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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Recall Fact Sheet

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Recall Fact Sheet

General Services Administration
July 30, 2015

GSA Fleet is working with our industry partners and customer agencies to resolve a series of recent recalls announced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). There are just over 16,000 vehicles (8% of GSA’s leased fleet) possibly affected by four recent FCA recalls, one of which involves a “Stop Drive” Order for 31 vehicles. We are providing this update as these recalls are triggering extensive media coverage; but it is important to note that GSA Fleet receives updated recall information from automobile manufacturers electronically on a weekly basis and has standard operating procedures for managing recalls which are being followed.

As standard practice, we are notifying current leasing customers for every affected vehicle as updated actionable information is available. Outlined below is a brief summary of the four recent FCA recalls. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the GSA contract, FCA will provide GSA Fleet with an official VIN number listing of GSA Fleet purchased or leased vehicles subject to these recalls. We expect to receive this list in the next few days.

In general, GSA Fleet receives data files from the major vehicle providers (Ford, GM, FCA and RP Automotive - Hyundai) electronically on a weekly basis. This information feeds our internal Fleet Management System. Queries are run weekly and, when combined with available Original Equipment Manufactures’ recall notifications, messages are sent directly to the leasing customer of vehicles affected by a recall. Notifications are repeated for recalls that remain open beyond 120 days. Information is shared with Agency HQ Fleet Managers on a monthly basis for greater oversight and assistance in getting recall work completed and closed.

GSA Fleet is posting all these recall notices on AutoChoice as well as our web site portal alerting agency customers of these pending recalls, and this notice will continue to post through 03 October 2015, or for as long as necessary. Additionally, by law FCA is required to notify our purchase customers of the recall, thus effectively we are implementing a multi layered notification process: (1) posting on AutoChoice, (2) posting on vehicle.buying@gsa.gov, (3) personal contact by Program Management Branch, and (4) FCA mail notification to the buyer of record.

Summary of the four recent FCA Recalls:

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) - Stop Drive Recall (#R38)

The rear suspension lower control arms on about 5,600 2015 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles may have been incorrectly heat treated during the manufacturing process. This could cause the rear suspension lower control arm to break. A broken rear suspension lower control arm(s), during certain driving conditions, could cause a loss of vehicle control and/or a crash without warning.

GSA Fleet has preliminarily identified 27 Fleet leased vehicles and four agency purchased and owned vehicles that are covered under recall R38. As this is a “Stop Drive” recall, FCA is authorizing the tow of these vehicles to the nearest dealership or will make arrangements to inspect the vehicles on-site. Immediately upon receipt of the affected vehicle listing, GSA Fleet crafted and distributed an email to the Fleet Service Representatives for all 27 affected vehicles. The FSRs communicated with their customers and began to coordinate their safe removal/delivery to local dealers for inspection and/or repair. GSA Fleet also reached out to the agencies that purchased four vehicles.

Related to this recall, there are corrective actions already in place at the assembly plant so there is no need to close the line items for future customer ordering or to terminate orders already in process. Vehicles that are currently in transit to GSA marshaling centers, or scheduled for delivery directly to a purchase customer, are being tracked by FCA to the delivery carrier. In most cases, these vehicles will require the customer to return the vehicle to an authorized FCA/RAM/Jeep dealer for corrective action. Vehicles that are in possession at the customer level will require prompt and immediate attention to schedule needed service.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) - Non Stop Drive Recalls

FCA recently announced recalls addressing three distinct issues with a series of their vehicles -- many of which overlap models and model years. Vehicles for which these recalls apply may continue to be operated normally as these are not “Stop Drive” recalls.

GSA Fleet pulled an inventory of our vehicles on Friday, July 24 and we are flagging potential vehicles that may be impacted by these recalls. We estimate approximately 8% (16,000 of over 200,000) of our leased fleet will be impacted.

The first recall (FCA #R40, NHTSA #15V461000) relates to the ability of outside sources to hack into vehicles equipped with certain versions of the Uconnect system (part of the vehicle's radio), which lets smartphone users communicate with certain FCA cars over the Internet using Sprint's network. The affected vehicles are those outfitted with 8.4-inch touchscreens and include the following:
2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups
2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs
2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs
2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs
2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans

In regards to the cyber security issue on FCA/Ram/Jeep vehicles equipped with UCONNECT wireless communication system, drivers can visit the Uconnect software update site (http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/) where they can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if their car is included in the recall.

Customers are being provided with instruction to easily disable the UCONNECT system until they can have the software "patch" downloaded by their dealer or through a FCA provided "flash drive." It is a relatively simple programming change that requires less than 30 minutes. Owners affected by the recall will receive a USB device that they can use to upgrade the software in question. The USB drive also provides additional security features, according to FCA. FCA car owners with any questions can call the company's US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403.

The second and third recalls are airbag related. FCA #R36, NHTSA #15V459000 affects certain model year 2012-2014 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks equipped with the Electronic Vehicle Information Center option. The affected vehicles have a steering wheel wiring harness that may rub against the driver air bag module retainer spring. This abrasion may result in an electrical short that could cause the driver's frontal air bag to unexpectedly deploy.

FCA #R23, NHTSA #15V460000 affects certain model year 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks. In the affected vehicles, the side impact sensor calibrations may be overly sensitive, and as a result, the side airbag inflatable curtains and seat airbags may unexpectedly deploy and the seat belt pre-tensioners may activate.

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