Chrysler recalls 630,000 Jeep SUVs for transmission, other problems

Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 630,000 Jeep SUVs to fix a software error that can delay the firing of curtain air bags and seat-belt pretensioners.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)
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Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 630,000 Jeep SUVs for transmission and restraint system problems just two days after it refused a federal request to recall 2.7 million vehicles for faulty fuel systems.

In the U.S., the automaker will recall 254,000 Compass and Patriot SUVs from model years 2010 to 2012. Chrysler said it was doing this to fix a software error that can delay the firing of curtain air bags and seat-belt pretensioners.

In a statement, Chrysler said “the upgrade was deemed necessary after it was discovered that seatbelt pre-tensioners and side-curtain air bags may not function properly during slow-developing rollovers.”


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Chrysler is also recalling another 181,000 model year 2012 and 2013 Wrangler SUVs in the U.S. to fix a transmission cooler line that could leak because of premature wear.

Another 195,000 SUVs involved in the recall were sold in countries outside of the U.S.

Customers who have questions about the recall were urged to call Chrysler 1-800-853-1403.

“A power-steering component may rub against the line and compromise transmission function,” the automaker said in a statement. “The issue was discovered during routine testing.”

Chrysler said it is not aware of any injuries related to the transmission and restraint system problems.

On Tuesday, after a two-year investigation, federal safety regulators said defective fuel tanks had caused problems related to fires that occurred to some Jeep SUVs after rear-end collisions.

At least 51 deaths have been recorded from such collisions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called on Chrysler to issue a massive recall of 2.7 million vehicles.


The NHTSA move was considered a victory for safety advocates who have compared the Jeep fires to the 1970s crisis involving fire-prone Ford Pintos.

But in a rare act of defiance, the Auburn Hills, Mich., carmaker refused to recall the vehicles. In a strongly worded statement, Chrysler attacked the regulator’s conclusions and insisted the vehicles pose no danger.

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, which petitioned the NHTSA to open the Jeep investigation and has pressured Chrysler to repair the vehicles, said that the fuel tank problem could be fixed for about $100 a vehicle.


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