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Chrysler Recalling Thousands Of Cars for Airbag Lights, Brakes, Fuel Tubes

6:37 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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Chrysler Group announced a stunning six recalls today, including roughly 139,000 full-size sedans because their air bag warning lights can illuminate for no reason.

It's unclear whether six announced in one day is a record, but "it certainly is an anomaly," says Eric Mayne, a Chrysler spokesman.

"There's no link. It's just the way the stars lined up," he said, adding that the total number of vehicles recalled is modest and that no injuries have been reported as a result of the potential flaws.

The big-sedan recall covers 2011 and 2012 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger sedans manufactured from April 2011 through December 2011. About 119,000 are in the U.S., 7,000 in Canada, 880 in Mexico and the rest outside North America.

Chrysler says its engineers investigated after "a small number of customers" complained of intermittent airbag-light illumination. Chrysler says some seat-mounted side-impact bags had the wrong wiring harness terminal.

No accidents have been caused by the problem, the automaker says.

Chrysler dealers will fix the wiring connection free, and the car company says it will repay owners who paid to fix the warning lights.

The other recalls:

-- About 78,500 front-wheel-drive versions of its 2007 and 2008 Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUVs because a heat shield might come loose and rub on a driveshaft, causing it to break. Chrysler said it had "fewer than 40 complaints of broken driveshafts", and knows of no accidents or injuries resulting from the problem. Dealers will install a bracket to hold the shield in place.

Chrysler noted that "there are no connections between these vehicles and any models currently in production or planned for production."

About 61,400 of the vehicles are in the U.S., 1,000 in Canada, 13,700 in Mexico and 2,300 in other countries.

-- About 30,000 of its 2012 Jeep Compass and Patriot models built Oct. 18, 2011, through May 7, 2012, because fuel tank tubes can deform and choke the supply of fuel to the engine, causing it stall in some circumstances.

Chrysler says there has been once accident, but no injuries, as a result of the problem.

The faulty tubes are a result of a shortage that began in 2011 of a chemical used to make nylon 12, widely used in fuel and brake lines. The shortage was exacerbated by an explosion March 31 last year at a factory at Marl, Germany, that was the world's main supplier of that chemical.

Because of the initial shortage, Chrysler had switched to nylon 6-12, but it turned out to be incompatible with the manufacturing process used for nylon 12, and the tubes wouldn't hold their shape. The process has been changed.

About 20,500 of the vehicles are in the U.S., 2,300 are in Canada, 50 are in Mexico and 7,400 outside North America.

-- About 9,300 2013 Ram trucks built from Dec. 17, 2012, to Jan. 22 this year because their parking brakes might not hold properly. Chrysler said there have been six instances of parking brakes not working properly, but no accidents or injuries as a result.

About 6,600 are in the U.S., 2,400 in Canada, 90 in Mexico and the rest outside North America. Chrysler said that "more than half" the trucks still are at dealerships.

-- About 7,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks with 6.7-liter diesel engines, because the engine covers might not withstand engine heat as designed. Nearly all the trucks are still at dealerships, Chrysler said.

-- 52 of its 2013 Dodge Darts with potentially faulty rear brake calipers; 46 in the U.S., six in Canada.

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