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Jeep has just announced that it will recall 209,724 units of its Liberty model, built for model year 2004 and 2005. However, the recall is only for States that are considered “Snow Belt” areas.
Why do these Liberty models have a problem with snow?
Because the recall is about rust, and the States that use road salt are more likely to cause a rust issue due to excessive corrosion.
The components that are of concern to Jeep and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) are the lower control arms, which can crack as a result of corrosion. Such a defect can effect the vehicles handling and could result in a crash.
NHTSA says that 21-States are included in this recall, and Jeep will start notifying and correcting this issue by April of this year. So far, 83 corrosion complaints have been reported, but thankfully no one has been involved in an accident or reported any injuries.
Jeep made a significant design change to the lower control arm in 2004. This part was manufactured by Global Automotive Systems, which is now part of DURA Automotive systems of Rochester Hills, MI.
If your vehicle is potentially affected, expect a letter of recall from Jeep very soon. All the repairs will be done free of charge for the owners of these vehicles. For more info, contact NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.
As these are unibody vehicles, severe rusting of the body or chassis structure can have a major detriment on the vehicle’s handling and safety; in this case the problem concerns the front strut mount on the driver’s side, which, in extreme cases, can cause excessive front end flex and even result in the steering shaft breaking, making the vehicle dangerous.
According to the report, approximately 40,000 Pathfinders and QX4s are affected by this issue, though it will be interesting to see how NHTSA attempts to address the problem. As cars age, particularly those driven in heavily salted winter conditions, rust begins to creep in rapidly.
Traditionally, unibody cars or trucks suffering from serious structural corrosion are usually scrapped, the damage is simply too expensive and costly to repair; as a result NHTSA will probably have to look at other options instead of a TSB or recall, possibly even offering customers a cash incentive on a new, comparable Nissan SUV.
Although we couldn’t find evidence to suggest the fact; it is likely that all of the complaints stem from either the North East or Great Lakes region, where winter slush and salt are a fact of life, hastening the retirement of many vehicles. (NHTSA has issues several recalls lately for similar issues on other vehicles in the ‘salt belt’ states).
The Nissan investigation follows on from other rust probes, including one on the previous generation Toyota Tundra pickup.
[Source: Torque News]