The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that it will be looking into alleged stalling problems with the Jeep Patriot from the model years 2011 and 2012. At the same time, it was announced that some Jeeps may soon be made in China.
Jeep Patriot under a microscope
The federal safety watchdog said Monday, Oct. 12, that about 112,000 2011 and 2012 Jeep Patriot are being put under a microscope in response to reports of unexpected stalling with no warning. It says it has so far received 12 consumer complaints to that effect, prompting the investigation.
One of those complaints reported a crash and two injuries because of the problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration summarized the problem:
“Approximately 80 percent of the incidents occurred at speeds of 65 miles per hour or more. All complaints reported that the vehicle could not be immediately restarted and two-thirds reported that the vehicle could not be restarted at all or that it was towed to the dealership. One complaint alleged that the incident resulted in a crash and injury.”
Chrysler Group says it will cooperate fully with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the preliminary investigation.
No recall is being called at this time. However, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration probes often lead to recalls.
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Made in China
Meanwhile, Jeep was also in the news for a reason they may make some scratch their heads at Jeep’s use of the “Patriot” moniker. The news comes the same day it was announced that some Jeep lines — once a name synonymous with the U.S. military — may soon be made in China.
But the Jeep is no longer an American brand. Last year, the Italian automaker Fiat bought the controlling stake in the Chrysler Group, which itself became the owner of Jeep in 1987.
At this point, all Jeeps are made in the U.S.A. at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. At one time, however, before Fiat had the controlling stake, some Jeeps, earmarked for the Chinese market, were made in the Asian nation.
Bloomberg Businessweek announced Monday, October 22, that Fiat is in talks with its partner, the Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group, about reopening Asian production of the Jeep line. Part of those discussions is to determine if all Jeep models will me made in China, or just the ones that sell the best. The brand is very popular in Asia and Europe.
Mike Manley, the CEO of Jeep, did remark, however, that production in China will not replace U.S. production, but merely supplement it to meet demand. He said, in fact, that U.S. production may well increase.
No matter what the final decisions are on the matter, U.S. lovers of the Jeep brand will always be able to get them at homegrown dealerships like Springfield Dodge Chrysler Jeep.