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When A Recall Doesn't Work

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On: Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:27PM | By: Karen Cook

When A Recall Doesn't Work

The process of a recall is pretty straightforward. Buyers of vehicles experience problems which sometimes lead to injuries or deaths, and these are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If several problems of the same sort are reported for the same model, an investigation is launched; if the fault is found to be in the manufacturing, the auto maker repairs or replaces the equipment at no charge to the owner. That is usually the end of the story.

Chrysler is experiencing the rare occurrence of having to recall the equipment used to fix a previous recall. It started back in November of 2012 when over 740,000 Jeep vehicles in the United States were recalled because the front and side airbags deployed spontaneously without be prompted to do so by a collision. The fault was in the airbag's electrical system. At that time, 215 spontaneous deployments had been reported with 81 of them involving injuries. The affected models were the 2002-2003 Liberties and the 2002-2004 Grand Cherokees.

Recently there have been six reports of front or side airbags deploying without provocation in vehicles which had been repaired in the previous recall. Injuries have so far been limited to cuts, burns, and minor abrasions; there have been no fatalities. Owners say that in some cases the airbag warning lights and chimes activated, but only seconds before deployment, and in other cases there was no warning at all.

This new recall could affect 920,000 Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee models around the world if the NHTSA deems it necessary. Owners will be notified by mail if a full recall is issued.


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