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Chrysler Police Chargers Recalled Because Of Overheating, Crash Risks

February 16, 2012

Chrysler Police Chargers Recalled Because of Overheating, Crash Risks

Chrysler has announced the recall of 9,688 Dodge Chargers over two defects that can put drivers at risk.  In some vehicles, a low beam headlamp bulb harness can overheat and cause the lights to fail, which can lead to a dangerous loss in visibility.  The other recall addresses vehicles which may lose anti-lock brake and electronic stability system functioning due to an overheated power distribution center.   If this problem occurs while the vehicle is on the road, it can obviously reduce the ability to brake and possibly cause a crash. 

The Chrysler recall letter, dated February 6, 2012, noted the 2011 model year vehicles were manufactured from January 1, 2011 to July 11, 2011.  The 2012 Chargers were produced from July 25, 2011 to December 20, 2011.

The automaker explains in its letter that late last August, “the Quality Engineering Center (QEC) identified two returned Police vehicle headlamps with melted low beam connectors.”  Testing later determined that the operating temperature of the bulbs was higher than specifications for the connector material, which caused the “material migration.”

In an official Chrysler statement, David Dillon, Head of Product Investigation and Campaigns, said that these defects appeared after intense police use, including “long durations of high speed, evasive driving when used as training vehicles for police forces and extended idling.”

Chrysler went on to explain in the announcement that they were unaware of any accidents, injuries, or fires that had resulted from either of these issues.  Nevertheless, this voluntary safety recall will “change and relocate an anti-lock brake/electronic stability control fuse and replace the headlamp jumper wire harnesses,” the defect information report explains.

The automaker said it plans to begin notifying dealers and owners of these defects in March.  Dillon said that Chrysler will continue monitoring other Chargers to see if any of these defects affect vehicles other than those models manufactured for police use.

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