NHTSA: 5 Million Chrysler Vehicles Under Scrutiny for Stalling Problem

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Earlier this month, Cars.com reported that Chrysler was recalling nearly 190,000 model-year 2011 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs due to a problem with the Totally Integrated Power Module that could cause the vehicles to stall suddenly. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it will formally review millions more Chrysler SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans starting with the 2007 model year due to complaints of problems associated with the same module. An Aug. 21 letter from advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety initiated the review, informing NHTSA of 63 complaints pertaining to problems allegedly caused by the module.

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee

"The CAS alleges that TIPM failures have resulted in incidents of engine stall; airbag non-deployment; random horn, headlight, taillight, door lock, instrument panel and windshield wiper activity; failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration; and fires," NHTSA said in a statement, also noting that the CAS petition also references a class-action lawsuit that has been filed regarding the alleged module failure.

By Matt Schmitz | September 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

NHTSA Probes 2012 Chrysler Airbag Recall Fix

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced today that it has opened a new investigation into the 2012 Chrysler recall of nearly three-quarters of a million Jeep SUVs to determine whether the automaker's fix was effective. The vehicles were recalled because of inadvertent airbag deployment; 744,000 model-year 2002-03 Jeep Liberty and 2002-04 Grand Cherokee SUVs were involved. The problem has been blamed for 215 reported incidents and 81 injuries. Since then, there have been reports of six vehicles with inadvertent airbag deployments resulting in no crashes but cuts and burns to occupants. The involved vehicles had undergone dealer repairs to prevent electrical spikes believed to have caused the deployments.

Get the full Detroit News story here.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Jeep Renegade Photo Gallery (55 Photos)

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One of the first things you'll notice about the just-unveiled 2015 Jeep Renegade is it bears an unmistakable family resemblance. The physical features of the subcompact Renegade, which bows Tuesday at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show, take after several members of the Jeep clan, particularly the old Cherokee, the Wrangler and even a hint of the now-defunct Liberty. However, as a product of the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, it shares a platform with the Fiat 500L and might be considered the runt of the litter — which is not to suggest it won't boast Jeep's formidable off-roading capabilities, especially the optional trail-rated Trailhawk model.

2015 Jeep Renegade: First Look

Inside is Jeep's Tek-Tonic design combining the rugged structural elements with more luxurious materials along with extreme-sports style colors and compartments. The five-seater is powered by either a 160-horsepower 1.4-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission or a 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a nine-speed automatic, available in front- or all-wheel drive. The Renegade is expected to hit dealerships in early 2015. Check out the gallery below.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 3, 2014 | Comments (2)

The Top 10 Biggest Recalls of 2013

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Back in July, we did a midyear check-in on the biggest recalls of 2013 up to that point. Now, six months later, we’re bringing you last year’s final tally, nearly half of which are new to the list.

Latest Recalls

The biggest addition to the list isn't a vehicle recall but a tire recall. In December, about 1.2 million Michelin LTX M/X tires, size LT225/75R16, were recalled. The affected tires were used as original equipment on certain Ford vehicles and as replacement equipment on various-brand commercial light trucks, full-size heavy-duty vans, small recreational vehicles and some large pickup trucks. In affected tires the tread could separate, leading to rapid air loss and possibly leading to a loss of vehicle control.

By Matt Schmitz | January 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

The Top 10 Biggest Recalls of 2013

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Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls on millions of vehicles. In 2012, NHTSA recalled just shy of 18 million, and 15.5 million in 2011. While some recalls affect just a handful of vehicles, others impact millions.

So far this year, the biggest recall is technically not a recall at all. In June, we reported that NHTSA had requested Chrysler fix 2.7 million Jeep SUVs — 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty models — due to a potential fuel-system problem that could cause fires in a rear-end crash. Jeep initially refused, insisting the vehicles "met and exceeded all applicable requirements" of federal standards pertaining to fuel-system integrity. NHTSA then gave Chrysler a June 18 deadline to either issue a recall themselves, or be ordered to do so.

On the day of its deadline, Chrysler announced it would launch a campaign to inspect and, if necessary, fix the 2.7 million Jeeps — never officially referring to the action as a "recall." Still, that's what it was, and therefore it earns the distinction of being the biggest one this year.

