NHTSA: 5 Million Chrysler Vehicles Under Scrutiny for Stalling Problem

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Earlier this month, Cars.com reported that Chrysler was recalling nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs due to a problem with the Totally Integrated Power Module that could cause the vehicles to stall suddenly. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it will formally review millions more Chrysler SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans starting with the 2007 model year due to complaints of problems associated with the same module. An Aug. 21 letter from advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety initiated the review, informing NHTSA of 63 complaints pertaining to problems allegedly caused by the module.

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

"The CAS alleges that TIPM failures have resulted in incidents of engine stall; airbag non-deployment; random horn, headlight, taillight, door lock, instrument panel and windshield wiper activity; failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration; and fires," NHTSA said in a statement, also noting that the CAS petition also references a class-action lawsuit that has been filed regarding the alleged module failure.

By Matt Schmitz | September 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Video

For the 2015 model year, the nostalgic Dodge Challenger heads further down memory lane by bringing back the Scat Pack from its late '60s and early '70s heyday, boasting 485 horsepower and a mid-4-second zero-to-60 mph time. How does it measure up to the 707-hp Hellcat? Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek tells you in the video above.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | September 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 290,000 Chrysler Sedans, Wagons, SUVs

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Vehicles Affected: More than 290,000 model-year 2008 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, and Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUVs, all manufactured before May 12, 2008

The Problem: Ignition keys may not fully return to the On position after rotation to the Start position during engine startup, instead remaining between the Start and On positions. If this happens, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost, though not airbag function. Also possible, though less probable according to Chrysler, the ignition key could move through the On position to the Accessory or Off positions, causing reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering and safety features such as front airbags. The automaker, which announced the voluntary recall today, said it is unaware of any injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Chrysler said it will notify owners of when they can schedule service, which will be done for free. In the interim, the automaker advises drivers to confirm that their ignition keys are set in the On, or 1 o'clock, position after starting the vehicle to ensure engine power and functionality of all systems, including front airbags. Also, Chrysler says to separate ignition keys from key rings or other keys.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | September 25, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Dodge Challenger: Car Seat Check

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When it comes to child-safety seats, the 2015 Dodge Challenger is a car that allows parents to have their cake and eat it, too. Not only does this muscle car offer a 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine for starters but also its roomy backseat can fit most styles of car seats. We were also able to fit three across the backseat.

Not everything is perfect with the Challenger and car seats, however. In our tests, we found that a rear-facing infant seat, which takes up a lot of backseat space, doesn't work well with the front passenger seat. The front seat is designed to fold and slide forward for better backseat access, and then the seat has to be pushed all the way back to lock the seatback into place. From there, you can slide the seat forward to create more legroom for backseat passengers. However, the infant seat is so long that it prevents the front passenger seat from sliding back and locking into place.

We tried to work around this setup, but ultimately decided that the Challenger and infant seats don't mix. Oddly, we didn't run into this problem when we tested the 2012 Challenger. If you have an infant, use a rear-facing convertible seat in the Challenger instead, which thankfully doesn't take up as much legroom as the infant seat. In our photo, we used the infant seat to illustrate that three average-sized car seats fit across the backseat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three, but if parents are using a rear-facing infant seat, it's likely too long to fit in the Challenger's backseat.

More Car Seat Checks

 

By Jennifer Newman | September 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and July 20, 2011, and equipped with either a 3.6-liter or 5.7-liter engine

The Problem: The fuel pump relay inside the Totally Integrated Power Module may fail, causing the vehicle to stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners Oct. 24, and dealers will replace the fuel pump with one external to the module for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or 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.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | September 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Dodge Challenger Review

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"If a retro-styled American muscle car is what you crave, you don't have to spend Hellcat money to get Hellcat fun — the 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack costs less but is easily as entertaining," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.

