Vehicles Affected: Approximately 812,000 model-year 2012-14 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans, and model-year 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, all equipped with electronic shift levers that return to the same position after each manipulation
The Problem: Gear selection is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights, but not gear-selector position, “and unless due care is taken, drivers may draw erroneous conclusions about the status of their vehicles,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement. The recall follows an investigation by FCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that found some drivers had exited their vehicles without first shifting into Park, posing a safety risk if the engine is still running. Cars.com reported on this issue in February.
FCA said it is aware of 41 injuries potentially related to this issue, but that the involved vehicles showed no evidence of equipment failure upon inspection. Vehicles affected by the recall deliver warning chimes and alert messages if their driver-side doors are opened while the engine is still running and Park is not engaged, the automaker said.
“However, the investigation suggested these measures may be insufficient to deter some drivers from exiting their vehicles without selecting Park, so FCA US will enhance the warnings and transmission-shift strategy on their vehicles,” the automaker said in a statement.
The Fix: Dealers will enhance the warning systems and implement a new transmission-shift strategy to automatically prevent the car from moving under certain circumstances, even if the driver fails to select Park; the work will be done for free for Chrysler customers with affected vehicles. The automaker noted that it already has begun equipping Charger and 300 sedans with a new shift-lever design as of the 2015 model year, while the Grand Cherokee’s shift lever was updated for 2016 to replace the faulty part.
What Owners Should Do: FCA did not immediately announce an owner-notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403 for more info.
Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.