WASHINGTON — Fiat-Chrysler is recalling an estimated 23,688 2013-'15 Dodge Dart sedans in the U.S. because the transmission may unexpectedly shift to neutral, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"The affected vehicles may experience failure of the transmission control module, causing the transmission to unexpectedly shift into neutral," said NHTSA in its recall summary. "If the transmission shifts into neutral, it can cause loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash."
Fiat-Chrysler said it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.
An internal investigation prompted by a small number of warranty claims discovered a control-module mounting bracket may apply too much force and disrupt the function of a circuit board within the module.
The company said the recall is limited to certain Darts with dual dry-clutch transmissions.
"The engine remains on and the vehicle's airbags, as well as other safety features, are unaffected," Fiat-Chrysler said in a statement. "The condition may also be preceded by the illumination of a dashboard warning light. Customers who observe this are urged to contact their dealers."
The affected Darts were built from February 24, 2012 to June 16, 2015.
Edmunds says: Owners of these cars who notice the dashboard warning light should make a service appointment with their dealer now. Others can wait until they receive their official recall notice, which should be arriving within 60 days.