The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2012 Dodge Charger, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Alternator failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14022

    Component(s): Electrical System:Alternator/Generator/Regulator

    Summary: On July 22, 2014, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-022 to investigate 14 complaints (VOQs) alleging incidents of alternator failure resulting in engine stall while driving in model year (MY) 2011 through 2012 Dodge Charger vehicles.The MY 2011 through 2012 Dodge Charger vehicles were sold with three different engine options:1) 3.6L V6 (VIN8 = G), 88,766 vehicles; 2) 5.7L V8 (VIN8 = T), 38,615 vehicles; and 3) 6.4L V8 (VIN8 = J), 2,406 MY 2012 vehicles.The 14 VOQs identified in the PE14-022 opening resume involve 13 vehicles with 3.6L V6 engines and 1 vehicle with unknown engine (no VIN provided).In an October 7, 2014 letter to NHTSA, Chrysler described a safety defect condition that could result in rapid alternator failure having limited or no detection in approximately 434,581 MY 2011 through 2014 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 3.6L engines and 160 amp alternators (NHTSA Recall No. 14V-634, Chrysler P60).The subject alternators are used in vehicles equipped with 3.6L V6 engines and without towing packages.According to Chrysler, the silicone diodes in the alternator rectifier bridge may experience thermal fatigue due to cyclic loading from the Electric Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS) system, eventually resulting in no output, reduced output, or a fully shorted to ground condition.These failure modes vary in their time to failure and warning to the driver.Depending on the failure mode and timing, system voltage may drop to critically low levels, disabling systems such as the Anti-lock Brake System/Electronic Stability Control, Engine Control Module/Central Body Controller, or a total vehicle electrical system shut down (in the event of a short to ground failure mode).Analysis of complaints to ODI and Chrysler identified a total of 146 incidents of alternator failure resulting in engine stall while driving in MY 2011 through 2012 Dodge Charger vehicles, including 142 involving vehicles equipped with the 3.6L V6 engines (1.6 IPTV) that were included in 14V-464 and 4 involving vehicles with 5.7L V8 engines (0.1 IPTV), which are equipped with different alternators.Analysis of all alternator failure complaints found that approximately 48 percent of VOQs and 21 percent of Chrysler complaints involved allegations of engine stall.Many (98) complaints reported fire and/or smoke, but analysis of these determined that they involved thermal damage to the alternator diode and did not identify any incidents involving damage beyond the alternator assembly.One VOQ identified in the opening resume for PE14-022 alleged a crash, but further evaluation determined that this involved a minor rear-end impact with slight bumper damage.This investigation is closed based on Chrysler's decision to conduct a safety recall.The VOQs associated with this investigation are:10641479,10641366,10641349,10642017,10640770,10640687,10640553,10639692,10638810, 10638356,10638175,10638143,10637460,10633806,10633304,10632943,10632006,10631704, 10631613,10631420,10631088,10630991,10630854,10630844,10630108,10629623,10629603, 10628228,10628150,10627941,10627342,10626452,10626254,10625962,10622385,10622340, 10621603,10620961,10619481,10618950,10618948,10618539,10618476,10618334,10618081, 10618107,10616834,10616461,10616456,10615754,10615719,10606580,10605090,10604958, 10597295,10592085,10588675,10587141,10562463,10559730,10511407

  2. INVESTIGATION: Vehicle rollaway, engine on

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA16002

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Gear Position Indication (Prndl)

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened Preliminary Evaluation PE15-030 on August 20, 2015, to investigate 14 complaints alleging incidents of rollaway after intended shifts to Park in Model Year (MY) 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees vehicles.The MY 2014-2015 Grand Cherokee vehicles are equipped with Monostable electronic ("E-shift") gearshift assemblies supplied by ZF Group (ZF).The E-shift system operates electronically and the gear requested by the driver is transmitted from the shifter via the CAN Bus to the Transmission Control Module which makes the requested shift. The Monostable gearshift does not move into a detent but springs back to a centered/neutral position after the driver selects a gear and releases the shifter.A button on the shift knob must be depressed to shift out of Park, shift out of Neutral, and to shift from Drive to Reverse or Park. The gear selected is shown on a display in the dash and illuminated letters on the shifter.If the driver-s door is opened when the gearshift is not in Park, a chime sounds and a message is displayed on the EVIC to warn the driver.In addition, the engine Start/Stop push-button control logic does not permit normal engine shut-off when the transmission is not in Park.This logic may provide feedback to drivers who attempt to turn the engine off when the transmission is not in Park.However, this function does not protect drivers who intentionally leave the engine running or drivers who do not recognize that the engine continues to run after an attempted shut-off.NHTSA testing during PE15-030 indicates that operation of the Monostable shifter is not intuitive and provides poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver, increasing the potential for unintended gear selection.ODI-s analysis of the PE15-030 complaint and field report data identified 306 incidents of vehicle rollaway following intended shifts to Park in the 2014-2015 Grand Cherokee.These resulted in 117 alleged crashes.Twenty-eight of the crashes reportedly caused injuries, including 3 with a fractured pelvis and 4 others requiring some degree of hospitalization (a ruptured bladder, fractured kneecap, broken ribs, damaged to right leg).Other injuries include reports of a broken nose, facial lacerations requiring stitches, sprained knees, severe bruising, and trauma to legs. MY 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicles (L-cars) equipped with 3.6L engines use the same ZF Monostable shifter.ODI has received 8 complaints, including 4 crashes and 2 injuries on the subject L-cars.FCA changed the shifter design in the L-cars in MY 2015 and in the Grand Cherokee vehicles in MY 2016.An Engineering Analysis has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect. The Vehicle Owner Questionnaires (VOQs) associated with the opening of this Engineering Analysis are: Jeep Grand Cherokee: 10823099, 10822939, 10822442, 10820488, 10817252, 10810551, 10810051, 10809691, 10809024, 10807839, 10807416, 10794318, 10787947, 10787576, 10785790, 10783597, 10778854, 10775391, 10767488, 10766494, 10763333, 10763284, 10763082, 10762457, 10761498, 10760980, 10760729, 10760702, 10760081, 10759979, 10759669, 10759622, 10759568, 10759548, 10759533, 10759287, 10759278, 10759198, 10759186, 10759157, 10759131, 10759102, 10759082, 10759066, 10759047, 10759046, 10733158, 10730952, 10716526, 10711893, 10683556, 10679497, 10676998, 10668651, 10662619, 10662308, 10631167, 10605865, 10583366, 10567538, 10555901, and 10537653. Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300: 10790299, 10714355, 10693300, 10672445, 10670681, 10595813, 10594667, 10566108, and 10508134.