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FCA recalling 33k vans and SUVs for TPMS problems in two campaigns

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Ram ProMaster

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is issuing two, separate recalls covering a total of 33,443 examples in the US of the 2014 Ram ProMaster, 2014 Jeep Wrangler, 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2014 Chrysler Town & Country because of potential problems with the tire pressure monitoring system in the vehicles.

The first campaign is for 23,053 units of the 2014 Ram ProMaster. It's possible for the TPMS to not recognize the location of the data coming from the sensors in the wheels. If this happens, then the low tire pressure warning light comes on and potentially gives the driver a false positive. If the warning isn't cleared, and drivers keep going, they might not be aware of another tire that actually has low pressure. This fix for this is a software update.

The second recall covers 10,390 examples of the 2014 Wrangler, Grand Caravan and Town & Country. According to FCA, it's possible that a test mode for the TPMS is still on since being shipped from the supplier. On affected vehicles, it could cause inaccurate pressure readings. The repair involves disabling that mode on the TPMS module.

Neither issue is responsible for known injuries or accidents, and affected customers should be advised by mail in November. Scroll down to read FCA's statement about both recalls and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report for the ProMaster campaign. The agency has not yet published a similar announcement for the other repair.

Continue reading FCA recalling 33k vans and SUVs for TPMS problems in two campaigns

FCA recalling 33k vans and SUVs for TPMS problems in two campaigns originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 10.29.14

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uturn

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

What's black, white and red all over? Not sure? Okay, what's black, white and red all over, boasts a stonkin' 707-horsepower supercharged V8 underhood, four doors with plenty of room for a party of five and a trunk big enough for all their stuff? That's right: It's the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and we just drove the one you see to your right. Read all about it and let us know what you think.





Here's how Mercedes CLA wagon will lookMercedes CLA wagon rendering

Our spy shooters caught the boffins at Mercedes-Benz out and about while testing the automaker's upcoming CLA Shooting Brake on the German Authbahn. We're pleased as pie with the way it looks, though we're not sure that those of us living in the States will ever see it on US roads. In any case, expect powertrain options to mimic those of the CLA sedan, up to and including the AMG-spec 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 355 horsepower and all-wheel drive.





Ferrari to be spun off from Fiat Chrysler Ferrari / Fiat / Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler has just announced that it will effectively spin off the Ferrari brand as a separate entity. While still technically under the Fiat family umbrella, the Italian automaker will then be free to list itself on various stock markets around the world, including the United States. How much is 10 percent of Ferrari worth? Probably a whole heck of a lot, and that money will help FCA as it continues to push for more growth.




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What you missed on 10.29.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Including all-wheel-drive models, there are ten versions of the 2015 Dodge Charger. The tenth variant - better described as the ten-tenths variant and the topmost model - is this Charger SRT Hellcat.

Superficially, you already know what it is: take the massively powerful Hellcat engine that's Frankensteined into the Dodge Challenger and stitch it into the recently facelifted Charger sedan.

Oh, but that would be superficial knowledge indeed. Russ Ruedisueli, vehicle line executive and head engineer for SRT, claims the Charger Hellcat is, "The industry's most irreverent four-door supercar." We looked up the word "irreverent" in the Oxford dictionaries, and it turns out the word doesn't mean "707 horsepower," nor "650 pound-feet of torque" nor "3.7-second 0-60 time, and seats five adults." It does mean, "Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously."

After a day piloting SRT's latest brute through the hills and dales surrounding our nation's capital, we've found that definition leaves the driver a fair bit of work to do. While the Charger SRT Hellcat is busy being contemptuous, pouring its profane growl all over the roads, if you have any sense at all, you will Respect it with a capital "R" and take it very, very seriously.

Continue reading 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari to be spun off from Fiat Chrysler

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Fiat Chrysler chairman Sergio Marchionne smiling

The recently merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire has ambitious plans for growth, and it's going to need some big bucks in its coffers in order to enact them. Part of that cash injection is coming from the floating of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, but now FCA has announced a further capital campaign to be based on the enormous asset that is Ferrari.

