A week after Chrysler Group’s dismal finish on the initial quality survey from Consumer Reports and the firing of its head of quality control, the company recalls its best-selling Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee models for defective airbags and malfunctioning electronic stability controls. More 250,000 are involved in the latest, supplier-caused quality problems.
In one potentially deadly gaff, the so-called Occupant Restraint Control (OCR) module disables the frontal air bags, seat belt pretensioners, and side air bags. The malfunction indicator light “MIL” should illuminate to warn drivers of a failure, according to Chrysler. A Robert Bosh supplied circuit board is improperly coated and corrodes and shorts resulting in the recalls.
The other Dodge and Jeep safety defect involves the software for the Steering Column Control Module (SCCM) where the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) may be disabled. “Warranty claims indicated dealers were finding newly delivered vehicles with the ESC lamp illuminated due to Steering Angle Sensor performance faults and implausible data codes, causing dealer technicians to replace the SCCM,” Chrysler said in the required NHTSA filing. It appears that metal chips during manufacturing were causing short circuits on the computer board.
Chrysler told NHTSA that it is thus far unaware of any injuries or deaths from these safety recalls.