Plug-in hybrid versions of the Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover SUVs are being recalled over possible loose battery cables that could lead to fires.
The two related crossovers are the first plug-in models from their respective brands, both part of Stellantis. The Tonale launched for the 2024 model year with a standard plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Hornet launched as a 2023 model with a conventional gasoline powertrain, with the Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid following shortly after as a 2024 model.
In the affected vehicles, the 12-volt battery’s positive cable and/or a high voltage connector cable may not have been tightened properly at the factory. This can “overheat the electrical connections and result in a fire while parked or driving,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The recall encompasses 4,129 Tonale and 2,254 Hornet R/T crossovers, all of which were built between Dec. 13, 2022, and Aug. 23, 2023. After that date, Stellantis began taking measures to address the problem in production, according to the NHTSA.
Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, tighten the suspect cables free of charge. In the meantime, owners are advised to park outside and away from structures until the recall work is completed.
The Tonale and Hornet R/T plug-in hybrids are so new that official EPA electric-range and gas-mileage ratings haven’t been posted online by the EPA. Dealership window stickers confirm the 33 miles and 29 mpg combined announced by Alfa for the Tonale in June. They also reveal those EPA ratings carry over to the Hornet R/T, representing increases of 1 mile and 1 mpg from Dodge’s previous estimates.
In a first drive, we found that the Hornet R/T puts performance first. Our partner site Motor Authority found that the Tonale isn’t focused toward the track or for outright speed. That leaves Dodge in a strange market position, until its very flamboyant electric muscle car arrives next year.
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