If you own a Chrysler 200, there’s a good chance your engine will stall at some point while you’re driving. In fact there’s a good chance your engine will stall multiple times while driving, even on the highway.
Despite years of complaints and ranking 5th on the list of Top Vehicle Problem Trends of 2012, Chrysler 200 engines continue to die while driving well into the second generation (2015+). Incomprehensibly, Chrysler allowed the dangerous trend to carry over into a new engine.
Engine Dies While Driving
It doesn’t matter if you drive the 2.4L or 3.6L variety of engine, the story seems to be remarkably the same.
- The engine can stall while decelerating, or cruising along on the road.
- There are no warning signs that it’s about to happen.
- When the engine dies, so does the power steering and power brake assist.
- The car will not restart right away.
- The problem doesn’t always initiate a computer code, making diagnostics difficult. indicating failure
“I have a brand new car, two months in is when the trouble started. Just driving down the road the engine shuts off for no reason. Not only has this happened one time, but how about four times and one time on a rail road track.” Linda L., of Bolton, Mississippi
|2||2016||2.4L Tigershark I4
3.6L Pentastar V6
|Catch Me I’m Stalling|
|2015||I Keep On Stallin’|
|1||2014||2.4L World I4
3.6L Pentastar V6
|2013||Can’t Help Stalling in Love With You|
|2012||I’m Still Stalling|
|2011||Stall, Stall, Everywhere a Stall|
A Recall for 2015 and 2016 Stalling Issues
In August 2015, FCA recalled 85,000 model year 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans for the stalling issue. An internal investigation revealed that certain electrical connectors had been damaged by a supplier.
Dealers will replace the C4 connector using a 12 wire split kit for 3.6L engines, or replace the transmission wiring harness for 2.4L engines.
While the recall was good news, the optimism stopped there as FCA couldn’t give owners an estimate as to when the replacement parts would be ready. Owners have reported problems getting parts as late as December 2017 – over two years later!
The Narcoleptic Tendencies of the 2011-2013
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The investigation covered an estimated 87,288 vehicles. NHTSA said they received at least 15 incidents of “stalling without warning during low-speed deceleration such as braking for a stop sign or traffic light”.
At the time, Chrysler said it would cooperate with NHTSA, but couldn’t resist patting themselves on the back in the process. Eric Mayne, a Chrysler spokesman wrote:
“Chrysler Group’s Pentastar V6 is an award-winning engine featured in 12 models across three brands and has accumulated millions of miles of problem-free driving,” “Performance by any engine is subject to numerous factors, from fuel quality to software. The complaints in this case occurred infrequently and did so only in low-speed, low-risk situations, such as coming to a stop.”
Low risk? You mean like having the engine die in an intersection? How about on train tracks? Or maybe you mean when slowing down to take a sharp corner and almost falling off a steep ravine because the power steering turned off along with the engine – you mean that kind of low risk, Eric?
A Software Fix to Prevent Future Engine Stalls
Before NHTSA could finish their investigation, Chrysler announced they had identified a Powertrain Control Module (PCM) defect in their 3.6L engines – yep, those same “award-winning ones” with “millions of miles of problem-free driving.” Turns out the PCM was initiating a purge monitor check while the engine was at idle or slowing down. The purge resulted in an “overly rich vapor condition that caused the engine to stall”[^1](#).
To fix the issue, Chrysler developed a software patch which reprograms the PCM. The patch was released as part of a “customer satisfaction program” in September 2012. Soon thereafter, NHTSA closed their investigation.
While it’s great that a fix was found, it’s curious that NHTSA didn’t force Chrysler to issue a recall due to the problem being classified as “low risk.” Any owner with this problem should contact their local dealership or Chrysler at 800-992-1997 to verify that their car has received the patch.