Chrysler recalls Fiat 500s and Dodge Journeys

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Fiat 500

Some Fiat 500s are part of Chrysler's recall. Image: MSVG/Flickr/CC BY

Chrysler announced last week that it would be recalling approximately 340 2012 Fiat 500s and Dodge Journeys. The reason cited for the recall is that they were rolled out to the showrooms with contaminated brake fluid. The fluid, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, could lead to a loss of braking functions.

‘A loss of braking ability’

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statement said:

“Some vehicles were assembled with contaminated brake fluid and may experience a degradation of the sealing components within the brake system. This could lead to a loss of braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Vehicles made in same plant

According to Chrysler, it began an investigation into the matter on Oct. 26. The recalled vehicles were all constructed in Chrysler’s assembly plant located in Toluca, Mexico.

A reddish fluid found

Chrysler said its investigation revealed that one brake drum was found to contain a reddish fluid that was suspected to be power steering fluid. Although not confirmed in the report, it appears likely that somebody at the plant put the wrong liquid in the wrong fill tank, leading to some very costly damage control.

Plant problem addressed

To address the problem in the plant, the auto makers said that “the brake evac and fill machines were completely disassembled… [We] replaced all nylon and rubber components, as well as replacing the internal tanks. All other components were washed in soap and water than dried thoroughly.”

Recall begins next month

The recall will begin in December. Dodge and Fiat dealers will replace all components of the car that come in contact with hydraulic brake fluid. Owners who suspect they may have one of the contaminated vehicles can call the automakers hotline at 1-800-853-1403, or they can go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at


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