2015 Dodge Challenger Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | September 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Dodge Journey: Car Seat Check

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The Dodge Journey is a midsize crossover that can seat five passengers in two rows or seven with the addition of the optional third row. The Journey is one of a few cars that offer integrated booster seats. For 2014, the optional booster seats, which are in the second row's outboard seats, cost $225. Our test car didn't have the booster seats, which we tested in an earlier model year and liked, but it did have the optional third row.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two, but parents should only install booster seats back there.

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | September 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Dodge Knocks $15,000 Off 2015 SRT Viper

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Here's some math we can get behind. Want to get your hands on Dodge's V-10 stick-shift SRT Viper? The price of entry just fell by a cool 15 large. Dodge slashed its SRT Viper by $15,000 for 2015, dropping the starting price to $86,990, including destination. Any existing 2014 Vipers in inventory will be discounted $15,000, too. Get shopping; there are 501 examples currently in Cars.com's new car inventory.

Related: Stryker Green 2014 SRT Viper Is the Least Stealth Car Ever

Dodge points out that the Viper's new starting price reflects pricing of the original 1992 Viper, which had a starting MSRP of $50,700 back then. That's about $86,100 in 2014 dollars. Recall, too, that the '92 Viper was Spartan even for its day. It lacked air conditioning, antilock brakes and glass windows.

The 2015 Viper has all of those features and comes in four trims: the SRT ($87,990, all prices include destination), a new GT ($96,990), the TA ($102,990) and GTS ($109,990). Sales begin in early 2015. SRT models get new accent stitching and Alcantara accents on the doors and instrument panel; the GT adds Nappa leather seats, a two-mode suspension, five stability-control modes and upgraded brakes. Dodge will also offer special editions of the TA and GTS.

By Kelsey Mays | September 8, 2014 | Comments (4)

2015 Dodge Durango: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: New Blacktop and Rallye Appearance packages, Beats by Dre audio

Price change: TBD

On sale: Late 2014

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

Dodge's seven-passenger Durango SUV received a pretty major update for the 2014 model year, bringing new powertrains, styling and interior appointments to the big traditional truck, so for 2015 Dodge is limiting changes to making the Durango look and sound even cooler.

Related: 2014 Dodge Durango Expert Review

The popular Rallye Appearance Package is extended to the Limited trim level as well as the base SXT, bringing the R/T's monochromatic look, smoked headlights, ground effects package and 20-inch Hyper Black wheels to the lower trim levels. The Rallye Appearance Package SXT still gets black cloth seats, while the Limited will feature leather, and both models get a dual exhaust on the V-6 trucks.

By Aaron Bragman | September 1, 2014 | Comments (0)

Chevrolet, Ford Kick Off Labor Day Sales Early

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It's still a couple weeks before you can fire up the barbecue and watch your alma mater get steamrolled by the Southeastern Conference, but some car dealers are kicking off Labor Day early — on the sales front, that is. Automotive News reports (subscription required) that Ford launched its Labor Day sale on July 29. The sale, which runs through Sept. 2, includes most of its lineup save the 2015 Mustang, F-Series and commercial vans, according to Automotive News.

Related: July's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

We checked the offers, and most involve zero-percent financing for as long as 72 months, or offers of up to around $3,000 off an Escape, $3,500 off an Edge and $3,500 off a Fusion (all 2014s). That's more than what Ford offered on the Fusion a year ago, but incentives don't appear to have increased a great deal in the past month, so this summer sale could mostly be a new name for existing spiffs.

GM, meanwhile, started its Chevy Labor Day Sale early because, as GM spokesman Jim Cain told Automotive News, "Ford started its Labor Day sale a little bit early." The brand's sale includes three months' deferred payments on the 2014 Silverado, Traverse, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro and Impala. Cash incentives on those models amount to $2,500 on the Cruze, $2,000 on the Malibu, $1,000 on the Impala, $2,000 on the Camaro and $2,000 on the Traverse (all 2014s). Chevrolet is GM's only brand that's offering the 90-day deferrals, Cain told us. GM isn't offering the deal for its Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

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