U.S. opens investigation about vehicles made by Nissan, Chrysler and GM

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 28, 2011

Due to various consumer complaints, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened preliminary investigations on vehicles manufactured by Nissan Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and General Motors.

When combined, these investigations affect over 700,000 cars. If the agency finds that a safety issue has to be addressed by the carmaker, there would be a recall.

The Nissan investigation is related to concerns that the brakes will be less effective due to a leak in the brake master cylinder.

The probe covers about 440,000 Nissan Altima cars from the 2007 and 2008 model years. Of the 20 complaints that the agency had received, two claimed that the brake was less effective while 18 complained only about the illumination of the brake warning light.

The investigation on 222,500 units of Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler from the 2007 and 2008 model years is related to airbag light illumination that tells of an airbag clockspring failure.

A clockspring is a coil under the steering wheel that maintains an electrical connection to the airbag on the driver's side. If there’s a broken circuit, the airbag will fail to inflate.

The agency got 29 consumer complaints from Jeep drivers. From this number, 23 said that the issue stems from the clockspring wiring assembly, while the other six only complained about the airbag light being on.

Of the 14 owners who were called about this matter, six said they drove right-hand-drive versions that postal carriers typically use.

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