Chrysler is recalling nearly a million of its Jeep vehicles worldwide because the airbags may deploy automatically while the vehicles are in operation. The recall affects 2002 to 2004 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Liberties, and involves nearly 750,000 vehicles in the United States.
The problem involves the front and side airbags, which can go off at any moment, as well as the sudden tightening of seatbelts. The airbag deployments can increase the risk of injury and the chances of a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Chrysler says there have been no reports of accidents from airbag deployments, however NHTSA says it has received 215 cases of airbag deployments in Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty vehicles that have resulted in 81 minor injuries. Chrysler says it will begin notifying owners beginning in January.
More than 5 million Jeep vehicles are currently under review by NHTSA for deadly fiery crashes due to the placement of gas tanks behind the rear axle, making the vehicles more susceptible to gas leaks and fires when rear-ended. The investigation involves 1993 to 2004 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees, 1993 to 2001 model year Jeep Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 model year Jeep Liberties.
NHTSA has yet to announce a ruling on its investigation, but if a recall is ordered, it will be one of the largest vehicle recalls in U.S. history.