May 17, 2018
Chrysler is beginning to take heat over a potentially deadly hood latch defect which is impacting Jeep Wranglers. Over the last two weeks there have been two confirmed reports of Jeep Wrangler hoods smashing into the windshield frames of the vehicles while being driven at highway speeds. The first incident occurred in California on April 29th, 2018. The driver was cruising at 60 miles per hour when a gust of wind caused the hood latches to fail and slam into the windshield frame. The second incident occurred in Canada on May 3rd, 2018. The occupant passed a semi-truck on a two lane highway and the gust of wind generated by the truck resulted in the hood latch failure.
In both cases, the rubber hood latches on the Jeep Wrangler vehicles failed resulting in a collision between the hood and the windshield. Both of the vehicles were 2017 Jeep Wrangler Hard Rocks. Both of the vehicles had significant body damage and shattered windshields. Both of the vehicles were under warranty. Aside from significant body damage to the vehicles, there were no injuries or fatalities. However, consumer advocates are growing increasingly worried that a potential design defect could soon result in a fatality.
Chrysler was informed of the first hood latch failure incident and sent an investigative specialist from Engineering Analysis Associates (EAA) group to inspect the vehicle. While the inspection information was not made public due to EAA's role as a contractor of Chrysler, the Special Investigations unit at Chrysler has denied manufacturing responsibility of the defect and has refused to provide rental reimbursement or repairs. The full story of the incident and images have been thoroughly documented on Wrangler Forum, a Jeep Wrangler Enthusiast website.
Consumer advocates are urging Jeep Wrangler owners to inspect their hood latches and replace them if the in an attempt to prevent a fatality. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has cataloged twelve other hood latch complaints in its database and has been urged by consumer advocates to begin an investigation into the potentially deadly design defect impacting Jeep Wranglers. Hundreds of consumers have voiced their concerns of hood flutter on various message board outlets. Consumer advocates are growing increasingly worried that this potential defect could soon prove fatal if not addressed by Chrysler FCA.
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