Fiat Recalls Electric 500e For Cruise Software Update
Fiat Chrysler Automotive has issued a voluntary recall for 3,975 2014 Fiat 500e electric hatchbacks. The issue is related to faulty cruise-control software that was installed on some 500es that could potentially misread torque levels of the electric motors. This can cause the motors to engage a fail-safe mode and shift to neutral. The fault can occur when cruise control is being used and the driver attempts to override it by stepping on the accelerator. FCA engineers discovered the problem after an investigation and review of warranty data.
The recall affects roughly 40 percent of the 10,462 Fiat 500es sold in the United States between 2013 and 2015, and FCA says no known injuries, fatalities or customer complaints have occurred as a result of the problem. FCA is providing a software update to dealers as well as service instructions and will notify owners of affected vehicles. The fix is being provided at no cost to owners.
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Why it matters
This is third recall for the 500e. The first was issued in 2014 to replace cooling plates mounted for the power inverter module that could potentially leak coolant onto high-voltage circuitry, causing a short circuit and the corresponding service fuse to blow. Like the current recall, the issue resulted in a complete loss of power.
The second was another software problem that caused miscommunication between the electric vehicle control unit and battery pack. This caused the 500e to either engage limp-home mode or completely shut down its drivetrain.
Like the most recent one, both problems were fixed at no cost to owners.
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