— A Chrysler headrest lawsuit has been certified as a class action for California lessees and owners of these vehicles.
- 2010-2018 Dodge Journey
- 2010-2011 Dodge Nitro
- 2010-2012 Jeep Liberty
- 2010-2017 Jeep Patriot or Jeep Compass
- 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber
- 2010-2018 Dodge Caravan
- 2011-2018 Dodge Durango
- 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 2010-2014 Chrysler Sebring/Avenger
Known as an active head restraint system, the Chrysler headrest lawsuit says drivers are victims of the systems when the headrests suddenly deploy for no good reason. The active headrest should deploy in a rear-end crash to prevent front occupants from whiplash injuries, but it shouldn't deploy without a collision.
The headrest works by splitting the headrest into two sections that include a padded front and the back. The spring-loaded headrest stays in place with a hook that latches to a metal striker pin. When the sensors in the vehicle detect a rear-end collision, the hook releases the pin and the spring-loaded headrest launches forward.
The plaintiff says he purchased a new 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but in August 2017 he was driving to work when the active headrest suddenly deployed, striking the plaintiff in the back of his head.
He got the vehicle pulled to the side of the road and later returned home because he had a headache, later diagnosed as a concussion by his physician.
The plaintiff says he missed three days of work and tried to reset the Chrysler headrest, but the lawsuit alleges he had to take the vehicle to a dealership for repairs. The headrest deployed because the pin used to latch the front of the headrest had been torn out of its plastic bracket which had failed.
His Jeep Grand Cherokee was still under warranty, but Chrysler said the plaintiff would have to pay for repairs because technicians believed the headrest had been tampered with. According to the Chrysler headrest lawsuit, the plaintiff was forced to pay $877 for a new headrest.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has allegedly received more than 90 complaints about Chrysler headrests that suddenly deployed.
In 35 cases, customers claim they were driving on the highway when the headrests suddenly deployed, and in 25 cases the customers say the plastic brackets failed in the headrests. In addition, 15 owners claim occupants suffered injuries to their heads, faces or necks.
The Chrysler headrest lawsuit alleges the brackets inside the headrests are made with cheap plastic prone to crack, and there is no way to know when an occupant may be smacked in the head.
The Chrysler headrest lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California: Alger, et al., v. FCA US LLC, et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, and Kershaw, Cook and Talley PC.