Jeep Liberty Recall Because of Steering Defect

Jeep liberty recalls

Troubles with Jeep Liberty

Chrysler announced that it is recalling over 800,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles because of the potential loss of steering control after Chrysler received 111 complaints about this problem. The has so far received nearly 500 complaints regarding this problem with the Jeep Liberty. Chrysler admits three reports of injuries from auto accidents as a result of the defect. In the complaints that have been made, the ball joint failed, dropping the vehicle’s front end onto one or both of the front tires.

Many personal injury lawyers in Maryland and around the country have been talking about this recall because it impacts so many vehicles. These lawyers are gearing up for claims that the steering ball joint in the Jeep Liberty has caused auto accidents that could have been prevented. I suspect, however, that the number of car accidents from this recall will be very low. But in rare cases where a serious car accident is caused by this defect, I am sure that Chrysler will seek to resolve those accident cases with the plaintiffs’ attorneys very quickly.

2012-2014 Air Bag Recalls

In 2012, front airbag problems lead to nearly one million Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty recalls.  The problem was that these airbag could go off without an actual, ah, accident.   So Chrysler fixed the problem.  We thought.   But in June, 2014, there were new reports that feds were getting  reports of inadvertent activation on vehicles that had already been fixed in the recall.  If you own want of these vehicles, which I grant you are older jeeps (2002-2003) you have to be going a little crazy.

2013 Fuel Tank Recall

In 2013, Jeep Liberty vehicles were recalled by Chrysler because its fuel tanks put occupants at risk in a rear-impact collision.  The risk is that the fuel tanks in these jeeps were at risk of braking in even low speed rear end collisions.   If you have ever watched a few action movies, you know full well what the risk is here: fire and explosion.   

It was not easy to get Chrysler to issue this recall.  Initially, the car maker thumbed its nose at NHTSA’s request that Chrysler recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles because of fuel tank defects. NHTSA told Chryler point blank that the placement and stability of the fuel tanks in 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles had fatal laws in both design and performance.  Chrysler balked in spite of the fact, as the NHTSA letter said, there were at least 32 deaths from rear-impact fire crashes involving Grand Cherokees resulting in 44 deaths and another 5 accidents involving the Liberty that led to 7 deaths.

How could Chrysler be so dumb?   Well, they are not dumb.  There is a method to the madness, albeit one that puts sales over safety.   Because they put the tank  behind the rear axle, they are able to put off-road hardware between the vehicle’s axles.   It makes for a better jeep in every way except safety.  When the federal government stepped in and said, “Hey, this is unsafe”, the Chrysler responded by saying, “No, it is not.”  It is like trying to win an argument with your parent.   

But here is the crazy thing.  This recall did not even get completely until the summer of 2014 when Chrysler sent  out approximately 2.5 million recall notices.  Pretty incredible!

Look, when it comes to all of these things, we all know that every motor vehicle is a compromise.   Safety is just one component.  Some cars are safer than others and everyone accepts this.  But at some point, the risk gets to the point where the federal government and, eventually consumers say ENOUGH ALREADY – KEEP US SAFE!.  

Share Your Experience with the Rest of Us

Below many Jeep Liberty and Jeep Cherokee owners have shared their thoughts.  Tell us about your experiences with your jeep in the comments below.   Knowledge will always be power.


  • Ron:

    Thanks for posting this notice, my neice owns one of these types of cars within the years (2002-2006) that Chrysler is issuing their voluntary recall for. From a defense perspective, it seems like a brilliant way to try and mitigate potential exposure for potential claims of product liability or are they mandated by federal law in issuing such notices?


  • Ron Miller

    Gabe, to answer your question, yes, the National Highway Safety Administration did order the recall but I’m sure that Chrysler would have ordered this recall anyway. Relatively speaking from Chrysler’s standpoint financially, little harm has been done. But they know the longer they wait, the quicker the personal injury lawyers in Maryland and around the country are going to begin to circle. As it is now, they already are. – Ron

  • Brian Fysh

    My 2003 Jeep Liberty is in the shop at this writing. I was driving to work yesterday morning when the ball joint gave way. Luckily, I was on a secondary road and not doing 70 on the highway at the time, or I might still be rolling!!
    I had my vehicle in for service just last week and no mention was made of the problem. I know how difficult the vehicle was to steer “at a low speed” when it happened. I am rather disappointed with Chrysler’s efforts to solve the problem..before someone is seriously injured.

