(WWJ/AP) — The Center for Auto Safety is urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate some possibly defective Chrysler vehicles.
The Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit group founded by Ralph Nader, filed a petition Friday asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the probe.
The center contends that an electrical power control module used by Chrysler in millions of vehicles since 2007 can go haywire, causing them to stall in traffic and cut off devices powered by electricity. The allegation covers Ram pickup trucks, Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler, and other models.
The safety group says it has received over 70 complaints about the modules and that the government has received hundreds.
Chrysler said in a statement that it launched its own investigation into the problem before the petition was filed, and it is checking customer complaints and analyzing components. The company said its vehicles meet all applicable safety standards.
The watchdog group said that power failures in thousands of Chrysler vehicles can cause the them to stall while being driven. Executive director Clarence Ditlow said that the only thing that Chrysler should do to respond to the concerns is to issue a recall.
“The ultimate outcome should be a recall of the vehicles with this totally integrated power module in Chrysler vehicles made from 2007 to 2014,” Ditlow said. “We estimate that there are at least three to five million (affected) vehicles on the road today.”
The problem is with electrical power control modules that can malfunction and affects many Dodge and Jeep vans and SUVs over the last 7 years.
“What we’re seeing is that the major manufacturers are introducing more and more electronics, which have more and more glitches and it’s going to lead to more and more recalls,” Ditlow said.
In July, Chrysler issued a recall of older-model SUVs in connection with an investigation of ignition-switch performance. Preliminary investigation suggested an outside force — usually attributed to contact with the driver’s knee — may move ignition keys from the “on” position in certain model-year 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
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