2015 Fiat 500e
Roughly 5,600 Fiat 500e electric cars will be recalled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to fix a potential software problem with the cars' Limp Home mode.
In a notice issued Saturday, the company said that, "incompatible software between Electric Vehicle Control Unit and Battery Pack Control Module may cause the electric propulsion system to fully shut down."
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As reported in The Detroit News, the recall applies to the full production of Fiat 500e vehicles from March 2012 through last November.
That number is roughly 5,600 vehicles.
2015 Fiat 500e
Fiat Chrysler refuses to report the number of 500e cars it sells each month, although its totals appear to be higher than those for the Chevrolet Spark EV.
The Spark EV is also a minicar converted to electric power and sold in very limited regions solely to meet California's zero-emission vehicle requirements, making it a so-called compliance car.
ALSO SEE: 2013 Fiat 500e Recalled Over Potential Half-Shaft Failures (Aug 2013)
The glitch that's the subject of the recall notice was created by a March 2014 software update to vehicles built before that date to introduce revised production calibrations.
On October 31, 2014, the software for cars then in production was updated to eliminate the problem.
2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014
Fiat Chrysler did not comment on the five-month lag between that change and the recall notice for cars with the faulty software.
According to the company, the original software update was intended to improve "charging system robustness, diagnostic capability and range estimation over life."
But the Electric Vehicle Control Unit software may not recognize a Limp Home mode added in that update, potentially causing the drivetrain shutdown.
This is the third major recall for the Fiat 500e, which received positive reviews for driveability and fun quotient when it was launched roughly two years ago.
Fiat Studios authorized to service the electric Fiat 500 will update the software after owners receive a letter about the recall directing them to contact their local dealer.
Owners can contact Fiat at 1-888-242-6342. The recall notice can be found on the SaferCar website operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).