Kemet Corporation, an electrical component manufacturer, has denied claims by Chrysler officials that it is responsible for a massive Jeep recall. On November 9, Chrysler announced it was recalling 920,000 Jeep vehicles after receiving more than 100 reports of unintended airbag deployments.
While no crashes or injuries were reported, Chrysler filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying that supplier TRW Automotive had made a material change in the airbag module, and that the change was responsible for the deployments. According to The Detroit News, Chrysler said TRW Automotive changed from precious metal electrodes to base metal electrodes due to the fact that the old design allowed for electrical voltage fluctuations.
Kemet supplies the sub-capacitors to TRW Automotive, which in turn supplies the airbag modules to Chrysler. Kemet said neither the precious metal nor the base metal electrodes were the cause of the trouble. TRW didn't say the parts were out of specification or make any warranty claims. Furthermore, the recall covers 2002-2004 Jeep SUVs. The material change took place in the middle of that timeframe.
Chrysler, meanwhile, has reiterated that "a design change to a supplied component was linked to a small number of inadvertent airbag deployments."