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NHTSA upgrades investigation into Jeep Liberty suspension

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has upgraded its probe into corrosion problems with about 200,000 2004-2005 Jeep Libertys.

A preliminary evaluation was begun on April 25 of this year after the agency received complaints alleging that the rear lower control arms failed due to excessive corrosion. Two complaints said the failure occurred at speeds of 50 miles per hour or more and three complaints claimed the failure resulted in a loss of vehicle control. All of the complaints were associated with vehicles originally sold or registered in a “salt belt” state: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

In response to an information request letter, Chrysler said its investigation is continuing so it can determine possible causes of the unusual corrosion and define possible consequences for vehicle safety. Chrysler says that no injuries have been reported in connection with the incidents.

The ODI says the investigation was upgraded to an Engineering Analysis late last week to assess potential safety consequences of the alleged defect.

You can read the investigation at the NHTSA’s website. Enter “EA11013” in the search box.

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, 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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