Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will recall 862,520 vehicles for not meeting emissions standards, Reuters reports, citing comments from the EPA. FCA subsequently confirmed the recall to Roadshow. The recall covers the 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, 2011-2012 Dodge Caliber and 2011-2016 Dodge Journey.
This Is a bit different than your average safety recall. This is actually not a safety recall, but an emissions recall. They come from the EPA, rather than NHTSA, and are typically the result of after-the-fact tests submitted to the EPA by the automaker, which can then begin the recall process if the results aren't as expected. There's a good chance we'll be hearing about more of these types of recalls in the future, as the EPA is changing its communications model to include emissions recall announcements.
It should be noted that the issue has no direct safety implications to drivers and passengers, and the EPA has not levied any fines as a result of this discovery. A FCA spokesperson, in an email to Roadshow, said it was the result of a routine series of tests performed on in-service vehicles.
The remedy is relatively straightforward. FCA technicians will replace the catalytic converters in all affected vehicles. Because the old converters are still loaded with all manner of precious metals, the automaker will recycle them to recapture as much of that material as possible.
The FCA spokesperson also told Roadshow that it began notifying owners of the affected vehicles last month, so owners should keep an eye out for first-class mail about the recall. As always, the recall repairs will be performed free of charge.