Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced a recall of nearly 350,000 crossover utility vehicles, the majority of which are registered in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. According to a notice from the automaker, the recall stems from a problem with the engine cover on the 2011-2015 Dodge Journey, which is marketed in some countries as the Fiat Freemont.
FCA says that in some cases, the engine cover on the Journey/Freemont can detach. Should that happen, and should the cover come in contact with a hot surface like an exhaust component, it can catch fire.
The problem was first identified in Chile, where three incidents were reported. The good news is, each of those incidents involved a vehicle that had been driven for long distances on rough roads, which suggests that the likelihood of engine covers detaching is somewhat remote. One minor injury was linked to one of the three incidents.
The recall is limited to Journey and Freemont vehicles equipped with 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines. Those with six-cylinder engines aren't affected.
All told, the recall affects 349,731 vehicles across the globe. Of that number, 144,416 are registered in the U.S., 43,679 are located in Canada, 46,231 in Mexico, and 115,405 are registered elsewhere. FCA believes that roughly 10 percent of affected vehicles remain on dealer lots.
FCA says that it will mail official recall notices to owners next month. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Dodge (or Fiat) dealer, who will will install a new engine cover retainer at no charge.
In the meantime, if you own one of these vehicles, FCA says that warning signs of a loose engine cover "may include noise from the vehicle’s engine compartment, a burning odor and/or a warning light in the instrument cluster." If you notice any of things in your Journey or Freemont, contact your dealer immediately.
Questions? Call FCA's US Customer Care Center at 800-853-1403.