DaimlerChrysler AG is recalling 438,000 Toledo-made Jeep Libertys to fix a problematic front suspension, the automaker announced yesterday.
All 2002 Libertys and 2003 models built through March are part of the worldwide recall involving the lower ball-joint seal, which could become damaged and result in losing control of the sport utility vehicle, spokesman Angela Ford said.
Chrysler has received 47 complaints, but there have been no injuries, she said.
Design and production problems have contributed to the problem. Factors responsible, Ms. Ford said, include mechanical damage to the ball joint during assembly, improper positioning of the seal during assembly, and heat from brake rotors during excessive use. Assembly issues likely occurred at a supplier and have been corrected, she said.
All of the recalled Libertys will get a heat shield. About 318,000 will get new ball joints, and 120,000 will at least be inspected, she said.
Although recalls admittedly are an inconvenience, the Liberty’s latest problem shouldn’t hurt sales or customer satisfaction, said Ralph Mahalak, Jr., sales manager at Monroe Dodge Chrysler Jeep.