By Matt Schmitz on July 5, 2013
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.
The second-largest recall affects 224,000 model-year 2013 minivans, including the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Ram Cargo van. The airbag control software may be inadvertently programmed to deploy side airbags on the opposing side of the vehicle during a side impact; side airbags are intended to deploy on the side of the vehicle impacted. The automaker said the problem has caused three accidents and one minor injury.
About 45,900 model-year 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks equipped with four-wheel drive are also being recalled due to a problem with electronic stability control system software that causes the warning lamp to activate, indicating that the safety feature is disabled. The condition may occur when the transfer case position is changed immediately before the ignition is turned off; software was modified to prevent ESC deactivation under such circumstances. Chrysler said it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.
The automaker is also recalling 184 model-year 2013 minivans, including the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, due to a programming problem with the airbag control module that could compromise airbag deployment. Chrysler said most of the affected minivans are in dealer hands and that it is unaware of any injuries, accidents or customer complaints.
Chrysler said it will notify owners affected by each of the recalls, and dealers will correct the problems for free. Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403, NHTSA’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.Related
News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt