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2012 Liberty headrests and NHTSA

by David Zatz on

Both the Associated Press and Automotive News reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the 2012 Jeep Liberty, due to 44 complaints from owners.

According to the owners, the airbag warning light stays on, due to a failure in the ORC module in some Libertys. One complaint claimed that this problem prevented the airbag from deploying; but there was also a 2013 recall, which affected the 2011-12 Liberty and Nitro, which could have been at fault if not addressed.

There are an estimated 105,000 2012 Jeep Libertys on the road. Earlier model-years do not seem to have the issue; and there were no later model-years.  There have been no complaints of this nature about the Dodge Nitro, which has a similar body and electronics, and shared the 2013 recall.

Automotive News quoted the Associated Press as quoting FCA as saying that the only safety feature which might be affected is the active headrest, which moves forward to prevent whiplash when a crash is sensed.

This is only the first step of a long process which could be ended at any time. First there is a preliminary investigation; that may result in NHTSA requesting an engineering analysis. At that point there could be a recall, or the investigation could be closed.

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