Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) announced on March 29, 2018 they will recall more than 12,000 vehicles equipped with rear liftgates that can unexpectedly open and create road hazards.
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The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) they will recall 12,595 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio vehicles built between March 20, 2017 and Feb. 14, 2018.
The affected vehicles can experience water intrusion and corrosion in their rear liftgate wiring harness and opening switches. FCA’s safety recall report states deficiencies in sealant application and the water management system can let water into the system, causing corrosion. This can let the rear liftgate door open unexpectedly, letting unrestrained cargo fall from the vehicle. Lost cargo can create road hazards and increase crash risk.
FCA’s recall chronology states Alfa Romeo’s Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance division began their investigation on Jan. 12, 2018 after receiving a warranty claim regarding tailgate malfunction. Their Electrical Engineering department reviewed additional warranty claims while investigators at the assembly plant attempted to recreate the problem with a hand held water hose.
Engineers confirmed the defect and found the leak path on March 20, 2018. Alfa Romeo initiated a recall three days later.
FCA will notify owners and dealers will install additional protection against water leaking into the liftgate wiring connectors and switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 18, 2018. Owners may contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA’s number for this recall is U34. Alfa Romeo owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
The manufacturer of your vehicle is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide the loss value of your recalled vehicle, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.