Chrysler recalls Cherokee, Wagoneer

January 28, 1994|By Newsday

Chrysler Corp. began notifying owners this week of a third recall in 10 months of its relatively new Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicle.

Word of the recall comes as Chrysler is recovering from financial hard times but continuing to struggle to overcome an image of inferior quality.

Priced between $20,000 and more than $30,000, the Grand Cherokee is one of the most modern of light trucks and was critically acclaimed when it was introduced for the 1993 model year. All three recalls involve 1993 models, including the nearly identical but now discontinued Grand Wagoneer version.

The first recall, covering 87,000 vehicles, was for a possibly defective latch that allowed the tailgate to open on the road. The second, covering 30,000 vehicles, was for a front suspension bolt that might fail during braking, causing the vehicle to pull sharply to one side.

The third recall, of which Chrysler notified dealers last week, covers 115,000 vehicles and is for a sheared connecting pin that might allow the lower and upper portions of the steering column to separate. Dealers will install a sleeve to prevent that. The defect could make the vehicle impossible to steer.

Chrysler said it has 12 owner reports of the defect, but said none involved moving vehicles and that no accidents or injuries were reported.

A quality survey published last May by J.D. Power and Associates shows the Grand Cherokee with a higher than average number of defects and significantly more than its direct competitor, the Ford Explorer, a source said.

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