NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2006 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 2006 Jeep Liberty, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: DIESEL FUEL LEAK

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE07041

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 08, 2007
    • Date Closed: December 07, 2007
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Diesel
    Fuel System, Diesel: Pre-Heater

    Summary: Overheating of the electrical connector at the fuel heater on the fuel filter / water separator assembly can cause a fuel leak through the electrical connection.operators report the smell of diesel fuel, smoke, difficulty starting and/or poor engine operation.the fuel leakage is reported by some operators as "seepage, "wetness, " several drops, " and "an oz per minute."evidence of overheating of the connection was observed by some operators and reported as burned or discolored electrical connection at the fuel heater.seven operators report smelling or seeing smoke.one reported a vehicle engine compartment fire however the cause of the fire was not identified, and linkage of the fire cause to this issue is not likely to be established.the location of the fuel filter / water separator assembly is not near the location of the turbo charger which is located on the opposite side of the engine.the turbo charger would present a potentially hot surface however due to the layout of the engine compartment and its components, diesel fuel leakage from the electrical connection would not likely migrate to the turbo charger.at this time, a safety-related defect trend has not been identified and this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety defect does not exist.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Crash Related Fuel Tank Fires

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA12005

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Hoses, Lines/Piping, And Fittings
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly:Filler Pipe And Cap

    Summary: ODI has completed an extensive analysis of rear crash fuel tank system integrity data for the subject Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles (SVs).As of June 2013, ODI knew of 56 post-collision fatal fires, 28 non-fatal fires, and 6 fuel leak incidents (totaling 90 incidents, 75 fatalities and 58 injuries) involving the SVs.Based on this analysis, ODI issued a Recall Request Letter (RRL) on June 3, 2013 requesting that Chrysler recall the Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles due to the rate of fatal, non-fatal fire, and fuel leak incidents when compared to peer vehicles (compact and medium SUVs) built during the same time period.In the RRL, ODI described how the location of the aft-mounted fuel tank made the SVs vulnerable to rear impact crash fuel tank failures.During the analysis, besides the high speed/high severity crashes present in both the SV and peer vehicles, ODI observed a significant number of low and moderate speed rear impact crash related fires and leaks, particularly in the Liberty.The data also demonstrated that SVs originally equipped with towing hitch receivers (trailer hitches) appeared to be under-represented in rear-impact related fuel tank failures.In the RRL, ODI requested that Chrysler provide its response by June 18, 2013, otherwise NHTSA might proceed to an Initial Decision that the SVs contain a safety-related defect.Chrysler responded to the RRL on June 4, 2013 and vigorously disputed the tentative findings of the RRL.Among other things, Chrysler argued that the SVs had an overall safety record superior to their peers, met or exceeded all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) and only experienced fires in severe high energy rear impacts.Nonetheless, while continuing to maintain that the SVs did not contain a safety-related defect, Chrysler proposed a recall (13V-252) of approximately 2.5M (1.6M currently registered) model year (MY) 1993 - 1998 Grand Cherokee (ZJ) and MY 2002-2007 Liberty (KJ) vehicles on June 18, 2013.The recall remedy submitted by Chrysler would employ a hitch receiver assembly consisting of a steel cross-member behind the fuel tank with forward-projecting arms bolted to the frame rails on either side of the fuel tank.For the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee, Chrysler indicated it would conduct a customer satisfaction campaign and inspect vehicles equipped with aftermarket tow hitch receivers, and if necessary, replace any such hitch receivers whose conditionmay increase the risk of fuel system failure in rear crashes.Examination of the available data established that the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee did not pose the same magnitude of safety risk as the MY 1993 - 1998 Grand Cherokee and MY 2002-2007 Liberty, particularly in low and moderate speed rear impacts.Because the agency has concluded that the vehicles do not present an unreasonable risk to safety, ODI is closing its investigation of the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee.Although it was not within the scope of the Petition initiating this investigation or the Preliminary Evaluation preceding this EA, ODI also examined the performance of the MY 1993 - 2001 Cherokee as part of this investigation.NHTSA's assessment of the available data for the Cherokee did not establish an unreasonable risk in comparison to peer vehicles.ODI does not approve proposed defect remedies.While offering to install hitch receiver assemblies on the MY 1993-1998 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Liberty, Chrysler did not, in ODI's view, provide enough evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed remedy in rear impacts.The Complete Summary for this Closing Resume (EA12-005) can be seen by opening the following document:www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM466679/INCLA-EA12005-9765.PDF

  3. INVESTIGATION: FRONT SUSPENSION BALL JOINT SEPARATION

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA06008

    Component(s): Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Lower Ball Joint

