Nearly 22,000 Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans and Stelvio SUVs are being recalled due to potentially optimistic fuel gauges. The 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles may have a body control module (BCM) "built with suspect software" that could result in fuel level readings that are higher than what is actually in the tank. The danger, obviously, is that drivers could run out of fuel and either stall — increasing the risk of a crash — or become stranded.
Interestingly, there are a series of very specific circumstances that can result in this faulty fuel readout. They involve parking on a grade of 10+ degrees for a certain period of time (around 30 minutes) with a fuel tank that's filled between 50-75%. According to Alfa Romeo's parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the vehicle may "think it went through a refuel and add a notch or two to the fuel gauge upon restart." That artificially raised readout will continue until the next time an actual refueling takes place.
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In March, some 60,000 2017-2019 Giulia and Stelvio models were recalled over adaptive cruise control problems.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notice, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio owners covered under this fuel gauge recall will be notified by mail of the campaign, with dealers updating the body control module software free of charge to fix the issue. 21,915 vehicles built between April 5, 2018 and May 29, 2019 may be affected by the problem.
The recall is expected to get underway on September 13.
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