Chrysler recalling nearly 500,000 SUVs for fire risk

From the Associated Press

After dozens of reports of fires in Dodge Durango and Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles, DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles Friday.

Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler said it had received 66 reports of fires in Durango SUVs from the 2004 to 2006 model years because of electrical overloads in the driver’s side instrument panel below the dashboard. The automaker said it was recalling 328,424 Durangos.

The automaker was also recalling 149,605 Liberty SUVs from the 2006 and 2007 model years to fix the heating-ventilation, air-conditioning blower motor. Chrysler had received a dozen reports of fires from Liberty owners.


In a third move, Chrysler said it was recalling nearly 11,000 Dodge Avenger passenger cars from the 2008 model year to fix problems with the front driver and passenger side door latches.

There were no crashes or injuries reported in connection with the recalls, Chrysler said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had opened defect investigations involving the Durango and Liberty.

In the Durango, Chrysler spokesman Max Gates said, an integrated circuit in the instrument panel could get overloaded and lead to overheating and affect the interior lighting.

Owners will be notified about the Durango recall in April. The vehicles will be inspected and those SUVs that fail the review will get replacement parts.

In the Liberty recall, Gates said, the blower motors could fail if the air conditioning is being used on high during hot weather. Owners are expected to receive notices about the recall in May.