NHTSA Recall: Stop Driving Dodge Hornet and Alfa Tonale Cars Immediately
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is telling owners of Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale SUVs to stop driving them. Also, don’t park them in a garage or near buildings. Of course, the reason is concerns about the risk of fires. But these aren’t EVs, as most of the stop-driving recall declarations apply to.
Why are the Tonale and Hornet being recalled?
Instead, the concern is twofold: loose cables on the 12-volt batteries and loose high-voltage connections. Hybrid versions of both the 2024 Hornet and 2024 Tonale are the subjects. The NHTSA says that this recall takes in 4,129 vehicles in all. Stellantis says there have not been any accidents or injuries from this problem. It did say there have been two field reports related to it.
Stellantis began investigating the issue in late August. It found that a wireless screwdriver at the Pomigliano assembly plant in Italy, where the two models are made, was not correctly torquing the screws for the cable nuts. So, this is not a parts problem but rather an assembly issue. In such cases, the plant uses an internal tracking system to monitor assembly so that there are no repeat problems.
Does Stellantis issue a lot of recalls?
This recall is small as far as recalls go. But it spotlights a much larger trend within Stellantis. In 2023, the automaker has had a steady stream of recalls, putting it in second place for the highest amount. Only Ford has had more recalls this year.
For the first half of 2023, Stellantis has issued 26 recalls. Only Ford is surpassing it with 31 recalls. In all, Stellantis recalls have taken in over 1.7 million vehicles versus over four million Ford cars and trucks.
What is confusing is that in 2023 J.D. Power’s initial quality rankings, Dodge is at the top. And the No. 2 and No. 3 spots go to Ram and Alfa Romeo, respectively. There are 33 brands in all, and Dodge has been in either the No. 1 or No. 2 position for several years.
What should Tonale and Hornet owners do?
But while recalls are an indicator of overall quality, they don’t affect buyer’s opinions in the first three months of ownership. That time frame is a part of the J.D. Power quality tabulations.
Stellantis says it will inform owners of affected Tonale and Hornet models by the end of October. However, if you have concerns or questions, you can contact either the Stellantis recall website or the NHTSA. As with all recalls, owners must take their vehicles to a dealership to have the issues taken care of at no cost.