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-634 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: On April 22, 2016, Fiat Chrysler Automotive US LLC, (FCA) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) to NHTSA regarding a defect that could result in unattended vehicle rollaway with the engine running in approximately 811,586 model year (MY) 2012 to 2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles and MY 2014 to 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 8-speed transmissions and a monostable gear selector (NHTSA Recall #16V-240, FCA Recall #S27). According to FCA's DIR, "The existing strategies built into these vehicles to deter drivers from exiting the vehicle after failing to put the transmission into PARK have not stopped some from doing so. Drivers erroneously concluding that their vehicle's transmission is in the PARK position may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out of the vehicle while the engine is running and the parking brake is not engaged."The vehicles recalled by FCA are equipped with Monostable electronic ("shift-by-wire") gearshift assemblies supplied by ZF Group (see Figure 1).The subject Monostable shifter has a single neutral position that it snaps back to when the driver releases the shift knob.Although the Monostable gearshift has the familiar appearance of a conventional console mechanical gearshift assembly, it has an unfamiliar movement that does not provide the tactile or visual feedback that drivers are accustomed to receiving from conventional shifters.Consequently, the driver must take additional time to verify that the desired gear position was achieved by checking the PRNDL display on the shift knob or the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) display.