Rollaway Issue pushes Fiat to recall over 1.1 million cars and SUVs worldwide

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 1.1 million cars and SUVs worldwide as the vehicles can roll away after drivers exit. The recall has been linked to 41 injuries because the drivers mistakenly believed that they have placed the vehicles in park before exiting.

In the recall, the 2012 to 214 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 200 sedans and 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles will be covered. In the United States, around 811,000 vehicles could be impacted by the recall and around 52,000 vehicles in Canada. Nearly 17,000 in Mexico and almost 250,000 vehicles outside North America have been recalled by Fiat.

Fiat Chrysler said that it will update the vehicles to automatically prevent them from moving, even if the driver fails to place the vehicle in park. For now, the company has not unveiled as to when the recalls will start.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that the agency will monitor the recall carefully to ensure that Fiat comes up with a safe solution and vehicles are corrected as quickly as possible.

NHTSA said that it has reports of 314 complaints, including 121 crashes after vehicles rolled away. Injury reports included of three complaints of a fractured pelvis and four others requiring some other degrees of hospitalizations.

Upon testing the vehicle’s electronic gear shifter, it was found to be not intuitive and provides poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver. It led to the potential for unintended gear selection. Fiat Chrysler said that it started equipping the Charger and 300 with a new shift-liver design in the 2015 model year and the Grand Cherokee’s shift liver was updated the following year. Many of the crashes took place soon after the vehicles were purchased.

“Drivers have been getting out of the vehicles without shifting into park while the engine is still running. The problem involves vehicles with electronic shift levers on their consoles that

spring back to the same position after being shifted. Drivers can’t tell by looking at the shifter’s position whether it is in park. Instead, they have to depend on indicator lights, Fiat

Chrysler says,” according to a news report published by USA Today.

One owner in Walton, Ind., said he left his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee running when dropping off a DVD when he thought he had pushed the shifter in the right direction. “My 23-year-old son was in

the passenger seat and yelled out, ‘Dad, the car is moving,'” he wrote. “I jumped back in and put my foot on the brake and watched the shift indicator as I slowly moved the shifter up so it

indicated ‘park.'”

According to a story published on the topic by NY Times, “Fiat Chrysler said on Friday that it was recalling 1.1 million vehicles that can roll away unexpectedly and cause injuries when the

transmission is not used properly, adding to a spate of recent safety actions by carmakers. Safety recalls in the United States have continued to mount this year as automakers react to tougher

enforcement efforts by regulators.”

This year’s total is unlikely to match the record of more than 60 million vehicles set in 2014 after General Motors recalled millions of small cars with faulty ignitions that were ultimately

linked to 124 deaths. But over all, the pace of recalls so far in 2016 exceeds the number in a typical year before the G.M. crisis.

A report published in WashingtonPost revealed, “The automaker said the recall is linked to as many as 41 injuries because drivers mistakenly believed they had placed the vehicles in park before

exiting. The recall covers the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicles. About 811,000 vehicles in the United States are affected,

along with about 52,000 vehicles in Canada, nearly 17,000 in Mexico and almost 250,000 vehicles outside North America.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which upgraded its probe into the issue in February, said Friday that its “investigation of the shifter in these vehicles showed it is clearly

a safety issue that has led to hundreds of crashes and dozens of injuries.” Fiat Chrysler said it will update the vehicles to automatically prevent them from moving, under certain circumstances,

even if a driver fails to put one in park. Fiat Chrysler did not say when the recall remedy will be available.

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