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Dodge recalls 298,000 Dart sedans for bad shift-cable bushings

It only affects vehicles with automatic transmissions.

It never hurts to triple-check what gear you're in before getting out of the car, but if you own one of these recalled Darts, it's even more important until you can get to the dealer.

Bushings are vibration isolators, and they're located just about everywhere on a modern car, from various suspension components to transmissions. And as it turns out, a specific drivetrain bushing is the reason for Dodge's latest recall.

Dodge has issued a voluntary recall for 298,439 examples of the 2013-2016 Dodge Dart. All the affected vehicles wield six-speed automatic transmissions, and they carry production dates between Feb. 24, 2012 and Oct. 4, 2016.

A bushing for the shifter cable, located on the transmission side of the cable, is the reason for the recall. The bushing might deteriorate, and if that happens, the shift cable might become disconnected from the transmission. If that happens, moving the shift lever won't do a darn thing to the transmission. That said, the instrument cluster will still display the gear the transmission is actually in, so that's good. Nevertheless, it's still a safety concern worthy of a recall.

According to recall documents, no warning will be given that the bushing is about to conk out, but Dodge did say that the driver "may notice significantly reduced effort required to move the shift lever." If a driver puts the lever into the Park position and attempts to exit the vehicle when it's actually still in gear, there will still be audible and visible warnings.

The remedy is pretty straightforward. Dodge's technicians will take the recalled vehicles and replace the transmission-side shift cable bushing with a stronger one, which will clear up the issue. As with every other recall, the repair is free, and Dodge will reimburse owners who paid for this repair out of pocket prior to the recall being announced. Dealers and owners should expect to receive notifications starting in late May.