320K Dodge Darts Recalled Over Transmission Problems, Rollaway Risks

Federal highway safety officials indicate that more than 320,000 Dodge Dart vehicles are being recalled, due to a risk that the transmission cable may detach, posing problems with gear selection and resulting in a risk that the vehicles may “roll away” when thought to be parked, causing a serious risk for passengers and bystanders.

The Dodge Dart recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 17, following dozens of warranty claims involving roll-away problems that may result from a shifter cable that detached from the transmission.

According to the recall investigation, the manufacturer discovered the shifter cable bushing on the transmission end of the shifter cable may deteriorate and detach, preventing the driver from being able to change gears in vehicles equipped with 6-speed automatic transmissions. In this event, the vehicles could be subject to a roll away hazard if the parking brake, or emergency parking brake, is not applied. Officials are warning all customers to engage the emergency parking brake until the vehicles are serviced and repaired.

Fiat Chrysler issued a statement on April 19, indicating that no warning signs may become apparent before the shifter cable detaches from the transmission. Therefore, vehicle owners should be cautious if the shifter becomes significantly easier to move, as this could be a sign of detachment.

Customers are being asked to stay alert for audible chimes and an instrument cluster message on the dashboard when exiting their vehicle, as this is a sign that the transmission is not actually in the PARK position with an ajar door.

The recall affects 322,417 model year 2013 through 2016 Dodge Dart vehicles manufactured by Chrysler (FCA US LLC) of Auburn Hills, Michigan from February 24, 2012 until October 4, 2016.

Approximately 298,000 recalled vehicles were distributed for sale throughout the United States to licensed dealers, while another 20,117 were shipped to Canada, 3,400 to Mexico, and about 900 were shipped outside of North America.

Chrysler will begin notifying customers of the recall by mailed correspondence with instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer, where dealers will replace the transmission side shifter cable bushing free of charge.

Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are being asked to contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and reference the recall number V34.

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