Claremore, Oklahoma, United States
What do the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ram 1500 all have in common? Yes, they're all Chrysler products, and two of them are based on the same platform. And we're sure you could find more similarities between them all, but the common trait we're looking at here is that, while they all come standard in rear-drive form, they're also available with all-wheel drive. And it's the transmission in those models that's the subject of the latest recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The output shaft on the eight-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF to Chrysler for the AWD versions of the 300, Charger and Ram 1500 is apparently prone to fracture. That in the end could leave the vehicle without power and could, according to the NHTSA investigation, increase the chance of a crash. The vehicle could also roll away if even if left in Park without the handbrake applied.
That's why Chrysler is calling in 4,194 examples of those three models from the 2013 model year. Dealers will be responsible for inspecting the transmissions and, where necessary, replace the entire unit. See the full recall notice below for all the details.
A monstrous supercharged V8 engine could be in store for Chrysler and SRT products, if recent rumors are to be believed. Allpar is reporting that the forced-induction V8 - Chrysler's first, if this goes down - could make its debut this summer.
The story goes that the Hellcat would be based on a 6.2-liter Hemi engine, rather than on the existing 5.7- or 6.4-liter versions of the company's vaunted mill. In any case, the general consensus is that the motor will have gobs of power. Modest estimates call for between 500 to 570 horsepower, with some outliers predicting a figure as high as 600 hp. That figure would put the output would place the Hellcat awfully close to that of the 640-hp V10 in the SRT Viper, too. Allpar contends that a slightly lower powered version would allow Chrysler to keep costs below that of the more powerful Ford Shelby GT500, which might be a sweet spot.
The Hellcat could debut in a number of SRT products. SRT versions of the Charger, Challenger and 300 are all up for grabs, as is the rumored SRT Barracuda.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.