NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2012 Dodge Durango

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 Dodge Durango, 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. Post 14V-391 Headliner Fires NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ15003

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Interior Lighting

    Summary: On July 1st, 2014 Chrysler (FCA US LLC) issued safety recall 14V-391 to remedy a wiring-related fire hazard on the headliner of approximately 661,888 model year (MY) 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured between January 5, 2010 and December 11, 2013. The recall was in response to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) investigation EA14-001 during which data provided by Chrysler indicates that the fire is caused by an electrical short in the vanity lamp wiring for either one of the sun visors mounted on the vehicle. The sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle through the headliner with three metal screws. EA14-001 determined that was possible for the sun visor wiring to be pierced by one of these screws, or otherwise electrically shorted either during initial vehicle assembly or later headliner area repairs which may cause an electrical short potentially resulting in fire.Most of the fires occurred while the vehicle was being driven.The remedy Chrysler developed consists of a plastic guide way installed on each sun visor that routes the wiring away from the attachment screws preventing the wiring from being shorted.In order to install the guide way, the headliner most be lowered and the existing sun visor and headliner wiring is rerouted through the guide way and reinstalled.ODI has received 8 reports of fires occurring after the remedy was installed, with some occupants complaining of smoke sometimes followed by flames erupting in the headliner.No crashes or injuries were alleged in the post remedy fires.A recall query has been opened to investigate the effectiveness of the remedy for recall 14V-391.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues under the following identification numbers: 10703058, 10692710, 10691520, 10684130, 10653417, 10711836, 10705802, and 10640524.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #RQ15003 »

  3. Headliner Fires NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA14001

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Interior Lighting

    Summary: On July 1st, 2014 Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) notified the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) that it would conduct a safety recall to remedy a wiring-related fire hazard on the headliner of approximately 661,888 model year (MY) 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured between January 5, 2010 and December 11, 2013 (see NHTSA Safety Recall 14V-391), with notifications to begin in August 2014. According to Chrysler, the fire is caused by an electrical short in the vanity lamp wiring for either one of the sun visors mounted on the vehicle. The sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle through the headliner with three metal screws. It is possible for the sun visor wiring to be pierced by one of these screws either during initial vehicle assembly or later headliner area repairs which may cause an electrical short potentially resulting in fire.ODI opened an investigation involving MY 2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles based on consumer reports of headliners catching fire at the front of the passenger's compartment near the sun visors. Complainants reported failure symptoms that ranged from discoloration to open flame burning of the headliner and/or sun visor material. Complainants reported a burning plastic smell and smoke from the headliner, often occurring while the vehicle was in motion. Damage ranged from a small burn spot on the headliner to a near complete burn of the vehicle resulting in a total loss; sunroof damage/glass shattering occurred in some cases. Incidents are more likely to occur when the ignition key is in the on position.However, several vehicles continued to burn after the key was turned off, and key-off fires, while highly unlikely, cannot be fully eliminated as a potential problem. The earliest incidents chronologically were often associated with vehicle assembly or in-plant repair procedures. Chrysler revised assembly and in-plant repair procedures for the headliner which reduced the number of fields incidents.However, anytime a repair is made to the headliner of the vehicle there could still be a risk of shorting the wiring and creating a hazard.Dealership technicians will inspect the vehicles for damaged wiring caused by an improper service procedure and repair any damage. Also, all vehicles will have a plastic guideway installed on each sun visor that routes the wiring away from the attachment screws preventing the wiring from being shorted. All MY 2011-2014 Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango built before December 11, 2013 are affected by the recall; vehicles manufactured after this date had the guideway installed during vehicle production.ODI received a total of 6 complaints as of June 2014, all of which reported a fire and two of which alleged related injuries. All 6 incidents occurred while the vehicle was being driven. In each case the driver smelled smoke and witnessed the headliner burning on either the driver or passenger side. Two complaints indicate smoke inhalation injuries to the driver. In response to ODI's information request letters of 8/28/2013 and 2/26/2014, Chrysler provided consumer and warranty data which was received by ODI on 10/7/2013 and 3/19/2014. Analysis of the Chrysler data indicated a total of 91 unique incidents related to the investigation of which about two thirds reported an open flame and smoke, the remaining showed only small burn marks with no visible flame. Three Chrysler reports indicated injuries consisting of minor burns on the customer-s hands and smoke inhalation.The investigation is closed on the basis of the recall action the manufacturer has undertaken which is sufficient to address NHTSA-s concerns related to the investigation. The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues under the following identification numbers: 10556110, 10536895, 10522665, 10522159, 10515592, 10561002.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA14001 »

  4. Headliner Fires NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE13027

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 19, 2013
    • Date Closed: January 14, 2014
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Interior Lighting

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified 5 reports of vehicle headliners catching fire at the front of the vehicle near the sun visors on Jeep Grand Cherokees.Customers reported a range of fire conditions ranging from minor overheating to an open flame at the headliner and/or sun visor material while driving the vehicle. In some reports the fire spread to the front seats and/or door panels of the vehicle.In one report, the sunroof was damaged causing the glass to shatter.The cause of these fires is an electrical short in the vanity lighting wiring circuit that is routed to either one of the sun visors.The sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle through the headliner with three screws.The sun visor wiring may be penetrated, or pierced by one of these screws either during initial vehicle assembly or subsequent headliner area repairs.The piercing causes an electrical short that could result in a fire.There is no dedicated fuse for the affected circuit so the electrical short can continue until the short clears or the vehicle is keyed off.The Dodge Durango uses the same headliner assembly, and Chrysler indicates there are similar headliner fire incidents affecting this model. Therefore, these vehicles have been added to the scope of the investigation.Analyzing the data received from Chrysler along with ODI reports indicates there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents (including 3 injury allegations) on Grand Cherokee and Durango vehicles which ODI will continue to evaluate during the investigation.Based on ODI's evaluation of currently available data, this investigation is being upgraded toEngineering Analysis EA14-001.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues under the following identification (ODI) numbers: 10536895, 10556110, 10522665, 10522159, 10515592

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE13027 »

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