You may have had this nightmare before. You’re driving your car — or borrowing a friend’s expensive rig — and as you careen toward a solid object and try to hit your brakes, nothing happens. What may be just a bad dream for some drivers could become a waking reality for others.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has become an automaking superpower with brands like Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram Trucks, and Maserati, has issued a massive recall for 710,000 of its SUVs due to fears over a braking problem. According to Reuters, the potential issue lies with a shield that protects the vehicles’ brake boosters.
What is a brake booster? It’s been likened to power steering in that it allows a driver to apply the brake with a soft push of the pedal rather than having to stomp on it, according to eBay’s automotive guide.
But according to a warning from the company, they’re worried that the protective shields on certain vehicles may fail to keep water out, leading to corrosion and failure of the brake booster. While this wouldn’t cause the brakes to completely fail, drivers could “experience excessive brake-pedal firmness” and not have enough time to avoid an accident.
Which vehicles are being recalled? All 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos.
What should you do if you own one of these vehicles? Keep an eye out for any braking difficulties, warning lights, or anti-lock brake system problems.
Owners will also be getting a notification that their vehicle is being recalled. The company is scheduling free inspections to determine if the protective shields need to be replaced. Expect a notice by early November.
Ironically, the shields were added as a protective measure during a 2014 recall involving the same set of Cherokees and Durangos. 95 percent of owners who had their vehicles recalled came into their assigned service shops to have the protective shield added at that time.
To date, Fiat Chrysler is only aware of one crash that may have been related to brake booster failure. There were no injuries from that accident.
Let your friends and family know about the recall! In other news, more disturbing details are emerging about the Las Vegas shooter.