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Published: Tuesday, 4/9/2013

Chrysler to recall vehicles for multiple problems

SUV drive shafts can break; faulty gas tank hose; and air bag warning lights among issues

BLADE NEWS SERVICES

DETROIT — Chrysler is recalling more than 78,000 midsize SUVs because the drive shafts can break.

The recall affects 2007 and 2008 Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUVs.

Chrysler says in documents filed with the government that a heat shield can drop and rub against the drive shaft, causing it to wear and break. If the shaft breaks, the SUVs will lose power and the side air bags may inflate. Chrysler says it doesn't know of any crashes or injuries from the problem.

Dealers will install a bracket to hold the shield in place at no cost to customers.

The recall affects 61,400 vehicles in the U.S., 13,700 in Mexico, 1,000 in Canada, and 2,300 elsewhere.

Chrysler says it has received fewer than 40 complaints about broken drive shafts in the vehicles.

Chrysler also is recalling 9,300 model year 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks made in December and January that may have parking brakes that might not perform well enough, the company said today.

Chrysler will ask owners to bring their trucks to local dealerships for inspection and possible adjustment of the parking brake, said the company, an affiliate of Fiat SpA .

There have been no reported accidents or injuries related to this issue, Chrysler said.

Of the pickups recalled, about 6,600 are in the United States, 2,400 in Canada, and 90 in Mexico. The rest are outside North America, Chrysler said.

The affected trucks were made from Dec. 17 to Jan. 22.

Fuel tank problems

Chrysler is also recalling about 30,000 small SUVs because a faulty hose inside the gas tank can cause them to run out of fuel.

The recall affects Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass four-wheel-drive vehicles from the 2012 model year. If they run out of gas, the engines can stall.

Chrysler says it's aware of one crash but no injuries or fires due to the problem.

The company says the SUVs have saddle-style gas tanks that go around the rear drive shaft. Fuel is pumped from one side of the tank to the other through a hose. But Chrysler says some of the hoses weren't formed right in manufacturing, and they can stop the flow of gas.

Dealers will replace the hoses free of charge. Owners will be notified starting next month.

Air bag warning lights

Chrysler Group says it's also recalling roughly 119,500 sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years because their air bag warning lights are illuminating for no reason.

Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger sedans made between April 2011 and December 2011 are involved in the recall.

Chrysler says no one has been injured as a result of the defect, which is caused by improper wiring. The company started investigating after getting customer complaints.

Chrysler says it will fix affected vehicles for free. It will also reimburse customers who have already paid for repairs.

The company will begin notifying owners about the recall this month.



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