Imagine driving down the road and suddenly having smoke, perhaps even flames, erupt from your sun visor. If you are the owner of a 2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Durango SUV, the potential of this occurring is very real. The manufacturer performed one Jeep and Dodge recall in 2014, in January 2016 issued a second recall for many of the same vehicles.
What defect led to the recall?
Defective wiring in the sun visor and its mirror led to the original recall. The flawed wiring allowed a screw to penetrate the wiring leading to at least 62 reported incidents of smoke and flames erupting from the visor. The NHTSA received reports of at least three situations that resulted in injuries.
In July of 2014, Chrysler recalled and repaired almost 900,000 vehicles. The repair incorporated a plastic guideway to route the wires away from the screws.
Since then, however, there have been at least eight more reported incidents of smoke and/or fire emanating from the visor.
What should a Jeep or Dodge owner do?
The new recall covers just under 390,000 vehicles that Fiat Chrysler previously recalled and repaired. Concerned owners should contact Chrysler's customer service line at 800-853-1403, referencing Chrysler recall number R71 and/or the NHTSA recall number 15V879000.
The new recall covers vehicles 2011-2013 Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured between December 3, 2009 and September 1, 2012 that were previously subject to the 2014 recall. At this point, Chrysler has not disclosed a specific defect remedy plan.
Legal Issues Involved In Automobile Manufacturing Defect Situations
The NHTSA stated that it had not received any reports of accidents caused by the defect, in reference to the second recall. However, because the short occurs when the vehicle is in motion, the defect has the potential to be exceedingly dangerous and lead to accidents and serious injuries.
Victims injured in accidents caused by a defect can hold the manufacturer liable.
Simply owning one of these vehicles does not necessarily mean that an accident will happen, nor is an owner entitled to bring an action just because one might happen. The legal system requires that a victim sustains harm and actual damages before the victim can receive compensation.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an accident caused by a manufacturing defect, be sure to speak with a Washington State car accident attorney. Depending on the facts and circumstances, legal liability may lie with the manufacturer, another driver, or others. To understand your legal rights, contact Max Meyers at Max Meyers Law PLLC today at 425-242-5595.