2007 Dodge Caliber Subject of Federal Probe

In the midst of seemingly never-ending headlines regarding defective parts and recalls being faced by a number of automakers, Chrysler has confirmed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating issues with its 2007 Dodge Caliber, said The Associated Press (AP). It seems that the automaker is being probed for <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/defective_vehicle_parts">sticky accelerator pedals, noted the AP.

According to Chrysler, while there have not been any reports, to date, regarding accidents, injuries, or damage to property, some customers have reported issues with pedals in its Dodge Caliber, said the AP. AutoWeek said that the NHTSA has received five consumer complaints of sticky pedals in which the pedal does not return to the idle position when released.

Four of the consumers who filed a complaint reported that they discovered one or two of the pedal assembly bushings on the floor of the car’s driver’s side, said Auto Week. The Caliber is described as a compact sport utility vehicle.

The NHTSA summary report indicated that the Office of Defects Investigation noted that bushings act as a pivot shaft bearing for the accelerator pedal arm, said AutoWeek. When the bushings are missing, the pedal arm can misalign, preventing it from returning to its idle position, explained Auto Week.

The sticky pedal problem appears to be limited to vehicles build during a five-week span in March of April 2006, seems to be linked with a parts supplier, and is a mechanical, not an electronic issue, reported the AP. The issue is a “supplier manufacturing concern” said Chrysler, quoted AutoWeek. A recall has not yet been called.

AutoWeek said that the pedal assemblies were manufactured by CTS Corporation. Of note, CTS Corp. made parts linked to some of the large Toyota recalls that have been making headlines in recent days, noted AutoWeek.

The Caliber, said AutoWeek, is outfitted with a brake-override system. When a “disagreement between the throttle and the brakes” occurs, said AutoWeek, the engine controller reduces power, which enables the operator to stop the vehicle. The technology has been in effect since 2003. The impacted Calibers were manufactured with electronic throttle control (ETC).

According to the NHTSA summary report, the Office of Defects Investigation received five consumer reports alleging the accelerator pedal became stuck while they were driving the vehicles involved and that, when released, the pedal not return to the idle position.

Consumers with 2007 Calibers built during March-to-April 2006 time frame should bring in their vehicles to a dealership for an inspection, said AutoWeek. The inspection will be conducted at no cost to consumers.

Meanwhile, Toyota has been plagued with problems surrounding sticky pedals and has been the subject of months worth of recalls and probes, an historic fine, and a Congressional investigation, said AutoWeek.

Chrysler was at the center of another history-making auto event, having gone through a government-led bankruptcy restructure, noted AutoWeek.

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