  • Ron Miller

    I don’t blame you.

    I’m glad you found the problem in such a way where it did not cause you serious injury. Let’s say a prayer for everyone else out there. – Ron

  • ARC

    This just happened to our 2002 Jeep Liberty literaly 4 hours ago. Luckily we had just gotten off the highway heading home — driving about 10 mph. The front of the car left side just fell after making an awful noise and we could feel the car drop suddenly. There were metal shards on the pavement under the car too. It’s awful to think that it could have been a far worse situation and we could have been injured. If anyone knows what options are available to us from a legal standpoint (we bought the car in Virginia but the car is in Boston now) please email me: I bought a poorly manufactured car that could have cost us serious injury. That’s criminal!

  • Eduardo Macias

    Does anyone know if the car manufacturer will pay for this.. this happend to me yesterday. Thank goodness I had just gotten off the freeway.

  • Mark Minlon

    I don’t know but I sure want to find out. I’m calling and getting nowhere. This is ridiculous!!

  • Rick Gaskill

    I learned of this recall over the weekend . My wife bought a new Liberty in March . I called the dealership today and was told the parts have been backordered and it will be a couple of weeks before we can get the vehicle in .

  • Katie

    I learned today that my 2003 Liberty Renegade is included in the recall. Never notified by a letter, I had to ask them to check on it. (Had to take in the vehicle because of a leaking front differential). They have no parts at all and have no idea when more will come in. They can not even put anyone on a waiting list because there are so many people. It is absolutely ridiculous. They checked it and said it looked “fine”. The guy at the dealer told me to call back every week to see if they had any parts in. They only receive enough parts to service 2-3 cars at a time. This is very frustrating and I feel very unsafe driving my car anywhere.

  • Sandra Murdock

    I’m having the same problem as Rick with my Liberty Renegade. It looks just fine, don’t worry about it. They don’t seem to care that there has been a recall because these vehicles are now UNSAFE. This is absolutely ridiculous!!!

  • kaylyn

    I think Chrysler should stop making jeep libertys, because a couple of months ago my best friend was killed in a car accident driving this type of car. After the accedint we found out she would still be alive if it wasnt for this car. The liberty’s gas tank is in the back of the car and when you hit the car the car may explode,and in my friend case it happend three sec. after the crash, and every thing in the car including her was burned badly, this is what happend to my frind and has happen to others, if Chrysler dosn’t start making the car’s gas tank in a diffrent place it could be you frind or family member in this type of accident.

  • Barbara

    This a news article on my best friend who burned to death in her Jeep Liberty after someone hit her from behind at 60 mph- Barbara
    Staff Reporter
    LAPLACE – A three-vehicle crash in the early morning hours Tuesday resulted in the death of a Destrehan woman and left another driver facing negligent homicide charges, according to State Police.

    Troopers investigated the scene of the fatal accident at approximately 6:30 a.m. on October 31.

    Jaye M. Donahoe, 32, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene by authorities.

    The accident occurred on Interstate 10 heading eastbound near old Highway 51, only a couple miles from the LaPlace exit.

    The three vehicles involved in the crash were all on the I-10 traveling towards New Orleans when two of the vehicles involved stopped near an overpass. The first vehicle, a gray Pontiac Solstice driven by Alan J. Dramm, 35, of Gonzales, came to a stop on the interstate with Donahoe also coming to a full stop while driving a silver Jeep Liberty directly behind him.

    Both vehicles were sitting on the grade of the I-10 when they were struck from behind by a white F-150 driven by Kirk A. Thibodaux, 37, of Baton Rouge, authorities said.

    Upon impact, both the F-150 and the Jeep Liberty were engulfed in flames. The Pontiac Solstice was struck from the rear by the Liberty as a result of the crash, but Dramm, the driver of the Pontiac, walked away with no injuries.

    Thibodaux came away from the accident with minor injuries and was taken to River Parishes Hospital for treatment. He was charged with careless operation and negligent homicide.

    All parties involved in the crash were wearing their seatbelts and alcohol is not suspected to be a factor, according to State Police.