FCA's board of directors has just approved the separation of Ferrari from the rest of the group as a separate entity. Once that separation is complete, Ferrari will put 10 percent of its shares on the stock market "in the United States and possibly a European exchange" as well.

This isn't the first time that the idea of a Ferrari IPO has been raised. Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Chrysler, Fiat and Ferrari (pictured above), first raised the idea four years ago. Former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo nixed the idea, but now that he's been discharged, it appears there's nothing to get in the way of Marchionne's desires.

The remaining 90-percent stake in Ferrari will be distributed among FCA's existing shareholders, of which the largest (at over 30 percent) is the Agnelli family's Exor investment company headed by Fiat chairman John Elkann.

Continue reading Ferrari to be spun off from Fiat Chrysler

Ferrari to be spun off from Fiat Chrysler originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler recalling 382k Ram HD diesel pickups, 184k SUVs

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2014 Ram HD

Between GM's ignition switches and Takata's airbags, it's been a big year for recalls, but they keep rolling in. The latest comes from Chrysler, which has announced a pair of recalls for certain heavy-duty pickups and SUVs.

The first issue revolves around the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine available in the 2010-2014 Ram HD trucks, including 2500 and 3500 series pickups as well as 4500 and 5500 series chassis cabs. In the affected units, "a terminal connector near the fuel heater may be subject to friction-induced corrosion," according to the first of the two announcements from Chrysler below.

The problem could result in overheating and fuel leakage. Chrysler launched its investigation following cases of overheating, none of which actually started a fire, much less an injury or accident. As a precautionary measure, however, Chrysler is instructing service technicians to replace the terminals on an estimated 381,876 Ram units around the world - the vast majority of those (314,704) registered in the US, another 59,432 in Canada, 1,803 in Mexico and 5,937 abroad.

The second recall involves the 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the affected units, Chrysler has found that a debris cover can disrupt a circuit board's functioning and disable the vehicle's stability control system. Chrysler reports that it isn't aware of any injuries or accidents resulting from this issue, either, but to fix the problem, Chrysler technicians need only upgrade the software. This recall affects 184,186 units globally - 132,223 in the US, 8,871 in Canada, 4,742 in Mexico and a further 38,350 abroad.

Continue reading Chrysler recalling 382k Ram HD diesel pickups, 184k SUVs

Chrysler recalling 382k Ram HD diesel pickups, 184k SUVs originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler-Fiat quality chief out after another poor Consumer Reports showing

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Matthew LidaneFiat Chrysler has announced a management change following the company's woeful performance in the latest Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Of the 28 brands surveyed, FCA's marques occupied the five the seven lowest scores, while Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat were the four lowest scorers.

Doug Betts, FCA's 51-year-old head of quality "left the company to pursue other interests," which, considering the aforementioned paragraph, means he was sacked. According to Automotive News, Betts joined Chrysler in 2007, defecting from Nissan, and, insiders report, had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with new boss Sergio Marchionne.

His replacement is the newly promoted Matthew Lidane (shown at inset), who was formerly VP of systems and components. Lidane has been at Chrysler since 1987 and was previously chief engineer of the Jeep product team as well as the vehicle line boss for the compact US wide platform which (ironically) underpins two of FCA's lowest scoring vehicles, the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee.

Scroll down for the official press release from Chrysler.

Continue reading Chrysler-Fiat quality chief out after another poor Consumer Reports showing

Chrysler-Fiat quality chief out after another poor Consumer Reports showing originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NHTSA probing Ram recall pace, communication

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Ram 1500

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it's looking into Chrysler Group's handling of a pair of recalls affecting roughly one million Ram pickup trucks. Reuters is reporting that the regulatory agency is focusing on the availability (or lack thereof) of parts and "poor communications" from the automaker in its investigation.

