WASHINGTON -- Chrysler Group is recalling more than 214,000 cars and trucks to fix a range of problems, including an engine cover that overheated and led to a fire under the hood of a prototype Ram 3500, documents released today show.
In filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration submitted last week and disclosed today, the automaker said it will initiate six recalls, covering 214,201 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles in the United States.
That includes 6,143 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks made from January to March of this year, which have potentially fire-prone engine compartments.
When including related recalls in Mexico, Canada and other countries, the recall total rises to about 260,000 vehicles, Chrysler said.
In an April 5 filing, Chrysler said a fire broke out under the hood of a prototype Ram 3500 vehicle during testing in February at the company's proving ground in Chelsea, Mich.
As result, Chrysler engineers discovered that the engine cover used in the trucks can trap too much heat on the passenger side of the engine. They also found that the engine compartment can overheat if the engine cover is positioned incorrectly after service.
"Either may result in an under-hood fire," the company's filing with NHTSA said.
Chrysler said it will begin to notify customers and dealers of the problem by the end of May. Most of the affected vehicles are still in dealers' hands, the company said.
For the recall, Chrysler will replace the engine cover with a new batwing-shaped shield.
Other vehicles being recalled:
- 119,497 units of the 2011-12 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger. In its filing, Chrysler said it needs to replace driver- and passenger-seat airbag wiring harnesses that can cause the warning light to blink on and off.
- 61,409 units of the 2007-08 Dodge Nitro and 2008 Jeep Liberty SUVs. Chrysler said in its filing that the vehicles need a bracket to support the rear edge of the tunnel heat shield. If the tunnel heat shield is not properly supported, it can rub on the driveshaft until the driveshaft breaks, the filing said. Chrysler said it is not aware of any accidents that have resulted from the flaw.
- 20,532 units of the 2012 Jeep Patriot and Compass. Chrysler said it needs to fix a condition that can interrupt the flow of fuel from the secondary side of the fuel tank to the primary side, causing the engine to stall. In its filing, the company said it is aware of one accident caused by the defect, but no injuries or property damage.
- 6,574 units of the 2013 Ram 1500. Chrysler said in its filing that it needs to inspect the parking brake cable equalizers in these vehicles and possibly reset them. If the equalizers are set wrong, the trucks may not be able to hold at 20 percent grade, as safety standards require. Chrysler said it is not aware of any accidents that have resulted from the flaw.
- 46 units of the 2013 Dodge Dart. Chrysler says it needs to replace the rear brake calipers, which came from the wrong batch of parts and can cause the brake cable to rub on the tire. The company said it is not aware of any accidents that have resulted from the flaw.