Chrysler investigating complaints of vehicles with faulty power modulesSun, 24 Aug 2014
Chrysler owners are hopping mad after experiencing a series of electrical gremlins in some of the company's vehicles. Issues range from mere annoyances – windows rolling down and radios turning off of their own accord – to serious safety issues, with headlights that randomly shut off at night and cars that stall and refuse to start.
The issues are being blamed on the total integrated power module, which can cost up to $1,000 for customers to replace. This, of course, has led to a hefty batch of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with 240 owners expressing their displeasure so far. Another site, CarComplaints.com, has registered over 300 complaints relating to the 2010 to 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, alone, according to The New York Times.
Chrysler has acknowledged that it's investigating the complaints and is analyzing the faulty TIPMs, but that isn't quite enough for customers of the affected vehicles. The newspaper has snagged a few of the more harrowing tales with the electrically challenged Chrysler products, culled from the NHTSA complaints.
One customer recounted a 2011 Grand Cherokee that would shut off at highway speed, with no warning. This same customer said her problems were "worse than [the] GM issue."
"Are they insane?," another customer complained. "We could have been in a serious accident. I just purchased this car in November of 2013 because I thought it would be safe for me and my new baby, and now I have to dish out $1,300 because of a faulty part."
The complaints have elicited responses from the Center for Auto Safety, one of the most strongly critical voices of General Motors' ignition switch recall. The advocacy group is, according to The New York Times, formally requesting that NHTSA investigate the issue.
This isn't the first time the TIPM has caused issues. NHTSA investigated the systems in 2007 after Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro customers complained. That led to an 81,000-unit recall. That was followed in 2011 by a technical service bulletin covering the 2011 Ram 1500, as well as the troublesome Grand Cherokee and Durango.
While Chrysler has acknowledged the problems, it's unclear what, if anything, it will do about it. The company recently filed a motion disputing the electrical issues as part of a 2013 class-action suit, moving to dismiss the case, which was filed in the US Court in California's Central District. According to The Times, the judge in that case hasn't reached a decision.
By Brandon Turkus
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