Fiat Chrysler is facing yet another transmissions-related recall.
Maserati's debut crossover has been plagued with setbacks so far. The luxurious Levante has only been in production for ten months, but it's already had two recalls in the US alone. Last month, Maserati issued a recall of nearly 7,500 vehicles affecting the Ghibli, Quattroporte as well as the Levante due to problems with the reversing cameras. Now a transmission issue is being blamed for the latest recall affecting 1,515 examples of the Levante.
The official statement from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the engine software in the 2017 Levante S "may cause the transmission to shift to neutral, or the engine to shut down, when the vehicle speed is approximately two miles per hour," thus increasing the risk of an accident in slow-moving traffic. The recall stems from a report Maserati received from China last year that a 2017 Levante S shifted into neutral during heavy traffic while driving at slow speed. Though it's a completely separate issue, the recall is reminiscent of the rollaways which led to FCA recalling 1.1 million examples of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Jeep Cherokee.
The 1,515 affected Levante S models may seem like a minor recall in comparison, but it's huge when you consider that it represents every example sold in the US so far. The S model is the higher-end model in the Levante range, with a more powerful 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that produces 424 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque compared to the 345 hp and 369 lb-ft you get in the standard model. Owners are currently being notified by Maserati. Fortunately, all it requires is a software upgrade, so it should be a swift fix.