    The investigation is being handled by Trooper Larry Mayes.

  • Dan Unger

    I have a 2003 Liberty that was just repaired (ball joint). This was done prior to me having an accident, but now after the repair, it pulls to the right and is wearing the inside of the left front tire. The dealer says it’s an alignment issue that I must pay for. Now I read the horror stories about these things and will go immediately this weekend and buy a new Ford pick-up. I pray nobody else is killer or injured due to the lack of caring on the part of Chrysler/Jeep. Yes, I called 1-800-853-1403 (ref# 15893-708) and was told that alignment was not covered with the repair of the ball joints.

  • Tammy McKay

    While driving last night 1/27/07 I lost total control of my 2003 Jeep Liberty. My front left tire detached from the car. I was not aware of the recall nor had I been notified. I had just dropped off my 13 year old daughter exiting from the interstate at 60 mph. When the accident happened I was only going 20 mph. I am thankful it didn’t happen on the interstate but am concerned that I was never notified of the recall. I hope Chrysler will be responsible for the damage.

  • Lynette

    Hello Everyone:

    My condolences to the person who lost their friend in an accident. I’m writing because the right side ball joint fell out of my 2004 Jeep Liberty on February 27, 2007. I purchased the vehicle in September, 2004. I’m quite surprised to have come upon this website and see that this ball joint problem with the Jeeps had been news to Diamchrysler since 2006, and I never received anything in the mail to alert me of this situation. I travel over 70 miles once a week and I like many other people can count it a blessing that this occurance did not take place while traveling at high speed. I’m reluctant to drive my car to the dealer tommorow to have the other side replaced. The main point for my writing you is because I wanted to inform you that I’m in the process of dealing with Diamchrysler to retrieve my money for the repairs. I’m not very happy with the process because I feel like they’re giving me the third degree even after I’ve provided them with proper documentation (receipts). I’m disappointed but thankful to God that nothing worse did not take place. I will keep every person driving on the highway in Jeeps in prayer and ask that you do the same. Peace and Blessings to everyone.

  • Anonymous

    wow, this is really scary. i just bought my 2006 liberty last month and i recieved a notice in the mail that there is a recall on the blower motor. Apparently it may over heat and cause an interior fire under certain operating conditions…

  • Joe

    Hey, i have a 2003 jep liberty sport 4×4 and i was told of the recall by the dealership After we had bought it. We bought it leased and it had 40000 miles on it and we then found out that it had not ben serviced since the 15000 checkup. it only had oil changes. Can that affect the car? Also we just got biger tires on it and i dont know if that will affect the ball joints?

  • katie heinz

    I bought a 2007 Jeep Liberty, I have had it in the shop four times since purchased in May of 2007- Feb. 2008 the last two times was roll backs, the jeep rolls backswards when you sit at an incline. I have almost had two accidents due to this problem. The dealership now claims this is a charistics of this vehicle. It wasn’t doing it when we bought it, no one told us it would do this. Ask me if the dealership or manufactor cares. NOPE they recieved $26,000. cash for a reliable vehichle, what I recieved it a pile of crap expensive crap at that. What will they do for you to fix the safety problem and your lack of faith in a brand new vehichle offer to charge you anywhere from 5,000. to 13,000 depending if you want a new or used vehicle. feel like ive been bent over and F— in the a–…

  • Stacy

    I have a 2005 Jeep Liberty. After receiving the recall notice in 2006, I had the ball joint replaced. Two days ago, the replacement ball joint broke. Luckily, it happened as I was turning into my driveway. The dealership is willing to replace the replacement, but what really scares me is that the last replacement didn’t hold out, so I am to assume that this one will? This vehicle has only 50,000 miles on it, and 21,000 since the ball joint was replaced. I have always owned Jeeps, and this will be the very last Chrysler Product bought by me.

  • nancy schroeter

    HOW ABOUT THE 2008’s????

    I have been experiencing a bad vibration at 70mph and up. My truck is brand new, the wheels have been balanced… road force balanced… the dealers said there was a problem with my wheels (different warrentee). Now it’s at Goodyear and they YET AGAIN balanced the tires. I pick it up tomorrow, i’ll let you know…

  • Connie Claren

    We bought a 2002 Jeep Liberty a year ago from a Used Car Dealership. This is my 17 year old daughters car. Yesterday she was backing out of a parking spot and the whole front end fell down onto the tires. Thankfully she wasn’t on the interstate! Would you think the dealership would know if the recall had been taken care of on this car prior to us purchasing it?

