Federal regulators have launched a review into 4.9 million 2007-2014 Chrysler vehicles for possible electronic failures that may be linked to problems such as engine stalling, airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration and vehicle fires.
According to a Detroit News report, this review by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was
initiated by a petition from safety advocates, Center for Auto Safety, back in August. NHTSA will decide whether to open a formal defect investigation after it completes this initial review.
Frighteningly Dangerous Defects
In early September, Chrysler announced it was recalling 188,000 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs because they may experience a failure in the fuel pump relay within the totally integrated power module, which can result in stalling.
Some Chrysler owners have filed a federal lawsuit in California and lawyers have asked a judge to issue a preliminary injunction mandating Chrysler to warn its customers of a potentially dangerous condition in their vehicles.
Attorneys say the risk of injury from these defects is too high. Center for Auto Safety director Clarence Ditlow said owners have reported vehicles acting “like they were possessed” leaving them in dangerous situations. Consumers have reported everything from stalled vehicles, fuel pumps that won’t shut off, windows that open and shut and airbags that will not deploy.
The Importance of a Timely Recall
Based on this news report, it appears that these vehicles are being recalled for serious electronic issues. There are also concerns from safety advocates that NHTSA’s engineers are not well-equipped to examine vehicle electronics. This is cause for serious concern.
As auto defect attorneys who represent injured victims of defective autos, we certainly hope that a timely safety recall is issued. There are millions of vehicles apparently involved in this review with models spanning seven years. This means these dangerous vehicles are still out there on our roadways.
The defects described here could pose the risk of serious injury or death not only to the driver and passengers, but also those in other vehicles or others who use the roadway such as bicyclists and pedestrians.
We urge NHTSA to take its time to thoroughly review and investigate these defects so that the problems can be rectified. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of these or other faulty autos, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.