Dodge Dart Lemon Law Alert: Defective Clutches
We have been contacted by Dodge Dart owners regarding their Lemon Law rights. Here is the complaint: the Dodge Dart clutch pedals get stuck on the floors due to defective clutch master cylinders in the Fiat C635 manual transmissions.
According to several cases already on file, the Dart transmission has defects in the clutch master cylinder that makes the internal and external seals poor at preventing debris from contaminating and prematurely wearing the seals. The problems allegedly cause a loss of hydraulic fluid to the slave cylinder and thus causes damage to the transmission components.
The problem seems to occur in 2013-2016 Dodge Dart clutch master cylinders and cause the clutches to fail and stick to the floors as the clutch pedals lose pressure and fail to engage the gears.
The Dart drivers experience acceleration problems, stalling and premature transmission failure. Other problems include failure of the clutch master cylinder and reservoir hose, clutch slave cylinder and release bearing, clutch disc, pressure plate and fly wheel.
It may be because the Dodge Dart transmission uses a plastic clutch master cylinder which is prone to corrosion by constant exposure to hydraulic fluid.
As for safety hazards, Dart owners say the transmissions create all kinds of havoc, including the inability to shift gears in traffic, leaving owners unable to accelerate or decelerate and causing problems with stopping the cars.
One Dodge Dart lawsuit claims Chrysler must have known about the defective manual transmissions because in January 2012, FCA issued a technical service bulletin (06-001-12) for 2011-2012 Dodge Journeys equipped with the same Fiat C635 transmissions. The bulletin said the clutch pedals were inoperative in some Journey SUVs.
In November 2012, Chrysler sent dealers another service bulletin, except this one concerned Dodge Dart cars “equipped with defective clutch slave cylinders and could cause a hydraulic fluid leak which leads to a pressure loss in the clutch system and failure of the clutch pedal.”
By August 2014, Chrysler sent messages to dealers concerning the Dodge Dart manual transmissions with clutch pedals that remained on the floors when drivers pushed on the pedals. Dealers were told to inspect the clutch pedals and replace the clutch master cylinders and reservoir hoses.
Then in January 2016, Chrysler extended the clutch master cylinder and reservoir hose warranty period for 2013-2015 Dodge Dart cars for problems related to a loss of clutch pedal operation, limited pedal movement and limited clutch disengagement.
In addition, FCA reimbursed owners who had clutch problems and paid for repairs to the clutch master cylinders, but owners say it didn’t do anything to fix the transmission problems.
Chrysler and the plaintiffs point to a previous Dodge Dart transmission lawsuit that was filed over similar issues, a proposed class-action lawsuit that was eventually dismissed after Chrysler ordered a customer satisfaction program for clutches that went “soft” and “stuck to the floors.”
However, the plaintiffs claim the customer service program isn’t good enough and Chrysler only replaced defective transmission parts with more defective parts.