A rolling good time? Not so much.
Although the Dodge Dart compact sedan was discontinued not long ago due to slow sales, the automaker who built it is still fully responsible for fixing any new (or old) problems. And sure enough, there's a problem and it's potentially very serious.
According to the Associated Press, a total of 300,000 Dodge Darts are being recalled in North America due to a transmission problem that could cause them to unexpectedly roll away. A Dodge Dart (or any vehicle) rolling down the road without a driver in place to stop it is not something FCA wants to see happen. The recall affects vehicles built from 2013 through 2016, all of which are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. According to FCA, the precise problem involves a bushing that can potentially fail. If so, this will cause the shifter cable to come loose from the transmission. Sound serious? Well, it is.
If that cable were to come loose, a driver who shifts the vehicle to park or another gear may find themselves in a situation where the gear may not change, resulting in the car rolling away. Fortunately, FCA is unaware of any related crashes or injuries but no chances can be taken, obviously. Until the problem is fixed, the automaker is advising owners to shut off the engine and set the parking brake before exiting the vehicles. Good thing for parking brakes. The recalls won't get underway until May 31 and affected owners will be notified shortly. Like always, the necessary repairs will be done free of charge.
The reborn Dodge Dart was launched in 2013 to much fanfare because it was the first new model for the also new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Fiat's purchase of the then struggling Chrysler was a big deal. The Dart was actually built on a shortened wheelbase that underpinned the also now discontinued Chrysler 200. Neither car was the right car for the times. How come? Because North American buyers predominantly want car-based crossovers instead. Unfortunately for both Dodge and Chrysler, neither has a new crossover to sell. That task is being handled by Jeep.