2011 Chrysler 200 Sedan
Patrick Rall's picture

2011 Chrysler 200 under investigation for engine stalling risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into the 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan over a concern that the 3.6L V6 engine could randomly stall – even when traveling at speeds and with no warning.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 15 complaints from consumers around the USA that their 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan stalled while being driven and in all of those cases, the car in question was powered by the popular 3.6L Pentastar V6. There were 87,033 2011 Chrysler 200 sedans sold for the 2011 model year but with a portion of those sedans coming with the entry level 4-cylinder engine, it is unclear as to exactly how many 200 sedans will be covered by this new investigation.

In the majority of these 15 incidences of the 2011 Chrysler 200 stalling, the car was moving at low speed as the driver was gradually decelerating – as in the event of approaching a stop sign or a red traffic light. One owner stated that their V6 powered Chrysler 200 sedan has stalled five separate times with one of those times coming when the driver was in front of a tractor trailer and an accident was narrowly avoided. Luckily, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries stemming from the Pentastar stalling problem but with the increased chances of an accident in the event that the Chrysler 200 loses motive power while driving around other vehicles – this investigation makes good sense.

If automakers and the NHTSA have learned anything in the past few years, it is that a problem is better addressed right away when it comes up rather than waiting until something like the 2011 Chrysler 200 stalling problems have caused an accident or injury.

The 2011 Chrysler 200 is powered by the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that is found in nearly every vehicle available today in the Chrysler Group lineup (both in the US and overseas) and while there haven’t been public complaints about stalling issues in other vehicles using this engine – a problem with the Pentastar engine could be a big one for Chrysler. This investigation currently only relates to the 2011 model year Chrysler 200 sedan so it is limited to “only” 87,000 vehicles but should a problem be found with the Pentastar V6 itself or some other component shared among the other Pentastar-powered vehicles, this could balloon to a much bigger issue.

The 2011 Dodge Avenger shares the 3.6L Pentastar V6 with the 2011 Chrysler 200 and considering that the two vehicles are identical in almost every way shy of physical appearance, any further actions by the NHTSA would likely impact the Dodge midsized sedan as well. In addition to the 2011 Avenger, the 2012 Chrysler 200 sedan (and Avenger) both feature the 3.6L Pentastar as the premium engine so if there is found to be a flaw with the engine or one of the systems that supports the engine (electrical or fuel), a recall could be a big one even if only affecting these midsized models. Also, even though the initial investigation only relates to the 4-door 200 sedan, the 2011 and newer Chrysler 200 Convertible also uses the same Pentastar engine…so the topless 200 could be eventually included in the investigation or any required actions as a result of the investigation.

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