You’d think, at some point, we’d grow immune to recall news and just start ignoring the mass of notices that fill the headlines of news outlets everywhere.
For now, though, the recalls that dominate headlines seem to feed our hunger for negative news and cultivate a fear of our own vehicles.
Don’t get me wrong—recalls are serious, and some of them must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid danger. Others are, in my humble opinion, the result of over-anxious government agencies trying to justify their existence.
The latest recall from FCA could potentially be a must-fix, so let’s address that and then look at something seriously cool that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doing to constantly improve its vehicles.
First, the recall:
Autoweek reports that:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 300,000 examples of the Dodge Charger for an issue with the side airbag sensor and the seat belt pretensioner. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that if the doors are slammed too hard or are kicked, the side-curtain airbags could deploy. One other thing could cause the airbags to deploy: “heavy road inputs” according to NHTSA.
There are a few reports of this happening, so if you own a Charger manufactured between May 6, 2010, and June 5, 2014, check with your dealer to see if your car requires a free repair.
Now, on to something cooler.
Where in North America can you test a 4-by-4 at 40 degrees below zero with snow whipping by at 100 mph any time of the year?
At FCA’s Chrysler Technology Center, where a new dyno has been installed. According to an FCA press release,
The existing drive cell that houses the new dyno can be chilled to 40 below zero and create wind speeds up to 100 mph. Testing is done in blizzard-like conditions in order to evaluate, among other things, how a vehicle performs when dense snow clogs its air intakes.
But that’s not all. The same facility, which is located in FCA’s headquarters, is also capable of testing vehicles in 140-degree heat. It is the auto industry’s only headquarters building where a vehicle design can go from a napkin sketch to production prototype to advertising campaign under one roof.
Here’s to hoping all this new technology will decrease the need for future recalls.
How often do you check for recalls on your car?