A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration press release Monday reported that Chrysler will be recalling nearly 10,000 Dodge Chargers fitted to be used as police patrol cruisers. The cars may have a light bulb harness connector that overheats, leading to failure of the low-beam headlights. The issue can also possibly lead to problems with the anti-lock brakes and stability functions.
Affects 2011 and 2012 Chargers
The problem affects some model year 2011 and 2012 Dodge Chargers. In all, 9,688 cars will be recalled. The NHTSA press release says that some of the affected vehicles “may lose ABS/ESC system function due to an overheated power distribution center.”
First complaints came in August
The federal regulation agency began its investigation into the matter in August, following two complaints. Both complaints reported the failure of low-beam lights, as well as melted connections. Other reports have filtered in of Chargers suffering from failure of the electronic stability control and anti-lock braking systems. In total, Chrysler says it knows about the failure of 25 headlamps and 34 ABS/ESC systems in police vehicles. At this time, there have been no known crashes or injuries because of the issue.
The NHTSA report states these problems could lead to a “loss of visibility and/or braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Chrysler delays shipping Chargers
Chrysler says it will delay the shipment of more Chargers from its Brampton, Mo., factory, pending the investigation of the issue. The automaker says it will replace the headlamp jumper harness, as well the ABS/ESC system, if affected. Owners will be contacted soon. The recall, according to the NHTSA, will begin in March.
Concerned or interested parties can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403. The NHTSA can be reached at 1-888-327-4236, or online at www.safercar.gov. The recall reference number is M01.
‘Highest performance police car in America’
The 2012 Charger recently posted a 1:33.70 lap time at the Michigan State Police yearly evaluation in Belding, Mich. That is the fastest time ever recorded in the evaluation. The model is rated as the “highest performance police car in America.”
Possibly result of newly designed system
Although it is unconfirmed by the automaker or the NHTSA, Torque News speculates that the problem may stem from the new police equipment packages installed in the vehicles at the factory. The new Wire Harness option controls the entire vehicle’s lighting system, perhaps taxing the system too severely, leading to overheating. The automotive site went on to speculate that a redesigned Power Distribution Center could be the root of the ABS/ESC failures.