We wrote on the recall by Maserati of 13,000 cars equipped with the same gearshift that forced parent company Fiat Chrysler to recall more than 1 million Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles in April. The recall covers every 2014 Maserati Quattraporte and Ghibli vehicle the company has sold or leased. All were equipped with the “mono-stable shifter,” which snaps back into a central position after shifting rather than locking into position at the gear indicator, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website. The gearshift, which the agency says “is not intuitive,” can leave a car in a drive gear after a motorist thinks it’s been placed in park, according to documents received by the agency June 10 and posted to its website.
Rollaway incidents in other recalled Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles with the gearshift issue have caused 121 crashes, 30 of them reportedly causing injuries, including three people who suffered pelvis fractures, according to the NHTSA website. Maserati owners have not reported any such incidents so far, the agency said. “NHTSA stated that it believes that Maserati should initiate a safety recall for those vehicles posing the same powered rollaway potential as the vehicles recently recalled by FCA,” Maserati said in its defect information report. On June 1, 2016, Maserati concurred with NHTSA’s opinion on this matter.
NHTSA began an investigation into the gearshift in August 2015 after several complaints to the agency about Grand Cherokees, but expanded the probe to include other similarly equipped Fiat Chrysler vehicles. According to Maserati’s defect information report, NHTSA contacted the automaker in February 2016, inquiring whether the gearshift had generated complaints from customers. Maserati replied two days later that there had been none. The carmaker said in its report that it contacted the NHTSA three months later regarding the company’s contemplated action, which was not specified in the report, and was told instead that it should initiate a safety recall. A week later, Maserati concurred, the report says. The company said it was working on a “software re-flash” to inhibit rollaway.
Currently, the cars are equipped with “door ajar” warning chimes and indicate on the dashboard which gear a car is in. The gear status is also illuminated on the shift handle. Maserati expects to have the update ready later in the year, after which it will begin the recall and update the software free of charge.
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