Dodge recalls 400,000 Chargers for jacking issues

The fix? Nothing more than supplying owners with wheel chocks.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Wheel Chocks

If you ever need to lift a car, wheel chocks are a smart item to have lying around.

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A car falling off a jack can turn calamitous in a hurry -- the car may slam down onto an unprotected brake disc, and it might take a body part or two with it. Dodge has that problem with its full-size Charger sedan, and the fix is as simple as giving owners wheel chocks.

When lifting a 2011-2016 Dodge Charger on its supplied jack -- to, say, change a flat tire -- the car may come off that jack and return to the ground in a very unceremonious fashion. Car and Driver claims it's due to body flex, which FCA does not mention in its press release. Thus far, three people have claimed injuries from this problem.

By using a set of wheel chocks to hold the vehicle's other wheels in place, the car won't move when lifted up. Setting the parking brake isn't enough, as it doesn't hold the front wheels in place. Dodge will supply a free set of chocks to all affected owners.

This is also a good time to remind vehicle owners to chock wheels every time a car is lifted up, if possible. A weak parking brake -- or a soon-to-fail parking pawl, or a whole host of other factors -- can cause a car to move while in the air, which will bend your standard-issue scissor jack like a piece of warm cheese. Safety first!

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