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According to Automotive News, Chrysler is hoping Fast & Furious 6 will be kind to the Dodge Dart. While the compact sedan doesn't actually show up in the film, Dodge has partnered up with the movie franchise for a new ad featuring the Dart.
Chrysler hasn't exactly seen the high sales numbers it was originally hoping for with the new sedan, thanks in part to a couple of missteps. For starters, most early-production vehicles were only offered with a manual transmission. Analysts believe Chrysler squandered around 95 percent of potential Dart sales because automatic transmission options weren't immediately available.
Right now, the Dodge Dart rakes 19th among compact cars, pulling down 31,064 sales through April. Last month was the company's strongest, with 8,099 units moving off of dealer lots. Unfortunately, the model has also been handicapped by its older sister, the Avenger. With Chrysler throwing heavy incentives at the aging sedan, many consumers have taken advantage of a better deal with the slightly larger, more powerful Avenger.
In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit's business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered - and complained - that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles - which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger - are affected by the safety issues.
Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn't been updated.
With more than 200,000 units across six separate recalls and almost all of its brands, it appears that Chrysler has officially jumped headfirst into the recall pool this month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued three official recalls for the automaker, and The Detroit News is reporting that the automaker itself has announced three more.
The biggest of the recalls applies to about 120,000 Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 models for 2011 and 2012 due to faulty wiring harnesses for the seat-mounted side airbags, which could lead to these airbags not deploying in the event of a crash. A little more than 60,000 two-wheel-drive versions of the 2007-2008 Dodge Nitro and 2008 Jeep Liberty SUVs are being recalled due to a heat shield that could cause the driveshaft to break, which if that isn't bad on its own, could then hit underneath where the airbag sensor is mounted, causing the airbags to deploy. Wrapping up NHTSA's recall notices, about 20,000 Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass models for 2012 are also being recalled due to a problem with the fuel tank transfer tube that could lead to the vehicle stalling. The LX car recall campaign is going into effect this month, while the other two will start next month - all three notices are posted below.
In addition to the official NHTSA recalls, The Detroit News is also reporting that Chrysler is recalling more than 16,000 Ram trucks and a small number of Dodge Dart sedans. Around 6,500 2013 Ram 1500 trucks will be recalled due to an improper adjustment of the parking brake cable from the factory, while 7,000 Cummins-powered 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks are being recalled due to an engine cover that does not have as much heat resistance as it is supposed to. Finally, a total of 46 Dodge Dart sedans are being recalled due to a problem with the brake calipers and/or parking brake.