Safety group demands answers about auto defect


Imagine that you’re driving down the road when suddenly you lose control of your vehicle. The horn is blaring, the windshield wipers are running and the windows are rolling up and down on their own. Dozens of Chrysler drivers say this has happened to them.

The Center for Auto Safety says it has heard nearly 100 similar complaints of electrical systems acting up in mostly Dodge Durangos and Jeep Cherokees. The group recently filed a petition asking federal highway safety regulators to investigate the problem.

Jeff Marlow says he was driving a new 2009 Dodge Journey when the car began acting possessed.

"The windows would go down by themselves, radio, windshield wipers, and blower motor would come on without the key fob in the ignition. It would not start either,” he said in an e-mail. 

“It was towed in a back of a rollback wrecker to the dealer just to have them say they could not reproduce the issue.”

Marlow says he took the car to the dealership, but the staff was stumped.

It wasn’t until Marlow brought the car in for the 14th time that the dealer bought the car back, still unsure what was causing the problems. 

The car was deemed a lemon.

Marlow stuck with Dodge and bought a new Durango, but he says the strange problems he had been facing for two years continued with the new SUV.

Unlike the dealership, the Center for Auto Safety says it knows what the problem is.

The Totally Integrated Power Module, or TIPM, is flawed in millions of Chrysler vehicles, according to the group.

The TIPM flaw causes vehicles to stall, accelerate sporadically and cause issues with other functions like the horn, wipers and blinkers.

“It also can disable the air bag, it can cause the vehicle to stall out and not restart,” said Center for Auto Safety executive director Clarence Ditlow.  “Owners are really riding at risk.”
The center says the problems started with cars in the 2007 model year.

A spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the agency has received the petition to investigate Chryslers and is reviewing the merits.

“Is it a safety defect? We believe the answer is yes and at the very least they should do a safety investigation,” said Ditlow.

Chrysler says it’s investigating the complaints and that its vehicles meet or exceed safety standards.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs
70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs

For 70 years, the Dayton Council on World Affairs has been working to engage and educate in our region on the intricacies and importance of global events. As the group readies for its anniversary celebration, we spoke with Monica Schultz, its board president, and board member Carolyn Rice about the history and mission of the council. To learn more...
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12:00 a.m. The government shutdown is now official, as the deadline has been reached with no deal in place. The White House released a statement on what they are calling the ‘Schumer Shutdown:’ “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight...
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub
Drake makes surprise appearance at Memphis nightclub

He may have started from the bottom, but rapper Drake is making headlines after doing one dance that started in the Bluff City. According to party promoter Curtis Givens, the Grammy winner called him wanting to have a private party at In LOVE Memphis, a popular nightclub. Givens said it was a last minute call, but he and his business partner were up...
Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship
Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship

A woman died Friday after falling from the balcony of a room on the Jacksonville-based Carnival Elation cruise ship. The woman fell from the balcony to several decks below, Carnival said in a statement. Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville on Thursday for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Carnival sent the following statement to Action News Jax:"...
Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans
Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans

Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animals’ nervous systems. And scientists are concerned that the infection could make its way to humans.  Chronic wasting disease — or “zombie deer disease” — was first observed in 1967 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has since...
More Stories