Fiat 500e electric cars recalled to fix software glitch: more than 16,000 affected


2016 Fiat 500e

2016 Fiat 500e

Enlarge Photo

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling more than 16,000 2013 through 2016-model-year Fiat 500e electric cars to address a software glitch.

Faulty software could cause the vehicles' control systems to shut down propulsion in certain situations.

Depending on when and where a loss of power occurs, it could increase the chances of a crash.

DON'T MISS: Fiat 500e Electric Car Software Issue Leads To Fourth Recall (Jun 2015)

However, no injuries or deaths related to this issue have been reported to date.

The software glitch was discovered during a "routine component check," an FCA statement on the recall said.

Owners of affected cars will be contacted by FCA regarding when to take their cars to dealers to have the proper software installed, free of charge.

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

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The recall encompasses 16,549 Fiat 500e electric cars built between March 22, 2012, and January 29, 2016.

The 500e is a "compliance car" built solely to satisfy California's zero-emission vehicle mandate, which requires automakers that sell certain volumes of cars in the state to offer battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell models.

ALSO SEE: Why We Call Out Compliance Cars Among All Electric Vehicles (May 2015)

Fiat only sells the 500e in California and Oregon.

Despite fairly positive reviews when the 500e was launched about three years ago, FCA has shown no interest in selling it elsewhere, viewing the little hatchback purely as a compliance car.

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

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In the time it's been on sale, the 500e has had one other recorded issue with faulty software causing a power shutdown.

A software update initiated in March 2014 that was meant to enhance charging capabilities introduced a Limp Home mode that some vehicles' control systems didn't recognize, creating the potential for shutdowns.

MORE: Third Recall For Fiat 500e: 5,600 Electric Cars To Be Checked For Software Fault (Apr 2015)

Fiat did not implement a fix until October 2014, and began recalling around 5,600 500e hatchbacks in April 2015 to ensure it had been installed in the affected cars.

For information on the current recall, owners can call FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403.

The recall notice can also be found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Safercar.gov website.

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