Chrysler recalls 840,000 over air bags, head restraints

Chrysler took the preemptive step this week of recalling nearly half a million vehicles because of issues with the active head-restraint function found in several makes and models.

The problem is related to a "potentially faulty microcontroller (that) entered the supply chain after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a worldwide microcontroller shortage," Chrysler Group said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Because of such defective microcontrollers in some vehicles, the active head restraints -- which are supposed to automatically move forward during some rear-impact crashes, thereby helping prevent neck injuries -- aren't working properly.

The Chrysler Group said it doesn't know of any injuries or accidents tied to the issue.

Makes and models affected by the recall are:

-- 2011 to 2013 Chrysler Sebrings, Chrysler 200s and Dodge Avenger midsize cars.

-- 2011 to 2012 Dodge Nitro SUVs.

-- 2011 to 2013 Jeep Liberty SUVs.

The automaker is also recalling 282,000 minivans from the 2013 model year because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash.

Side air bags are supposed to deploy on the side of the vehicle that's involved in a crash. Chrysler says a software problem is causing its air bags to deploy on the opposing side of the vehicle.

 Affected are 2013 models of:

 -- Dodge Grand Caravan

 -- Chrysler Town and Country

 -- Ram Cargo Van

Chrysler says it began investigating the issue after a customer complaint. The company says there has been one minor injury related to the defect.

 Chrysler will notify affected customers. Dealers will reprogram the software for free.



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