WHILE THE Dodge Caliber has already been earmarked by new CEO Sergio Marchionne for an urgent update, the USA's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun an investigation into concerns over sticking pedals in certain Caliber models.
Understood to be a supplier manufacturing issue, the problem - seemingly similar to the accelerator pedal problems that plagued Toyota earlier this year - is described as mechanical in nature, rather than a design or electronics fault.
So far, complaints have been specific to a group of vehicles built in a five-week period between March and April, 2006.
Both the NHTSA and Chrysler Group have confirmed that no incidents, accidents or injuries have been reported by existing Calibre owners.
Chrysler Australia issued a statement today confirming that it is aware of three vehicles built between March and May of 2006 that had been imported and sold in Australia. The company confirmed it will make contact with the owners of the three vehicles today, offering a free inspection.
While this new concern is not one that would necessarily be made apparent in testing, the Dodge Caliber currently carries a 5-star NHTSA rating.
Although the local impact for the Calibre is small, it remains to be seen what effect this latest concern will have on the brand in its home market, where the 'struggling but in recovery' Chrysler is in the middle of rebuilding its product portfolio - and its image among buyers.