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Jeep Recalls 2002-2006 Liberty SUV

Aug 1, 2006 | AP

Chrysler Group is recalling more than 800,000 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles because of the potential loss of steering control, the automaker said Tuesday.

DaimlerChrysler AG spokesman Max Gates said the front suspension lower ball joint could experience excessive wear and looseness, leading the ball joint to separate. The recall affects 832,000 Liberty SUVs from the 2002-2006 model years.

Gates said the automaker has received 111 complaints about the problem and reports of three injuries. He said in many of the complaints, the ball joint failed, dropping the vehicle's front end onto one or both of the front tires.

The front suspension has troubled the Liberty before. The automaker recalled more than 300,000 2002-2003 Liberty vehicles in November 2003 because of problems with the ball joint, but some of the parts were damaged during the shipping process or installation.

Earlier this year, the government opened an investigation of the 2004 Liberty after receiving complaints about the ball joint separating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the alleged separations happened on Libertys with 25,000 miles to more than 67,000 miles.

The vehicle has since been redesigned and Gates said the automaker believes the ball joint part will not experience the same wear patterns.

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