Jeep Liberty under NHTSA investigation for airbag risks
The NHTSA opened this investigation of the 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty models after receiving seven complaints of the airbags opening without proper cause. Five of these seven reports included injuries caused by the unneeded deployment of the airbags and with the increased risk of accidents that could be caused by this problem, the feds have opened a preliminary investigation into these vehicles – an investigation that affects a whopping 387,356 vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation will take a close look at the airbag system of the 2002 and 2003 Jeep Liberty to see if there is some sort of mechanical, electrical or engineering flaw that is causing the airbags to open without cause and without warning. Should the NHTSA find that there is a problem with a specific system or component, this preliminary investigation could lead to a recall of nearly 400,000 Jeeps. Even if the NHTSA does not rule that a recall is required, the Chrysler Group and Jeep could issue a recall on their own to address this problem.
This is not the first time the Chrysler Group has run into airbag deployment issues as in early August 2011, the smallest of the Detroit Big 3 posted a recall of almost 300,000 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans over a similar concern of airbags opening without proper cause. However, in that recall Chrysler found that an air condition drainage hose could fail and allow condensation to drip onto the control unit for the airbag system. Over time, that moisture will cause corrosion that could lead to the airbags opening on their own. There is no indication right now as to what the cause is of the Jeep Liberty airbag deployment but we can be sure that the NHTSA and Chrysler will work hard to determine the cause and the fix to prevent people from having to deal with the horror that must be having your airbags open at speed.
Ford Motor Company also faced a similar recall of 2005 and 2006 Ford F150 pickups as they too were having airbags open for no reason. With those models, it was found that there was a wiring issue inside of the steering wheel that was easily repaired so Ford recalled around 1.2 million trucks to fix the problem quickly. Other companies including Honda and Hyundai have both also faced similar issues and with the push for safer and improved technology, we are bound to see these problems spring up as the problems with advanced airbag technology show themselves via the real world.
Other Airbag Recall News:
Chrysler recalls 299,718 minivans for airbag risks
Ford recalls 150,000 F150 pickups over airbag deployment risks
Ford expands F150 airbag recall to almost 1.2 million trucks
Honda recalls 833,000 vehicles for airbag problem, again
Hyundai recalls 190000 Elantra sedans for airbag risk