Chrysler SUV Recall Issued Over Brake Booster Problem

Chrysler is recalling more than 850,000 sport utility vehicles (SUV) after receiving warranty claims that suggest the brake system may corrode over time, as water enters the brake booster, potentially leading to a loss of brakes and creating a crash hazard.  

The Chrysler SUV recall was announced on April 1, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) learned of at least one accident that appears to be caused by problems with a braking systems. No injuries were reported in relation to the accident.

Approximately 867,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles from the 2011 through 2014 model years are affected by the recall. It is estimated that about 644,000 of those vehicles were sold in the United States.

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The recalled Chrysler vehicles are equipped with a brake booster system that is only partially coated to prevent corrosion on the mechanical parts. Chrysler’s investigation has determined that small amounts of water may enter the brake booster system through the crimp joints and freeze, diminishing the capability of the braking ability.

The brake booster erosion concern began last spring when Chrysler became aware of customer complaints indicating the brakes required more force to be applied to the brake pedal to stop the vehicles but by federal regulation standards the reports did not warrant a recall. After winter months and cold weather set it Chrysler began receiving more complaints of the same nature and began applying an anti-corrosion coating on the new parts.

Shortly after complaints were received from customers that indicated water was entering the booster systems and freezing, the NHTSA contacted Chrysler and conducted tests confirming a recall was necessary.

The company plans to initiate the recall repairs for free at Chrysler dealers in May 2014. The repairs will consist of installing a shield to keep water from entering the booster and through the crimp joints. The shield will give the booster a normal life expectancy, Chrysler officials say.

Owners of affected vehicles may contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 for further details until the official recall notices are sent. Customers are also encouraged to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-800-327-4236 or visit them online at www.safecar.gov to report any adverse events involving the recalled vehicles.

Photo courtesy of alv1nW/Flickr via Creative Commons

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