Following an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Chrysler has recalled almost 895,000 sport utility vehicles because a wiring problem in the vanity mirror can cause a fire. A report was posted on NHTSA’s website. The action or this recall covers 2011-14 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models, including about 651,000 in the United States, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside North America.
Chrysler said that a sun visor screw could penetrate a wire for the vanity light, causing a short circuit that could lead to a fire. The automaker said it discovered the problem in 2011 at its Detroit assembly plant, following complaints from owners about “sun visor thermal damage.” It concluded that the wire was penetrated when workers at the assembly plant were repairing incorrectly installed headliners and had to remove the visor. To correct the problem, Chrysler says it began making a series of changes to the manufacturing process, the last one early in 2013. The company said it also discovered problems when repairs to the visor or headliner had been performed at dealerships.
In August 2013, federal regulators began an investigation, responding to owner complaints about fires near the vanity mirror. The investigation was upgraded last January to a more serious engineering analysis after NHTSA received 41 complaints about the problem and 38 reports of fires, including three with injuries. Many of the fires were minor and involved smoldering, but some owners reported more serious problems. NHTSA reported:
In some reports the fire spread to the front seats and/or door panels of the vehicle. In one report the sunroof was damaged, causing the glass to shatter.
In a March 19 letter, Chrysler told NHTSA that its internal investigation had concluded that the problem was extremely limited and resulted in little damage. The automaker also said that it had received no reports of injuries and that “there is no unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.” The agency, however, pushed its case and the automaker agreed to the recall. In other actions:
Honda Recalls Vehicles
Honda Motor Co. has recalled about 14,000 Acura ILX and ILX Hybrid sedans from the 2013-14 model years because the headlight reflectors could be damaged by heat, diminishing their light output, according to a report posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
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