Jeep Recalls Wrangler to Fix Airbag Clockspring, Fiat Recalls 500 over Clutch

Jeep Wrangler and Fiat 500 1 photo
Photo: FCA
Nigh 600,000 vehicles were recalled by Fiat Chrysler in two campaigns. The first safety recall covers 506,420 units of the Jeep Wrangler (JK), while the second affects 80,474 units of the Fiat 500.
Starting with the biggest of the two, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announces that half a million Jeep Wrangler vehicles are being recalled to replace the clockspring assembly and “related components.” For the uninitiated, the clockspring is a spiral-wound rotary electrical connector that allows the steering wheel to turn while making an electrical connection with the airbag and other electrical systems. So what’s wrong with the clockspring, then?

An internal investigation by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles determined that “excessive exposure to dust and dirt - consistent with extensive off-road driving or driving with a vehicle’s top and/or doors removed – may compromise the clockspring and eventually prevent driver-side airbag deployment in a crash.” In Wranglers where this condition is present, the warning lamp will be illuminated. The problem affects model year 2007 to 2010 Jeep Wrangles vehicles and 7,435 units of the 2011 - 2016 Wrangler.

The second recall campaign affects 80,474 units of the Fiat 500 city car. As per the automaker, model year 2012 to 2016 vehicles are affected. It’s important to mention that Fiat 500 models with turbocharged engines are not subjected to this recall. Fiat Chrysler describes the problem as such: “Certain vehicles equipped with manual transmissions are subject to clutch travel that may exceed design parameters. Over time, this may cause component damage capable of restricting gear shifts and propulsion.”

Where have I heard that before? Ah, yes, the seriously flawed Fiat 500L with the automatic transmission! As per an autoevolution reader: “Transmission one minute then nothing the next. I have been dumped twice by our car and there is no rhyme or reason to when it happens.”

The Italo-American consortium is unaware of any injuries or accidents related to either of the two problems. Fiat Chrysler hasn’t offered any details whatsoever about the availability of replacement parts. In the meantime, customers may call FCA US at 1-800-853-1403 for more information on both recalls.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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