Oakland, Maryland, United States
Early last month, we reported on Chrysler issuing a preemptive, proactive recall for about 25,000 units of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The issue revolved around a brake system that wasn't causing any actual problems, but delivered an unsatisfactory brake feel, so Auburn Hills called in a good 25,000 of SUVs around the world, including 18,700 in the United States.
Now Chrysler, having apparently determined that the brake problem on its sport utes is actually much bigger than it initially realized, has drastically broadened the scope of the recall. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall for precisely 655,354 examples of the Grand Cherokee and Durango, covering the 2011 through 2014 model years. In addition, Chrysler is recalling 42,380 units in Canada, 21,376 in Mexico and 159,685 overseas.
The problem which Chrysler found revolves around the brake booster, whose center shell has been found to be subject to corrosion, allowing water to get into the brake system. That water in turn could freeze, preventing the brakes from working as well as expected.
Dodge and SRT Motorsports announced that the Dodge Dart will be returning for its sophomore season of the Global Rallycross Championship with a two-car team fielded by Pastrana Racing. Travis Pastrana drove his GRC Dart to victory lane in the fourth race of the car's inaugural season, and his race team is looking for even more success with the addition of off-road racer Bryce Menzies behind the wheel of the second car.
The 2013 GRC season kicks off on April 21 in Brazil with plenty of dirt-spewing, ramp-jumping action. Scroll down for a video from the cars' main sponsor, Red Bull, and a press release from Chrysler.
What's not to love about crowdsourcing? This idea, after all, has given us Kickstarter as well Local Motors, but automakers are starting to use the social platform to sell more cars (or just drum up a little PR). Both Dodge and Hyundai have used "crowd-funding" recently, and while Automotive News is reporting that neither has racked up big sales with this gimmick, both automakers are pleased with the attention.
For Hyundai, it teamed up with website Motozuma.com to help customers crowdsource money for a down payment, and the automaker matched this amount up to $500. Last year, this helped Hyundai sell an extra 1,600 units, a fraction of its total 2012 sales. That figure is far larger than Dodge fared with the Dodge Dart Registry - it netted only two sales and a small number of individual options. This registry did help University of Southern California fraternity crowdsource $18,000 to buy a Dart for a local Meals on Wheels, however. Despite the low sales figures, Dodge and Hyundai are considering their crowdsourcing programs a success since it helped them connect with younger buyers.