Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content


What a beast, that new Dodge Challenger. With a platform donated by Mercedes-Benz, via the Magnum; Charger; and 300, Chrysler translated the ancient Challenger’s looks into a modern masterpiece fit for most any muscle car lover. But apparently NHTSA has a problem with the 2008 and 2009 Challenger; at least those equipped with an automatic transmission and keyless go. We’ll let the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explain.

“If the stop start button is pressedand held and the engine turns off, the electronic key code is removed from the vehicle. Since this can occur in a transmission or gear selector position other than “park”, and the transmission or gear selector does not become locked in “park” as a direct result of key removal, it was determined that a noncompliance may exist.”

Why does NHTSA care?

“This standard specifies vehicle performance requirements intended to reduce the incidence of crashes resulting from theft and accidental rollaway of motor vehicles.”

Which standars are they talking about? That would be Federal motor vehicle safety standard #114 for theft prevention.

So, obviously something needs to be done. Each of the 6,636 Dodge Challengers will be reprogammed; the wireless ignition node module to be specific. That way, “the engine can only be turned off when the transmission and gear selector is in the ‘park’ position.”