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Auto blogThu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST
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 is adding a third shift at its Warren Truck plant to meet demand for the new 2013 Ram pickup. And with tight supplies of its Pentastar V6, the company is also boosting output at its Mack Engine plant.
The expansions will add 1,250 jobs and are part of a $238 million investment by Chrysler in the Detroit area. Warren's third shift will begin work sometime in the spring, a Chrysler rep told Automotive News. Mack's increased Pentastar production a could include both 3.6 and 3.2-liter engines.
The company says it also plans to invest $40 million in its Trenton Engine plant to allow for production of a 3.2-liter V6 as well as the Tigershark inline-four for the upcoming Jeep Liberty replacement.
Chrysler is issuing recalls covering roughly 31,700 vehicles worldwide due to two separate problems. In both cases the company believes that most of the affected vehicles are either still on, or in transit to, dealer lots.
One recall covers roughly 10,700 Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SRT models from the 2014 model year built between January 16 and April 17, 2014. The SUVs need a software update for the cruise control. It's possible that when the cruise is on and the driver presses on the throttle, the acceleration could last a second after the pedal is released or two seconds for the SRT. Afterward, they return to the speed originally set by the driver.
Chrysler says it isn't aware of any accidents, injuries or even reported incidents of this happening in the real world. Also, in all cases, if the driver presses on the brake, the cruise shuts off. The automaker believes that there are about 6,100 affected SUVs in the US, 950 in Canada, 425 in Mexico and 3,200 outside of North America. The software upgrade will be ready shortly, the company says.