Road salt, garden variety salt used to deice roads in winter, causes corrosion in car suspension components, which leads to recalls. The latest is an expansion of a Jeep Liberty recall, which now includes more than 350,000 Liberty SUVs from the 2004 to 2007 model years.
Rust in pieces
Salt, as it turns out, is an amazing compound. Aside from working wonders in cooking, it also is a fantastic preservative for meats. It also happens to clear ice very efficiently; as some may remember from chemistry, salt goes by the chemical name of sodium chloride. Sodium, as an alkali, practically bursts into flames if it comes into contact with water. Ergo, typical salt is used by many governments, city, state and otherwise, during winter to clear roads of ice.
However, salt does not agree with suspension components. In particular, it doesn’t do many favors for certain model years of the Jeep Liberty SUV, which Chrysler has expanded a recall of. According to the Boston Globe, Chrysler originally announced a recall for the 2004 and 2005 Jeep Liberty in certain states in March, but has now expanded the recall to include the 2006 and 2007 model years.
Corrosion found in lower control arms
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The issue is with the lower control arms in the rear suspension, which can rust and possibly break. This poses a significant danger while driving, as it poses the threat of losing control of the vehicle.
The expansion of the recall, according to Reuters, adds an additional 137,176 vehicles to the total number of vehicles in the recall campaign. In the U.S., according to Inside Line, 346,900 Liberty SUVs are affected by the recall, but the recall also extends to 45,000 Liberty SUVs in Canada and a further 17,600 in Europe, according to Reuters. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has, to date, received eight complaints of control arm failure in Liberty SUVs.
The vehicles in question were made between July 3, 2003 and June 29, 2007. However, the recall is limited to states within the “Salt Belt,” or states which use salt to clear roads. All NHTSA complaints were from Salt Belt states. Those states include Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, according to the Boston Globe. The recall also extends to Washington, D.C.
Business as usual
Chrysler will be contacting owners shortly and will replace any damaged components free of charge. Concerned parties can call Chrysler directly at 1-800-853-1403.
Salt belt recalls are fairly regular and no car brand is safe from salt corrosion. For instance, in February of 2010, according to AOL Autos, Chrysler recalled around 300,000 2005 to 2006 Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan minivans in salt belt states, as road salts were causing front crash sensors to malfunction.
Subaru, according to Inside Line, recalled 295,123 vehicles, including the 2002 to 2007 Impreza, 2003 to 2008 Forester and 2005 to 2006 Saab 9-2X, a Saab-badged Impreza, models for lower control arm corrosion in salt belt states.
AOL Autos: http://autos.aol.com/article/chrysler-minivan-recall/
Inside Line: http://www.insideline.com/subaru/impreza/saab-9-2x-subaru-impreza-and-forester-recalled-for-suspension-problem.html