Laguna Hills, CA – May 3, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S., LLC is recalling certain 2019 Jeep Cherokee vehicles due to a manufacturing defect. The front passenger seat mounting bolts may be loose. The resulting seat movement in the event of a crash could increase the risk of injury. As many as 253 vehicles may be affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, some 2019 Jeep Cherokee vehicles built at the Belvidere Assembly Plant could have front passenger seat mounting fasteners that were not tightened to the correct torque. When this happens, it could lead to the increased risk of passenger injury in an accident.
Timeline of Events
Chrysler’s U.S. Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization first received word Jan. 22, 2019 of three vehicles from the first shift of Nov. 26, 2018 with front seat passenger seat mounting bolt torques below specification, and opened an investigation.
Further testing in January showed that vehicles built with front passenger seats not fully fastened down may not reliably be detected when test-driven. After reviewing Belvidere assembly records, Chrysler discovered that torque traceability records had been compromised. The automaker concluded that three factors contributed to the torque traceability problem: an untrained operator, improper tool tethering that allowed the operator to work out of the station and a fastener tool with limited torque traceability.
As of March 21, Chrysler had not received any complaints or field reports related to the issue, nor were they aware of any incidents or injuries resulting from the problem. Despite the absence of any such troubling reports or warranty claims, the automaker decided March 21 to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.
The recall formally began April 11, 2019. Chrysler has notified owners, and dealers will inspect the affected vehicles and if needed tighten the mounting bolts, free of charge. Consistent with past practices, the automaker will reimburse Jeep Cherokee owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently became the subject of a field action; Chrysler requests that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.
Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V31. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V248000.