Stellantis behind on fix to prevent thefts of Dodge Chargers, frequently stolen in metro Detroit

July 20, 2021, 11:02 PM

A Dodge Charger crashed into an Eastern Market business in May. (Photo: Instagram, Trinosophes)

Dodge Chargers and Challengers remain as stealable as ever, despite assurances from maker Stellantis (formerly Fiat-Chrysler) that it would address a key fob issue at the heart of frequent thefts.

Chargers have been involved in numerous accidents in Detroit this year, including a deadly attempted hit-and-run of a 9-year-old boy on the west side. Police have said the cars often are stolen, as was the case with some of the Dodge muscle cars that blocked the Lodge two years ago for stunts.

More than 1,000 Chargers were stolen in Southeast Michigan last year, the city of Saline's police chief told The Saline Post after a dealership theft in February. Chargers and Challengers are the most stolen vehicles nationwide, according to a 2019 study from the Highway Loss Data Institute.

In response to a March WXYZ report highlighting how thieves are able to duplicate key fobs with a computerized device, the automaker promised a fix by June. It now tells the station that "the feature is undergoing final validation and will be made available to dealers as quickly as engineering discipline will allow."

At least two thefts of Dodge Chargers resulted in police chases in metro Detroit in the last week alone, WXYZ reports.

One chase moved to the freeway, lasted several miles to Southgate until the vehicle ran out of gas. The other Dodge Charger was stolen in Inkster with a police chase ending in a dead-end street.

Read more:  WXYZ

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