Chrysler has announced that it will recall roughly 490,000 vehicles around the globe due to a potential active head-restraint problem. The problem is being blamed on "potentially faulty microcontrollers" that may keep the vehicles' anti-whiplash active safety feature from working properly. Chrysler says it has no knowledge of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. Models covered under the recall include the 2011-2013 Chrysler Sebring, 200 (shown) and Dodge Avenger models, along with 2011-2013 Jeep Liberty and 2011-2012 Dodge Nitro SUVs.
Interestingly, the Pentastar notes that the faulty part came from an (unnamed) supplier who furnished the parts in the wake of Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami, natural disasters which decimated the world's supply of microcontrollers.
Chrysler says of those nearly half a million vehicles affected, around 442,000 of them reside in the US, with an additional 25,000 in Canada and 10,000 units in Mexico. A further 12,000 models were shipped beyond the NAFTA region. The Auburn Hills automaker will begin sending out recall notices shortly, and technicians will upgrade the system software or replace the microcontroller as necessary at no cost to owners.
Related Gallery2013 Chrysler 200
Statement: Active Head-Restraint System
July 3, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC will recall approximately 490,000 cars and utility vehicles worldwide to address active head-restraint function.
Active head restraints are designed to mitigate neck injuries by automatically moving forward during certain rear-impact collisions. Potentially faulty microcontrollers in some vehicles may prevent the systems from functioning properly.
Chrysler Group is unaware of any related injuries or accidents. Airbags and shoulder-restraint systems are not affected.
The potentially faulty microcontrollers were installed in a supplied component. They entered the supply chain after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a worldwide microcontroller shortage.
Chrysler Group will replace the component or upgrade system software as needed, at no cost to its customers.
Affected are the 2011-2013 Chrysler Sebring, 200 and Dodge Avenger midsize cars; 2011-2013 Jeep Liberty SUVs and 2011-2012 Dodge Nitro SUVs.
The campaign involves approximately 442,000 vehicles in the U.S.; 25,000 in Canada; 10,000 in Mexico; and 12,000 outside the NAFTA region.
Chrysler Group will notify affected customers. Questions or concerns can be addressed by calling 1-800-853-1403.