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Another alternator recall

by David Zatz on

Allpar readers may recall a recent recall of V6-powered cars which may have bad alternators. There seems to be a second one out now, covering 17,116 Dodge Challengers and  Chargers, Chrysler 300s, and Jeep Grand Cherokees, all of them 2014s with the V6 engine and 160-amp alternator, and also because the alternator may fail. If that happens, and the driver doesn’t notice any warnings, eventually the battery will run dry and the engine will stall.

The recall is dubbed T75, and should start around January 10; dealers will replace the alternator at no cost to the customer. However, parts for the original alternator recall are still not available for all owners.

The chronology on this one is fairly long, and starts in August 2014, when FCA started to investigate alternator issues on 2011-12 Chargers. They found thermal fatigue in the diodes, and then looked at warranty data, expanding the investigation to numerous other cars; they narrowed it down to cars with the V6, 160-amp alternator, and electric-hydraulic power steering. The cause was the steering system: it had periodic points of high load and caused higher temperatures, leading to failure of the 20-amp silicon rubber potted diode (an otherwise rare failure).

Drivers should be warned by a charging system warning light before the car stalls. The alternator may stay partly active, but with reduced output.

After the first recall, the NHTSA asked FCA to look at an owner allegation of the same problem for a different car; FCA found that more vehicles had been built after the end of the “suspect period.” Thus, owners covered by this recall will have their alternators inspected, to see if they are covered, and replaced if needed.

There have been over a hundred repairs related to this issue that were not included in the original recall, but no accidents or injuries related to the expanded group.

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