Fiat has announced the Fiat 500e all electric vehicle will receive a hardware and software update. The first is a voluntary recall to update the Power Inverter Module. The second involves updating the software in multiple control modules for enhanced operation.
During the course of routine warranty data reviews, Chrysler Group engineers discovered an issue with the Power Inverter Module (PIM) in the Fiat 500e that may cause a loss in power while driving. It is possible the PIM may over time begin seeping coolant and this leak could cause a short circuit if the coolant gets into electrical components. This could result in a loss of power. Chrysler is aware of five such incidents happening, however, they are unaware of any related accidents or injuries.
The PIM function is to convert the direct current (DC) of the high voltage battery into alternating current (AC) necessary to power the electric motor. The PIM is located in the under-hood area above the eMotor and under the On Board Charging Module (OBCM). Coolant is circulated through the PIM to remove the heat that it produces.
The PIM also acts as a replacement for the alternator used in gasoline engines, charging the 12 volt battery and providing current up to 170 amps to support the vehicle low voltage electrical accessories. These include:
• The Electric A/C Compressor (EAC)
• The Air Electric Heater (AEH)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is replacing PIMs in 2013-14 Fiat 500e vehicles assembled between Sept. 24, 2012 and April 4, 2014. This amounts to approximately 4,141 cars. Owners of the Fiat 500e will be contacted directly and advised when they may schedule service. Associated costs will be borne by the Company.
Customers who are concerned may call the Fiat Customer Assistance Center at 1-888-242-6342.
Owners of the Fiat 500e will be interested in knowing that Fiat has issued a software update that enhances the operation of many features of their car. A recently issued Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) describes updating the software in multiple modules if required:
- Vehicle Tracking Module (VTM)
- Body Control Module (BCM)
- On-Board Charging Module (OBCM)
- Power Inverter
- Module (PIM)
- Battery Pack Control Module (BPCM)
- Electric Vehicle Control Unit (EVCU)
The software improvements include:
· Improve Air Conditioning operation.
· Correct blinking charge indicator (goal post).
· Correct 12 volt battery drain when charging the vehicle.
· Improvements to DTC diagnostic’s.
· Enhancements to the central door lock feature.
· Improvements to locate the vehicle, using the smartphone app.
· Increase cabin preconditioning time from 2 to 10 minutes.
· Update information that is displayed by the cluster.
· Enhancements to the high voltage charging system.
· Improve the total Lifetime energy consumed information that is display on a smartphone app.
The Technical Service Bulletin number is 08-048-14 and applies to 2014 Fiat 500E models built on or before March 12, 2014 (MDH 0312XX). *
There is a note saying that the bulletin will be updated to include 2013 vehicles when all of the 2013 software is available. Contact your Fiat Studio for more details and have the TSB number handy.