Much like it did yesterday, Fiat Chrysler Automotive is announcing a voluntary recall of the five-door Fiat 500L. Where yesterday's recall covered Jeep and Dodge SUVs over performance issues with the brakes, today's bulletin is perhaps more serious.

Over 19,000 500Ls equipped with the Fiat-sourced, six-speed, dual-clutch automatic are being called in for a software update that should sort out the issues some customers are experiencing with the gearbox. Those troubles mainly consist of 500Ls that won't shift out of park and don't respond or are slow to respond to commands for gear changes.

There have been no reported injuries or accidents due to the problems, which investigating engineers believe is caused by a microcontroller component that doesn't react well with temperature extremes.

Of the 19,500 vehicles being recalled, around 20 percent are in dealership inventories. The vast majority of the cars (18,100) are in the US, while the remaining 1,400 are up north, in Canada.

Fiat will be covering the costs of the software reflash and will begin notifying customers soon. Scroll down for the official release from Fiat Chrysler.
Show full PR text
Statement: Software Update
March 7, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group is recalling approximately 19,500 cars to upgrade their transmission software.

Chrysler Group engineers launched an investigation after reviewing reports that some vehicles equipped with dual dry clutch automatic transmissions would not shift readily out of park and/or their transmissions did not receive, or were slow to receive, an intended gear selection.

Chrysler Group is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.

The investigation discovered the function of one microcontroller component may be compromised by certain temperature extremes. A software update resolves the issue.

Affected are certain 2014 Fiat 500L models, of which approximately 20 percent are in dealer hands.

Repair costs will be borne by the Company. Affected customers – approximately 18,100 in the U.S. and 1,400 in Canada – will be contacted and advised when to schedule service.

Of the total, an estimated 200 vehicles may require shift-module replacement to ensure hardware-software compatibility.

Customers who remain concerned may call 1-800-853-1403.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      Ted
      • 9 Months Ago
      A simple software update. Big deal my computer does it twice a week ! Fiat has been building quality cars Globally for some time now. The 500 is a proven performer .
      stargatemd
      • 9 Months Ago
      Fix It Again Tony rears it's ugly head again. The return of the Jeep Cherokee was marred by transmission problems.
        lasertekk
        • 9 Months Ago
        @stargatemd
        The third graders just got out.
        Fazzster
        • 9 Months Ago
        @stargatemd
        Enough with the "fix it again tony". It is so lame and outdated. Please join the rest of us in the 21st century.
        Shiftright
        • 9 Months Ago
        @stargatemd
        Yeah, I mean no other auto manufacturer has EVER had any sort of recall....cough cough...Toyota..cough...GM...cough cough Porsche...
      ferps
      • 9 Months Ago
      If there a sign at FiatChrysler HQ that says "It has been X days since we last issued a recall" that X may often be in the single digits.
      Rick C.
      • 9 Months Ago
      Big deal, a software reflash. Call me when something explodes.
        J
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Rick C.
        BOOM! ( how's that?)
      getoffmydinghy
      • 9 Months Ago
      Always buy manuals, friends.
      Max
      • 9 Months Ago
      I don't trust these dual-clutch transmissions and I'm also not a fan of 95% of automatic/CVT transmissions. They just don't seem tested nor reliable. I understand the basics of how transmissions work, but I have no idea how to design them any better than they currently are built. I'll stick to my manual transmission as I have yet to have any transmissions in my 17 years of driving.
        superchan7
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Max
        Modern slushboxes should last a long time if the fluid is changed properly. People who consider putting gas in their car as "maintenance" are the ones who will need a new car at 80-100k miles, or 50k if they don't know what an oil change is.
      Teleny411
      • 9 Months Ago
      Why do you need a dual clutch transmission in a vehicle like this? A simple torque converter would have been fine for this car & kept Fiat from issuing recalls.
        Rick C.
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        Because they mass produce it and intend to use it across many product/model lines
          Teleny411
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Rick C.
          I have moved on. But mass market perceptions do not move on very quickly. This is a tough market these days and I want Fiat to survive in North America. This is not a performance car by any stretch of the imagination-why not play it conservative in a mass market mom vehicle where the buyer will likely not know the difference? The reason the 500 is doing so well is that all of the bugs were sorted in Europe, it came to the US market as a proven performer, on the Alfa 4c the dct makes sense. On mom's cute ish soccer transport, not as much. New tech isn't always better or more reliable just because its new.
        Shiftright
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        Since I couldn't respond to your other comment directly...Dude...have you ever had like, a bad week? or month? where you know you didn't do your best? or just sucked at a job that one time? That doesn't mean that you sucked forever right? The same applies to auto manufacturers. Dated Fiat stereotypes are just that...dated..move on...
          Teleny411
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Shiftright
          I agree. But as I posted above, this is a mom's car. And the general public remembers stereotypes for a long time. quality & reliability issues nearly sank the General, i think Fiat should play it conservative with proven technology. Mass market vehicles like this soccer mom's 500l are sold to people who have no idea if there car has a 4 speed auto, cvt or dct. Fiat should play it safe on moms car and high tech on performance editions Abarth for instance.
      Dan Mark
      • 9 Months Ago
      It is normal , because is only a Fiat. My Fiat - 3 steering boxes damaged in 75000 km !!! and many other parts changed. Fiat told me - ,, is not our problem ,, !!!
      ChaosphereIX
      • 9 Months Ago
      a component cannot handle temperature extremes, as we are going into spring, and Fiat re flashes the software? Dodgy...
        Card13
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        Well the extreme temperatures of the "polar vortex" were about 2 and a half months ago. For them to receive complaints, figure out the problem, develop a solution, and validate it in that time frame is a fairly snappy response
          Hello, Brian
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Card13
          Could it possibly be that the extremes they are talking about involve extreme cold? Hmm.
      Cayman
      • 9 Months Ago
      The problem is due to a bad microcontroller; but it's just a software fix? How does that work? Shouldn't they replace the bad microcontroller?
      Scooter
      • 9 Months Ago
      Should also be recalled for looking like a Mini Cooper suffering an allergic reaction.
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