Chrysler Group LLC is recalling over 260,000 2004 and 2005 model year Jeep Liberty SUVs in the U.S. and Canada due to a danger of corrosion to their rear suspensions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), corrosion to the lower control arm of the Jeep Liberty's rear suspension could cause the arm to fracture, which may result in a loss of control and a subsequent crash. Only Jeep Liberties that were either originally sold in or are currently registered in what the NHTSA defines as salt belt states are subject to the recall.
Salt belt states are those states where roads are salted during winter to prevent icing. A list of states where the vehicles are affected is below).
The excessive corrosion is a result of extended exposure to road salt, which is why the campaign is limited to vehicles originally sold or currently registered in salt belt states as defined by the NHSTA, said David Dillon, Head of Product Investigation and Campaigns at Chrysler.
The NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation of 2004 and 2005 Jeep Liberties following nine complaints regarding corrosion to the real lower control arm leading to fracturing. The rear lower control arm on the Jeep Liberty serves to contain fore-and-aft motion by the rear axle.
The fracture of a rear lower control arm can result in a decrease in rear suspension stability, said the reported filed by Chrysler with the NHTSA on March 5.
In that same report, Chrysler stated that they were aware of 83 inputs [incidents] alleging control arm fracture, but that the company was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue.
Chrysler will notify owners by mail regarding the recall, and dealers will replace the affected component on all vehicles, free of charge. Chrysler has also stated that they will reimburse owners who have repaired the problem at their own expense and can present a receipt. Notification of dealers and owners will begin by the end of April.
It is not currently known how much the recall will cost Chrysler.
Jeep Liberties made in 2004 and 2005 sold in or currently registered in the following salt belt states are subject to the recall: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.