The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice posted on its website Monday that it is upgrading an investigation into 200,000 Jeep Liberty SUVs from the 2004-2005 model years over concerns that severe rust in cold-weather states could spark a loss of control.
The original investigation was opened to probe 370,000 Jeep Liberty models from the 2002-2005 model years, but considering that most of the complaints filed were from 2004 and 2005 models, NHTSA decided to reduce the size of its investigation.
While NHTSA reported there are 22 complaints of problems resulting from corrosion, all the complaints came from cold-weather states (including Michigan, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania), where salt is used on the roads in the winter. Keep in mind that salt can contribute to rust.
Despite the fact that three people reported a loss of vehicle control with the fault being pinned on the rear lower control arm, the car maker has told NHTSA it has as many as 95 warranty claims tied to the problem, but it has not received reports of crashes or injuries. However, Chrysler told NHTSA it is studying the issue, looking for “possible root causes of the unusual lower control arm corrosion and define possible consequences to motor vehicle safety.”
Source: NHTSA via The Detroit News