  • Annie

    I HATE my 2005 Jeep Liberty. I am constantly at the garage for different reasons and Jeep service is totally unacceptable. Never again will I buy one. When my car is done, i’ll be heading back to TOYOTA!

  • atatum

    I have a 2003 jeep liberty. at the moment I am experiencing a problem with my power steering. Is there a recall on that? Also, my A/C compressor is gone again. I bought the car in May of 03 and at 16,000, had to have the transmission rebuilt. What the hell! I should’ve sold this car when I had the chance. The only appealing thing about it now is it’s paid off.

  • Kathryn

    I have a 2003 Jeep Libery Renegade. Since I bought it, I have had issues with putting gas in it. I was told that it was the new high pressured pumps causing the pressure that would cause the pump to quit. I have to very slowly put in gas. Seriously, we timed it = for 8 gallons it took 13 minutes. The dealer I just had it at replaced the entire tank – it didn’t fix it. They’ve check everything and they’ve no idea what the problem is. I’m tired of the excuses, anyone have any idea? Don’t forget, they’ve check the fuel next, valves, everything. It’s really difficult in 9 degree weather.

  • Sheila

    I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty and have been waiting since the start of the recall for replacement parts and have still not heard when I may get them. What bites is I have kids in my car and would love to have these replaced before something goes wrong.

  • WOW…

    I must be very lucky, but im concerned now.

    I have 100100 miles on my Renegade and only had two small probs. I love my Liberty, but in the past two weeks I have been hearing a popping noise when I turn the steering wheel.

  • Tim Christopher

    On my way home from work driving my 2003 Jeep Liberty the ball joint on the driver side popped off and what a jolt…and now my back hurts thanks a ton! And yep how do I get to work?

  • sarah

    has anyone else experienced problems w/a liberty 2003 back windows, i have had to have mine repaired 5 times(twice one side/3times other) new window motors,ect. if anyone knows if this is a recall(that would possibly be reimbursed) please let me know-thanx

  • Kirk Thibodaux

    Chrysler Settles Case of Fatal Rear-impact Crash of 2005 Jeep Liberty. Vulnerable fuel tank position subject to rupture in rear collision
    NEW ORLEANS, LA.-Newlywed Jaye Donahoe was driving to her job as a third grade teacher at St. Rosalie School in St. John Parish, Louisiana, traveling eastbound on I-10 when traffic delays forced her to come to a complete stop. Kirk Thibodaux was driving behind Jaye, but due to the rising sun was blinded by the sunlight, so he did not see the traffic stopped in front of him and as a result, the Ford F-150 he was driving rear-ended Jaye’s Jeep Liberty. Eyewitnesses at the scene reported that the Jeep exploded on impact and became engulfed with flames, and Jaye burned to death.

    Unlike most vehicles, the fuel tank on the 2005 Jeep Liberty is located behind the rear axle and is not equipped with a shield, thus making it susceptible to being torn away, pulled off, punctured or damaged in the event of an accident. If it were not for the fire, Jaye would have walked away from the crash.

    “The Parties have entered into a settlement and the family is now able to close this chapter on this sad and long nightmare. Jaye can never be replaced but hopefully the family can move on. This case is so sad as this tragedy should never had occurred. Chrysler violated its own design criteria by failing to locate the fuel tank forward of the rear axle as it does in other model vehicles,” said attorney Ted Leopold, managing partner of the consumer justice law firm Leopold~Kuvin in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, who represented Jaye’s husband Patrick Donahoe. “It’s just common sense that the fuel tank should be placed out of the zone of danger that occurs in known impact areas”, he continued.

    “Jaye’s death was not only devastating, but was by its nature horrific,” Leopold stated. “It is our sincere hope that car manufacturers will learn from this tragedy and design their vehicles with consumer safety in mind so that future tragedies can be averted,” he concluded.

