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Auto blogFri, 10 Jan 2014 10:01:00 EST
On top of all the other performance car debuts slated for next week's Detroit Auto Show, we might be able to add one more to the list - the new, supercharged Hellcat V8 from Chrysler. According to new reports, the rumored 640-horsepower mill is likely to cross the Motor City stage in the engine bay of a Dodge Challenger.
As AllPar points out, though, there may be more news than just the fire-breathing engine. While we've seen spy photos of the Hellcat testing under the hood of the current Challenger, there's a very fair chance that it won't arrive until the muscle car is refreshed later this year. The question now is whether that refresh will be shown off alongside the new engine in Detroit, or if it'll be saved, perhaps for the New York Auto Show.
Other details dug up by AllPar include potential transmissions for the supercharged engine - the Mopar-minded site is expecting an eight-speed automatic or a Tremec six-speed manual. Prices, meanwhile, could be in the same elevated range as the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, at $70,000 to $80,000.
The Center for Auto Safety is officially petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin scrutinizing alleged problems with the totally integrated power module (TIPM) on about 24 Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans. The advocacy group claims that the part's failure can cause affected vehicles to stall or not start at all. NHTSA is still looking into the accusations and deciding whether a full investigation is actually warranted.
The CAS petition claims at least 70 TIPM failures, but according to NHTSA, six of the complaints are for models that don't have the modules. In 34 of the reported cases, the vehicles refused to start, and in 17 of them the engine stalled. There were also two allegations of smoke and one of a fire. However, none of these affected airbag deployment or resulted in a crash.
This petition isn't the first TIPM-related problem for Chrysler Group. A recent report in the New York Times alleged that it found 240 complaints potentially related to the issue on NHTSA's website alone. In September, the automaker also recalled 230,760 examples worldwide (188,723 in the US) of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango replace the fuel pump relay circuit inside of the TIPM-7 with one external to the unit. The original part could allegedly cause the models to stall without warning. Even earlier, the company also recalled about 80,000 examples of the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro in 2007 to have the module reprogrammed.
It has been over a year since Chrysler first announced its recall of 3,660 2003-2004 Dodge Vipers because the airbag could suddenly deploy. The repairs are finally beginning, and it appears to be a nightmare for mechanics.
According to the automaker's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the airbag control module can fail, which causes the bag or the seatbelt pre-tensioner to deploy without warning. It took over a year to design the new parts, according to The New York Times. However, Chrysler finally has a new "jumper harness with an in-line diode filter circuit" ready to fix the problem.
The dilemma now moves to the mechanics who have to actually install the part. A 47-step guide from Chrysler explains that the procedure should take about two hours. It's not an easy job, though. Most of the dashboard has to be taken apart, and the instructions include this helpful bit of advice: "Installing the jumper harness and filter box into position is not an easy task. Patience, perseverance, and small hands are required." We wish the best of luck to them. The fix comes just in time for the Vipers to enjoy the summer sun.