The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is beginning a preliminary evaluation into roll-away complaints for one million 2014-2016 Dodge Durango and 2013-2017 Ram 1500 pickup. This is the agency’s first step in deciding whether a recall is necessary for repairing this issue, and the process investigates “the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences” of the problem.
These models use a rotary controller for selecting a gear for the automatic transmission. “The reports alleged that the unintended motion occurred after the driver moved the transmission gear selector to Park and exited the vehicle,” according to the agency’s description of the problem.
NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has found 43 complaints of the vehicles allegedly rolling away while in Park. In 34 cases, people said they actually saw the shifter in the Park position. In addition, the researchers have identified 25 incidents with crashes or fires and 9 injuries. There are no known fatalities at this time.
None of the reports mentioned whether the parking brake was in use when the vehicle rolled away. NHTSA is advising drivers to use it as a way to potentially mitigate the danger of a roll-away.
These rotary gearshifts in these models are different from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ previously recalled monostable shifter, according to Reuters. This campaign covered 1.1 million units of the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, plus separately for 13,092 American examples of the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli. However, the alleged problems with them are similar. Drivers were reportedly confused by the gearshift that automatically returned to the center position after switching gears. People incorrectly thought the vehicle was in Park, and it started to roll away when they stepped out. An investigation found at least 41 injuries from the issue. In that case FCA had to change the software so that there were more warnings, and the model didn’t move in some cases even if the driver didn’t select Park.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Reuters
Gallery: 2016 Dodge Durango R/T: Review
INVESTIGATION Subject : Vehicle Rollaway
Date Investigation Opened: DEC 16, 2016
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE16014
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle MakeModelModel Year(s)
DODGE DURANGO 2014-2016
RAM 1500 2013-2017
1 Associated Document
Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified 43 complaints alleging vehicle roll-away from a parked position in model year (MY) 2013-2016 Ram 1500 and MY 2014-2016 Dodge Durango. These subject vehicles are equipped with an electronically shifted transmission and electronic rotary control for driver gear selections. The reports alleged that the unintended motion occurred after the driver moved the transmission gear selector to Park and exited the vehicle. Nine injuries have been alleged in eight reports, 25 crashes are alleged. Thirty-four of the reports alleged that the vehicle was moving while the shifter indicated that it was in the park position. Many of the incidents alleged the engine was running, however it was noted as off in a few cases.
Notably none of the reports indicate that the parking brake was engaged at the time of the roll-away incident. Subject vehicle owners, and in fact all drivers, should always apply the parking brake to prevent vehicle roll-away.
A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.
The ODI complaints cited above can be viewed at www.safercar.gov under the following ODI identification numbers:10554951, 10559744, 10617268, 10648455, 10664380, 10701261, 10726180, 10744809, 10746012, 10746574, 10749304, 10761819, 10764187, 10787674, 10808836, 10820611, 10825024, 10859918, 10860998, 10861070, 10861275, 10861466, 10863765, 10865590, 10870288, 10875626, 10875918, 10883952, 10884961, 10887416, 10896337, 10898192, 10898999, 10899161, 10903709, 10906809, 10907102, 10910068, 10911170, 10914057, 10917680, 10917771, and 10926262.