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 Local

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center
Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic . Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM. No incidents to report North Findlay is shut down in the 400 block in Dayton after a crash around 12:50 a.m. A car crashed into a pole after the driver...
Ricky Skaggs to play Miamisburg bicentennial this spring
Ricky Skaggs to play Miamisburg bicentennial this spring

Multiple Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs will perform as part of Miamisburg's bicentennial celebration in June. Kettering Health Network-Sycamore on Tuesday night announced Skaggs' concert will be June 20, organizers said.  The performance will be the centerpiece of a weeklong celebration of Miamisburg's 200th birthday, according to the bicentennial...
Ruling: Nursing home resident can’t be banished to homeless shelter

One of the duties of a long-term care Ombudsman is to help residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities when they are evicted (or discharged) from their home. The Ohio law specifically states the Ombudsman is available to assist residents who are being discharged to help fight the discharge and/or make certain residents are transferred...
Interior designers won’t be decorating with these trends in 2018
Interior designers won’t be decorating with these trends in 2018

A new year is not only a chance to reflect on our accomplishments, but also an opportunity to look forward and set new goals for our health, career, relationships and home, too. While we don’t subscribe to the “new year, new you” tropes, we do believe in the power of intention setting. By clearly articulating your thoughts and desires...
Naval architect designs his own otherworldly lunar lander
Naval architect designs his own otherworldly lunar lander

BEVERLY, Wash. — Houston, we have a project. Technically, it is not a starship, but it certainly has proved quite the enterprise. Our DIY commander, Kurt Hughes, has systematically designed and built his very own livable, lovable lunar lander, securely perched on an acre of peaceful Central Washington terrain. It is out-of-this-world spectacular...
More Stories