Chrysler recalls 895,000 Grand Cherokees, Durangos for potential fire hazard

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Chrysler Group said today it is recalling 895,000 SUVs for faulty wiring in vanity mirror lights that can short circuit and set fire.

The recall covers 2011-14 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos manufactured Jan. 5, 2010, through Dec. 11, 2013, at the company’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit. It consists of 651,000 vehicles in the United States, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 in countries outside the NAFTA region, Chrysler said in the statement.

Chrysler opened an investigation into the faulty vanity mirrors in March 2011 following customer complaints of sun visor heat damage, and discovered the problem arose when wires were moved during the reassembly process at the plant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into reports of three fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees in August, covering 2012 Grand Cherokees. This was revised in January to cover the 2011 and 2013 model years and 2011-13 Dodge Durangos.

NHTSA identified five reported headliner fires in the front of the vehicle near the sun visors on Grand Cherokees.

The affected visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle with three screws, according to NHTSA. One or more of these screws may have pierced or penetrated the sun visor wiring “either during initial vehicle assembly or subsequent headliner area repairs,” NHTSA said.

A space containing a wire guide will be installed by the automaker to keep the lines routed correctly and prevent short-circuiting during reassembly.

Chrysler will begin notifying owners beginning in August. All registered Chrysler dealers will repair the damaged wiring and install a new sun visor with a properly routed wire free of charge.

Chrysler identified three minor injuries related to this recall, each involving vehicles with vanity mirrors and/or headliners that had been serviced.

You can reach Nora Naughton at nnaughton@crain.com.

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