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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will recall more than 200,000 Jeep vehicles containing control arms overly susceptible to corrosion.
The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer sent a safety recall report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on May 1, 2018 stating they will recall 239,904 2004-2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles built between April 29, 2003 and June 29, 2007.
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FCA’s report states these vehicles may have been built with rear lower control arms that can experience excessive corrosion. Corroded control arms can fracture without prior warning, increasing crash risk.
The company’s recall chronology stated FCA first notified the NHTSA on March 2, 2012 they would be expanding a previous recall regarding corrosion-vulnerable components to include 2006-2007 year model Jeep Liberty vehicles sold and owned within the “salt belt” states; a region in which road salt is often used to combat icy roadways.
The affected vehicles use a three link rear suspension system. If the rear lower control arm fractures, the rear suspension stability can fail.
FCA first began investigating the problem on August 10, 2016 in response to customer complaints. From then until January 2017 FCA monitored field data, later determining the suspect control arms had insufficient anti-corrosion coating. The company continued monitoring field reports from April 2017 to April 2018, collecting information on 157 incidents including 77 warranty claims and one accident. FCA decided on April 25, 2018 to conduct a safety recall.
FCA will notify owners and dealers will replace the rear lower control arms for free. The recall is expected to begin June 20, 2018. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is U38. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 12V-085. Vehicles included in that campaign are not included in this recall. Owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.