February 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Chrysler extends fuel tank warranties on 153,000 older cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is ending its investigation into 153,817 2006 Chrysler 300, above, Dodge Charger and Magnum vehicles equipped with 5.7L and 6.1L 8-cylinder HEMI engines. (Chrysler)

Chrysler is extending warranties on fuel tanks in more than 153,000 older vehicles over complaints of engine stalling at low speeds, the government said Friday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is ending its investigation into 153,817 2006 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Magnum vehicles equipped with 5.7L and 6.1L 8-cylinder HEMI engines after receiving nearly 300 reports that the engines may stall when the vehicle is stopped or traveling at low speeds.

The safety agency said the problem didn’t represent a serious risk to auto safety and said Chrysler’s solution was adequate.

NHTSA’s decision came after Chrysler and a supplier developed a solution to the problem and extended lifetime warranty coverage on the vehicles’ fuel tanks, NHTSA disclosed in a document posted Friday.

NHTSA said the multifunction control valve fuel shutoff float integrated into 19-gallon fuel tanks can swell in a stuck open position allowing an overfill condition.

“This condition causes fuel to enter into the purge line which may result in engine stall after refueling. Chrysler's investigation determined that the problem was related to dimensional changes/swelling of the float when exposed to fuels with high ethanol content,” NHTSA said. “Chrysler and its supplier, Stant, developed new fuel soak test requirements to address the condition and extended the warranty period on 19-gallon fuel tanks to lifetime coverage.”

NHTSA said there were 299 unique reports indicating that the fuel system allowed an overfill condition after refueling, and the predominant failure mode identified involved stalling when stopped or traveling at low speeds.

“The condition that is causing the majority of stalling incidents in the subject vehicles occurs at a stop or low speed and allows the vehicle to be restarted immediately. The condition represents a low risk to motor vehicle safety and is adequately addressed by Chrysler's extended warranty,” NHTSA said.