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Auto blogThu, 16 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling a total of 747,817 vehicles in the US in two separate campaigns recently added to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database.
The first one covers about 434,581 units of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2011-2014 model years with electric hydraulic power steering, the 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to FCA. In the affected vehicles, it's possible for the alternator to fail without warning and possibly cause the car to stall. According to the documentation submitted to NHTSA, the automaker began investigating the problem in August 2014 and has found possible evidence of one crash caused by the failures but no known injuries.
Customers will begin receiving notification about the recall next month, and obviously the repairs will be done at no cost to them.
Chrysler and Mitsubishi have had a close relationship since the early '70s. Back then, they partnered up to sell the Japanese brand's models under American names as captive imports in the US. Vehicles like the Dodge Colt, Eagle Summit, and eventually the 3000GT/Stealth twins and lots of other cars and trucks became the fruits of that alliance. In fact, the two companies still maintain a good rapport, as evidenced by reports of a new deal to sell the Mitsubishi Attrage, also known the Mirage G4, in Mexico starting in November.
The Attrage is a small, four-door sedan that borrows many of the mechanical bits from the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. According to Automotive News, the deal allows Chrysler to sell the model in Mexico for the next five years. The deal could be a win-win for both companies. Mitsubishi gets to use more capacity at its Laem Chabang, Thailand factory where the car is made, and Chrysler gets a new vehicle for a growing market with almost zero development costs. At this time, there's no indication of the new model's name in Mexico, though.
There's also still a chance the Attrage might make it to the US market as well. The automaker showed off the sedan as the Mirage G4 at the 2014 Montreal Motor Show ahead of promised sales in small-car-friendly Canada. The Mirage hatchback was introduced to the US in a similar way, debuting in Canada first and then crossing the border. While reviews for the Mirage have been pretty atrocious, it would still be interesting to see Mitsubishi further expanding its lineup in North America.
Speaking with Wards Auto at this year's Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles said that the next-generation Chrysler 200 will launch a whole new styling direction for the brand when it arrives for the 2014 model year. Gilles did not reveal any specific design cues or elements that will be found on the next 200, only saying that the new car "shares no surface language with any previous Chrysler we've ever seen."
Indeed, the current 200 isn't exactly setting the world on fire with any sort of clever, emotive design, but Gilles knows that. "The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don't reflect where we're headed," he told Wards Auto. Instead, Gilles said that "we are deviating from where we are today, completely. It's a very different feeling (and) look."
The launch of the new Chrysler 200 will officially mean the death of its Dodge Avenger counterpart, though Gilles says that the company is working on an all-new product to replace that vehicle down the road. Still, Chrysler will need a successful player in the popular midsize segment, and Gilles fully expects the new 200 to be up to the task. "I think it's going to be a beautiful and relevant vehicle."