consumer surveys of some 1.1 million vehicles over the past 12 months. Of the 28 brands ranked in terms of predicted reliability, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Fiat, Jeep, Ram and Dodge brands landed in the bottom four slots. At the top and bottom of the survey, those results played out similarly to Consumer Reports' study a year ago.

Related: Porsche Flies, Fiat Flails in 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Buggy multimedia systems, including navigation systems, Bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, garnered the most complaints. It's a recurring trend, Consumer Reports notes, and respondents to J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study have expressed similar frustrations.

But rankings between the two have otherwise limited correlation. Consumer Reports says its reliability study surveys subscribers for malfunctions on existing cars, whether recently purchased or older. J.D. Power says its IQS surveys those who recently bought a new car for objective malfunctions and subjective dislikes in the first 90 days of ownership. J.D. Power ranked 32 brands in its IQS this year; Consumer Reports ranked 28. Five brands made the top 10 in both studies: Honda, Kia, Lexus, Porsche and Toyota. Just three brands made the bottom 10 in both: Fiat, Infiniti and Jeep. To some degree, that cements the reliability — or lack thereof — for those eight.

By Kelsey Mays | October 27, 2014 | Comments (8)

2015 Chrysler 200 Earns NHTSA Five-Star Rating

2015-chrysler-200

Chrysler's midsize sedan underwent a dramatic update for 2015, and so too did the 200's safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the redesigned car its top honor: a five-star overall safety rating. The front-wheel-drive sedan earned five stars out of five in front- and side-crash tests as well as a four stars in the rollover test. In all-wheel-drive trim, it earned five stars in the side-impact crash test and four stars in rollover testing; it was not front crash tested.

Related: Research the 2015 Chrysler 200

The 2014 model received an overall score of four stars, comprised of four stars in the frontal impact test, three stars in the side-impact test and four stars in the rollover evaluation. Chrysler says the new model's body is stronger than the outgoing car; approximately 65 percent of the sedan consists of high-strength steel, the automaker reported.

NHTSA's award comes on the heels of the 2015 Chrysler 200 earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top honor, the Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

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This week saw the latest expansion of airbag recalls that began 18 months ago from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. and is now linked to at least four deaths. As of today, the recall affects some 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. from 10 automakers based in three continents. The bulk of them — 5 million — are from Honda. Takata issued a statement earlier this year that noted the incidents of airbag malfunction — where a faulty inflator can send metal and plastic shrapnel into occupants if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash — have occurred in warm areas like Florida and Puerto Rico, and it suspects that high humidity plays a role in the problem. Returned airbags from Toyota confirmed as much, USA Today reports.

Related: NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

USA Today reports most owners should have already received recall notices by now, and some automakers — namely, Toyota and BMW — have advised keeping the front passenger seat clear of occupants until a dealer inspects the car for a faulty inflator and, if there is one, replaces it.

What cars have been recalled? And what should you do if you get a notice? We've compiled everything we know so far below:

By Kelsey Mays | October 23, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Chrysler 200 Real-World Fuel Economy

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Chrysler's new 200 sedan is a dramatic improvement over the outgoing model, but it would almost have to be — the old Chrysler 200 (neé Sebring) was one of the most awful new cars on the market. But the new one is quite good, with its top-notch interior appointments, attractive styling, unique powertrains and class-leading multimedia systems.

Related: 2015 Chrysler 200 Expert Review

Comparisons of expected fuel economy with the previous-generation 200 are difficult, as the new 2015 200 is a completely new vehicle, riding on a different chassis with a much talked about nine-speed transmission. When an example of the latest 200 landed in our Detroit office's test garage, we figured it would be a good opportunity to see what kind of mileage we could get on real-world roads.

By Aaron Bragman | October 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

Dodge Prices 2015 Charger Lineup

2015DodgeCharger

Hot on the 2015 Dodge Challenger's trail of burnt rubber comes its four-door muscle-car mate, the Charger. Chrysler has announced pricing on the newly updated Charger lineup — including the 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat — with the starting price of all but one model increasing by no more than $1,000. The base SE trim starts at $28,990, including a $995 destination charge. That's $1,000 more than the 2014 version, but Chrysler says it's the "most-equipped entry Charger model ever." The 2015 Charger is available in SE, SXT, R/T and SRT trims.

Related: 2015 Dodge Charger: First Look

Last year's SRT8 models are replaced by the SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat, the latter of which starts at a range-topping $64,990. Up from three in 2014, the lineup now offers four engines: the base 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8, 6.4-liter V-8 and the Hellcat's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. For comparison, the 2015 Challenger starts at $27,990 with destination and tops out at $60,990 for the Hellcat, the 2014 Chrysler 300 starts between $32,390 and $50,926 for the SRT8 version, and fellow full-size sedan the 2014 Chevrolet Impala starts between $27,670 and $36,715 for the top LTZ style.

By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Jeep Wrangler

2013JeepWranglerRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 313,000 model-year 2011-13 Jeep Wrangler SUVs manufactured between Feb. 16, 2010, and July 19, 2013

The Problem: Corrosion in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector may result in an electrical short, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Dec. 5, and dealers will move the exterior power feed to a separate connector for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Chrysler Sedans; Dodge Sedans and SUVs, Jeep SUVs

2014Chrysler300Recall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 435,000 model-year 2011-14 Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Charger and Challenger sedans, and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured between June 17, 2010, and Dec. 23, 2013, and equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and a 160-amp alternator

The Problem: The alternator may suddenly fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning and increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners on Nov. 28, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker said the remedy is still being determined.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 127,000 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs

The Problem: The occupant restraint control system may exhibit an internal short circuit; this could cause airbag warning lamps to illuminate, a signal that supplemental restraint systems such as airbags and seat belt pretensioners may be disabled. Chrysler said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries resulting from the issue.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners and advise them when they can schedule service. Dealers will replace the occupant restraint control system for free. In the interim, the automaker advises owners to be sure to use their seat belts. Chrysler has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Wrangler Video

The Jeep Wrangler returns for 2014 in all of its rugged glory, retaining its status as the brand's No. 2 seller and an unlikely American automotive legend. But as it likely will make it a full decade between redesigns, Cars.com reviewer and Wrangler fan Joe Wiesenfelder suggests some improvements to help keep that legend alive. Watch the video.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

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