20.04.2018 STELVIO FACING TWO MAJOR U.S. MARKET RECALLS

ALFA ROMEO STELVIO MODEL YEAR 2018

Alfa Romeo is facing two major recalls of the Stelvio on the United States market after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued notices this month relating to possible knock on effects from seperate electrical issues at the front and the rear of the new SUV.

Alfa Romeo is facing two major recalls of the Stelvio on the United States market after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued notices this month relating to possible knock on effects from seperate electrical issues at the front and the rear of the new SUV.

The first problem relates to the tailgate possibly opening unexpectedly at very low speeds due to corrosion of the electrical connectors. The NHTSA summed up the issue as follows: “Corrosion at the connectors may cause the liftgate to unintentionally open while moving at speeds of less than 3 miles per hour, allowing cargo to fall out of the vehicle, creating a road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash.”

The NHTSA puts the number of Stelvio’s potentially affected at 12,595 units which means almost all the cars sold in the U.S. so far will be recalled. This specific recall, which only affects vehicles sold in the U.S., will start on 18 May.

The solution is quite simple and straightforward and remedial work has already been agreed with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “Chrysler is recalling certain 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio vehicles,” the NHTSA summarised. “Water may leak into the wiring connectors for the rear liftgate and the liftgate-opening switch, causing corrosion. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install additional protection against water leaking into the liftgate wiring connectors and switch, free of charge.

The second recall involved potential water leaks at the front of the vehicle that could affect the body control modeule and have a knock on for the operation of certain safety equipment, the NHTSA in a statement summing up the problem as follows:

Electrical malfunctions such as windshield wipers that may not work in the rain and lights that may not work at night increase the risk of a crash.

The NHTSA's statement explains further: “Chrysler is recalling certain 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio vehicles. Water may leak into the body control module and its connectors, causing corrosion. This corrosion can cause illumination of one or more malfunction indicator lamps, a loss of windshield wiper function, a loss of exterior lighting, a loss of horn function and/or unintended turn signal activation.”

The NHTSA also notes that this is an issue that Alfa Romeo has had knowedge of for more than six months, saying in a statement: “On September 15, 2017, the Alfa Romeo Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”) organisation opened an investigation as a result of a warranty claim alleging oxidation on the front wiring harness.” This recall, again, only pertains to cars sold on the U.S. market.

That recall will go hand in hand with the earlier one that aims to resolve the tailgate electrical issues, the NHTSA saying: “Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install additional sealing protection to prevent water from entering the body control module and its connectors. The recall is expected to begin May 18th, 2018.”

This second recall is also slated to affect 12,595 units of the Stelvio, meaning that this issue also pertains to almost all models sold to date on the U.S. market, these two major recalls following on from smaller recalls, including one centered on contaminated brake fluid which could have led to future brake failure but only affected just over three hundred units (of the Stelvio as well as the Giulia sedan combined) at the beginning of the year.

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Photo: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles / 2018 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed