Washington, DC — December 11, 2015 — In May, 2013, Chrysler Group LLC announced that it would recall 5,440 vehicles for a concern over airbag clockspring assemblies in Jeep Wranglers for model years between 2008 and 2012. To address this issue, it stated dealers would replace the spring and steering wheel dust shield for free: failing to do so could have left the airbag disabled and prevented it from deploying during an accident.
The Detroit News recently reported that this issue has not quite resolved. According to the source, the manufacturer is aware of hundreds of complaints related to this action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking into more than 628,00 vehicles, despite the previous remedies.
A memo from May of that year lists some of the factors observed in the assemblies, leading to the eventual recall.
“Some vehicles may be equipped with driver’s airbag clockspring assemblies that could experience a compromised airbag circuit resulting in an airbag lamp illumination, which indicates that the airbag may not deploy in the event of a frontal crash,” the statement said. This document went on to connect the condition to “circuit fatigue,” which stemmed from “dust contamination of the grease applied to the flexible conductor, resulting in the conductor bending unnaturally during cycling.”
The NHTSA has not officially called for more Chrysler recalls in this case, but has begun the process that could lead to it. The Detroit News states that this is instead an “engineering analysis,” and follows the preliminary investigation the agency had begun earlier this year.