Fire Related Recall Issued for Dodge Hornet R/T and Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

fire related recall issued for dodge hornet r t and alfa romeo tonale veloce

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a stop-drive notice for plug-in versions of the Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale. Vehicles are alleged to pose a fire risk due to improperly installed battery connections. Stellantis and the NHTSA have warned that this could result in a fire hazard even when the vehicle is parked. 

Recommendations include not driving the plug-in hybrid version of the Hornet and Tonale and parking the vehicle outside until the necessary repairs have been conducted. We would even recommend going the extra mile and keeping your PHEV parked well away from anything else that might be flammable, too. 

The vehicles in question are reliant on a 1.3-liter turbocharged inline-four supported by two electric motors capable of producing a combined 288 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Like many, your author was pleasantly surprised by the powertrain’s peppy characteristics. But wondered about the overall reliability of such a high-strung and complicated system. 

Fortunately, the above issue doesn’t appear to be the fault of poor engineering. The fire risk stems from lackluster quality control, as the 12-volt battery-positive cable nuts and/or high-voltage connectors don’t appear to have been properly tightened. 

The manufacturer opened an investigation into the matter on August 23rd of 2023 and has subsequently updated the wireless screwdriver to ensure the proper torque values at the applicable connections at its Pomigliano Plant in Italy. Stellantis likewise said it has improved its manufacturing execution system to account for the parts being checked at the factory. 

While there were a couple of incidents reported that kicked off the initial investigation and eventual recall, the company has said it is unaware of the manufacturing defect creating any accidents or injuries. As you might have predicted, Stellantis plans on torquing down the nuts and high-voltage connectors at no cost to the owner. 

A formal recall campaign will commence next month, with owners being notified by mail on October 27, 2023. However, it would be wise to take the necessary precautions now. 

Just keep in mind that this only applies to plug-in hybrid variants of the Dodge Hornet (manufactured between December 13th, 2022, and August 23rd, 2023) and the plug-in hybrid Romeo Tonale built between February 9th, 2023, and August 23rd, 2023). That only accounts for a little over 4,000 units, as the other trims are unaffected. 

Customers disinclined to wait for the formal recall notice can input their vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA recall website or contact the relevant customer service hotline operated by Dodge (1-800-423-6343) or Alfa Romeo (1-844-253-2872). You may even have some success contacting the dealership. However, it looks like those recall notices and repair protocols may not have been issued yet.

[Image: Stellantis]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
2 of 21 comments
  • Oberkanone Oberkanone 7 days ago

    $50,115 MSRP is what I recall from our visit to local friendly RAM-Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge dealer this past weekend and drive of 24 R/T Plus Hornet. It was a pleasant drive. Wife graded vehicle as B-.

    I suspect we will purchase a hybrid CRV Sport at about $35K.

  • Tassos Tassos 7 days ago

    A POS Alfa or Dodge with reliability problems?

    Unheard of!

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.