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Fiat Chrysler recalls 350,000 crossovers for fire risks

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Wednesday it is recalling nearly 350,000 crossover utility vehicles worldwide to secure their engine covers, an issue that could pose a fire risk.

The automaker said the engine covers prevent components from moving. If they come in contact with exhaust components it could pose a fire risk.

The automaker discovered the issue after an investigation of three fires in Chile. “In each case, the vehicle had been driven extensively on unpaved or uneven surfaces. The company is aware of a single related injury, described as minor,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement.

The recall includes about 144,000 vehicles in the United States and includes the 2011-2015 Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont CUVs equipped with 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines. Fiat Chrysler will install upgraded engine-cover retainers. The repairs will be start next month when customer notification begins. Vehicles equipped with six-cylinder engines are not affected.

Of the 349,731 vehicles in the recall, 43,679 are in Canada; 46,231 in Mexico; and 115,405 outside North America. About 10 percent are in dealer hands.

Indicators of a loose engine cover may include noise from the vehicle’s engine compartment, a burning odor or a warning light in the instrument cluster. Customers who experience these problems should contact their dealers, the company said.

DShepardson@detroitnews.com