TURIN: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) issued a recall affecting 811,586 mid-sized SUVs and full-sized cars for an issue involving drivers who have exited their car before placing the transmission into “Park.” This recall comes after NHTSA launched an investigation into the problem earlier this year.
The recall concerns vehicles equipped with electronic shifters that are designed to return to the same position following operation, leading some drivers to accidentally fail to engage the “Park” setting. While there are no reported deaths as a result of this problem, FCA is aware of 41 separate injuries potentially caused by the issue.
The cars in question already alert the driver through chimes and alert messages if the driver door is opened while the vehicle is not in park, but apparently, this was not enough to warn some drivers. Some owners may have left their cars in Drive or Reverse with the engine running, allowing the car to run away. The recall fix involves new software that prevents the vehicle from moving in certain scenarios, even if the driver has failed to fully engage the “Park” setting, when the door is opened.
FCA issued this recall for the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees. No official numbers were given for each model.
In addition to cars affected in the U.S. market, 52,144 vehicles are covered in Canada, 16,805 in Mexico, and 248,667 vehicles outside of North America — for a total of 1.1 million cars globally.
FCA will notify owners of affected vehicles, and will fix the cars at no cost. This update is included as standard with FCA products going forward, beginning with the 2015 Charger and 300, and a mid-year update to the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee.