The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into almost 387,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles for potential inadvertent airbag deployment. This increases the possibility of a recall. NHTSA is upgrading its investigation of the 386,873 Chrysler SUVs to an engineering analysis, which is a step in a process that could lead to a recall if regulators determine a safety issue needs to be addressed by a manufacturer. According to NHTSA, there have been 87 reports of inadvertent driver or passenger front airbag deployment, resulting in 50 injuries, including burns, cuts and bruises to the upper body.
NHTSA says 42 of the 87 incidents involved the driver front airbag deploying without a crash, occurring at vehicle startup and while driving on the road. It says the remaining 45 involved both the driver and passenger front airbags. Some drivers noted that the airbag warning light had illuminated just prior to airbag deployment, while others did not observe one, according to NHTSA. An inspection conducted by Chrysler indicates an internal electronic chip that controls airbag deployment failed, possibly due to a voltage spike. NHTSA says the automaker, which is controlled by Fiat, is in the process of identifying root causes. NHTSA initially opened a probe into the Jeep SUVs in September after receiving seven consumer complaints.
Source: Claims Journal
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