Notice of Decision – 2012-2014 Fiat 500 and 500c with Automatic Transmission

NOTICE

An order against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with respect to a notice of non-compliance to Canadian owners of affected 2012 to 2015 Fiat 500 vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission will not be issued at this time. However FCA will launch a Customer Satisfaction Campaign.

THE ISSUE

The current Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 requires backup lights to light up when the driver turns on the ignition switch and puts the vehicle in reverse.

Transport Canada experts examined several 2012 to 2014 Fiat 500 vehicles and confirmed that models equipped with a 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission experience a notable delay between putting the car in reverse and the backup lamps coming on.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

Backup lights help drivers see the road behind their vehicle and warn pedestrians and other drivers when the vehicle is backing up or is about to back up.

BACKGROUND EVENTS

  1. The Minister of Transport made a preliminary determination that it is in the interest of safety to order FCA Canada Inc. to issue a notice of non-compliance to owners of affected Fiat 500 and 500c vehicles.
  2. Transport Canada published a notice describing the perceived safety issue on its website and invited comments (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-defectinvestigations-1435.html). The comment period closed on August 6, 2015.
  3. Transport Canada did not receive any comments or additional information from the public that the Minister should take into account in making a final decision.
  4. FCA Canada Inc. informed the Minister that it would bring the matter to its internal Vehicle Regulations Committee and request that it authorize a Customer Satisfaction Campaign.
  5. Following its meeting with the internal Vehicle Regulations Committee, FCA Canada informed Transport Canada that a Customer Satisfaction Campaign was conditionally authorized, subject to the review of sample vehicles built after October 31, 2014, which already carry updated software that improves backup light activation timing.
  6. Transport Canada inspected sample Fiat 500 vehicles built after October 31, 2014, and found no visually notable delay between putting the car in reverse, the backup lamps coming on and the car starting to roll backwards.
  7. On September 18, 2015, FCA Canada Inc. confirmed to Transport Canada that its Vehicle Regulations Committee had authorized a Customer Satisfaction Campaign for affected 2012 to 2015 Fiat 500 vehicles in Canada. This campaign will update the engine control module software at no cost to owners to reduce the backup lamp activation timing to an acceptable level.

NEXT STEPS

FCA Canada Inc. will send a notification letter to each current owner of a Fiat 500 equipped with 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission, model years 2012 to 2014. The notice will explain how owners can obtain the software upgrade free of charge.

Transport Canada will add the Customer Satisfaction Campaign in its recall database:
http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/7/VRDB-BDRV/search-recherche/menu.aspx?lang=eng&WT.mc_id=iwazx.

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