By on August 24, 2017

Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 ho

Dodge is recalling Charger and Challenger Hellcats due to faulty engine oil cooler lines which may result in a rapid, catastrophic loss of fluids. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filed a recall request earlier this month, saying 1,207 vehicles assembled between February and May of 2017 may be affected.

According to the recall information, the issue stems from rubber used in the oil cooler line. Chrysler’s testing revealed that the rubber doesn’t meet the company’s usual criteria. Substandard materials can allow the hose to separate from a crimped aluminum portion of the line, letting oil gush out as if someone unscrewed a drain plug.

The NHTSA report suggests Hellcat owners might experience “impaired visibility due to oil spray on the windshield, engine seizure and/or a potential risk of fire due to engine oil contacting a hot surface. The rapid loss of engine oil and the resulting impaired visibility can cause vehicle crash without prior warning.”

Despite the agency’s dire words and the potential nightmare scenario associated with the defect, the official recall doesn’t actually begin until September 22nd. Obviously, Fiat Chrysler will replace the oil lines free of charge when that happens. Cars produced outside the aforementioned timeframe are unaffected. The automaker also specified that no other vehicles within its fleet used these particular hose materials.

Additional details are available in the NHTSA report and owners can call the company’s customer service hotline at 1-800-853-1403 with any questions, using the reference code T48. It also might be a good idea to garage the Hellcat early this summer.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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19 Comments on “6.2 Liters, No Lube: Dodge Hellcats Recalled Over Catastrophic Oil Dump Risk...”

  • avatar

    This is the biggest discharge of fluids since the Hellcat was first announced online.

  • avatar

    Chinese rubber?

    • 0 avatar

      Sell the whole thing to the Chinese. Problem solved.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like the similar issue Ford had with the GT350. The lines were letting go at the crimped end – although IIRC Ford was saying that it was the crimp and not the rubber itself.

      • 0 avatar

        The GT350 was for all mustangs. It was a crimping tool that had a crappy design. The lower half of the die was held onto the crimping press by two bolts. The bolts sheared and the locator part of the die floated. So the crimp (although made to spec per Ford PD) wasn’t sufficient to trap the O-ring underneath the quick connect fitting.

        The FCA issue is ironically from the same supplier (USA made). It sounds like they either spec’d out the wrong rubber or the supplier identified a SAS or FRS hose lot that was bad through impulse testing.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Chrysler – “spend a little now, or a lot later”. In this case, that hackneyed old slogan is painfully true.

    • 0 avatar

      Even the most certified, analyzed, and proper name branded materials experience failures from time to time.

      I once had a mid 2000s Mercedes, always maintained with OEM parts, that once decided to vomit several quarts of coolant into the parking lot of McDonalds monument to teenage obesity on the side of I-95. No third rate parts, just OEM-spec couplings, pretty little star and all, that chose that particular moment to express their inner twin, and dump everything out in the span of about 30 seconds. The smell of ethylene glycol goes well with a McFlurry.

      Replaced them with brass. Because if you’re going to replace something, over-engineer the living piss out of it.

  • avatar

    This sounds like the problem that Toyota had with a VVT-i oil line used on the 3.5l 2GR-FE V6 (Camry, Sienna, etc.) that could (and did) cause catastrophic oil loss. A recall was issued and the hose replaced. Later models used a rigid line.

  • avatar

    Sounds like their usual criteria for materials to me

  • avatar

    So, huge discount on Hellcats? :-)

  • avatar

    The oil cooler line on my 99 Sonoma started leaking, but it had 150,000 miles and 17 years usage. I’ve read reports that replacement hose assemblies from 3rd world suppliers are subject to sudden failures. I purchased some from Canada, although they were priced 2X the cheap ones.

    • 0 avatar

      My wife had a 2000 GMC Jimmy that had the same oil cooler line leak. I looked at replacing the lines once, and realized it was going to be a somewhat difficult task (the engine bay on these is horribly crowded). My father-in-law (who’d bought my wife said Jimmy back in 2005) told me “Oh yeah, those have been leaking since about 2007”. The oil loss was about a quart between oil changes.

      My brother-in-law now has the truck- with almost 200,000 on the clock. The lines still leak.

      • 0 avatar

        If you’re not concerned about oil spots on the driveway, it’s free rustproofing for the frame. I think the OEM lines rarely if ever have the catastrophic failure mode, although internet comments seem to indicate the Chinese replacement hoses sometimes do entirely blow off leading to no oil pressure.

  • avatar

    As opposed to the stereotypical Hellcat owner, who doesn’t even use rubber.

  • avatar

    Even my washing machine and bathroom supply lines are braided SS reinforced. Not a budget breaker.
    It’s not like these cars are particularly cheap, right?

    • 0 avatar

      The problem isn’t on the outside it is on the inside where rubber that isn’t compatible with engine oil was used. It breaks down and the hose slides off the fitting. Braiding on the outer layer of a hose is to protect it from cuts and abrasions and to wear through the piece it is laying against.

  • avatar

    I’ve had this happen on my Elise. Oil cooler line let go, while going 80 mph over a bridge. Out of nowhere it steered itself towards the guard rail. The tie rods are a known issue, and I assumed that’s what failed. Getting off the nearest exit, the oil light triggered and I shut it down. Massive trail of oil, and the whole side of the car was coated.

    Few days later a recall notice showed up in the mail, for oil cooler lines. Perfect timing!

    Sketchy stuff, I wonder if this was a wide spread issue?

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