The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating 630,000 Jeep Wranglers after receiving complaints that an electrical wiring issue might block the driver side air bags from deploying. The preliminary investigation into the issue with model year 2007 to 2012 vehicles was launched on June 12 by the agency’s Office of Defects Investigations. The agency said it received 221 complaints, though no reports of accidents or injuries, stemming from an air bag light illumination, which may potentially indicate a defective clockspring assembly in the driver side air bag’s electrical circuit. An open clockspring circuit would prevent deployment of the driver air bag.
The agency also investigated similar issues with the airbag warning light in the right-hand drive model year 2008 to 2012 vehicles in the past, which led to an earlier recall. The investigation covers left-hand drive Wrangler models.
In April, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued two recalls covering approximately 59,000 older sport-utility vehicles, cars and vans over concerns that their switch wires might break and cause the vehicles not to start, or that their airbags might not deploy properly. The recall included 43,874 model-year 2006 Jeep Liberty and Wrangler SUVs and Dodge Viper cars equipped with manual transmissions in the U.S. that were produced between Feb. 15, 2005, and Sept. 14, 2006.
Additionally, Fiat Chrysler is recalling an estimated 2,944 vehicles in Canada, 706 in Mexico and 11,309 in other countries. In June 2013, the automaker — then known as Chrysler Group LLC — recalled about 180,000 Wranglers because they may experience a condition where the power steering return line contacts and wears a hole in the aluminum transmission oil cooler line.
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