Jun 252017
 

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2017 Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles (PHEV) for two issues.

• The affected vehicles have diodes in the Power Inverter Module (“PIM”) that may fail due to an overvoltage condition. If the diodes fail, the vehicle will not move under its own power.

• The tire placard on the affected vehicles incorrectly lists the seating capacity as six occupants rather then seven occupants, with a combined weight of 950lbs rather than 1,100lbs. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.”

A vehicle that suddenly cannot be driven, increases the risk of a crash and the incorrect tire label may cause customer confusion, potentially resulting in vehicle overloading, increasing the risk of a crash.

Chrysler has not yet finalized its remedy plans for the PIM recall. The recall is expected to begin on July 24, 2017. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is T34.

Regarding the tire placard, Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace tire placard label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 28, 2017. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is T37.

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.

May 262016
 
Kevin Arias of the Tristate Fire Protection District was the grand prize winner of the FCA US LLC 2015 National Sweepstakes.

Kevin Arias of the Tristate Fire Protection District was the grand prize winner of the FCA US LLC 2015 National Sweepstakes.

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Chicago fireman Kevin Arias of the Tristate Fire Protection District was named the grand prize winner of the FCA US LLC 2015 National Sweepstakes. The Oswego, Ill., native overcame the odds of 1,265,218 contest entrants to win a $45,000 credit toward any Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT or Alfa Romeo brand vehicle. Arias selected a 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack in Granite Pearl as his winning prize.

The National Giveaway is an annual initiative that takes place over an entire calendar year. Consumers enter by participating in an FCA event where they can experience and interact with a knowledgeable product specialist at a branded booth or tent space, or get inside a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT or Alfa Romeo vehicle to take a test ride or test drive.

“Ironically, a few months ago I had said to my wife, ‘I don’t think I’ll ever get my hot-rod,'” Arias shared. “I’ve wanted a hot rod for as long as I can remember, so when FCA told me I won a car, I immediately chose the Dodge Challenger. I’m feeling truly blessed. I never win anything, so when I got the call from FCA it was unbelievable. On top of that, everyone at FCA has made this experience just awesome.”Kevin_Arias_-_DSC_0045af7lv9hteq94878qahonapa2ps

Arias secured his entry while visiting the Ram Truck brand space at the 2015 Shot Show, an event that took place in January of last year in Las Vegas. He will receive his vehicle from Tyson Motors, the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Shorewood, Ill.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to gift one of our event attendees with an FCA vehicle,” stated Jason Russ, head of Experiential Marketing for FCA US LLC. “Given how Kevin Arias heroically serves his community as a Chicago firefighter, it gives us great pleasure to present him with his new Dodge Challenger. We anticipate that he will have many years of joy from his brand new muscle car.”

The annual National Giveaway offered by FCA US will be open for entry throughout 2016 to give eligible consumers a new opportunity to win $45,000 toward the purchase of a new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, FIAT or Alfa Romeo brand vehicle. There is no purchase necessary to enter or win. For the official sweepstakes rules and details on how to enter, please visit www.fcaentertowin.com. The 2016 sweepstakes ends December 31, 2016. For the latest product and brand news, visit www.fcanorthamerica.com.

Dec 052015
 

fca

Debt-free college anyone? Latino Traffic Report has learned that FCA US LLC recently rolled out its Degrees@Work program and the newly developed Degrees@Work Family offering with Strayer University, designed to provide a no-cost, no-debt college degree to participating FCA US dealership employees and their immediate family members.
FCA US is not only the first and only company in the automotive industry to offer the programs, it’s also the first U.S. company of any type to provide a no-cost, no-debt college degree to both employees and their immediate families.
The expanded Degrees@Work program and the new Degrees@Work Family offering will enable FCA US dealerships to attract top talent, improve the skillset of existing employees, lessen the burden of paying for college for families, and significantly increase employee retention
Success-Coach-Yuri-Almonte“After the success of the initial regional launch, we’re thrilled to expand the benefit not only to all of our dealerships nationwide, but also to dealership employees’ immediate family members,” said Al Gardner, head of Dealer Network Development–FCA US LLC. “When we began to seek out a partner to provide education benefits to our employees and their families, we focused on finding a top-notch institution. Strayer has the resources and the experience to provide a world-class education to our employees and their families.”
Strayer University, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, will offer associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees to all participating FCA US dealership employees and their immediate family members. Strayer University is a post-secondary institution with a more than 120-year history educating working adult students online and at campus locations across the country.
“We are proud to partner with a true innovator like FCA US to offer this first-of-its-kind employee benefit,” said Karl McDonnell, CEO of Strayer Education, which owns Strayer University. “At Strayer, we’re dedicated to improving the way education and business work together. We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with FCA US to tackle college affordability and the skills gap head on.”
The program was developed using input from dealers and their employees. Depending on the selected program of study, courses will range from business administration and accounting to education, information systems and other areas. Courses will be offered online with 24/7 access for flexibility around work schedules, as well as at Strayer’s campus locations throughout the United States. Dealers’ employees can have their training and work experience evaluated for college credit to accelerate completion of a degree program.
“Families are often faced with tough choices about how to pay for college,” said Gardner. “Expanding this benefit to employees’ immediate family members positions our dealer network as the ’employers of choice.’”
For more information, please visit http://fcadegrees.strayeruniversity.edu.

Sep 022015
 
2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

By Gualberto Ranieri

 

We read about “hacks” every day. All industries are potential targets of a hacker and the automotive industry has been no exception.

