Number of Cylinders: 8
Model: Other Pickups
Drive Type: rear
Number of Doors: 4
Middletown, Connecticut, United States
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.
Chrysler has issued a recall of 278,222 light trucks and sport utility vehicles here in the United States. The reason: bad rear axles. Specifically, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rear axle pinion nut may lack a necessary adhesive patch, which could cause the nut to loosen. If this happens, the axle can lock up, which could cause all sorts of havoc on the road.
This is an expansion of the rear axle recall announced in October of last year, where 44,300 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota models were being called in. At that time, 12 accidents had been reported due to the faulty axle pinion nut.
Affected vehicles include Ram 1500 trucks from the 2009 to 2012 model years, Dodge Dakota models from the 2009 to 2011 model years, and both the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUV twins, both from the 2009 model year only.
You'll be forgiven for not having heard about the TV show Defiance - it actually hasn't aired its first episode yet. The new science fiction show about an alien war against Earth in the near future seems like a perfect fit for the SyFy channel, and, apparently one that Dodge saw as a slick marketing opportunity for its Charger sedan.
Here in Chicago, Dodge has given a large corner of its show stand to the Defiance Charger, a car that won't be skipped by any Mad Max fans in attendance at this year's show. The Charger boasts one hell of a gnarly patina under a confusingly welded cage of tube steel, as well as window bars, a grille guard in front, and big, knobby truck tires. There aren't any obvious guns or turrets on the outside of the vehicle, so we can only hope that the characters driving it go well-armed.
Look for the Charger to make its star turn in Defiance when the series premieres on SyFy on April 15 at 9:00 PM EST. Also, there's said to be a Defiance video game in the works, too, so you may get a chance to steer the burly Dodge for yourself. Find a trailer for the show, below, as well.