Oops: Compass “bright dash” recall

The new 2017-18 Jeep Compass is a very nice package, with one big flaw: Jeep changed the design after its release, so the gauges stay daylight-bright at night — and aren’t affected by the dimmer switch. It turns out that’s against the law, because bright gauges hurt the driver’s night vision.

The recall covers 25,823 cars, but only 10% have the flaw. Compasses with photo sensors for automatic day/night switching aren’t affected (even if you can’t use the dimmer to change the gauge lighting).

The recall was instigated by a customer complaint on October 12. FCA opened an investigation on October 17, and discovered that they had made changes to the light sensor. The next step was to find the scope of the problem; and on November 17, FCA started the recall.

There are no parts being replaced; the company simply has to change the firmware for the photo sensor. However, the recall won’t begin until January 10. In the meantime, if you own a Compass, perhaps a sheet of smokey plastic over the gauges would help?

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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