— Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling more than 8,000 model year 2017 Dodge Challenger cars equipped with 5.7-liter V8 engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions.
Chrysler says a driver can put the shift lever into PARK while the engine is running, but the car won't really be in PARK. The Challenger could roll away if the driver exits the car believing it's in PARK.
The automaker says the transmission won't stay in PARK even if the shift lever is moved to the PARK position. The transmission control module software used with 2017 Challengers was made to improve the shift quality by introducing longer clutch pressure vent rates. However, the software also can cause what is called a P1DDD fault that will cause the car to shift into 6th gear limp mode instead of PARK.
Technically speaking, the fault will occur when venting the clutch pressure takes longer than 1.25 seconds and too many clutches are still engaged.
If the Start/Stop button is pressed, the vehicle will shift into PARK and the engine will turn off. In this case the transmission is truly in mechanical PARK. However, if the vehicle is not in mechanical PARK and the driver does not heed the provided warnings and exits the car, it could idle away or roll away.
A driver will see a warning message that says, “Service Trans Press Brake When Stopped Key Off Engine to Engage Park” and a repeating audible chime will sound. If the door is opened, a “Vehicle Not In Park” message will also be displayed.
In January 2017, FCA received the first report of a P1DDD diagnostic code, so engineers started looking into the matter. The software was updated in May for “green” (newly built) transmissions while Chrysler searched its records for additional problems.
The automaker says as of June 2017, nearly 140 warranty claims have been found, but no reports of crashes or injuries have been recorded.
FCA says drivers should always engage the parking brakes before leaving the cars.
The recall is expected to begin August 21, 2017, when dealers will update the transmission control module software.
If you own a 2017 Dodge Challenger and have questions, call FCA at 800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is T41.