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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Expanding its Investigation of Inadvertent Airbag Deployment in Jeep Liberty SUVs

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") is expanding its investigation into approximately 387,000 Jeep Liberty Sport SUVs from model years 2002 and 2003 after dozens of reports of airbags deploying without warning.

The NHTSA has identified 87 reports of inadvertent driver and passenger front airbag deployment, which have resulted in 50 injuries, including burns, cuts, and bruises to the upper body. NHTSA has reported that 42 of the 87 reported incidents involved the driver front airbag deploying without a crash, some incidents occurring at the time of vehicle startup, others occurring while the vehicle was in motion.  The remaining incidents involved both driver and passenger airbags.

Jeep's parent company, Chrysler, has conducted an inspection and believes the flaw is related to an internal electronic chip that controls airbag deployment, which can fail during a voltage spike. Chrysler has yet to identify the cause of such spike, although has reported that the problem does not appear to affect vehicles manufactured after March 19, 2003.

The NHTSA has upgraded their investigation to a full engineering analysis, with the next step being a full recall of the Liberty; however Chrysler and the NHTSA must identify the exact cause of the problem before a recall can be issued.

Dreyer Boyajian LLP has a long history of successfully litigating products liability claims.  If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

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