Chrysler Group says one recall affects about 442,000 of the following U.S. models: 2011-2013 Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Liberty and 2011-2012 Dodge Nitro. The problem, according to Chrysler, is possible “faulty microcontrollers” that could negatively impact the performance of active head restraints during a crash. Active head restraints are designed to help protect passengers from neck injuries when the vehicle is struck from behind.
Chrysler adds that the microcontrollers “entered the supply chain after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a worldwide microcontroller shortage.” The supplier of this part has not been identified.
For those vehicles affected, Chrysler will notify their owners and Chrysler dealerships will replace the microcontroller or upgrade the software free of charge.
The second recall affects 224,000 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Ram Cargo Van models, and is due to a software problem that deploys side airbags on the unaffected side of the vehicle in a side impact.
Chrysler says that after receiving a customer complaint, they investigated the problem and found that, in a collision, the airbag from the side of the car opposite the collision deploys. Only the side affected by the crash is supposed to be deployed. Chrysler adds that the airbags in the steering wheel and dashboard are not affected.
Chrysler will update the airbag-control software to correct this problem.
Owners of vehicles with either of these recalls can call Chrysler Group at 1-800-853-1403 for more information.