NHTSA Rejects Petition to Investigate Fiat Chrysler Power Failures

NHTSA Rejects Petition to Investigate Fiat Chrysler Power Failures
Image: FCA Group
July 31, 2015

July has been rough for Fiat Chrysler, but the Italian-American received a scrap of good news to close the month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced this week that they were rejecting a 2014 petition from the Center of Auto Safety (CAS) calling for an investigation into an electrical power control module used by the car maker in multiple vehicles produced since 2007. NHTSA found "no valid evidence" to support the petition's claims.

CAS was contending that the automaker's Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) featured defects that caused engine stalls, airbag non-deployment, failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration, fire and other issues.

In September 2014, NHTSA opened an investigation into the 296 complaints filed by CAS, as well as 76 complaints in its own database. The inquiry has led to multiple recalls for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango, but ultimately, NHTSA found the CAS allegations to be unsupported.

"No valid evidence was presented in support of claims related to airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration or fire resulting from TIPM faults and these claims were found to be wholly without merit based on review of the field data and design of the relevant systems and components," a NHTSA notice states.

Clarence Ditlow, CAS executive director, tells the Associated Press, that he considers the two recalls issued by Fiat Chrysler to be a victory.

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