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.