MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – After refusing to comply with a government request to recall over two million Jeeps on Tuesday, two days later, Chrysler has announced two other recalls, totaling 630,000 vehicles.
Chrysler is recalling 221,000 Jeep Wrangler models from 2012 and 2013 worldwide to fix transmission fluid leaks. Also, 409,000 Jeep Patriot and Compass models, from 2010 and 2012, are being recalled for issues with the air bags as well as seat-belt problems.
The Wranglers with 3.6-liter V-6 engines, according to Chrysler, a power steering fluid line can wear a hole in the transmission oil cooler line. The vehicle can leak fluid which can damage automatic transmissions. Beginning in July, dealers will inspect the lines for free and replace them or install a protective sleeve.
In the Patriots and Compasses, a software error could cause late deployment of the side air bags and seat-belt tightening mechanisms, and that could cause injuries in rollover crashes. Dealers will repair the software for free starting in July.
No crashes or injuries have been reported in either case, Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said Thursday.
Concerned customers in either case can call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403.
On Tuesday, Chrysler refused a request from NHTSA to recall 2.7 million older Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs, saying the vehicles are safe and met federal safety standards when they were built.
The government, however, says the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Liberty models have fuel tanks that can leak and catch fire in rear-end collisions. The tanks are mounted behind the rear axle, which NHTSA says is a design flaw.
Refusing a recall is rare for an automaker, but Chrysler maintains that NHTSA’s conclusions are based on flawed data. The company says it’s still working with NHTSA to resolve the issue, but the matter could wind up in court.
The company previously refused a NHTSA request in 1996, when the agency asked it to recall 91,000 Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Cirrus cars for an alleged seat belt defect. NHTSA sued the company and won in federal court. But in 1998, an appeals court reversed the decision, saying NHTSA had unfairly held Chrysler to a new standard.
Chrysler says there are no safety defects with the older Jeeps. But Mayne said defects were identified on the newer Jeeps and the company responded accordingly.
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