WASHINGTON — Fiat-Chrysler is recalling an estimated 284,089 2003 Jeep Liberty and 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs in the U.S. for inadvertent airbag deployment, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Due to electrical noise beyond the tolerance of the airbag electronic control module, a component in the ECM may fail, causing the front airbags, side airbags and/or seatbelt pretensioners to deploy inadvertently while the vehicle is being operated," NHTSA said in its recall summary. "Inadvertent deployment of the airbags may increase the risk of injury and the possibility of a vehicle crash."
Fiat-Chrysler said it is aware of seven injuries caused by inadvertent airbag deployments, but no accidents.
It noted that the affected vehicles are not equipped with Takata airbags. The Japanese supplier is at the center of a massive recall for airbags that deploy unexpectedly, spewing metal fragments at vehicle occupants.
Jeep dealers will replace the airbag electronic control module and the front- and/or side-impact sensors, as necessary.
NHTSA said the replacement parts for the remedy are not expected to be available until the early part of 2016.
Owners will be mailed an interim notification by the end of December and will be mailed a follow-up notification when the new airbag control modules are available.
Owners can contact Fiat-Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles will have to wait until parts become available before taking action. It's a good idea to stay in touch with your dealer to get the most up-to-date information.