1996 Chrysler Cirrus
NHTSA Defect Investigations
The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1996 Chrysler Cirrus, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:
INVESTIGATION: AUTO TRANS IGNITION-PARK INTERLOCK
NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA03011
Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission
Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Lever And Linkage:Floor Shift
Summary: The manufacturer reports above are based on DaimlerChrysler's (DC) analysis of model year (MY) 1998 (population = 356,384) and 1999 (population = 486,948) JA, JX and LH family subject vehicle data (earlier MYs excluded).the population number includes all MYs.the precise number of duplicates between ODI and DC reports cannot be determined due to missing or incomplete information.the fatality incident involved an elderly person who attempted to stop a roll away vehicle and received fatal injuries.ODI also gathered information on MY 1997-99 Prowler vehicles in this investigation. The Prowler vehicles were manufactured with a different design shifter mechanism (the shift lever is shorter).there are no complaints of Prowler interlock failure in ODI's database, and DC has received no reports either.the Prowler is excluded from the recall scope.the investigation involved a condition where the interlock system could fail (or be made inoperative by the operator) during vehicle use, possibly inadvertently.the interlock system is required under FMVSS 114.with the transmission in the park position and the ignition key off, the combined action of pressing the shift button and pulling the shift lever rearward may result in the operator overcoming the interlock system and cause the mechanical linkage of the system to disconnect.when this occurs, there is no overt indication to an operator that the system is defeated, and an increased risk of vehicle roll-away exists.under recall 04V021, DC will replace damaged shift mechanisms, and will install on all vehicles a device which inhibits the operator's ability to overcome the interlock and defeat the system.beginning with MY 2000, DC incorporated a brake and transmission shifter interlock (BTSI) system into the subject vehicles.introduction of BTSI involved design changes to the shift mechanism, one of which resulted in reduced mechanical advantage (RMA) of the shift button.the RMA shifter requires increased forces to overcome the interlock system, making the shifter less susceptible to damage.
INVESTIGATION: LOWER CONTROL ARM BALL JOINT FAILURE
NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA97016
Summary: By letter dated November 6, 1997, the manufacturer advised this Agency of its decision to initiate a safety recall campaign of the subject vehicles to correct the defect identified in this ea.the recall will also cover 1996 and 1997 Chrysler Cirrus/Dodge stratus vehicles, as well as 1995 through 1997 Chrysler sebring convertible and Plymouth breeze vehicles equipped with identical lower control arm ball joints.an estimated total of 599,00vehicles are affected by this recall.the manufacturer's investigation disclosed that process variability, together with the ball joint housing cover crimping operation, can result in an ineffective seal that permits a loss of lubrication and accelerted wear of the ball joint assembly.this condition can lead to failure and separtion of the lower control arm ball joint.the recall is identified as NHTSA 97V-201 and a copy of Chrysler's letter to NHTSA is attached hereto.