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NHTSA opens probe into alleged Patriot stalls

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has opened a preliminary investigation into reported high-speed stalls in the Jeep Patriot.

PE12032, headed by investigator Kareem Habib, was opened October 15 and covers about 112,000 model year 2011 and 2012 Jeep Patriots. According to Allpar data, that number includes basically all Patriots sold since the fall of 2010.

The ODI says it has received 12 complaints that the engine stalls while driving the Patriot and also says 10 of the claims say the stall happened while the vehicle was being operated at speeds of 65 mph or more.

All the complaints said the vehicle could not be immediately restarted and eight said the vehicle could not be restarted at all or that it had to be towed to the dealership. One complaint alleged that the incident resulted in a crash with injury.

Complaints have been on the increase: all but three were received within the past six months.

The investigation was opened to determine the cause of the alleged problem, how widespread it might be, and what actions might be required.

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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