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NHTSA Looking at Dart Brakes

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) of reports of brake problems with 2013 Dodge Darts.

PE 15-024 could involve up to 121,000 Darts built in the 2013 model year. Power disc brakes are standard on all Darts.


NHTSA says its Office of Defect Investigations (ODI) has received 18 reports from Dart owners alleging that the brake pedal suddenly becomes hard to press and the car’s braking braking is degraded. Some drivers claim they had to use the parking brake to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

No reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue have been received by the ODI.

In their complaints, several drivers said they heard a “pop” noise followed by a sound like air hissing when the brake pedal is depressed. After that, the pedal became hard to press and the brake effectiveness was reduced. Some Dart owners reported that their cars had the brake booster and/or the master cylinder replaced, most likely under warranty.

The Preliminary Evaluation will be used to asses the scope of the alleged problem, how often it occurs and identify the safety-related risks. Fiat Chrysler has not commented on the investigation.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Office of Defect Investigations.

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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