    Summary: On January 6, 2006, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation to investigate alleged front suspension lower ball joint separationin certain model year (MY) 2004 Jeep Liberty vehicles.ODI sent a letter to the manufacturer on February 7, 2006 requesting information about these and other Jeep Liberty vehicles.consequently, the investigation was upgraded to an engineering analysis on May 31, 2006 and the range of subject vehicles under investigation was expanded to include all MY 2002-2006 Jeep Liberty vehicles.ODI is aware of 566 non-duplicative complaints alleging involuntary front suspension lower ball joint separation in the subject vehicles.ODI is also aware of one non-injury crash and three alleged injury incidents (two crash incidents and one non-crash incident) related to the alleged defect resulting in minor injuries.the complaint counts reported above only include those MY 2002-03 Liberty vehicles where the alleged ball joint separation occurred after prior recall repairs were performed (see below) or if the vehicle was not included in the prior recall.the manufacturer conducted a prior safety recall (03V-460) to address the subject issue in certain MY 2002-03 Jeep Liberty vehicles.according to DaimlerChrysler's November 4, 2003, defect information report (submitted in accordance with 49 cfr part 573), ┐the constant tension lower control arm ball joints may experience a loss of lubrication which can lead to corrosion, accelerated wear and possibly separation from the steering knuckle.a constant tension ball joint which has separated from the knuckle may result in loss of vehicle directional control with minimal advanced warning.┐however, evidence indicates that some vehicles serviced under recall 03V-460 continued to experience involuntary ball joint separations.the manufacturer has made numerous changes in the design, material composition, manufacture, quality control, supply, and installation of the subject ball joints since the prior safety recall was initiated in an effort to improve performance with respect to sealing, lubrication, and joint retention capability.by letter dated August 1, 2006, DaimlerChrysler corporation has notified the Agency that it will conduct a safety recall to address potentially defective front suspension lower control arm ball joints in approximately 826,687 model year 2002-2006 Jeep Liberty vehicles manufactured between January 2, 2001 and March 15, 2006, includingall vehicles subject to the prior recall.the NHTSA campaign number assigned to this recall is 06V-288 (DaimlerChrysler recall campaign F23).DaimlerChrysler will replace both left and right front suspension lower control arm ball joints with improved components free of charge.accordingly, this investigation is closed.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Fleet Vehicle Recall Completion Audit

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #AQ10001

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 18, 2010
    • Date Closed: December 28, 2015
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Unknown Or Other

    Summary: On November 18, 2010, NHTSA's Recall Management Division (RMD) opened an audit query (AQ10-001) to investigate recall remedy completion by rental car companies on safety recall campaigns.It was expected to provide the agency an indication of how completely and how quickly rental car fleets perform necessary recall-related remedies on the vehicles owned and then rented/leased for use on the roadways.RMD queried three (3) major motor vehicle manufacturers (Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors) and requested data regarding completion figures for fifteen (15) discreet safety recalls.Analysis of this data demonstrated that rental car recalls completion was neither complete nor consistent.The rental car companies representing the largest market share in the industry were then queried as to their respective policies for the rental, lease, and sale of vehicles with open recalls.The data and responses from the manufacturers and the rental car companies can be found in the document repository by accessing the ""Associated Documents" link above.In December 2015, Congress enacted the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.One section of the Act prohibits rental car companies from renting, leasing, or selling motor vehicles subject to open safety recalls.With the passage of the FAST Act and its prohibition, there is no continuing need for the agency to investigate rental car recall completions.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The agency reserves the right to open any future investigations, including audits of individual recalls, or groups of recalls, or rental car companies, to examine more closely safety recalls performance and completion issues in this area.

  5. INVESTIGATION: INTERIOR FIRE, PASSENGER SIDE DASH AREA

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE06056

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
    Visibility:Defroster/Defogger System:Windshield:Blower

    Summary: This investigation was opened on November 21, 2006 based on two owner reports and one E-mail report alleging an interior fire in the passenger side area of the dash panel.DaimlerChrysler (DCC) has identified a defect in the blower motor of the HVAC system in the subject vehicles and in certain 2007 model year Liberty vehicles.the defect report states, "under certain conditions the heating, ventilation and airconditioning (HVAC) blower motor may overheat and cause an interior fire."DCC will recall 149,065 vehicles to replace the original HVAC blower motor with one of a new design.the vehicles included in the recall are all 2006 model year and 2007 model year Jeep Liberty vehicles built from start of production through August 15, 2006.see NHTSA recall number 07V089 for details.

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