Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling certain 2012 to 2013 Fiat 500 vehicles equipped with 6-speed automatic transmissions. The shifter cable bushing may fail, allowing the cable to detach from the transmission.
According to the recall, the shifter cable bushing on the transmission end of the shifter cable could deteriorate and become detached from the transmission which could result in the inability of the driver to actually shift the transmission, even though the driver may move the shifter handle.
If the shifter cable becomes detached from the transmission, the vehicle may not perform the shifts intended by the driver. The true transmission gear position will be displayed on the instrument cluster and on the display next to
the shifter. If these warnings are not heeded, unintended vehicle movement and vehicle crash can occur.
The recall also states that there will not be any prior warning of shifter cable detachment from the transmission. However, after cable detachment and prior to a driver attempting to exit a vehicle, the driver may notice significantly reduced effort required to move the shift lever and the gear position indicators in the vehicle will all show the gear of the transmission regardless of shift lever position.
The suspect period began on December 2nd, 2010, when the 2012 Fiat 500 started production with shift cable bushings made of urethane, through January 30th, 2013, when the change to a new shift cable bushing material was implemented. The affected vehicles were determined based on transmission sales code information and the suspect shift cable design change history.
Similar vehicles not included in the recall were assembled with shifter cables that use a different material for the transmission attachment bushing or with manual transmissions that do not use the suspect shifter cable assemblies.
The recalled part was manufactured by Hi-Lex America.
The recall indicates that an estimated 51,788 cars in the U.S. are affected, along with 10,627 in Canada, 3,520 in Mexico, and 6,826 units outside North America.
FCA will notify owners and dealers will replace the shifter cable adjuster, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 4th, 2020. Owners may contact FCA’s customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA’s number for this recall is VB4. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.