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Jeep Wrangler probed in fear of air bag defect
Driver’s side might not inflate

A safety probe is covering 630,000 Wranglers from model year 2007 to 2012. A safety probe is covering 630,000 Wranglers from model year 2007 to 2012.

06/24/2015

WASHINGTON — Federal safety regulators have launched an investigation into thousands of Jeep Wranglers over concerns that a faulty part in the driver’s airbag could prevent the airbag from inflating during a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s probe is centering on the airbag’s clock spring, a component that is supposed to keep electrical connections in place while the steering wheel turns.

If the clock spring fails, the airbag wouldn’t deploy. The investigation covers approximately 630,000 Wranglers from the 2007 through 2012 model year.

No injuries or accidents have been reported because of the problem, but NHTSA has received more than 200 complaints.

A number of people reported that their mechanics replaced the clock spring after they took their vehicle to the shop because of an airbag warning light.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which owns the Jeep brand, said it is working with federal safety regulators on the issue.

“In accordance with longstanding practice, we are fully cooperating with NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation,” the company said. “Customers who observe a warning light, for any reason, should contact their dealers.”

Fiat Chrysler builds the Wrangler at the Toledo Assembly Complex.

More than a year ago, Fiat Chrysler recalled about 5,500 right-hand drive Jeep Wranglers built in the same time frame to replace the clock spring and add a dust shield.

The current investigation covers the far more common left-hand drive models.

The issues with the Jeep Wrangler airbag units are unrelated to the ongoing problems with airbags from Takata Corp. A different company supplied FCA with the Wrangler airbags.
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