Ford Motor Company announced the recall of more than 154,000 Fiesta vehicles in October because, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported, the design of the popular compact automobiles failed to meet federal airbag standards. Essentially, the Fiestas were recalled because the passenger side airbags were designed not to deploy if there wasn’t a passenger in the front seat, but that information was not made clear in the owner’s manual. Yesterday, Chrysler announced its own major recall over an airbag issue, but instead of a lack of airbags, certain popular Jeep vehicles are experiencing too many airbag deployments.
Chrysler Group LLC has notified the NHTSA that it intends to recall approximately 744,822 Jeep sports utility vehicles after an investigation concluded that a considerable number of drivers had experienced inadvertent airbag deployment while driving. Chrysler’s officials acknowledged that certain Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty models may have been manufactured with air bag control modules that could unexpectedly fail and cause the driver’s front and side airbags, as well as the passenger side devices, to deploy. The NHTSA’s investigation, which began in October 2011 with the Liberty models and was expanded in January of this year to include the Grand Cherokees, determined that at least 215 drivers had experienced this issue, resulting in 81 injuries. Fortunately, no crashes have been reported as of yet.
The recall specifically involves 2002 and 2003 Liberty models and 2002 through 2004 Grand Cherokee models. Chrysler will begin notifying vehicle owners in January if their vehicles are affected, and the company will arrange for drivers to have their vehicles equipped with a new supplemental jumper harness to the airbag control module at no cost. In the meantime, consumers can contact Chrysler at (800) 247-9753 for additional information.