Alden, Iowa, United States
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.
It's been some time since we've heard anything about fires related to the Jeep Wrangler (foreign or domestic), but it sounds like the go-anywhere SUV could be in hot water once again in China. Bloomberg is reporting that the Chinese government is ordering Jeep to investigate the matter and, in the meantime, also recommending Wrangler owners to not drive their vehicles in "extreme conditions" due to a "relatively high risk" of catching on fire.
There is no indication as to how many vehicles or which model years are affected, but the previous fire problems in both the US and China - which led to investigations but no recalls - were traced back to automatic transmission fluid leaks. The article, however, does not say what the potential problem is this time around as Jeep has not released a comment on the matter. The official notice, in Chinese, can be found here.
The 2014 North American International Auto Show is right around the corner, which means it's high time we found out which cars and trucks would be finalists for the prestigious North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards.
The finalists - three in cars and three in three trucks/utilities - are dominated by American brands, with two-thirds of the finalists hailing from either General Motors or Chrysler (don't worry Ford, there's always next year), while outliers from Mazda and Acura can be found in each contest. Here now is the list of finalists for the big prizes:
2014 North American Car of the Year: