Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 50,000 Fiat 500 hatchbacks from the 2012-2013 model years because their automatic transmissions may not properly shift into “Park.” According to Consumer Reports, this could cause cars to roll away and crash into another vehicle or object. This problem could also make it impossible for the driver to shift into or out of Park, Drive, Reverse, or Neutral.
Details of the Recall
The problem stems from a faulty part within the transmission, which Fiat will repair at no cost to vehicle owners. Fiat says it is aware of three crashes and zero injuries related to the issue. In these vehicles, the connector at the end of the cable that joins the shift lever to the transmission (called a transmission cable bushing) can deteriorate. If it fails, drivers may notice that is much easier to move the shift lever, and that the shift lever may not show the same gear position that the vehicle is in.
When the recall begins in January, Fiat dealers will replace the transmission cable bushing with a new one made out of a more durable material. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which is the parent company of Fiat, will start notifying vehicle owners in January.
Those who have questions about this recall are asked to contact customer service at 1-800-853-1403 (recall number VB4). If you are not sure if your vehicle is included in this or any other recall, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website and plug in your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). If your vehicle is part of a recall, it should show up there. It’s also a good idea to run a check on this database if you plan to buy a used vehicle.
This is not Fiat Chrysler’s first problem with transmission and rollaway issues. Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs were linked to 68 injuries and 266 crashes including the high-profile death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin who died in June 2016 after his Jeep SUV rolled off the driveway of his Studio City home and pinned him against a mailbox.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Rollaway defects can be dangerous not just for vehicle occupants, but also for others on the roadway such as bicyclists and pedestrians who could be struck or seriously injured by a vehicle that rolls away. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other defects, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can help you seek and obtain compensation for losses including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.