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Chrysler Recalls 744,822 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Liberty SUVs For Inadvertent Airbag Deployment

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

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Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall involving 744,822 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs due to concerns over unintended deployment of airbags.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website says that the recall involves 200-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty SUVs. The dates of manufacture for the Grand Cherokee are from February 13, 2001 through May 23, 2003. For the Jeep Liberty, the dates are January 9, 2001 through March 28, 2003.

2003 Jeep Liberty Limited

2003 Jeep Liberty Limited

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The problem

The NHTSA bulletin describes the problem this way: “A component in the airbag control module may fail causing the front airbags, side curtain airbags, and/or seatbelt pretensioners to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated.”

Such an unintended deployment increases the risk of minor injuries to occupants and the possibility of a crash.

Documentation from Chrysler (PDF) shows that the company received reports of 215 inadvertent airbag deployments (126 in Jeep Liberty and 89 in Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and 81 minor injuries that resulted. The injuries included burns, cuts and bruises to the upper body.

Chrysler said that a review of field data indicated that the airbag warning lamp and/or chime are activated before an inadvertent airbag deployment.

David Chilton, Chrysler’s head of product investigations and campaigns, told The Detroit News, “A design change to a small component was linked to a small number of inadvertent airbag deployments,” which led to Chrysler’s move to initiate the voluntary safety recall.

The current safety recall occurs after the NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation in October 2011, followed by an upgrade to an engineering analysis in January 2012.

What Chrysler will do

To address the problem, Chrysler will notify owners and dealers will install a supplemental jumper harness to the airbag control module. The repairs will be performed at no charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during January 2013.

In the meantime, owners of 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753, referencing the Chrysler recall #M35.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V527000.

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Comments (3)
  1. I own a 2003 Jeep Liberty and purchased it new, so it is a one owner car. My air bag light has been going on and off for almost a year now. When I first contacted the local Jeep dealer I was told there was nothing to worry about. Finally I received a recall notice in March 2013 and immediately called the dealer. It is now June 2013 and they still have not done the completed repairs. Currently the excuse is that the parts are on back order. Guess they forgot that is what they told me back in April. Also the service manager told me that the only danger is that the air bag may not deploy in a severe crash. However, all the articles state that sometimes the air bag deploys without a crash. So now you know who to sue if something happen to me!

  2. This is what happens when cars get filled with electrickery and there is a lot to be said for cars that have no black boxes! Firstly I would suspect that somebody has specified the wrong alternators for these vehicles as alternators that use conventional silicon diodes can produce nasty voltage spikes. This has been known about for several years and nowadays there are companies which produce special alternators for drive-by-wire cars. The #1 difference is the type of rectifiers used in the alternator. Instead of silicon diodes with a withstand voltage of 100 to 200 volts, large Zener diodes are used and these are designed to dump power if the alternator tries to produce a voltage spike. Iskra is one manufacturer of this type of machine.

  3. Me again. It is now Nov 26, 2013 and still no parts for the air bag fix. How is this possible?

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