Chrysler, Honda Issue Recalls for Defective SUVs, Civics

Chrysler and Honda have each announced <"">recalls for more than a half million SUVs and cars with defects that could cause crashes and serious injuries. Chrysler is recalling 300,000 SUVs due to a breaking problem that occurs when the vehicles are being driven uphill. The company is also recalling cars for problems with front door latches and locks. For its part, Honda is recalling more than 180,000 Civics because a wheel-bearing seal can leak and cause the wheel to fall off, as well as nearly 20,000 others with a break light problem.

The Chrysler recall involves more than 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. The company has received around 20 complaints of vehicles experiencing a delay in breaking when drivers tried to come to a stop after coasting up hill. There has been one crash tied to the braking problem, but no injuries so far. Owners of the recalled SUVs will be notified by mail this month, and Chrysler will reprogram the computer connected to the antilock breaking system in the recalled vehicles.

In a second action, Chrysler is recalling 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. No accidents or injuries have been reported from this defect, and Chrysler will also be notifying vehicle owners of this recall by mail.

Honda’s first recall covers 2006 and 2007 model-year Civic sedans and coups. Water may be able to seep past the O-ring seal on the wheel bearing damaging the bearing. If this occurs, the wheel could suddenly fall off of the car, resulting in an accident. Honda has received two complaints of this occurring, including an incident where a wheel fell off of a vehicle as it was being towed. However, no injuries have been reported as a result of this defect. Honda said that it will start notifying owners of the recalled Civics this week and will replace damaged parts for free.

The second recall also affects 2006 Civic sedans and hybrids, however it does not overlap with the wheel bearing recall because the models affected were built in different places. The second recall was necessary to repair a break light switch that can fail. Grease can build up on the steering column and oil can drip into the switch, causing it to fail and possibly resulting in a crash. The extra grease can also prevent drivers from shifting gears from the “Park” position. Honda said it will begin notifying owners of these recalled Civics on September 27. Honda says no injuries or accidents have been attributed to the faulty break light switches.

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