Alfa Romeo recalls 37,000 vehicles over engine software woes

Engine control software glitch could allow catalytic converters to overheat

Published: September 29, 2018, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:59 PM

Alfa Romeo crest

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 37,000 Alfa Romeos to address a problem with the engine control software that may cause the catalytic converter to overheat and potentially start a fire.

An FCA investigation uncovered a specific naturally-occurring engine operation condition in 2017-18 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans and 2018 Stelvio SUVs (excluding Quadrifoglio models) that could go undetected by the engine control software, allowing the catalytic converter to overheat. If that were to happen, the engine could stall out, vehicle occupants may become aware of a “burning” odour, and under unique circumstances, the cat could start a fire.

The company is actually aware of two underhood fires that may have resulted from the issue, though there were no injuries.

An instrument panel warning light may light, if the problem is detected as expected, which will serve as an early warning about the issue.

Of the affected models, 34,359 are in the US, 2,619 in Canada and 90 in Mexico.

Owners of potentially affected vehicles will be notified in coming weeks, asking them to schedule service of their vehicles at dealerships, where technicians will diagnose the extent of the problem and update software to properly detect and mitigate the operating conditions associated with the issue. In some cases (estimated at less than 1% of affected vehicles), the catalytic converter may have to be replaced.

Owners can also call Alfa Romeo Premium Care at 866-932-3881 with questions and concerns.