The 3.6L V6 engine in the 2011 Avenger is known for randomly shutting off while the vehicle is idling or slowing down. The issue is also known to affect the 2011 Chrysler 200 because it shares the same engine.
According to complaints, the problem usually happens without any sort of warning. Thankfully, it was eventually addressed as part of a Chrysler "customer satisfaction program."
Why Are the Engines Shutting Off? ∞
NHTSA announced a preliminary investigation into stalling complaints back in June, 2012. This came on the heels of an investigative report by David Wood of CarComplaints.com.
We followed up with Chrysler for clarification about the "few" complaints mentioned in their statement. Chrysler responded that the complaints "may be" from a number of sources. We also contacted the service departments of Chrysler dealerships across the country, but they refused to comment.
Before NHTSA could finish their investigation, Chrysler announced they had traced the problem to a faulty Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
While the engine was at idle or slowing down, the PCM was initiating an unnecessary purge monitor check. This resulted in an “overly rich vapor condition that caused the engine to stall.”
Software Patch to Address the Issue ∞
Dodge developed a software patch for the PCM and released it as part of a “customer satisfaction program” in September 2012. Not long after that, NHTSA closed their investigation into the issue.