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The ongoing investigation into the unwarranted air-bag deployment of almost 387,000 Jeep Liberty SUVs has been upgraded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The affect model years are from 2002-2003 and the investigation began when NHTSA received seven complaints from owners last September. Investigators now have 87 reports of either the driver or passenger-side air bags deploying without the vehicle being involved in a crash.
The random deployments of the airbags have resulted in 50 injuries including cuts, burns and bruises. The investigators currently believe that an electronic circuit that controls the air bag deployment “fails due to an electric overstress condition caused by a transient voltage spike” and triggers the deployment.
Chrysler recently told NHTSA that it had not been able to duplicate the issue even though they conducted tests that included exposing the system to various radio frequencies. Chrysler also stated that while its own investigation continues, it hasn’t yet determined the existence of a safety-related defect.