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Fiat Chrysler recalls Dodge Darts with shifter defect

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has just announced a recall of more than 320,000 Dodge Dart compact cars all of North America. Louisiana residents should know that the 2013 to 2016 model automatic transmission Dart cars may have a defective part that allows the shift cable to detach from the transmission, preventing vehicles from shifting into park.

Those vehicles that are brought in will have their transmission side shifter cable bushing replaced. Fiat Chrysler has not stated when the repairs will be ready. In the meantime, the automaker recommends owners to make sure they shut off their vehicle and engage in the parking brake.

The vehicles may roll away if these precautions are not taken, but so far there have been no reported crashes or injuries related to the defect. However, the automaker has received several thousand reports of cable bushing repairs. It appears that the cable bushing degrades after long-term exposure to high ambient heat and humidity. The Dart was discontinued back in 2016. The recall covers 298,000 vehicles in the U.S., 20,117 in Canada and 3,400 in Mexico. Nine hundred outside of North America are also being recalled.

Defective auto parts can form the basis for a product liability lawsuit, though it may be tougher for victims to pursue it if a recall had been announced. Those who are injured in unrecalled vehicles, though, may want to see a lawyer about their chances of recovering damages. A lawyer may assist by hiring investigators and other experts to gather proof of negligence on the automaker's part. This could lead to a negotiated settlement or, if the offer is inadequate, a lawsuit.

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