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Car Safety Issues Identified with Fiat Chrysler Vehicles

If you own one of four particular Fiat Chrysler automobiles, you may have noticed a steering malfunction. Recently, power steering problems have been officially identified in the Dodge Journey (2009-2016), the Chrysler 200 (2011-2013), the Chrysler Sebring (2007-2010) and the Dodge Avenger (2007-2013).

Minister of Transport Addresses Car Safety Issues

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, recently advised the public of these issues and is currently seeking feedback from vehicle owners.

Car Safety Issues

Leading up to the announcement, Transport Canada received over 100 consumer complaints involving a failure of a power steering return hose. And, following an investigation, the department determined that the loss of power steering assist, along with the potential for a vehicle fire, was a serious safety issue and has notified the manufacturer.

When asked to comment on the situation with the Fiat Chrysler vehicles, Garneau stated:

"Canadians deserve to know that the cars they rely on to get to work and transport their families are safe. I reserve the option of forcing a recall if corrective measures are not applied in a satisfactory manner. Manufacturers should know that we have high standards for Canadian vehicles, and we expect them to live up to these standards at all times."

As of yet, no recall has been issued, but the Minister will review feedback from affected consumers and then make a final determination on what will be expected from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada. In the meantime, Transport Canada has made it clear that they are committed to protecting the safety of all Canadians. Because of this commitment, they will continue to closely monitor this issue and provide updates as soon as any new information becomes available.

Dealing with Auto Manufacturing Flaws

If you purchase a new car and discover an obvious flaw, it is fairly easy to determine that either a design or factory error has occurred. These problems should be immediately reported to Transport Canada because other consumers may be dealing with similar issues. It is also important for the manufacturer to be alerted as soon as possible so that the issue can be fixed.

Identifying a manufacturing flaw in a used car can be little more difficult. If something goes wrong with your used vehicle, you may attribute the problem to normal wear and tear. However, a good mechanic should be able to tell whether or not the part malfunction is actually the result of a production error. And these issues should also be reported to Transport Canada as quickly as possible.

In 2014, some legislative changes were made to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to provide the Minister of Transport with the power to order automakers to issue a Notice of Safety Defect or Non-Compliance (also known as a recall notice) to owners of vehicles with manufacturing issues. Previously, the decision to send these notices was left to the discretion of the auto companies.

If you ever need to find out if your car has been recalled, you can visit Defect Investigations and Recalls on the Transport Canada website. You can also contact the vehicle manufacturer or your dealer.

Owners of affected Fiat Chrysler vehicles can submit their feedback to Transport Canada by April 29, 2016 through the Preliminary Determination page on their website.

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