Stellantis is recalling 138,645 SUVs and trucks equipped with a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine. Dubbed Ecodiesel, the engine has a fuel pump that can block the flow of fuel and lead to power loss while driving, the NHTSA disclosed on Monday.
The recall affects the 2014-2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV (that make up about 30,000 of the affected units) and 2014-2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. The high-pressure fuel pump could fail and debris could clog up the fuel system, leading to fuel starvation. If that happens, the vehicle can lose power and increase the risk of a crash.
A driver may notice excessive noise or a leak from the fuel tank area, and a check engine light or Electronic Throttle Control indicator may illuminate in the gauge cluster.
The brand formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it was aware of three field reports, 215 customer assistance records, and 1,061 warranty claims related to the issue, but the brand said it was aware of no known injuries or crashes because of it.
The recall is more bad news for diesel engines, even since the 2015 fallout of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal that resulted in the German multinational and its many car brands paying billions in fines for cheating emissions control standards. Part of the penalty led to the development of the Electrify America electric car charging network across the U.S.
Other brands colluded with Volkswagen and cast a pall over clean diesel technology that, if employed properly, could lead to 20-30% greater fuel economy.
That was the promise of the 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel models, which had a much higher highway efficiency than the available V-8. As a part of the settlement with the U.S. regulators and supplier Bosch, FCA paid each owner $3,075, extended their warranties, and fixed software with the device that cheated emissions testing.
The current generation Ram 1500 Ecodiesel gets an EPA-certified 23 mpg city, 33 highway, 26 combined, compared to the V-8's 17/23/19 mpg combined. It's still a more efficient option, even without the cheat device.
Jeep and Ram will inspect and replace the fuel pump and affected components at no cost to owners. Notices will be sent out by mail as early as July 29, and owners can check their VIN by calling Stellantis customer service at 1-800-853-1403 or visiting the Mopar recall site here.