Thursday, April 28, 2011

NHTSA reviewing Jeep Liberty corrosion issues

Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation into 370,000 Jeep Liberty vehicles over corrosion issues.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice posted Friday it is reviewing the 2002-2005 Jeep Liberty after receiving nine complaints about rear control arms failing due to excessive corrosion.
Two of the complaints alleged the failure occurred at speeds of 50 mph or greater. Three complaints alleged that the failure resulted in a loss of vehicle control.
This is the third NHTSA probe into corrosion issues on Jeep Liberty vehicles.
In November 2003, the DaimlerChrysler recalled 336,000 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty SUVS because some experienced a loss of lubrication that led to corrosion of the lower control arm ball joints. In some instances, drivers lost control of vehicles.
In August 2006, DaimlerChrysler recalled 825,000 2002-2006 Jeep Liberty SUVs over the same issue after NHTSA had opened an investigation.
The automaker again replaced lower ball joints because they could be corroded and lead to a possible separation causing a loss of control.
Three years later in April 2009, Chrysler LLC recalled 42,469 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty for corrosion issues in 22 cold-weather "salt belt" states to address upper ball joint separation issues, including Michigan.
That followed at least five reports of incidents at speeds of 40 miles or greater. NHTSA closed its 18-month-old investigation after Chrysler announced the recall.
Chrysler -—which has it corporate offices closed today — didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
NHTSA's preliminary investigation is the first step. In some cases, the government closes an investigation if it doesn't find a safety defect or it may upgrade the investigation to an engineering analysis.

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