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New Chargers And Challengers Have Dangerous Defect With Paddle Shifters

2019 Dodge Charger R/T

Owners of newer-model Dodge Chargers, Challengers, and Chrysler 300s might want to keep an eye out for a scary problem with the car’s paddle shifters.

So this is a little scary. A new video has surfaced on YouTube that shows what might happen if you touch a Charger’s paddle shifters in a specific way. Since the Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 also have the same 8-speed automatic transmission, it’s assumed to affect all these cars, and indeed, the comments in the video seem to indicate that is the case.

The video is from R/T Life, a channel mostly dedicated to living the best life of a muscle car. You can skip the first couple of minutes to avoid a completely unrelated tangent and a silly jump scare. You’ve been warned.

Anyway, the real meat of the video follows a Dodge Charger R/T owner as he performs several shifts at regular road-going speeds. The actual automatic shifter in the center console works just fine, as does the left-hand downshift paddle shifter, but the right-side upshift paddle shifter seems to be slightly possessed.

At medium to high revs, if the driver tries to upshift by touching the lower portion of the shifter, it will downshift instead. That’s a pretty scary thing to happen in a car that already sounds like a rampaging beast.

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The video shows the issue replicated several times at various velocities and RPM. Lower RPM doesn’t seem to affect it, but as soon as he surpasses 3,000 and does that little shifter tickle, it downshifts.

As noted by Motor1, the Charger’s silicone brain won’t actually allow the transmission to downshift above a certain RPM, so while this issue is scary, it’s not actually going to damage your car. It’s also sporadic, so it can be hard to replicate at times and not every Charger/Challenger/Chrysler 300 owner will be affected.

We’re not sure which model years might have this issue, but the comments in the video seem to mention the 2013 model year. We’re guessing it’s for the current generation of these cars. Hopefully, someone at FCA is watching and is working on a fix.

(Source: Mopar Insiders)

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