The Dodge Dart may be headed for the graveyard (again), but it's not going gently into that good night. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 1,200 Darts from the 2015 and 2016 model-years because of a software issue that could result in an unexpected "torque event".
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in some late-model Darts, "the powertrain control module that monitors the engine torque output may be missing a backup layer of software". That second layer of software helps to ensure that the torque being delivered by the engine matches the torque that the driver wants.
Without the software in place, there's a possibility that the engine could turn out more torque than the driver requested, which could lead to an accident.
The good news is, the problem with the Dart doesn't affect the clutch. So, should the Dart unexpectedly deliver an excess of torque, pressing the clutch pedal would keep that power from reaching the wheels. Similarly, the car's brakes remain fully functional and can help bring the Dart under control.
Also, FCA has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem.
The recall is limited to the following vehicles:
- 2016 Dodge Dart vehicles built between July 25, 2015 and December 16, 2015 that came equipped with 2.0L engines and manual transmissions
- 2015 Dodge Dart vehicles equipped with 2.0L engines and manual transmissions that were serviced by dealers between September 15, 2015 and January 12, 2016
The recall affects 1,232 vehicles registered in the U.S.
FCA will send out recall notices, asking affected Dart owners to take their vehicles to dealerships for service. Dealers will update the Dart's engine control module software at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions, call Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall S10. You can also ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #16V113000.