NHTSA: 5 Million Chrysler Vehicles Under Scrutiny for Stalling Problem

ChryslerLogo

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)

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

2008DodgeChargerRecall

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.

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

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.

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

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee: What's Changed

2015JeepGrandCherokeeSRT

Most significant changes: New appearance packages, noise cancellation for upper-crust trims, slightly more power for SRT
Price change: TBD
On sale: September/October
Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? Vast majority of trims unchanged, so 2014

Jeep's popular Grand Cherokee has sprouted as many special editions as ... uh, most other cars from Fiat Chrysler Automobile. This time, the top-of-the-line Grand Cherokee Summit gets a California Edition appearance package, which adds body-colored — rather than chrome — door handles and mirrors, plus body-colored lower body panels instead of darker trim. The grille, fog-light bezels and a few other areas get unique "platinum chrome" accents, too. Inside, tan leather with black stitching joins the color palette.

Related: Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Cosmetic updates aside, all Summit models add active noise cancellation and more noise abatement to the windshield and second-row windows.

There's also a tad bit more power for the Grand Cherokee SRT (above), whose 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 now makes 475 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque — up 5 hp and 5 pounds-feet from the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. The SRT also adds active noise cancellation, and a new Red Vapor edition, which comes in red, white or black. The Red Vapor's other additions (all cosmetic) include unique 20-inch wheels, glossy black exterior trim and red cabin accents with an illuminated SRT steering-wheel logo.

By Kelsey Mays | September 1, 2014 | Comments (2)

Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

2013HondaAccord

As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2006-2007 Jeep Commander, 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2007JeepGrandCherokeeRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 650,000 model-year 2006-07 Jeep Commander and 2005-07 Grand Cherokee SUVs

The Problem: Chrysler said an outside force, typically the driver's knee, may move ignition key from the On position. This could cause the engine to stall, reducing braking power and making steering more difficult, as well as possibly disabling frontal airbags and other safety features.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners by mid-September, and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. In the meantime, the automaker advised owners of affected SUVs to ensure there is clearance between their knees and the key, and as a further precaution to remove all items from their key rings, leaving only their ignition key.

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.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

Chrysler Launches Its Own Ignition Switch Recall

2007JeepGrandCherokee

GM has been in the news for most of 2014 due to numerous recalls covering millions of vehicles for faulty ignition switches. Now, another major automaker is launching a recall over similar issues.

Related: More Details on GM's Latest — and Largest — Ignition-Related Recall

Late today, Chrysler announced a recall covering approximately 650,000 Jeeps in the U.S. and nearly 800,000 worldwide for an ignition switch that could fail in a similar fashion to what has been detailed in some of GM's recalled vehicles.

The models covered are the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Chrysler says that the recall is being initiated "out of an abundance of caution." The switch could move out of the on position if something hits the key with enough force. This would usually be a knee during a collision. This could lead the engine to stall, but more significantly the airbags would not deploy.

While there are numerous reports of fatalities and injuries regarding the GM recall, Chrysler said in a statement that it is unaware of any injuries due to the recalled switch with one reported accident. Chrysler said complaints have been "relatively small" and give a percentage of .015 percent, which would be approximately 9,500 complaints just in the U.S.

Chrysler has not developed a fix for its ignition-switch defect and will start alerting owners in September. Until then the company is recommending owners remove any key rings from the ignition key when in use.

By David Thomas | July 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2011-2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014DodgeDurangoRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 651,000 model-year 2011-14 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 5, 2010, and Dec. 11, 2013

The Problem: Wiring for the vanity lamp in the sun visor could short circuit after a service repair is performed, increasing the risk of a fire.

The Fix: Chrysler will notify owners starting in August, and dealers will inspect and repair any damaged wiring and install a new sun visor that properly routes the wire 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 visit 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 | July 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

Ford Escape Again Walks Away With 'Most-Stolen' Title

2013FordEscape

As stolen SUVs go, crooks are still most likely to abscond with the Escape. Once again, the Ford Escape topped the National Insurance Crime Bureau's list of most-stolen SUVs and crossovers. The Des Plaines, lll.-based nonprofit today released the 2014 SUV hot list, which examines model-year 2011-13 SUV and crossover thefts that occurred between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Ford Escape Tops List of Most-Stolen SUVs

According to the NICB, a total of 21,711 SUVs and crossovers were reported stolen in that time; that's up from just less than 20,000 on the list released in February 2013. The consistently coveted Escape did its share in making up the difference in the increase. At 1,421 thefts, the Escape logged 407 more thefts than reported in the 2013 list, a nearly 29 percent spike. Ford also dominates the balance of the top three, with 1,140 Edge thefts and 958 Explorer thefts.

By Matt Schmitz | June 16, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2014 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee

2014DodgeDurango

Vehicles Affected: About 6,120 model-year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs manufactured between Jan. 16 and April 8, 2014; Grand Cherokee SRT SUVs manufactured between Feb. 3 and April 8, 2014; and Cherokee crossovers manufactured between March 6 and April 17, 2014

The Problem: When the adaptive cruise control is engaged and the driver presses the accelerator pedal to increase the vehicle's speed more than the cruise control system would on its own, the vehicle may continue to accelerate briefly after the accelerator pedal is released, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Chrysler will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will re-flash the Driver Assistance System Module for free.

What Owner 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 visit 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 | June 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

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