Chrysler Group is recalling 644,354 2011 through 2014 model-year Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs to address an issue that could hinder braking, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.
The recall covers vehicles manufactured from Jan. 5, 2010, through Sept. 8, 2013. In these SUVs, the brake booster’s center shell might corrode and allow water to get inside. If this water freezes, braking power might diminish, NHTSA said.
Dealers will add a water diverter shield to the booster after verifying it can hold enough vacuum pressure. But if the dealer’s booster inspection reveals an unacceptable loss of vacuum pressure, the booster will be replaced. Repairs will be made free of charge.
Chrysler Group said it launched an investigation into the problem after receiving customer feedback about excessive brake-pedal firmness. The investigation discovered that certain vehicles have brake boosters with small crimp joints that are susceptible to corrosion when exposed to water.
The automaker said it is aware of one accident related to the problem but no injuries.
The recall is expected to begin in May. Vehicle owners can reach Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's recall campaign number is P14.
In addition to the U.S. action, Chrysler Group is also recalling the SUVs in Canada (42,380 vehicles), Mexico (21,376 vehicles) and outside the NAFTA region (159,685).