Well-known hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek recently teamed-up with a WIRED reporter to publish a story that you may have read about or seen on the news. The story highlights how Miller and Valasek hacked into Miller’s 2014 Jeep Cherokee and remotely controlled some functions. Miller and Valasek have been working on intentionally hacking into Miller’s vehicle over the past year as part of their on-going research in the area of automotive cybersecurity and have communicated with FCA about some aspects of their work.

To FCA’s knowledge, there has not been a single real world incident of an unlawful or unauthorized remote hack into any FCA vehicle.

JP015_039CH-1024x683After becoming aware of the vulnerabilities in some 2013 and 2014 vehicles equipped with the 8.4-inch touchscreen systems, FCA US and several suppliers worked to fix the vulnerabilities in model year 2015 vehicles. FCA also created a software update that eliminates the vulnerabilities uncovered by Miller and Valasek in their laboratory tests. This software update is available to customers right now and can be downloaded to a USB drive from http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ and installed in a vehicle.

FCA will be contacting potentially affected customers with these details and has provided the software update to the FCA US dealer network for immediate customer installation.

Customers can enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and find out if their vehicle needs the software update. If your vehicle needs the update, you can download the software update to a USB drive and install it yourself. Another option is to make an appointment with your FCA US dealership and have

2014 Dodge Durango

2014 Dodge Durango

them install it for you at no charge. The update, if installed DIY, will take 30-45 minutes, and your vehicle needs to be parked throughout the software update/installation process.

In addition, FCA US has been working with its suppliers to implement additional protocols to block remote access. These changes will not require any action by our customers.

The vehicles listed below that have a 8.4 inch touchscreen radio system need this software update:

  • 2013-2014 Ram 1500 Pickup
  • 2013-2014 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
  • 2013-2014 Ram 2500 Pickup
  • 2013-2014 Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
  • 2013-2014 Ram 3500 Pickup
  • 2014 Grand Cherokee
  • 2014 Durango
  • 2013-2014 Viper
  • 2014 Cherokee
  • Some 2015 Chrysler 200s

For any questions regarding how to complete the software update please call our Customer Care Center at 1-877-855-8400.

July 24, 2015 update: Click to read about the additional measures that FCA US has taken to ensure the security of the vehicles with particular 8.4-inch touchscreen systems.

Updated to clarify: Due to market access to cellular connectivity, the 8.4 touchscreen issue noted in the blog post is for vehicles sold only in the U.S.

Jun 252015
 
Ram ProMaster City next to "Chingon" from the movie, Machete.

Ram ProMaster City next to “Chingon” from the movie, Machete.

Austin, TX – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) came to town to launch the all-new, 2015 Ram ProMaster City. It’s always nice to attend vehicle launches in Austin. As a local, chances are I won’t get lost on the ride-and-drive.

While it took a while to catch up to Ford, which introduced the Transit Connect in 2009, the compact commercial van market has taken off, gaining three new competitors in the past two years, including the ProMaster City.

New to the United States, it’s based on a tried and true platform for Fiat, the Doblò, which is sold worldwide. Considered one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles, Fiat Professional has more than 110 years of experience.

2015 ProMaster CityThe ProMaster City reflects this history with innovations like 60/40 split rear doors. Rather than block the path to the curbside of the van, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, for easier access to larger cargo items. A low step-in height helps too.

Additionally, the ProMaster City includes a sliding door on each side that securely latches in the open position to prevent an accidental closure if the vehicle is parked on a slope.

The front-wheel-drive van handled nicely at the launch, on a course at the Troublemaker Studios lot owned by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and producer Elizabeth Avellan. I didn’t get a celebrity sighting but it was nice to eat lunch on the set of the TV series, From Dusk Till Dawn, and to check out the actual muscle car driven by actor Danny Trejo (the new spokesman for Dodge) in the movie, Machete, directed by Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis.

The Ram ProMaster City on the course at Troublemaker Studio.

The Ram ProMaster City Tradesman on the course at Troublemaker Studios.

The van’s unibody design and bi-link rear suspension also improve the ride and handling.

Powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 engine and matched to an exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission, the van achieves an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 21/29 miles per gallon.

Ram ProMaster Wagon.

Ram ProMaster Wagon.

It has a payload of 1,883 pounds and the cargo volume adds up to 131.7 cubic feet of space. The cargo width and length of 60.4 inches and 87.2 inches, respectively, allow for good flexibility and configurability. The vertical side panels are upfitter-friendly and simplify the attachment of shelves or storage racks for specialized commercial use. Both cargo volume and payload are best in class.

If needed, a tow package is available giving the van a 2,000-lb. towing capability.

Seating on Ram ProMaster Wagon.

Seating on Ram ProMaster Wagon.

Like its competitors, the ProMaster City also comes in a version for families—a five-seat passenger wagon—as well as the two-seat Tradesman cargo van. Both include two trim levels, Tradesman and Tradesman SLT Cargo Van and Wagon and Wagon SLT, as well as eight different configurations.

On the wagon model, the three-passenger, second-row seating is split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and tumbling forward to expand cargo room.

2015 Ram ProMaster City SLT interiorStandard creature comforts include air conditioning, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows, and Uconnect AM/FM with media hub with USB and auxiliary input.

Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, trailer-sway damping, brake assist, all-speed traction control,  remote keyless entry, a tire pressure monitor, and side curtain airbags makeup some of the standard safety features.

Families and entrepreneurs will enjoy tooling around town in the Ram ProMaster City.

Pricing for the 2015 ProMaster City Tradesman starts at$24,125. Pricing for the wagon starts at $25,125.