Chrysler Recalls 867,795 SUV Models for Potential Brake Corrosion

Apr 02, 2014 12:06 PM EDT | Staff Reporter


Chrysler is recalling 867,795 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durano models worldwide after customers complained of overly firm brakes.

The automaker will be installing a shield to protect brake boosters in the SUVs from water corrosion, Bloomberg reported.

Chrysler Group began investigating after customers said their brakes were excessively firm, the company said in a statement. One related accident has been reported but no injuries.

"The investigation discovered certain vehicles have brake boosters with small crimp joints; and these joints may exhibit corrosion when exposed to water," Chrysler said. "Should water enter the boosters through corroded joints--a previously unseen occurrence--brake function may be compromised if the water freezes."

Comprising SUVs from model years 2011-14, the recall affects around 644,354 car owners in the United States, 42,380 in Canada, 21,376 in Mexico and 159,685 outside North America. Concerned owners can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

Fiat, which acquired Chrysler in January in a $4.3 billion merger, saw stock fall 2.3 percent on Tuesday, likely affected by news of the recall.

Chrysler's announcement of the brake issue "gives investors a reason to sell Fiat stock after it rose yesterday to the highest since 2007," Vincenzo Longo, a strategist at IG Group in Milan, told Bloomberg by phone.

Company stock has risen 45 percent this year, valuing Turin, Italy-based Fiat at $14.9 billion USD.

Recalls are a delicate point for the industry as a whole in light of the massive General Motors recall that has been related to 13 deaths and is under investigation by the Justice Department.

"Clearly the market is very sensitive to recalls after the GM issue," Longo told Bloomberg.

Chrysler had an altercation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year over 2.7 million SUV models that the agency wanted Chrysler to modify. The regulator pushed for changes after 51 deaths occurred in post-crash fires in the vehicles.

The carmaker reached a settlement with the NHTSA over the summer for a "voluntary campaign" to fix Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty models with fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axles, which Chrysler contended were already safe to drive.

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