Chrysler recalling Jeep, Dodge SUVs for brakes – USA TODAY
Chrysler on Wednesday made a second, much larger recall in a month over a brake defect in Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos.
The current recall covers 867,795 vehicles worldwide of Chrysler’s 2011 to 2014 model-year Grand Cherokees and Durangos, according to documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Brake booster corrosion in these vehicles can let water to get inside booster, which can freeze and impair braking capability.
The affected vehicles were built from January 5, 2010, through September 8, 2013, with 644,354 sold in the U.S., and the rest sold in Canada, Mexico and other world markets.
Chrysler Group said in a statement that it is aware of one crash and no injuries linked to the issue.
The company began an investigation in May 2013 into pedal pressure complaints and warranty data and eventually found that the brake boosters, made by TRW Automotive, have small crimp joints that can corrode when exposed to water, decreasing brake vacuum boost and required excessive pedal pressure.
In August, the company decided the issue could be handled as a “quality improvement initiative,” i.e. did not require a recall, since there was less assist but the brakes still met safety standards, according to the documents filed with NHTSA.
Chrysler also changed the part in September to add a coating that prevents the water-caused corrosion, so 2014 models built later are not affected by the recall, according to the documents filed.
Last month, NHTSA contacted Chrysler concerning reports of the corrosion allowing water to get into the booster and, in some cases, freezing, the documents say. Chrysler agreed to investigate and found that water intrusion — which its statement says was a “previously unseen occurrence – and freezing cut brake function more, increasing the risk of a crash, leading to the recall.
Dealers will inspect and replace corroded boosters and will install a shield over the booster to keep water away from the booster joints.The company did not say why the vehicles would not simply get the new, revised part that’s been installed in these vehicles since September.
Chrysler last month recalled about 25,000 of these Grand Cherokees and Durangos Cherokees from the 2012 and 2013 model years for excessive brake pedal pressure due to a defective part in their “Ready-Alert Braking” system, a safety system that prepares the brakes for a panic stop when the driver suddenly releases the accelerator.
The company says it will begin notification of affected owners of the new recall next month. More information is available from Chrysler about it at 1-800-853-1403 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236 or at safercar.gov.