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A software incompatibility can cause unexpected shutdown of the electric drive system.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a recall for the Fiat 500E to fix a software glitch with the propulsion system.

The company last month issued separate software updates for the electric vehicle control unit (EVCU) and the battery pack control module (BPCM), improving diagnostic capabilities and range estimation.

A new 'limp-home' mode was also added to the BPCM, but without adding the necessary compatibility provisions to the EVCU software. If the BPCM places the battery in limp-home mode, the incompatibility can cause an electrical-system shutdown.

"When this error occurs, the vehicle will conduct a general shut-down by opening the EV battery pack contactors causing a loss of motive power which may increase the risk of crash," the recall documents note.

The campaign affects 5,660 units with production dates from March 27, 2012 through November 1, 2014.