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Update: Rare Pentastar problem

[Originally posted June 25th, 2012; updated July 7, 2012.] In June, several dealers reported that some of the current Pentastar V6 engines had experienced premature cylinder head failure, usually on cylinder 2. While it is rare considering the number of these engines produced, it became an issue for dealerships in some areas due to the lack of readily available service parts.

The Pentastar V6 is Chrysler’s only current six-cylinder gasoline engine except for the Ram 1500’s 3.7 liter powerplant, which will not return for the 2013 model year.

Customers were generally given loaner cars while the issue was being resolved, though in some cases there was a considerable delay as Chrysler engineers sought root causes and an effective cure. The issue did not leave customers stranded, as far as we know, but lit the “check engine” light.

A fix was engineered and entered production by the time of our first report; at that time, tooling was being created and tested, and the backlog of replacement heads was being addressed. At this time, all heads being made are of the new design, and parts have been sent to dealers.

Because the issue seems to make itself known relatively quickly, it should come up within the warranty period, and “the new Chrysler” has proven itself likely to stand behind known defects long after warranties are over. The problem affects a small percentage of engines. With service parts now available, the issue is likely to disappear and the affair may not be remembered as more than an early glitch.

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