24,000 Chrysler Vehicles Recalled For Brake Failure Risk

Auto giant, Chrysler Group LLC, is recalling 24,177 of it Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles, the Boston Herald just announced. The recall involves a repair of a <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/defective_vehicle_parts">defective part that could lead to brake failure in the 2010 model-year Chrysler Sebring; Dodge Avenger and Nitro; Jeep Liberty, Commander, and Grand Cherokee SUVs; and all 2009-2010 model year Dodge Ram trucks, including the heavy-duty model, said the Boston Herald.

Workers testing the autos found the problem according to a report Chrysler sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said the Boston Herald. According to the report, the auto maker is unaware of incidents or injuries connected to the defective part, which involves brake booster rod retaining clips that were “improperly formed” and which were not installed in the Ram trucks, said the Boston Herald. The brake booster rod retaining clips, said officials at Chrysler, are critical for “consistent and proper” brake operations. When the part is missing or is not correctly installed, a without-warning brake failure could occur, which could lead to an accident.

In 2007 we wrote about another Chrysler recall of 300,000 SUVs with defects related to a breaking problem that occurs when the vehicles drive uphill. The company also recalled cars for problems with front door latches and locks. The Chrysler recall involved over 156,000 2006-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander SUVs, as well as 90,000 2007 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and 50,000 2007 Dodge Nitro SUVs. Chrysler received some 20 complaints of vehicles experiencing a delay in breaking when drivers tried to come to a stop after coasting up hill; one crash was tied to the braking problem.

In a second action at that time, Chrysler recalled 72,333 Dodge Avenger sedans and Chrysler Sebring convertibles from the 2008 model year after the company’s internal monitoring program found problems with opening vehicle doors.

Late last year we wrote that a safety group was seeking a recall of Jeep Grand Cherokees over fuel tank fires. The Center for Auto Safety wrote to the NHTSA about 172 fatal fire crashes from 1993 to 2004 and 254 fatalities between 1992 and 2002. With an additional known fatal fire crash in 2009, there have been at least 44 crashes with 64 fatalities in which the “Most Harmful Event” was a fire, the group said. Nearly all the fires and fatalities occurred in Grand Cherokees made before the 2005 model year.

The Center for Auto Safety claimed the 1993-04 Grand Cherokee has a fatal crash fire occurrence rate that is about four times higher than SUVs made by other companies and called for a recall of all 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees with a fuel tank located behind the rear axle. According to the letter, the fuel tank is plastic and extends below the rear bumper so there is nothing to protect the tank from a direct hit in a rollover or by a vehicle with a low front profile or one lowered by pre-impact braking. An optional Jeep skid plate to cover the gas tank and protect it during off-road driving reduces the danger, the letter said.

The Center letter alleges that the design is so bad that that Chrysler frequently settles lawsuits without extensive discovery and subject to confidentiality agreements and pointed out that when Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy previously, it tried “to escape liability for all future Grand Cherokee crashes occurring after the bankruptcy in which the vehicle was sold before the bankruptcy.” Under intense public pressure, Chrysler relented and agreed to cover future product liability losses; however, according to the letter, the automaker still refused to accept responsibility for fatal crashes that occurred prior to the bankruptcy.

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