THE CAR COACH REPORTS:
June 25, 2016
Too Little Too Late? Edition
If you didn’t know, actor Anton Yelchin was killed by his vehicle on Sunday. He drove a 2015 Grand Cherokee equipped with the Monostable shifter that so many people have trouble with. While there is no proof that a faulty shifter killed the actor–though NTHSA says he is the first fatality from the shifter, FCA says it’s too early to tell—his vehicle was under recall. On Wednesday FCA announced that it had just a few days before the accident released a software fix for the troubled shifters: http://www.autonews.com/article/20160622/OEM11/160629925/fca-dealers-get-software-to-prevent-rollaways-of-recalled-jeep-grand
Here is the background in case you missed it. Consumers have reported rolling vehicles and other problems with Monostable shifters in the 2014-2105 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2012-2014 Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300. Watch this video from Autoweek to understand the confusion: http://autoweek.com/video/car-news/jeep-monostable-transmission-shifter-why-its-difficult-use
FCA has recalled about a million vehicles for the shifter. Only the recalls were voluntary. I may not be the brightest, but if one million or so of your vehicles are not being placed in park properly and are causing injuries, don’t you think that maybe, just maybe it should have been a mandatory safety recall? And maybe just maybe they should not have taken their time about it?
As it turns out, the dealers were notified of the software update but vehicle owners had not been. Why wouldn’t you notify the owners and the dealers at the same time? It isn’t like we have to rely on carrier pigeons or telegraphs anymore. It is 2016. We have pretty reliable forms of communication these days. So why is it taking so long?
Sure maybe it would be extra work and it might cost some extra money to make sure owners are notified quickly, but when are automakers going to learn that the consumer does not like being lied to about safety issues and they certainly don’t like being placed subordinate to saving time and money.
Remember the backlash against GM when the facts came out and GM execs knew about the the faulty ignition switches?
Anyway, all I am saying is if the automaker wants us to trust them and their vehicles, they should be worth trusting.
But what do you think?
Post your comments about the “Too Little Too Late? Edition” on Twitter @LaurenFix and on my FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/Lauren.Fix.The.Car.Coach/?ref=bookmarks
My Final Thought:
I came across this essay on Jalopnik by Maggie Stiefvater. http://jalopnik.com/why-the-hell-do-we-drive-1782435564
It’s a good read and if you love cars but especially driving, you’ll enjoy it too.
Post your comments on Twitter @LaurenFix and on my FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/Lauren.Fix.The.Car.Coach/?ref=bookmarks
Love Your Car! See you next week!