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Fiat 500e Recalled for Software Glitch

by Bill Cawthon on

Fiat is recalling around 3,975 Fiat 500e electric cars from model years 2013 to 2015 after an internal investigation found that some of the small hatchbacks could mis-read the torque their motors were generation. This could cause the car to enter its fail-safe mode, which shift it into neutral, when the cruise control is on and the driver tries to change speed by using the accelerator or rapidly tapping the accelerate/decelerate buttons.

Restarting the car brings back normal driving. So far Fiat said it was unaware of any related crashes or customer complaints; new software will be available when customers are notified of the recall, and dealers got service instructions yesterday.  In the meantime, it appears that not using cruise control will avoid the problem until it can be fixed.

The 500e is only sold in California, and was reportedly converted from gasoline to electric power by the former Chrysler.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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