Car recalls often involve a minor repair, and Chrysler's Jeep recall is no exception. But the issue is causing some concern because it involves important safety equipment, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Chrysler announced the recall Friday over concerns about the Jeeps' airbags. It's possible the airbags in Jeep Grand Cherokees (model years 2002 to 2004) and Jeep Libertys (model years 2002 to 2003) may go off unexpectedly while the car is being operated. The seatbelt pretensioners are also affected and may tighten up without warning.
So far, more than 200 unexpected airbag deployments have been reported, along with more than 80 injuries, CNN reports.
The recall affects 744,822 vehicles nationwide, along with nearly 200,000 more Jeeps outside the United States. Because of the specific problem, not fixing it could be very dangerous.
The Jeeps' front and side airbags may deploy and inflate while driving, which could lead to serious injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. None of the injuries reported so far have been serious, however.
Still, even one injury caused by a product defect can be enough to get a company into serious legal trouble.
When it comes to product liability, manufacturers can be liable for defects in both the design and manufacture of their product, if that defect makes the item less safe.
In this case, the problem appears to be linked to a design change in the cars that led to an electrical issue, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrysler will be installing a filter in the affected cars to correct the issue.
Chrysler plans to begin notifying individual Jeep owners in March, but if you've been injured by an unexpected Jeep airbag deployment, you can take steps now to pursue compensation. Unsafe product lawsuits are often the only way to force a manufacturer to cover expensive medical bills.
Once a company institutes a recall, it becomes easier to prove in court that the product was defective. An experienced products-liability attorney will be able to advise you about the best way to proceed.