We've run a couple of article regarding a possible problem with the transmission of certain Jeep Grand Cherokees. Last time we checked in with the story, DaimlerChrysler said it was cooperating fully and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was doing some investigating. Yahoo! News posted this article recently that states that the number of complaints has jumped since the investigation began:
Federal regulators have stepped up their investigation of 1.8 million Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 1998 after receiving additional complaints of the sport utility vehicle suddenly shifting from park to reverse.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spokesman Tim Hurd said on Friday the agency now had 865 complaints about the problem, including five deaths linked to the incidents, up from 48 complaints when it opened its inquiry on June 28.
Government documents show a NHTSA investigator was able to duplicate the problem on the DaimlerChrysler Ag-made Grand Cherokee, although an inspection of the test vehicle showed the automatic transmission linkage was properly adjusted and in good condition.
No park-to-reverse failures occurred during tests on a steep incline but three failures occurred with the vehicle on flat ground, according to a summary of the investigation.
DaimlerChrysler said it is working with NHTSA to investigate the complaints but has not found a cause and feels the government has gone to some unusual lengths to reproduce the problem.
``The investigator was intentionally putting the shifter in between park and reverse. Most drivers are not trying to do that,'' said spokeswoman Angela Spencer Ford.
``We cannot find any vehicle-related issue that would explain the problem,'' she said.
Possible Jeep Assembly Plant Strike
It seems that a sure fire way to upset union workers is to lay a bunch off and then tell the others that they have to work overtime. At least that seems to be what is happening at the new Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. Here's the story from Yahoo! News:
Workers at a Jeep plant that builds the new Liberty and venerable Wrangler were voting Tuesday whether to authorize a strike.
Even if the workers authorize a strike, there would be no immediate walkout. The plant employs about 3,900 workers.
The vote was being taken over health and safety concerns at the plant that opened in April, said officials from United Auto Workers Local 12. Workers are upset that they are working long hours at a time when hundreds are laid off.
Employees have been working 10 hour days and several Saturdays each month. The union has been pushing DaimlerChrysler AG to add a third shift at the plant.
``We've got 800 people laid off,'' said Nick Vuich, UAW chairman at the plant.
DaimlerChrysler has said that it doesn't want to add a third shift yet because of uncertainty in the job market and that it doesn't want to be forced to cancel the extra shift if demand wanes.
So far, Liberty sales have been strong and the new $750 million plant has made more than 100,000 of the sport-utility vehicles.