DETROIT -- A faulty terminal on a battery cable caused Chrysler Group last week to warn about 2,500 owners of 2013 Dodge Challengers to park their cars immediately or risk a fire.
Only 2013-model Challengers with 3.6-liter V-6 engines built from Dec. 3, 2012, through Jan. 24 are affected by the recall, including about 50 sold in Canada and 350 delivered to customers in the Middle East. Another 1,900 Challengers built during that period are being held on dealer lots awaiting repair.
Chrysler said seven fires have occurred in the vehicles, though none has caused injury. The company is contacting owners by telephone and by mail to tell them to refrain from driving the cars and to contact their dealers immediately.
Because of the potential fire risk, the company also is advising owners not to park their vehicles in or near structures, such as garages, until they are repaired. Chrysler will provide loaner vehicles to customers free of charge until their Challengers are repaired.
A Chrysler spokesman said a single shipment of electrical components that are used with that engine arrived at its Brampton, Ontario, factory, where the car is built, with an improper configuration. Chrysler refused to identify the individual component involved, but Automotive News has learned it was the battery cable.
The spokesman said attempts were made to fix the faulty components prior to installation in vehicles, but the repair that was used led to the potential fire hazard, causing the recall.
Chrysler discovered the problem when it noticed a pattern of reported incidents.
Challengers with V-8 engines use a different cable and are not affected.