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Follow the Light: Dodge Journey headlight component recalled after four years of petitions, investigations

Toronto, Ontario — About 5,060 2017 and 2018 Dodge Journeys are due to come off Canadian roads as Stellantis has come forward with news that some of its front amber side reflex reflectors do not meet federal standards.

Transport Canada (TC) has officially filed a recall notice for the popular SUV model after a series of investigations initiated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as several efforts from Stellantis to forgo a recall, led to the determination that the components in the Journey’s headlamps do not perform to federal standards in either country.

In its official explanation of the danger presented, Stellantis wrote “if the reflection of light from the reflector is below specification, the position and dimensions of the vehicle may not always be perceived by other drivers, which can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning.”

The issue came to light almost four years ago on Dec. 18, 2018 following a TC audit and has since been caught in a limbo of appeals and petitions brought forth by Stellantis, then known as Fiat Chrysler Automotive.

The audit determined that the first trace of defective reflectors was introduced to vehicle production on Aug. 2, 2017 at the Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico. By July 6, 2018, it was determined that all of the defective parts had been routed out of the production line, though clearly many still remain on Canadian roads.

To date no accidents or injuries have been linked to the reflector flaw, and as such, Stellantis filed a petition for “inconsequential treatment” on April 5, 2019 to assert that the defect does not pose a significant risk to public safety.

Two days later TC informed Stellantis that Canada would be going ahead with a recall of the Journey while the NHTSA did not officially strike down the OEM’s petition until Sept. 12 of this year.

The U.S. will take the brunt of the recall, with 83,453 registered vehicles currently known to be affected by the faulty part.

Stellantis has not come up with a remedy for the defect but has agreed to “notify owners by mail and instruct them to take their vehicle to a dealer to replace the headlight assemblies” on Nov. 8.

This recall is filed under Transport Canada Recall # 2019-388.

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