By Tom Krisher Associated Press
DETROIT — Chrysler has added more than 137,000 Jeep Liberty SUVs to a March safety recall, bringing the total number of vehicles affected to nearly 347,000.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the lower control arms in the rear suspensions of the Libertys can rust and break, possibly causing them to crash. However, the company says it knows of no crashes or injuries from the problem. The recall involves vehicles in states where salt is used to clear ice and snow from the roads.
Chrysler said Monday that it will inspect the parts and replace them for free if needed.
The safety agency, in documents posted last weekend on its website, said that Chrysler has added the 2006 and 2007 model years to the recall. In March, the company said it was recalling about 200,000 Libertys from the 2004 and 2005 model years for the same problem.
Vehicles affected by the recall were sold or registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
The vehicles covered by the recall were built from July 3, 2003 through June 29, 2007.
The company said in a letter to NHTSA that as of February it had received no complaints about Liberty control arms from the 2006 or 2007 model years. But since April it has received eight reports of the problem, all from salt-belt states.
The company plans to notify owners of the added vehicles by the end of June. Customers with questions can call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403.