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Old, new, strange recalls

by David Zatz on

The 2015 Dodge Challenger is having its first recall, for around 11,600 cars made through October 8, 2014; instrument cluster problems could cause gauges to fall to zero and the theft alarm indicator to light. The number of cars affected is currently unknown. Recall P74 began on December 15, and involves a software upgrade only.

The pickup truck recall affects 2005 Dodge Ram 1500s made from January 28, 2004, to August 3, 2005, and involves an undersized spline on the pinion gear which can cause the rear axle pinion nut to loosen and the rear axle to seize, resulting in a loss of control. The recall, #P77, involves adding a retention device to the pinion nut. This recall should begin around February 13, when parts are available; around 257,000 trucks are affected.

The NHTSA investigation noted that there was little or no warning prior to the lock-up. Seven incidents occurred at speeds of 50 mph or greater, two causing the pickup to go into a spin.  There have been 15 complaints overall, a failure rate of around 0.006%.

Finally, in a recall that seems to be entirely about public relations, Chrysler is recalling over three million vehicles (2.9 million in the US alone) that have Takata driver’s-side airbag inflators. The company specified:

Neither FCA US, nor Takata Corporation, the supplier, has identified a defect in this population of inflators. These components also are distinct from Takata inflators cited in fatalities involving other auto makers.

More than 1,000 laboratory tests have been performed on these components. All deployed as intended, but FCA US continues to study the suspect inflators, which are not used in the Company’s current production vehicles.

Outside of Florida, one of the areas covered by the original action, no FCA US vehicle has been linked to an air-bag deployment of the type that has raised public concern. Nevertheless, the Company is replacing the Takata components tied to that concern.

The former Chrysler Group said a single injury was appeared to be tied to the airbags, in southern Florida; however, in a past release, Chrysler said that they were unable to access that airbag for analysis due to an ongoing lawsuit. The recall includes the following 2004-07 model-year vehicles:

  • Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Magnum
  • Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 (both pickups and chassis cabs)
  • Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen
  • Mitsubishi Raider and Dodge Dakota

It will take time to make replacement parts, and the company will notify customers when they can schedule an appointment. Priority is being given to customers in areas with persistent, high humidity.

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