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Feds probe Caliber for sticky pedal

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into a possibly sticky accelerator pedal on 2007 Dodge Calibers. In a document posted on its website, the agency said five consumers had reported the pedals became stuck and failed to return to the idle position when released.

CTS Corp., the supplier involved in Toyota’s January recall of some 2.1 million vehicles, also made the pedals used in the Caliber.

Chrysler said its own review has found complaints are limited to about 10,000 Calibers built during a five-week period in March and April 2006. In a statement released this morning, the automaker said:

NHTSA has notified Chrysler Group LLC that it is investigating a potential condition with 2007 model year Dodge Caliber accelerator pedals. Some customers have reported sticking accelerator pedals. Chrysler Group is not aware of any accidents, injuries, or property damage related to these reports. The company’s initial examination of customer complaints finds they are limited to a small group of vehicles built during a five week window in March and April of 2006. It appears to be a supplier manufacturing concern, which is mechanical in nature and not a design or electronic issue. Additionally, the Dodge Caliber is equipped with a brake override system. If a disagreement occurs between the throttle and the brake, the engine controller will reduce power, allowing the operator to stop the car. Chrysler Group has been using brake override technology in its vehicles since 2003.
The company will cooperate fully with NHTSA.

Customers who own a 2007 model year Dodge Caliber built during the time of March thru April of 2006 may visit their local Dodge dealer for a free accelerator pedal inspection. Customers who cannot identify the build date of their vehicle, or are otherwise concerned about this issue may receive assistance from their local dealer, or contact Chrysler Customer Care at 1-800-992-1997.

The Dodge Caliber has achieved the government’s highest safety rating, five star front impact and five star side impact and also is rated good in front impact by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Good is the highest rating from IIHS.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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