Chrysler issues five recall notices due to problems affecting vehicle crashworthiness

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

Chrysler has recalled about 840,000 vehicles worldwide due to a series of problems that affect how the cars respond in a crash. Chrysler issued five recalls, each involving a distinct electronic issue or other problem. The recalls affect more than 700,000 Chrysler vehicles in the U.S.

The largest recall involved problems with the active head restraints in Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Nitro models that were manufactured between 2011 and 2013. Chrysler recalled approximately 490,000 of these vehicles and warned that problems with the microprocessors in the active head restraints could prevent the safety devices from working properly to prevent neck and head injuries in the event of a rear end collision.

The second largest recall was due to problems with the side impact airbags in Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, and Ram Cargo Van models that were manufactured in 2013. Chrysler recalled approximately 282,000 of these vehicles and stated that electronic problems with the side impact airbags could cause them to deploy on the wrong side in the event of a crash, reducing their ability to prevent injuries. The automaker noted that it had already received several reports of injuries due to problems with the deployment of the side impact airbags in a crash.

The third recall involved problems with the stability control in 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks equipped with four-wheel drive. Chrysler recalled 69,000 trucks after several dealers reported warning lights that indicated that the stability control in the vehicles was not working.

Chrysler also recalled 226 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans made in 2013. Chrysler did so to replace air bag control modules with software problems that could affect how the airbag is deployed in a crash. Finally, Chrysler recalled 1,060 Ram 4500 and 5500 four-wheel drive trucks that were manufactured in 2013 due to potential steering problems with the vehicles caused by a track bar which secures the truck’s axle.