NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2012 Jeep Liberty

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2012 Jeep Liberty, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Totally Integrated Power Module Failure NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 25, 2014
    • Date Closed: July 24, 2015
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System

    Summary: In a letter dated August 21, 2014, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation of alleged failures associated with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) installed in Chrysler SUV-s, trucks, and vans beginning in the 2007 model year. The petitioner alleges that TIPM defects may result in engine stall, airbag non-deployment, failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration, fire, and other symptoms. On September 25, 2014, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened DP14-004 to evaluate the petition for a grant or deny decision. ODI analyzed complaint data provided by CAS as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 296 complaints submitted by the petitioner in the original petition and five supplements, including 271 complaints related to the subject vehicles equipped with TIPM-7. Approximately 3 percent of CAS complaints are related to vehicles equipped with TIPM-6 and ODI-s review of these complaints did not identify any safety defect trends. ODI conducted a detailed review of complaints narratives submitted by CAS and consumers including careful analysis of vehicle repair histories, warranty claims obtained from the manufacturer and any available Customer Assistance Inquiry reports (CAIR). Analysis of the field data indicated that MY2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles exhibited significantly higher complaint rates related to fuel pump relay (FPR) failures than other subject vehicles. In a September 3, 2014 letter to NHTSA, Chrysler submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a defect in the FPR within the TIPM-7 which can result in a no start or stall condition in approximately 188,723 model year (MY) 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and Dodge Durango (WD) vehicles manufactured from January 5, 2010 through July 20, 2011 (14V-530).In a February 24, 2015 letter, Chrysler submitted a second DIR expanding the scope of the FPR defect condition to include an additional 338,216 MY 2012 through 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured from September 17, 2010 through August 19, 2013 and MY 2012 through 2013 Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured from January 18, 2011 through August 19, 2013 (15V-115).ODI analysis of the CAS allegations of TIPM defects resulting in stall while driving, airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration, fire and other faults identified a single defect condition related to 1 of over 60 different circuits in the TIPM assembly. The most common effect of this defect condition, related to the fuel pump relay, was a no-start concern, but it could also result in stall while driving (76 complaints). No valid evidence was presented in support of claims related to airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration or fire resulting from TIPM faults and these claims were found to be wholly without merit based on review of the field data and design of the relevant systems and components.Except insofar as the petitioner's contentions relate to the defect condition addressed by the Chrysler recalls, the factual bases of the petitioner's contentions that any further investigation is necessary are unsupported. In our view, additional investigation is unlikely to result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists or a NHTSA order for the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect as alleged by the petitioner at the conclusion of the requested investigation. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety mission, the petition is denied. This action does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The agency will take further action if warranted by future circumstances. Please see the Federal Register notice in DP14-004 file (www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/defects).

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP14004 »

  2. Jeep Liberty Door Fires NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13034

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 21, 2013
    • Date Closed: March 09, 2014
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Visibility:Power Window Devices And Controls

    Summary: The driver's side power master window switch (PMWS) evaluted during this investigation controls the power windows for all four doors, the power mirrors and door locks.The PMWS is located on the driver's side door panel.Chrysler advised that the PMWS was used on multiple vehicle platforms including model year (MY) 2011 Dodge Nitro, MY 2011-2012 Jeep Liberty and MY 2011 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan for a total of approximately 425,000 vehicles.At the opening of the investigation, ODI identified two reports of fire near the vicinity of the PMWS on MY 2012 Jeep Liberty Vehicles.During the course of the investigation, ODI determined that one of the complaint fires was not likely caused by a PMWS failure as available evidence indicated the fire started in the dashboard as opposed to the door panel area.Accordingly, the report was removed from the above counts.In response to ODI's October 30, 2013 information request (IR) letter, Chrysler advised that it was only aware of the same two fire reports as ODI and that it had concluded one of the reports did not involve a PMWS failure.ODI has not identified any new subject vehicle reports involving PMWS fires during the course of the investigation.In addition to the reports alleging fire, ODI evaluated other reports and data related to PMWS failures including consumer complaints, field reports, law suits, and warranty claims provided by Chrysler in its response.ODI interviewed owners of complaint vehicles when additional information was required.In addition to the subject Jeep Liberty, ODI reports for the additional Chrysler vehicles that use the same PMWS were also reviewed.ODI identified two additional ODI complaints (see ODI 10523317 and 10474901) involving Chrysler minivans that alleged door fires that were, or may have been related to a PMWS failure.In discussions with ODI, Chrysler stated that it conducted a search for consumer complaints alleging PMWS related door fires on the additional vehicles that use the same PMWS but did not identify any responsive reports.Based on ODI's assessment of available data, the overall failure rate for the PMWS, which was used in a large population of vehicles, appears to be low, and the failure rate for those that resulted in fires is even lower.Additionally the data does not indicate a trend, climatic, or regional effects indicative of an actionable defect issue.A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted.Accordingly, the investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will monitor the issue and reserves the right to take future action if warranted by the circumstances.The ODI report cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10459029

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE13034 »

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