Chrysler Group dominates this week's recall roundup, mainly due to a recall of approximately 1.2 million Ram trucks for a possible problem with the left tie-rod assembly. Additionally, Hyundai is recalling its Genesis models for a potential braking system issue. Following is a rundown of the past week's safety recalls, listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer.
Chrysler Group-Various Models
Chrysler Group, maker of Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram brands in the United States, is recalling 620 vehicles equipped with its corporate 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in order to replace the engine balance shaft modules. In the affected vehicles, abrasive material has contaminated the balance-shaft bearings, which could result in oil pressure loss, main bearing failure, and engine damage leading to an engine stall.
Models affected by this recall include the 2013 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, the 2013 Dodge Journey, and the 2014 Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. A total of 525 200/Avenger vehicles, 54 Journey vehicles, and 41 Compass/Patriot vehicles require repair. Chrysler anticipates that repairs will begin in January. Owners with questions can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.
2013 Dodge Mopar '13 Dart
The special-edition 2013 Dodge Mopar '13 Dart is the subject of a recall for a problem with its side-impact air bags. An outside company modified this model's unique front seats, and the side-impact restraint installation process was not consistently followed, which could lead to a reduction in air bag function.
A total of 421 vehicles are affected by the recall, half of which remain in dealer inventory. To resolve the problem, dealers will inspect the side-impact air bags. If they have not been properly installed, the dealer will re-install the air bags at no charge to the customer. Owners will be notified in December, and dealers may start inspections by the end of the year. Concerned owners can call Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.
2009-2012 Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai is recalling approximately 43,500 Genesis vehicles built April 30, 2008, through March 28, 2012, in order to inspect the braking system's Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU). In the affected vehicles, the brake fluid does not protect against corrosion of the HECU, and if the HECU becomes damaged the result could include reduced braking effectiveness.
During the recall campaign, dealers will inspect the HECU and, if necessary, replace it at no cost to the vehicle owner. The dealer will also replace the original brake fluid in vehicles for which this service has never been performed. Hyundai expects dealers to begin the recall work before the end of the year. Owners with questions can call Hyundai at 1-800-633-5151. Hyundai's recall number is 114, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall campaign ID number is 13V489.
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
A total of 91,559 Jeep Grand Cherokees built for the 2014 model year and assembled January 8, 2013, through August 20, 2013, are being recalled. In the affected vehicles, loose alternator ground wiring and software malfunctions may cause random illumination of warning lights and could cause the anti-lock braking system and stability and traction control systems to stop functioning.
Jeep dealers will update the Grand Cherokee's software and tighten the alternator ground wires at no cost to the vehicle's owner. The recall is expected to begin in November of 2013. Owners with questions can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403, referencing Chrysler recall number N58 or NHTSA recall campaign ID number 13V483.
2003-2012 Ram Trucks
Chrysler will recall and inspect 1.2 million Ram pickups built between the 2003 and 2012 model years in order to find approximately 475,000 of the vehicles that are equipped with left-side tie-rods that may have been misaligned during assembly or during subsequent dealer service. Misaligned tie-rods can lead to tie-rod failure and a loss of steering.
Three separate recall campaigns will be conducted for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other global markets. In the first, dealers will be inspecting approximately 842,000 units of the 2003-2008 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 in order to identify about 116,000 trucks that may require repair. In the second, dealers will be inspecting approximately 294,000 units of the 2008-2012 Ram 1500 MegaCab 4WD, Ram 2500, and Ram 3500. In the third, 43,500 units of the 2008-2012 Ram 4500 and Ram 5500 chassis cab models will be inspected.
Chrysler will notify truck owners of the recalls in December, and repairs are expected to begin in January. Owners with questions can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403, referencing NHTSA recall campaign ID number 13V527.
In a separate recall from the tie-rod issue described above, Chrysler is recalling 8,370 units of the Ram 1500, Ram 2500, and Ram 3500 built for the 2014 model year. In these vehicles, assembled July 1, 2013, through August 22, 2013, the instrument panel warning lights may illuminate at random intervals or may fail to illuminate to indicate a problem.
To resolve the problem, dealers will update the software that controls the lighting. The recall is expected to start in November of 2013. Owners with questions can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403, referencing Chrysler recall number N59 or NHTSA recall campaign ID number 13V486.