Chrysler Recalls Jeep Liberty

DETROIT AP reported that the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG said Thursday it is recalling 120,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles to repair a problem that could delay the deployment of its driver's side air bag.

There have been no deaths or injuries related to the problem, the automaker said.

The problem is caused by a bracket scraping a sensor wire during a severe frontal crash.

The condition causes the air bag to inflate about 20 milliseconds slower, which could cause an injury to the driver, spokesman Michael Rosenau said.

``The likelihood of this type of contact is extremely rare,'' the automaker said in a statement.

The problem was discovered during a recent crash test, the automaker said. Rosenau said a rubber casing will be installed around the wires.

The vehicles affected will be those built from April - the start of the 2002 model year production - through Nov. 27.

Owners will be notified by mail as soon as the automaker is able to secure enough rubber casings to repair all the vehicles, Rosenau said.

About two-thirds of the vehicles being recalled also will be checked to see whether a locking clip that attaches a lower panel on the driver's side could become loose or detach.

The locking clips will be changed to ``a more robust fastening system,'' the company said. It affects the SUVs built between April and Sept. 13.

The automaker said it has received 13 complaints but no reports of injuries.

The Jeep Liberty has been one of Chrysler's most popular vehicles, with 75,722 sold through November.

Sales for the small SUV, which went on the market last spring, have been so brisk that it has not been included in the automaker's zero-percent finance offers.

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