Recall News: 3 Things Future Car Repair Experts Should Know About Maserati’s Rollaway Issues

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first opened an investigation into crashes and injuries linked to Fiat-Chrysler in August of 2015. In total, the initial recall was linked to 212 crashes, 41 injuries, and 308 reports of property damage which occurred in 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger automobiles, as well as 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees. All of these accidents and injuries happened because of a confusing gear-shift lever. More recently, Fiat-Chrysler’ luxury brand Maserati has had to recall vehicles due to a similar issue—13,000 of them to be exact. Considering Maserati only sold a total of 35,500 cars in 2014, this recall could be considered huge.

Continue reading to discover what students in auto mechanic training should know about Maserati’s recent gear-shift recall.

1. Students in Auto Mechanic Training Might Know a Confusing Gear Shift is to Blame

The shifter to blame for the massive recall isn’t like a regular shifter. In regular transmission shifter mechanics, the shifter knob moves into a position, whether it is park, drive, or neutral, and stays there, in the position of the corresponding letter (p, d, n). The shifters that led to the Maserati recall work much more like a joystick, returning to a central position after a gear is selected. Although the difference may not seem that drastic, shifting an automatic transmission by physically sliding a shifting knob into place may have become a muscle memory task for most drivers at this point. Car repair experts know that these types of ‘joystick’ shifters are few and far between in the automotive world, and so not many drivers have gotten used to them, hence the number of injuries and accidents.

2. Car Repair Experts Know this isn’t the First Rollaway Recall in the Automotive Industry

In addition to the Fiat-Chrysler recall in 2015, professionals with auto mechanic training may remember that BMW also had a roll-away recall back in 2012. The 7-series BMW is their flagship sedan, but defective transmissions caused over 45,000 2005-2008 7-series cars to be recalled. The recall stemmed from new technology in the car, specifically the engine start/stop button and its connection to the transmission. The automobile is supposed to put itself into park when the engine start/stop button is pressed to end the ride, but if the button is pressed 2 to 3 times the car can shift into neutral rather than park and cause the car to roll away after exiting.

3. Maserati is Currently Working on an Update that Could Solve the Issue

It is reported that Maserati has started to notify owners since July 1st, and car mechanics will begin to make software updates to the vehicles. These software updates will include more warnings and will not allow the car to move when the driver exits the car, even if it isn’t in park. The two affected models of Maserati are the Ghibli and the Quattroporte, with the former being a new, affordable Maserati. Only time will tell if this recall really effects sales or not.

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