Dodge is an brand of vehicles based in the United States that belongs to the larger auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Dodge is Chrysler's middle to low price range brand of vehicles. Dodge originally began as the Dodge Brothers Company as an auto parts supplier, rather than vehicle manufacturer, in 1900. The company began making automobiles under the "Dodge Brothers" name in 1914, until the company's sale to Chrysler in 1928. Since then the brand has produced a number of different types of vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, and some performance "muscle" cars. Dodge is also responsible for the popular Ram line of pickup trucks.
Issues, Defects And Recalls With Dodge Vehicles
The Dodge brand belongs to the Chrysler Group, and because of this, the Chrysler Group is in charge of initiating any recalls or alerting consumers to potential issues with Dodge vehicles. In addition, because Chrysler is the parent company of several different brands of vehicles, it is common for these vehicles to share parts. This means that if one part is defective in one brand, then it likely affects all other brands that those parts are used in. When one vehicle line is engaged in a recall, then other models in different lines will also be affected.
Fiat-Chrysler has announced a small recall on the 2015 Dodge Challenger due to issues pertaining to the side curtain airbag. The company has stated that an issue in manufacturing led to some vehicles being produced with loose or missing bolts that may prevent the airbag from providing full protection when deployed. Airbags are a crucial safety feature in any vehicle, and at times the life of a driver may depend on their proper function in the event of a crash. The manufacturing issue has been addressed and fixed, however, the company has notified owners to contact their local Dodge dealership for an inspection and replacement if necessary. The recall is effective on 81 vehicles in total, with roughly 72 in the United States.
Chrysler has also initiated a recall on the 2011-2012 Dodge Challenger and Charger models. The recall was issued in response to airbags in these vehicles not operating as intended. The side airbags of the vehicle may not deploy properly in a crash, due to a problem in the airbag's wiring harness. A malfunction in a vehicle's airbags can result in grave injuries in the event of a crash. Owners of these vehicles are being urged to report to their local Dodge dealerships to have their vehicles inspected, and have the parts replaced as necessary. The recall affects 139,000 vehicles in total.
A recall has been instated on the 2003-2004 models of the Dodge Viper. A component in the vehicle's airbag control module has the potential to fail, causing the airbag safety features to activate inadvertently while the vehicle is being driven. If this were to happen while a driver was on the road, there would be a serious risk of accident and injury. The company has instructed drivers to bring their vehicles to a local dealership for a fix of the issues. The recall affects 3,660 vehicles.
Engine, Mechanical, And Fuel Pump Issues
Fiat-Chrysler put out a recall order on several vehicles, including the 2012-2013 Dodge Durango models equipped with 3.0 liter diesel engines. An issue in the vehicle's fuel pump relay may cause engine stall or may prevent the vehicle from starting altogether. Dodge dealerships will install a replacement part to improve this function and prevent the issue, and have urged owners who experience stalls or inability to start their vehicles to visit a dealership right away. Of the nearly 470,000 vehicles affected, Dodge estimates that 338,216 of these SUVs are affected in the US.
The 2010-2014 Dodge Grand Caravan models are being recalled with Chrysler citing a risk of fire. The problem stems from a switch in the vehicle that may overheat that is located in the driver's seat door. The switch may short circuit from exposure to beverage spills, or exposure to rain, snow, or car washes. The company has reported 36 known incidents. The company will replace the switch with a new one. Of the roughly 780,000 vehicles affected, about 644,850 are in the United States.
A recall has been instated on the 2007-2008 Dodge Nitro due to an issue in the driveshaft. An issue in the vehicle's tunnel shield may cause the driveshaft to break. Not only can this damage the vehicle severely, this can also cause an accident if it occurs while driving. In addition to this, the breakage of the driveshaft can cause the vehicle's airbag computer to detect a crash and deploy the airbags whether or not a crash has actually occurred, which can further increase the risk of injury. The recall affects 78,500 vehicles in total.
Fiat-Chrysler Buyback Settlement
Fiat-Chrysler was recently involved in a massive settlement in a case with the federal government that involved a record penalty, as well as buybacks and several recalls. In response the company is offering buybacks in vehicles across all brands, and also offers a $1,000 bonus on trade-ins within the company's brands. Common issues across all brands included issues with vehicle suspension, steering issues, and event some issues that could lead to vehicle fires. Within the Dodge line, the 2009 Durango, the 2009-2011 Dakota, the 2008 Ram 1500, and 2008-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 models. The manufacturer is permitted a "reasonable allowance for depreciation" but must engage in buybacks or repairs if desired. Combined, the settlement affects a grand total of over 11 million vehicles across all Fiat-Chrysler brands.
Dodge Safety Ratings
While Dodge has a number of recalls currently going on, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has offered somewhat favorable safety ratings for Dodge vehicles. Many vehicles in the Dodge line receive ratings that range from "G" to "M" standing for "good" and "marginal" respectively, however very few of their vehicles fall into poor safety ratings.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a Dodge vehicle defect, contact attorney Jeremy Rosenthal today.