TORONTO – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says it is voluntarily recalling 187,436 vehicles in Canada to fix a problem involving a possible leak of power-steering fluid in extreme cold-weather conditions.
FCA says the problem affects certain model-year 2009-2016 Dodge Journey vehicles in this country as well as well as almost 11,000 U.S.-market vehicles equipped with optional block heaters.
The issue became widely known late last month when Transport Canada said an investigation had uncovered a “serious safety issue”‘ involving the power steering systems on more than 295,000 FCA vehicles.
Most involved more than 187,000 Dodge Journeys, but Transport Canada also included three other models totalling 108,000 vehicles because they had similar technical issues.
FCA did not mention those models — the 2011-2013 Chrysler 200, the 2007-2010 Chrysler Sebring and the 2007-2013 Dodge Avenger — in its recall announcement. However, in an email response to a query, it said that according to its data the vehicle being recalled “is the only one subject to this issue.”
FCA says replacement parts are expected to become available soon and that customers will be notified accordingly.
In a posting on its website in late April, Transport Canada said FCA had found that power steering return hoses could fail in extremely cold climates, causing a hydraulic fluid leak “in close proximity to the exhaust system” and loss of power steering.
FCA said an investigation found that some lines carrying power-steering fluid may leak under such conditions at engine start-up.
Steering is not lost in such circumstances, but the amount of physical effort required to steer may increase, it said.
Transport Canada said it had received 107 consumer complaints about the problem and was aware of two cases where drivers allegedly lost control and three others where smoke was observed.
However, the department said it was not aware of any serious injuries or fatalities related to the problem.
FCA said Friday that it was also unaware of any injuries or fatalities linked to the problem.