Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 26,000 Dodge Dart vehicles from the 2013, 2014, and 2015 model years. Documents from FCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirm that some of those cars may experience transmission problems that could increase the risk of an accident.
The Dart's problem is linked to its transmission control module and a bracket that holds it in place. According to a statement from FCA, that bracket "may apply too much force and disrupt the function of a circuit board within the module". Should that happen, the Dart can unexpectedly shift into neutral, momentarily disabling the accelerator.
The good news is, FCA reports that the glitch doesn't affect the Dart's engine, which will remain on. Nor does it affect airbags or other safety features, which remain active.
Earlier this year, FCA identified at least 23 incidents in which the Dart's transmission control module bracket problem had led to a loss of motive power. However, as of last month, the company knew of no injuries or accidents caused by the issue.
The recall is limited to 2013-2015 Dodge Darts equipped with dual dry-clutch transmissions. It affects 23,688 vehicles registered in the U.S., 3,376 in Canada, five in Mexico, and 451 elsewhere.
FCA hasn't yet set a timeline for this recall. When notices go out, though, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Dodge dealer, who will replace the transmission control module and the mounting bracket at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact FCA US Customer Service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall R42. Alternately, you can call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V542000.