The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has expanded its investigation of Jeep Liberty SUVs for problems with their airbags. According to NHTSA, the problem could affect as many as 386,873 SUVs from model years 2002 and 2003.
The Detroit Free Press writes that NHTSA is starting an engineering analysis of the faulty airbag electronics, which have caused 87 Jeep Liberty airbags to go off by surprise. The driver and/or front passenger airbags may deploy when the vehicle is started and while being driven, without the Jeep Liberty being in a crash. As many as 50 drivers have reported minor injuries such as cuts, bruises and burns as a result of the airbags inadvertently deploying. According to The New York Times, NHTSA began investigating the problem last September, but the agency is now delving deeper into the problem because Chrysler has been unable to find the source or duplicate the problem.
The airbag malfunctions could be caused by a problem with the electrical system, according to the automaker. “Chrysler says an electronic circuit that controls air bag deployment fails, possibility caused by a transient voltage spike,” notes The Detroit News.
If you’ve experienced a similar problem with your Jeep Liberty, including the airbag warning light illuminating, be sure to file a complaint with NHTSA, so the agency can get a clearer idea of the possible problem. Though a recall hasn’t been issued, you can monitor NHTSA’s website or call NHTSA’s auto safety hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
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