    Theodore J. Leopold is managing partner in the law firm of Leopold~Kuvin, P.A. The firm is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with offices located at 2925 PGA Blvd. Mr. Leopold can be contacted at (561) 684-6500 . Additional information about Leopold~Kuvin, P.A. may be obtained from the firm’s website at

    There are no words to express the grief and sorrow I feel for Jaye and her family. I’m truly sorry.
    One of the above articles says that I had minimal injuries. This is not correct. I broke my back but because River Parishes Hospital was incompetant, I was released and imprisoned for 52 hours with a broken back and no pain medication. They thought that I was faking being hurt just to get pain medication. Because the wreck was technically my fault, the 12 or so law firms I talked to wouldn’t take the case. All I got was “We don’t sue prisons” and “It’s not worth my time and effort”. I’m still suffering from the above mentioned injuries and still can’t work.

  • Anonymous


  • Robert M.

    I have a Liberty 2005 dealers says the recall steering problem was fixed but the cars sways. It has become unsafe to drive.

  • Dennis C.

    We have a Jeep Liberty 2007
    which has a very bad VIBRATION on deceleration

  • Eric

    I have a 2002 Liberty which also let go of the lower ball joint in the middle of traffic a month ago. As the vehicle was being towed to the garage, I cursed my dealers as the vehicle had just been serviced a week prior to that.
    At the dealers place however, I noticed the left lower ball joint was also shaky and had both of them replaced. Now that you know the ball joints will fall on you anytime, it might help to have them checked by your dealers everytime you service your vehicles to avoid accidents.

    Eric Mwangi

  • Amy M

    My 2003 Liberty has been having SERIOUS issues. I was just told today that it was my UPPER left ball joint. I assume that this is NOT included in the recall (since the recall states it’s the lower ball joint)?? I don’t even know what a ball joint is so I would greatly appreciate some input! If you could email me:
    How awful to hear about so much loss 🙁

  • Davd

    I have a 2007 Jeep Liberty, on september 9, 2011, the ball joint failed, dropping the vehicle’s front end into the right- front tire.

  • mark gonsalves

    i just found out about the liberty 2002 to 2006 recall reading all the comments on this web site, i was looking up on how to fix the ball joints being my wifes left lower just went out on her, luckly in a parking lot, and not no the frwy, i had it towed home and going to see if its still covered under the recall, thanks to this site for all the info. mark

  • Erick

    We have bought our 2005 jeep liberty brand new. It was a one year old left over. From 900mile on it has had issues when turning left. The dealership has replaced ball joints upper & lower, right front axle twice, swapped wheels and tires with another liberty, to many alignments to count and it still chews up a right front tire every 1500-2000 miles. The vehicle now has 54000 mile on it. I have written to Diamler Chrysler on several occasions only to recieve less then courtious responces. For example “you have a 7year 70k mile warrenty rest assured we will have it sorted out by then” We are upon the 7yr mark and the vehicle is not fixed. Not to mention all the other recalls and issues. I would have got rid of it but my wife for some unknown reason likes it. Any one else still having less then desireable results.

  • ginger cook

    bought 2011 jeep liberty sport in feb. and took it for 45000 mile check up. was told that steering is metal to metal, i never leave the highway and am 59 yrs. of age. there is no reason for this to be happening. there are 46000 miles on vehicle. also the evr valve has stuck 2 times and i have had it to sheets dealership for evaluation and repairs and the jeep is still under warranty. what am i to do?

  • Brenda Gooch

    I was just in a bad rollever accident with my 2005 Libery. It happened so fast I have not idea what happened!!! Now that I am ready about all the problems with the Liberty, I wonder if something happend to the car making me lose control and flip over. My car is totalled!!! Brenda Gooch.

  • Brandy Selover

    I just bought a 2005 Jepp Liberty and havent even made my first payment yet, reading all this has made me super nervous I have kids and are concerned for their safety, I had it a week and am having problems with the front driver side ball joint, parts were ordered from dealership for this week I hope its ok till then

  • Staci

    I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty with 69,000 miles on it. I had my lower ball joints replaced and now they are saying that my upper ball joints need to be replaced as well. The upper ball joints are doing the same thing as my lower. Why has Jeep not fixed this problem. Jeeps are having seroius suspension issues. I am going to get rid of the Jeep and never buy one again.

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