Dodge and Jeep recalling 895k SUVs for possibility of headliner firesFri, 11 Jul 2014 10:10:00 EST
Dodge and Jeep are announcing recalls of a total of 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models worldwide from the 2011 through 2014 model years. There's a possibility that the wiring in the sun visor can short circuit and cause a fire. It specifically affects vehicles built between January 5, 2010, and December 11, 2013, and there are approximately 651,000 of them in the US, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside of North America.
Screws that fasten the sunvisor to the headliner may pierce wires in the visor, if the part has been removed or serviced, potentially causing a fire risk. If the wires short circuit, they could overheat and potentially combust. The automakers report three injuries caused by this defect, and according to the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents."
To fix the problem, Dodge and Jeep will inspect the vehicles for suspect wiring, and all of the models, whether damaged or not, will get a new sun visor spacer with a wire guide to stop the possibility of short circuits. According to the automakers' announcement, "this condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced." They will notify affected owners, and repairs will begin in August.
NHTSA began its investigation into the potential problems last year. It initially started with only the Grand Cherokee, but the Dodge Durango was added later as well because it uses the same headliner assembly. Scroll down to read the automakers' announcement, the NHTSA recall report and a summary of the regulator's investigation. The full defect notice can be downloaded as a PDF, here.
Statement: Vanity-Mirror Wiring Upgrade
July 11, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -
Chrysler Group is recalling an estimated 895,000 SUVs to reroute wiring for vanity-mirror lights.
If a stated vehicle was involved in a repair related to servicing the vanity mirror and/or headliner, the wiring – located inside the sun visor – may be subject to short-circuit and fire if not appropriately reassembled by the dealer. This condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced.
Chrysler Group is aware of three related injuries – each of which involved a vehicle that had the vanity mirror and/or headliner serviced.
Chrysler Group dealers will, at no cost to customers, install a spacer containing a wire guide feature that will keep the lines properly routed, preventing a potential short-circuit during reassembly.
In the interest of protecting our customers, this spacer will be installed in all vehicles within the range, regardless of whether or not the vanity mirror and/or headliner have been serviced.
The recall campaign is limited to certain 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models. Chrysler Group will contact affected customers and advise them when service is available.
An estimated 651,000 vehicles are located in the U.S.; 45,700 are in Canada; 23,000 are in Mexico and 175,000 are outside the NAFTA region.
Customers with additional questions may call Chrysler Group's Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403.
RECALL Subject : Vanity Lamp Short may Result in Fire , 1 INVESTIGATION(S)
Report Receipt Date: JUL 02, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V391000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 651,130
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Mode lModel Year(s)
DODGE DURANGO 2011-2014
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 2011-2014
Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2011-2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured January 5, 2010, through December 11, 2013. In the affected vehicles, the wiring for the vanity lamp in the sun visor may short circuit, after a service repair is performed.
If the vanity lamp wiring shorts, there is an increased risk of fire.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair any damaged wiring, and install a new sun visor that properly routes the wire, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in August 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is P36.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA Action Number: EA14001 Headliner Fires
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified 5 reports of vehicle headliners catching fire at the front of the vehicle near the sun visors on Jeep Grand Cherokees. Customers reported a range of fire conditions ranging from minor overheating to an open flame at the headliner and/or sun visor material while driving the vehicle. In some reports the fire spread to the front seats and/or door panels of the vehicle. In one report, the sunroof was damaged causing the glass to shatter. The cause of these fires is an electrical short in the vanity lighting wiring circuit that is routed to either one of the sun visors. The sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle through the headliner with three screws. The sun visor wiring may be penetrated, or pierced by one of these screws either during initial vehicle assembly or subsequent headliner area repairs. The piercing causes an electrical short that could result in a fire. There is no dedicated fuse for the affected circuit so the electrical short can continue until the short clears or the vehicle is keyed off. The Dodge Durango uses the same headliner assembly, and Chrysler indicates there are similar headliner fire incidents affecting this model, therefore, these vehicles have been added to the scope of the investigation. Analyzing the data received from Chrysler along with ODI reports indicates there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents (including 3 injury allegations) on Grand Cherokee and Durango vehicles which ODI will continue to evaluate during the investigation. Based on ODI's evaluation of currently available data, this investigation is being upgraded to an Engineering Analysis. The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues under the following identification (ODI) numbers: 10556110, 10536895, 10522665, 10522159, 10515592.
By Chris Bruce
See also: 2014 Jeep Cherokee: June 2014, Watch 1,414-hp worth of Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat do stereo burnouts, NHTSA investigating why Jeep recall fix is taking so long.