50,000 cars with automatic transmissions affected, may roll away when put into Park
By Jon Linkov | www.consumerreports.org
More than 50,000 Fiat 500 hatchbacks from the 2012 and 2013 model years are being recalled because their automatic transmissions may not properly shift into Park, so the car could roll away and crash into another car or an object. The issue may even make it impossible for the driver to shift into or out of Park, Drive, Reverse, or Neutral.
The problem stems from a faulty part within the transmission, which Fiat will repair at no cost to vehicle owners. Fiat says it is aware of three crashes and zero injuries related to this issue.
Vehicles recalled: Certain Fiat 500 hatchbacks with automatic transmissions manufactured from December 2, 2010 through January 30, 2013.
The problem: The connector at the end of the cable that joins the shift lever to the transmission, called a transmission cable bushing, can deteriorate. If it fails, drivers may notice that it’s significantly easier to move the shift lever, and that the shift lever may not show the same gear position that the vehicle is in.
The fix: Fiat dealers will replace the transmission cable bushing with a new one made of a more durable material.
How to contact the manufacturer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the parent company of Fiat, will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles in January 2020. Owners may also contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Fiat’s own number for this recall is VB4.
NHTSA campaign number: 19V817
Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has a recall that needs to be addressed.
If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have one. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.