Honda and Fiat Chrysler have issued unrelated recalls, impacting millions of vehicles that may carry a risk of catching on fire due to various defects.
In recent days, federal regulators and the auto manufacturers have announced vehicle fire recalls impacting 2013 through 2016 model year Honda Accord vehicles, as well as 2011 through 2014 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. Fiat Chrysler is also recalling additional Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont SUV airbags, which may deploy inadvertently.
The Honda Accord recall was issued on July 14, impacting an estimated 2.1 million vehicles that may be equipped with an improperly sealed battery sensor. Over time, this could lead to a short circuit due to the intrusion of water, salt and road debris.
According to the notice issued by the Japanese auto maker, at least 3,972 warranty claims within the United States have been received by Honda involving the sensor short circuiting, resulting in at least four vehicle fires. An additional vehicle fire was recorded in Canada.
Although no injuries have been announced to date, vehicles that have failed sensors could be subject to the short circuiting fire risk at any time. Recalled vehicles in inclement weather regions, like where roadways are heavily salted for snow removal, have the highest risk of short circuiting and catching fire.
Honda indicates that replacement parts are currently unavailable, and customers will receive a notification to have an interim repair scheduled at their local dealer to have adhesives added to prevent water intrusion. A second notice will be sent to owners once parts become available to schedule a second appointment for the permanent repair. Customers with questions may contact American Honda Customer Support Center at 1-888-234-2138 and reference the recall code “KG0”.
Two unrelated Fiat Chrysler recalls were issued on July 13, involving an estimated 442,214 vehicles that may also suddenly catch on fire, as well as another 863,480 vehicles that may experience airbag problems.
The Chrysler fire recall impacts model year 2011 through 2014 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, and model year 2012 to 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles, which may stall or catch on fire, due to the vehicle’s alternators short-circuiting, posing a fire or stall risk that could lead to an increased crash hazard.
According to Fiat Chrysler, the automaker is aware of at least two crashes that may be related to the recall defect. A recall was issued and an investigation is still pending to determine the root cause of the premature wearing of the alternator wiring.
Fiat Chrysler reported to the NHTSA the stall or fire hazards could occur without any warning and customers should schedule a repair appointment as soon as they receive notice from the manufacturer. Dealers will be instructed to inspect and replace the alternator as necessary.
The Chrysler airbag inflator recall involves 363,480 model year 2011 through 2015 Dodge Journey vehicles as well as roughly 500,000 model year 2011 through 2015 Fiat Freemont SUV’s that contain wiring issues that could lead to inadvertent deployment of the driver-side airbag.
According to the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTsa) announcement, the vehicles deploy driver-side air bag inflators unexpectedly when the wiring harness gets chafed within the steering wheel, causing a short circuit.
The automobile manufacturer has received at least six minor injuries reports from consumers who were struck by the airbags, however, no crash reports have been recorded.