Unhappy Journey: Fiat Chrysler Recalls a Slew of Dodge Darts for Potential Rollaway Issue
The Dodge Dart rolled unceremoniously out of the Fiat Chrysler stable after the 2016 model year, but the automaker now worries it may roll out of owners’ driveways.
Fiat Chrysler is recalling 298,439 Darts in the United States, 20,117 in Canada, and 3,400 in Mexico to fix a shift cable that can detach from the transmission, potentially leaving the car stuck in a gear that isn’t “park.”
According to a recall report sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the callback covers all 2013 to 2016 Darts sold with a six-speed automatic transmission. Following numerous repair orders and consumer complaints related to the issue, FCA determined that the cable bushings in these cars can deteriorate due to heat and humidity, ultimately reaching the breaking point.
“If the shifter cable becomes detached from the transmission, the vehicle may
not perform the shifts intended by the driver,” the automaker wrote with dry understatement.
“The true transmission gear position will be displayed on the instrument cluster and on the display next to the shifter. In addition, if the driver’s door is opened while the transmission is not in PARK, the vehicle not in PARK and door ajar messages will display on the instrument cluster and audible chimes will sound. If these warnings are not heeded, unintended vehicle movement and vehicle crash can occur.”
The automaker claims no injuries or accidents have resulted from the issue.
Should the cable disconnect, drivers might discover that the shift lever moves more easily than normal. Owners are encouraged to always shut off the engine and engage the parking brake to prevent a sudden rollaway. Recall notifications should arrive in the mail on May 31st. Once returned to the dealer, technicians will install a more robust cable bushing.
Despite ceasing production in September 2016, new Darts are still leaving lots in the United States — a legacy of the unpopularity that signed its death warrant (and apparently left the automaker with a hefty inventory it couldn’t unload). FCA sold two Darts last month, eight this year, and 389 in 2018.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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