Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has issued a global recall for 1.1 million vehicles after receiving complaints for its confusing transmission shifter. The recall involves models from brands like Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge among others. The company also clarified that none of the vehicles have any mechanical issue and the recall is specific shifter alone. The transmission used on all cars affected is an 8-speed automatic sourced from ZF.
The affected models include the 2012-14 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedan, along with the 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Over 8,11,586 units have been affected in the US alone, whereas 52,14 cars are affected in Canada, 16,805 units in Mexico and 2,48,667 vehicles in other parts of the globe.
Explaining the issue, Fiat stated that the console-mounted shifter used works like a rocker switch and returns back to the middle position after moved. Drivers found this confusing as some could have not understand if the car was in drive mode or park mode, and would exit the vehicle without selecting the park mode. As a result, this has caused the cars to roll away and has been identified to have caused 41 injuries in the process.
The recall will see FCA enhance warning sounds on the affected vehicles, while an alert message will be displayed in case the driver side door is opened with the engine still running. If the door continue remains open, the transmission will prevent the car from moving even if the park mode isn’t applied.
Furthermore, Fiat Chrsyler Automobiles will be contacting customers directly and will make the upgrades on the affected vehicles. Meanwhile, the automaker has asked customers to read their respective car manuals and follow instructions regarding the usage of the gear shifter. It is not clear yet why the 2016 model year lineup of Chargers, Cherokees and Chrysler 300s are not part of the recall. It would be safe to assume that the company has already made amends before moving cars out of the factory floor.