Chrysler Recalls 895,000 SUVs Due to Potential Fire Hazard

NHTSA investigating Ford sedans for steering problem.

by on Jul.11, 2014

The 2011 Dodge Durango is part of the recall of 895,000 Chrysler SUVs due to a fire hazard.

Chrysler issued a recall covering nearly 900,000 vehicles for a potential fire hazard while 500,000 older Ford sedans are being investigated for steering problems.

About 895,000 SUVs are subject to the Chrysler action, including 651,000 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs in the U.S. The problem centers on the wiring of vanity mirrors in the vehicles, which will be re-routed as part of the recall. The maker hasn’t released a schedule for the repairs.

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There have been three injuries and 62 fires reported as result of the problem, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Chrysler elected to recall the vehicles after federal regulators upgraded its investigation into the problem.

The vehicles involved in the recall were “involved in a repair related to servicing the vanity mirror and/or headliner, the wiring — located inside the sun visor — may be subject to short-circuit and fire if not appropriately reassembled by the dealer. This condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced.”

NHTSA announced last August it was opening a preliminary investigation into three fires in Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, which initially covered 146,000 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. In January, the agency expanded its investigation to cover two more model years and the Durango.

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Safety regulators found five incidents of vehicle headliners catching fire at the front of the vehicle near the sun visors on Jeep Grand Cherokees. NHTSA said the sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle with three screws, which may have punctured the wiring, causing a short and eventually a fire.

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NHTSA announced it is conducting a preliminary investigation into 500,000 Ford Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis and Mercury Marauders from model years 2004-2007 for steering shaft problems that could be the cause of five complaints and possibly one injury.

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The agency said “the drivers side exhaust manifold heat shield can rust and become dislodged, potentially jamming the steering shaft.” According to reports, one driver said the steering locked up on a highway entrance ramp, causing a rollover crash and injury. An investigation can take as long as six months before any action is ordered or recommended by NHTSA.

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