- Jeep is adding 137,000 Liberty SUVs to an earlier recall
- In all, 350,000 units are now affected
- The recall relates to suspension components that can rust prematurely
Jeep will soon recall an additional 137,000 Liberty SUVs from the 2006-07 model years to address a suspension issue announced earlier this year. According to the automaker and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall is due to potential corrosion and affects nearly 350,000 Liberty SUVs made from 2004 to 2007.
Announced in March, the original recall covered some 210,000 units of the 2004 and 2005 Liberty 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 latest recall keeps the same geographical boundaries but adds the compact SUV's 2006 and 2007 model years.
According to Jeep, the recall only affects vehicles registered in the Northeast and upper Midwest because those areas commonly use road salt in winter driving conditions. Salt can keep roads free of ice, but NHTSA says it can also cause premature rusting on the rear lower control arms of affected Liberty SUVs. According to the government agency, that could cause the rear control arm to fail, leading to a loss of control and potentially an accident.
NHTSA says that it's received upward of 80 complaints of rusting upper control arms on affected Liberty SUVs, but none were linked to an accident or injury.
Jeep says it will soon begin urging Liberty owners to bring their SUV into a dealership for service. There, the automaker will replace rear lower control arms on affected Liberty SUVs free of charge. The automaker plans to contact owners of affected vehicles by mail. Meanwhile, concerned Liberty owners can call Chrysler, Jeep's parent company, at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236.
The first-generation Jeep Liberty replaced the automaker's popular Cherokee for the 2002 model year. The 2002 and 2003 models are virtually identical to the SUVs being recalled, but the earlier versions have likely been spared the recall because they use different suspension components that are less prone to rusting.
What it means to you: If you own a 2006 or 2007 Liberty and you live in the salt belt, be on the lookout for a recall notice in the mail.