Fiat Chrysler Software Fix On Gearshifts Did Not Work On Some Vehicles

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The software designed to fix confusing gearshifts on 1.1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles did not work on nearly 29,000 vehicles. The owners have been asked to take their vehicles to the dealers to try again.

The software was to fix the cars and SUVs automatically shift into park mode when the driver's door is open while the engine is still running. Fiat Chrysler said that the change did not work in 13,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 16,000 vehicles in other countries.

Vehicles affected were the Jeep Grand Cherokee from 2014 and 2015 models and Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 of model years from 2012 to 2014.

The above vehicles were recalled in April 2016 due to complaints from drivers who had trouble finding out if the gearbox was in "park" after stopping.

As per a US government investigation which led to the recall found that 266 crashes that injured 68 people. Many of them reported that the vehicle rolled off after the driver exited.

In June 2016, "Star Trek" actor Anton Yelchin was killed when his Jeep rolled down the driveway and pinned him to the mailbox pillar and fence. Los Angeles police are still investigating his death.

FCA said it is calling and sending letters and emails to 29,000 owners. The fix though has worked on the remaining 406,000 vehicles around the globe.

The company also said that it has no reports of any crashes of the 29,000 vehicles, also, many had come to dealership for other reasons and were given the new software.

Company spokesman Eric Mayne said that in most cases they have initiated the installation of that software without the customer having to show up with the recall notice in hand and it just wasn't the right software for their particular vehicles.

He further added that the second software update will take care of the problem and a spokesperson from the government safety agency said he was checking into the matter.

The affected or the recalled vehicles have an electronic shift lever that toggles forward or backwards to let the driver select the gear instead of moving along the track with notches for each of the gears like a conventional shifter. A light indicator which reveals the gear selected, but to get from drive to park, drivers must push the lever ahead three times. So, if the vehicle is in drive and the lever is pressed once it goes into neutral and could roll off a slope.

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