Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued two recalls affecting more than 757,000 vehicles worldwide. Most are registered in the U.S.
The 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2003 Jeep Liberty may suffer from an electrical problem that could cause airbags and other safety systems to deploy without warning, while a water leak in the 2012-2015 Dodge Journey could short out the anti-lock brake system and electronic stability control.
RECALL #1: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2003 Jeep Liberty UNITS AFFECTED: 284,089 vehicles registered in the U.S., 13,411 in Canada, 6,277 in Mexico, and 48,212 elsewhere
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the airbag electronic control module in these vehicles may fail as a result of excessive electrical noise. Should that happen, the front and side airbag, as well as seatbelt pretensioners, may deploy without warning.
Not only could that injure passengers, but obviously, it could cause a major distraction for drivers, dramatically increasing the risk of a collision. FCA says that it has received reports of seven injuries linked to the problem, but no accidents to date.
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FCA also points out that the airbags in question were not manufactured by Takata, which would raise a completely different set of concerns.
This recall affects vehicles manufactured during specific windows of time:
FCA will mail an interim recall notice to owners before the end of the year. However, replacement parts for the vehicles aren't expected to arrive until early 2016. When they become available, owners will receive a second recall notification, asking them to take their vehicles to a Jeep dealer. Dealers will replace the airbag electronic control module and the front and/or side impact sensors as necessary, at no charge.
If you have questions, you're encouraged to contact FCA customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall #R60. Alternately, you can call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V673000.
RECALL #2: 2012-2015 Dodge Journey UNITS AFFECTED: 275,614 vehicles registered in the U.S., 78,148 in Canada, 36,471 in Mexico, and 151,476 in other countries
In these vehicles, NHTSA reports that water can leak into a wiring harness associated with the anti-lock brake system, which could short out the ABS and/or the electronic stability control system. That could result in a loss of stability or braking control, which could increase the risk of an accident.
Thankfully, FCA says that it knows of no accidents or injuries linked to the problem. FCA also says that foundation brake performance isn't affected by the issue, even if the ABS goes out, and that drivers may be warned of the problem by a light on the instrument cluster.
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As with the above recall, this one affects vehicles manufactured during a particular window of time -- specifically, 2012-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles built between April 21, 2012 and April 14, 2015.
FCA says that after receiving a recall notice in the mail, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Dodge dealer, who will seal the ABS wiring harness to prevent water intrusion. The dealer will also replace the ABS module and fix the problematic wiring harness, as necessary.
If you have questions, call FCA customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall #R61. If you prefer, you can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V675000.
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