Mitsubishi Outlander, Lancer recalled for transmission problems

The recall affects Mitsubishi Outlander, Lancer, and Outlander Sport vehicles built between 2014 and 2016. Approximately 82,436 cars have been recalled in the United States.

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    The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The 2015 and 2016 Outlander Sport model years are under two separate recalls.
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Last week, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was recalled to fix a problem with its continuously variable transmission. Now, a different problem with that same CVT has resulted in a recall affecting the 2015 and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, as well as 2016 models of the Outlander and Lancer.

Unlike last week's recall of the Outlander Sport, which was caused by improperly secured hose clamps, today's recall stems from a software problem on an electronic control unit supplied by JATCO. A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that if there's a momentary loss of signal from the CTV's range switch, the ECU can prevent a car from accelerating normally:

"When the range switch momentarily experiences a loss of signal, the CVT-ECU believes that the driver has manually shifted the selector from neutral (N) to drive (D) while the throttle is open. In response, the CVT-ECU instructs the engine-ECU to reduce its torque output to prevent “shift shock” and slippage of the CVT metal belt. This reduction in engine torque can directly affect vehicle acceleration and would be perceived by the driver as vehicle hesitation."

If that should happen while a driver is trying to cross traffic lanes or merge onto a highway, that loss of acceleration could increase the risk of an accident.

The recall affects the following models:

  • 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer vehicles built between October 12, 2015 April 27, 2016
  • 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander vehicles built between May 11, 2015 and April 26, 2016
  • 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vehicles built between June 25, 2014 and November 25, 2015
  • 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vehicles built between January 11, 2016 and July 8, 2016

NHTSA says that 82,436 vehicles registered in the U.S. are affected by the recall

Mitsubishi began sending out recall notices last week, so if you own one of the vehicles listed above and haven't received a notice yet, expect it very soon. Mitsubishi dealers will reprogram the CVT control unit at no charge.

For additional information, you can call Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820 and ask about recall SR-16-006. Alternately, you can ring NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #16V563000.

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