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NHTSA revisiting Durango/Grand Cherokee recall

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said yesterday that it is investigating vehicles repaired during last year’s recall of Dodge and Jeep SUVs for a visor fix.

Last July, FCA recalled 661,888 model year 2011-2014 Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees built before December 31, 2013, because one of the screws that attach the sun visor to the roof might damage the wiring to the visor’s courtesy light. This could cause a short-circuit leading to a fire.

2013 Dodge Durango

At the time Chrysler Group said it was aware of 62 reported fires, two of which lead to the total loss of the vehicle.

Under the recall, Chrysler P36/NHTSA Campaign 14V-391, affected Durangos and Grand Cherokees will have wiring rerouted to avoid the attachment screws. Dealers were supplied with kits containing new wiring guides.

Last August, the NHTSA said: “The investigation is closed on the basis of the recall action the manufacturer has undertaken which is sufficient to address NHTSA’s concerns related to the investigation.”

Yesterday, the agency said it had received eight reports of fires in vehicles that had had the visor fix. There were no accidents or injuries reported but there were two claims of smoke inhalation.

The latest NHTSA investigation may find errors in dealer repairs. The same components issued under the recall were also used in Durango and Grand Cherokee production since December of 2013.

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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