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Jeep Wranglers and Chevy Malibu Vehicles Recalled Over Possible Fire Outbreak, Safety Equipment Failure

May 25, 2012

Jeep Wranglers and Chevy Malibu Vehicles Recalled Over Possible Fire Outbreak, Safety Equipment Failure

Jeep Wrangler Fire Risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently announced a voluntary recall of 67,872 Jeep Wrangler 2010 models due to a transmission skid plate which can collect debris and catch fire.  This skid plate is near the catalytic converter on Wranglers with an automatic transmission, which poses this ignition risk.

According to Chrysler, “[t]he 2010 model year exhaust system changes resulted in less than optimal clearances between the exhaust catalyst and the automatic transmission skid plate.”  2010 models with a manual transmission do not have this transmission skid plate and therefore are not affected by this recall.

To reduce the fire risk, Chrysler Group LLC explains they will be replacing this automatic transmission skid plate with an automatic transmission skid bar.  This skid bar will reduce the buildup of debris which can come into contact with the catalytic converter.

Chrysler explains they are aware of at least 14 complaints regarding these vehicles due to the outbreak of a fire in the skid plate area.  As a result, Chrysler is expected to begin this recall to replace the skid plate with a skid bar sometime this month.

2013 Malibus Recalled for Potential Safety Device Errors

This month, General Motors (GM) announced the voluntary recall of 4,304 model year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles due to the possibility that the sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) may reset itself after the driver brakes hard.  The recall report explains that “[i]f this were to occur during an extremely aggressive turning maneuver, and a potential vehicle rollover event was sensed immediately after the reset, there would be a risk of an unintended roof rail airbag (RRAB) deployment.”

Furthermore, there is a possibility that “under unique conditions” the airbags and/or seat belt pretensioners will fail to deploy “if a crash severe enough to command their deployment were to occur during the 3 second reset interval, resulting in possible increased injury to occupants.”

These vehicles were manufactured from October 24, 2011 until March 31, 2012.  NHTSA explains that this recall is expected to begin on June 1 and will include the free reprogramming of the SDM by dealers.

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