Faulty airbags which could deploy at any time have compelled Chrysler to recall of at least 7000 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee off-roaders in Australia.
The potential computer malfunction can force “the front airbags, side curtain airbags, and/or seatbelt pre-tensioners to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated,'' the recall notice said. While the faulty airbags could potentially cause an accident, no injuries have been reported in more than 200 cases worldwide where airbags inadvertently released – including one in Australia.
The safety warning involves around 7000 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles sold in Australia between 2002 and 2004. Chrysler Group Australia is writing to affected owners but conceded said limited availability of parts in Australia will delay repairs until March for the Cherokee and August for the Grand Cherokee.
"Obviously we'll expedite the supply of parts as much as we can,” said spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher. The Australian recall notice is part of a global recall of over 900,000 of the two SUVs.
Ms Fletcher said the company was tracking down owners of the vehicles. "They're still trying to verify the exact number of vehicles involved here, we're working through the information now but it is around 7000 vehicles,'' she said.
"I believe there has been one incident where the airbag has gone off by itself in Australia but there were no repercussions from that,'' she said. Reports from the US suggest that there have been 215 cases of the fault but no accidents have been reported as a result of an airbag going off prematurely.
Customers with any queries are asked to contact a Jeep dealer or call the Jeep Customer Service centre on 1300 133 079.