Chrysler recalls 210,000 Jeep SUVs for corrosion issue

DETROIT – Wed Mar 7: Chrysler is recalling nearly 210,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles due to potential problems resulting from excessive corrosion that could lead to a loss of control by the driver.

Chrysler, which is controlled by Fiat, is recalling the estimated 209,724 Jeep SUVs from model years 2004 and 2005. Some may be equipped with rear lower control arms that can fracture due to corrosion caused by road salt used in certain states, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Chrysler is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, NHTSA said.

The recall is expected to begin by the end of April and the rear lower control arms on all affected vehicles will be replaced, according to NHTSA.

NHTSA said it opened a preliminary evaluation of the issue in April 2011 based on nine complaints about fractures due to excessive corrosion. The probe was upgraded to an engineering analysis in September 2011.

The cars affected in the recall were originally sold or are currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., according to the documents.

U.S. regulators upgrade Jeep Liberty airbag probe

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – U.S. safety regulators have upgraded an investigation into almost 387,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles for potential inadvertent airbag deployment, increasing the possibility of a recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was upgrading its investigation of the 386,873 Chrysler SUVs from model years 2002 and 2003 to an engineering analysis, a step in a process that could lead to a recall if regulators determine that a manufacturer needs to address a safety issue.

In two separate other NHTSA filings, Mazda Motor Corp. is recalling more than 52,000 older Tribute SUVs for potential brake fluid leaks, and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz has begun investigating consumer complaints of fuel odor that may be a leak in about 8,000 older E55 AMG sedans and wagons.

For the Chrysler issue, NHTSA said it had identified 87 reports of inadvertent driver or passenger front airbag deployment, resulting in 50 alleged injuries, including burns, cuts and bruises to the upper body, according to documents filed online.

Forty-two of the 87 incidents involved the driver front airbag deploying without a crash, occurring at vehicle startup and while driving on the road, according to NHTSA. The remaining 45 involved both the driver and passenger front airbags, NHTSA said.