FCA recalls Dodge Dart to prevent ‘unintended torque event’
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a recall for a small batch of 2016 Dodge Dart sedans equipped with a 2.0-liter engine and manual transmission.
Approximately 1,200 units may have left the factory with improper software for the powertrain control module (PCM). The programming lacks redundant protections to protect against certain unintended engine behavior.
“Without a backup layer of software, the control module may fail to prevent an un-commanded torque event, increasing the risk of a crash,” the recall documents note.
FCA suggests the software was created with several layers of programming, including provisions designed to detect engine control malfunctions and validate calculations. The software was ‘desensitized’ to enable engine calibration development, consistent with standard development procedures.
“If the level-two diagnostic calibrations are desensitized, there is a risk of not diagnosing certain module failure modes that would inhibit the software’s ability to determine when the engine is producing more torque than what the driver is currently requesting,” the recall chronology notes.
The desensitized test software appears to have mistakenly made its way to the factory floor with the developer mode enabled, allowing production cars to leave the assembly line without the safety provisions activated.
FCA is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue. Service technicians will simply install an ECM software update to restore proper function.