The U.S. safety regulators’ probe on Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles for potential inadvertent airbag deployment is inching towards a recall after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration upgraded its investigation to an engineering analysis. A total of 386,873 Chrysler SUVs from model years 2002 and 2003 units are affected by this issue.
A recall will be announced if the agency finds that the automaker has to address a safety issue. And speaking of recalls, more than 52,000 older Tribute SUVs are being recalled by Mazda Motor Corp Motor Corp. for potential brake fluid leaks.
Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz has started to investigate consumer complaints of fuel odor that may be a leak in about 8,000 older E55 AMG sedans and wagons. With regards to the Chrysler matter, the agency has found 87 reports of unintentional driver or passenger front airbag deployment, leading to 50 alleged injuries, such as burns, cuts and bruises to the upper body, according to online documents.
The NHTSA added that of these 87 incidents, 42 involve the driver front airbag deploying without a crash, happening at vehicle startup and while driving on the road and 45 involved both the driver and passenger front airbags.
Several drivers noticed that the airbag warning light illuminated right before airbag deployment. Chrysler conducted its own inspection and found that an internal electronic chip that controls airbag deployment failed, possibly because of a voltage spike. Chrysler is working to find the root causes.