NHTSA investigating Jeep Wrangler for airbag risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into problems with the Jeep Wrangler that could cause the driver’s side airbag not to open in the event of a collision.

This new investigation includes roughly 222,500 Jeep Wrangler SUVs from the 2007 and 2008 model years and this investigation was opened after the NHTSA received 29 complaints from owners around the country. In these Jeeps, owners have reported that the airbag system check light came on, which indicates that there was a clockspring failure. A clockspring failure typically causes the airbag light to illuminate and in the worst case scenario, the driver’s side airbag could fail to open in an accident.

The problem is that in the 29 official complaints where owners of 2007 and 2008 Jeep Wranglers had the airbag warning light come on; only 23 of them actually had a clockspring failure. This means that the warning system in the vehicle is potentially flawed and if the system is reading that there is a problem when there actually is not – there could be potential for the warning system not to active when there is a failure in the airbag system.

Clockspring problems aren’t new but in the past, the reported problems caused by Chrysler clockspring issues were things like the horn honking sporadically, even when the vehicle was parked and locked up in a driveway. I suppose that you could consider it unintended honking – but in any case that presented no real safety risk. However, should the NHTSA find that there is a problem with either the clockspring setup or the warning system in the 2007 and 2008 Jeep Wrangler; this could mean a recall for the popular open-air utility vehicles.

Luckily, should Chrysler be forced to recall the 222,500 Jeeps possibly affected by this issue, a clockspring replacement is generally a quick and easy fix – as recall repairs go. Most importantly, no injuries have been reported due to this issue.

TorqueNews will continue following this topic, bringing you any news as it becomes available.

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