Affected by Chrysler’s drive shaft recall are 78,500 model year 2007-2008 Dodge Nitro and 2008 Jeep Liberty 4x2 SUVs manufactured between March 2006 and March 2008. The vehicles in question may be equipped with a faulty transfer case heat shield, which may drop down and rub against the drive shaft. As a result, the drive shaft may weaken and possibly break.
Consequently, the broken drive shaft may strike the transfer case tunnel, leading the airbag computer to believe that a crash has occurred, thus deploying the airbags. Drive shaft failure may also result in a loss of motive power. Either condition may increase the likelihood of a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Chrysler is unaware of any crashes or injuries, but has received 38 complaints pertaining to broken drive shafts.
Chrysler’s drive shaft recall impacts about 61,400 vehicles in the United States, 13,700 in Mexico, 1,000 in Canada and 2,300 outside of North America.
The recall does not affect SUVs equipped with 4x4 drivelines since the transfer case is longer. The longer transfer case stops a dropped shield from resting directly on the drive shaft.
Chrysler will notify customers of the recall beginning in May 2013. Authorized dealers will add a bracket to support the heat shield at no cost to the owner. In the meantime, customers may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753. Chrysler’s recall campaign number is N10. Concerned owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA campaign number is 13V121000.
The recall is the second largest of six separate recalls issued on Tuesday by Chrysler. The recalls address multiple safety concerns including faulty brakes, fuel tank issues and an airbag deployment defect. The largest of the recalls involves approximately 139,000 model year 2011-2012 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Charger vehicles built between April 2011 and December 2011. Affected vehicles may suffer from side-airbag malfunction and airbag warning light illumination due to improperly sized terminal crimps on the seat side-airbag wiring harness. Collectively, the six recalls impact roughly 260,000 cars, truck and SUVs worldwide.
The six recalls – coupled with four others issued earlier this year – put Chrysler’s recall count for 2013 just three shy of last year’s entire total. In 2012, Chrysler’s 13 recall campaigns covered 1.3 million vehicles, which was less than the other Detroit Three automakers.
Click here to read Torque News’ coverage of Chrysler’s airbag recall concerning the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Charger.