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Auto blogMon, 10 Mar 2014 14:33:00 EST
Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over 25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from several markets over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The affected models are from the 2012 and 2013 model years, although the actual dates of production aren't available. 18,700 are in the US, while 825 are in Canada, 530 are in Mexico and a further 5,200 outside of North America.
According to a statement, Chrysler was informed of the issue by a component supplier for the Ready Alert Braking system, which primes the brakes in anticipation of an emergency stop. A component in the system was restricting the flow of brake fluid too much.
As Chrysler is quick to point out, the way the brakes functioned was in compliance with regulations and there are no reported cases of drivers losing braking power. Instead, the issue rests with what Chrysler calls a pedal feel that "was not consistent with customer expectations." So it would seem Chrysler is being proactive and fixing a problem not because there's a legal issue at work, but simply because it doesn't feel the way the manufacturer wants it to. Well done.
We've been hearing distant rumblings about Chrysler's new Hurricane engine for some time now, but details have been hard to come by. Now, Automotive News is adding some specifics to the scuttlebutt, citing Chrysler documents. According to the industry publication, the Hurricane will blow onto the scene in 2016, but it's not an all-new engine. Rather, it will be rooted in the company's existing 2.0-liter four-cylinder Tigershark powerplant (shown above), albeit with "many new technologies to achieve excellent fuel economy."
It's not clear what sort of technologies Chrysler is referring to, but the Hurricane is expected to continue to use an aluminum block, and the finished product is expected to generate even better figures than the existing 2.0-liter's 160 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque (as found in the Dodge Dart). Automotive News notes that the updated 2.4-liter Tigershark debuting in the entry-level 2014 Jeep Cherokee has its basis in the 2.0-liter lump, but unlike the smaller engine, it's been fitted with MultiAir2 electrohydraulic variable valve timing to realize 184 hp and 171 lb-ft and greater efficiency.
Perhaps the Hurricane will incorporate the latter in its bag of tricks? Either way, we're hoping for a more generous torque curve than the what's in the current 2.0-liter Tigershark, which is something of a slug in the Dart - even for a base economy compact.
Chrysler has announced a recall covering 349,442 vehicles due to ignition switches that can either become stuck or move without warning. All of the affected vehicles are from the 2008 model year, and were built before May 12, 2008.
The automaker has learned that ignition keys on some vehicles "may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position during engine-startup," the company said in a statement. Additionally, "an ignition key may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position and may inadvertently move through the 'ON' position to 'ACCESSORY' or 'OFF.'"
Chrysler says it is unaware of any related injuries, and notes that while reduced braking, engine or steering power is possible in such instances, the airbags are not affected. The later stands in contrast to General Motors' recent rash of high-profile recalls, and it's an important distinction that Chrysler (understandably) felt necessary to call out in bold print in its press release.