The investigation, you can bet, is being mirrored by government safety regulators, quietly looking at the same and more complaints about electronic problems, including engine stalling complaints. Federal safety investigators at NHTSA start their safety investigations low and slow, often going unnoticed by the media. But you can bet Chrysler is watching carefully.
The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer watchdog group, filed a petition requesting federal safety investigators take a close look at the numerous consumer-owner complaints that they say are linked to the Chrysler "total integraed power module" that controls a vehicle's computer "brain." Chrysler has said that it had an investigation already underway but has not said when it actually started. That date could be a clue on when the quantity of complaints rose to a level that caught Chrysler's attention.
Apparently there are hundreds of complaints and some say the vehicle can quit running, leaving the operator facing a dangerous traffic situation that can cause an accident or injury to the driver or other drivers.
Apparently power windows, theft alarms, even the ignition system could be affected by a faulty TIPM module, raising a risk of stalling that can kill the engine and shut off power assist to steering and braking systems. USA Today reports that in some models it can disable the airbag systems too.
No doubt about it, this can be a deadly defect. If your Chrysler vehicle has any electronic problem at all, don't take a chance. Get it in to your dealer immediately. If they stall you, ask them point blank if your problem can lead to stalling. If you get a run around, then demand they give you a loaner.
You don't want to be driving a stalling Chrysler on the highway.
Remember, in Ohio a dealer only gets one chance to fix a deadly defect. The second time it happens, you've got a lemon. And when you get a lemon, you are entitled to your money back or a replacement. Who knows - maybe they'll fix it in time for the replacement they build you.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemon cars and trucks for more than 25 years