"Customers have been advised in accordance with the regulations governing recalls," Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne told Reuters via email. "We are continually replenishing our supply of replacement parts. Chrysler Group regrets any inconvenience our customers may have experienced."

NHTSA disagrees, arguing that the recalls, which affect 972,000 trucks from 2003 to 2012, are being delayed by the lack of parts.

"We have concerns with the administration and execution of these safety recalls and accordingly have opened an investigation to collect further information from Chrysler about the details of administration and execution of these campaigns and the logic that supports the strategies used," NHTSA wrote in a letter to Chrysler earlier this month, Reuters reports.

Over 1,000 consumers complained to NHTSA, prompting the probe, according to documents acquired by Reuters. Customers claimed that they attempted to have the recall work performed after Chrysler announced repairs would begin in January, only to be told by dealers it could take months for parts to become available.

NHTSA probing Ram recall pace, communication originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Detroit 3 small cars lay an egg in latest Consumer Reports reliability study

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Ford Fiesta

Consumer Reports has released its Annual Auto Reliability Survey and the results are, in a word, interesting. While we already covered the score-damaging effects of infotainment systems, there's another big angle to the data that's getting some attention - the utterly dismal scores of the Detroit Three's small car offerings.

The turbocharged Dodge Dart and Chevrolet Cruze, as well as the Ford Fiesta were their respective brands' lowest-scoring models, a stat that's made worse by the fact that the American automakers finished 25th, 21st and 23rd, respectively.

That's not acceptable for The Detroit Free Press' auto critic, Mark Phelan, who has penned a scathing critique of the D3's small car reliability scores, arguing that GM, Ford and Chrysler are "out of excuses."

Phelan argues that Detroit automakers have been honest about the poor nature of its past econobox offerings, but today things are different, noting the new domestics' "world-class engineering, electronics and designs" as well as their entertaining character, fuel-efficient powertrains and affordable price should be driving sales.

"Chrysler, Ford and GM have a chance to change how people view their small cars, but not if they get many more quality scores like this," Phelan writes.

What do you think? Have your say in Comments.

Detroit 3 small cars lay an egg in latest Consumer Reports reliability study originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Meet the finalists for Autoblog’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award

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Autoblog Technology of the Year

Greetings from (cold and rainy) Petoskey, MI, where many Autoblog editors are testing 14 different cars and trucks that make up the finalists for this year's Technology of the Year Award. Our tech choices run the gamut from complete vehicles (BMW i3, i8) to engines, connectivity features, convenience niceties, safety systems, performance data functions and more. And it helps that many of these technologies are housed in some pretty hilariously fun vehicles.

Have a look below to see the full roster of what made the cut this year, and stay tuned as we crown a winner during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities in just a few weeks.

Continue reading Meet the finalists for Autoblog's 2014 Technology of the Year Award

Meet the finalists for Autoblog's 2014 Technology of the Year Award originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler 200 subtitles performance in latest round of advertising

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Chrysler 200

Every once in a while, we come across a car video narrated in a foreign language and subtitled in English. They usually center on foreign-made automobiles, but this latest series of videos comes straight from Detroit.

Airing for the first time during's NFL broadcasts, these four commercials for the 2015 Chrysler 200 were produced by Wieden + Kennedy Portland - the same advertising firm that created the now-legendary Eminem spot for the last-generation 200.

Each clip in the "Ready to Take on the World" campaign highlights a different aspect of the American sedan and is narrated in Japanese, German or Swedish - each with English subtitles - associating the 200's Japanese level of quality, German performance and Swedish safety standards. But while the clips are ostensibly set in Japan, Germany and Sweden, Automotive News reports that they were actually filmed at home in the US.

It's an interesting way to sell an American car, and you can view the first three clips below and what you think of the new campaign, with the fourth Swedish spot still to be released.

Continue reading Chrysler 200 subtitles performance in latest round of advertising

Chrysler 200 subtitles performance in latest round of advertising originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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