Coupes

Dodge recalls 7,802 Challengers for rollaway risk

You'll have to ignore a bunch of warnings for the rollaway risk to be a concern, but it's a safety issue nevertheless.

Dodge

Not every transmission will clamp itself in place when a driver ignores warnings and exits the vehicle without ensuring a car is in park. An issue with some Dodge Challengers could actually cause a rollaway risk if the driver doesn't heed the alarm bells.

Dodge issued a voluntary safety recall for 7,802 examples of the 2017 Challenger muscle car. Every coupe in the recall carries a build date between March 22, 2016, and May 23, 2017. All the cars in question also include the 5.7-liter V8 engine and the 8HP70 automatic transmission.

Who would have thought transmissions could be so complicated? (Everyone.)

Dodge

The issue comes down to software. To summarize, the transmission may not actually move into Park, despite the owner choosing it on the gear selector. If the owner opens the door after selecting Park and ignores the "Vehicle Not In Park" warning message, the vehicle could roll away and potentially cause damage to the car, property or a human who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you want to nerd out about the specifics, this paragraph is for you. The transmission control module software in these cars has a longer clutch pressure vent gradient, which improves shift quality but also increases the rate at which these cars will set a certain vehicle fault (P1DDD). If that fault is set, the vehicle will shift into a sixth-gear limp mode instead of Park. The shifter position on the instrument will continue to show "D" and will throw a few warning messages to the driver.

Since the problem is software-related, the fix is simple. Technicians will reflash the transmission control module with updated software that will solve the problem. If an owner already paid for a fix, FCA will reimburse customers who have proof of payment. Owners should start seeing notifications in the mail around August 21.