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2013 Fiat 500e Recalled Over Potential Half-Shaft Failures

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2013 Fiat 500e electric car, Los Angeles drive event, April 2013

2013 Fiat 500e electric car, Los Angeles drive event, April 2013

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It hasn't been on sale for long, but the 2013 Fiat 500e is already subject to its first recall.

Chrysler has announced it's to recall more than 270 examples of the battery-electric 500 to replace bolts securing the car's half-shafts.

Detroit News reports the recall was initiated following an investigation into power loss of a customer's 500e vehicle. Engineers discovered that two assembly steps had not been properly completed. This could potentially result in half-shaft separation.

No accidents or injuries have been reported relating to the half-shaft issue, but 270 vehicles may be affected and Chrysler will contact owners to organize a free repair. Vehicles on dealer lots are also affected.

500e owners will receive a free courtesy vehicle while their car is being repaired.

2013 Fiat 500e Electric Car: First Drive

The recall does not relate to the 500e's electric powertrain. Half-shafts connect the car's transmission--in this instance, a reduction gearbox for the electric motor--to the driven wheels, transferring torque. These shafts are subject to high torque loads, which could result in failure of improperly-fitted components.

It's interesting to take note of the number of 500e models affected by the recall. Chrysler doesn't currently separate 500e sales from those of the regular 500 in its monthly sales reports, preventing us from knowing just how many the automaker has sold.

Has the recall let slip just how many 500es Fiat has now sold? That would put its yearly total ahead of the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive (173 through July) but behind the Honda Fit EV, on 354 units after the first seven months of this year. You can compare it with more models in our July plug-in car sales report.

The NHTSA will report further details on the recall when Chrysler has determined the exact number of vehicles affected.

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