According to research, the biggest recalls affecting the U.S. market in 2013 are:

By Matt Schmitz | July 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 712,000 Chrysler Vehicles

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Chrysler is voluntarily recalling an estimated 712,084 vehicles in four separate actions due to problems with various safety features, the automaker announced this week. It's more bad news for the automaker after its decision last month — following a recall request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — to inspect and repair 2.7 million Jeep SUVs due to a fuel-system problem that could lead to fires.

The largest of the new recalls affects 442,000 model-year 2011-13 Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger sedans, as well as 2011-13 Jeep Liberty SUVs and 2011-12 Dodge Nitro SUVs. The active head restraint function, designed to mitigate neck injuries by automatically moving forward during rear-impact collisions, may contain faulty microcontrollers that could prevent the system from functioning properly. Chrysler said it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.

By Matt Schmitz | July 5, 2013 | Comments (3)

Chrysler to Fix Jeeps

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Chrysler announced today that it will launch a campaign to inspect — and if necessary — fix nearly 2.7 million Jeep SUVs that the government claims are unsafe due to a problem with the fuel system that could possibly lead to fires.

Chrysler Says Jeeps are Safe; NHTSA Wants Recall

The vehicles in the action — which Chrysler is not labeling a recall — are 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs. Chrysler will perform "a visual inspection of the vehicle [that] will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts."

According to our sources at Chrysler, the fix will be implemented depending on whether or not the Jeeps have a trailer hitch installed. If a Jeep has a factory-installed or Mopar accessory hitch installed, no enhancements will be made. SUVs without a hitch will get one installed. This is the "rear-end upgrade" being discussed.

A trailer hitch generally includes a hitch receiver, which is a large piece of welded metal that does add strength to a vehicle's structure. A quick search on Mopar's site shows the parts for such a fix cost around $300 for a 2003 Jeep Liberty.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not suggested a fix. The federal agency generally waits until the automaker determines how to proceed before announcing a formal recall.

Chrysler maintains that there is no defect with the vehicles and that they were built to the same standards as — and performed as well as or better than — competitive vehicles at the time.

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By David Thomas | June 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

NHTSA: Chrysler Has Until June 18 to Recall Jeeps

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given Chrysler a deadline of June 18 to formally respond to its request for the recall of 2.7 million model-year 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty SUVs, according to the Detroit News. The recall request, due to a problem in the fuel system that could lead to a fire in rear-end crashes, initially was refused by Chrysler; the automaker insists the vehicles meet federal safety standards for fuel-system integrity.

Depending on the automaker's response, NHTSA will decide whether to issue a formal finding and then convene a public hearing, a final step before ordering a recall, the Detroit News reported. The safety agency says Chrysler "contravened industry trends," as well as its own practices in non-Jeep vehicles by placing the fuel tanks in a vulnerable location behind the rear axle. The resulting fires were caused by gas leaking from punctured fuel tanks in rear-end crashes, causing the deaths of 51 people, the Detroit News reported.

By Matt Schmitz | June 10, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2010-12 Jeep Patriot, Compass and 2012-13 Wrangler

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Chrysler is voluntarily recalling a combined 435,400 Jeep vehicles in two separate actions, the automaker announced today.

The larger of the two recalls affects 254,000 model-year 2010-12 Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs, and it's due to a problem with the occupant-restraint system that could malfunction during slow-developing rollover crashes. The other recall affects an estimated 181,000 model-year 2012-13 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and is due to a problem with the transmission oil cooler line that could cause premature wear.

No accidents, injuries or complaints have resulted from the problems in either recall, Chrysler said in a statement. These two latest recalls are unrelated to an issue earlier this week in which the automaker refused to comply with a NHTSA recommendation that it recall 2.7 million model-year 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty SUVs due to a potential fuel-system problem that could lead to fire in a rear-end crash.

By Matt Schmitz | June 6, 2013 | Comments (9)

Chrysler Says Jeeps are Safe; NHTSA Wants Recall

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While unfortunate, vehicle recalls are pretty common; what isn't is when an automaker refuses to comply. After investigating a potential fuel system problem in model-year 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants Chrysler to recall 2.7 million vehicles. The automaker said no.

According to USA Today, NHTSA sent Chrysler a letter ordering the recall of the affected vehicles to fix a problem that could lead to a fire in a rear-end crash. Chrysler said it has been working with NHTSA on this issue since 2010 and disagrees with the agency's conclusion; it's standing by the safety of the vehicles.

"These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity," the automaker said in a statement.

By Jennifer Geiger | June 4, 2013 | Comments (8)

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