DETROIT (AP) — An auto safety advocacy group has asked the U.S. government to investigate power system failures in Chrysler vehicles that could cause them to stall while being driven.
The Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit group founded by Ralph Nader, filed a petition Friday asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the probe.
The center contends that an electrical power control module used by Chrysler in millions of vehicles since 2007 can go haywire, causing them to stall in traffic and cut off devices powered by electricity. The allegation covers Ram pickup trucks, Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler, and other models.
The safety group says it has received over 70 complaints about the modules and that the government has received hundreds.
Chrysler said in a statement that it launched its own investigation into the problem before the petition was filed, and it is checking customer complaints and analyzing components. The company said its vehicles meet all applicable safety standards.
NHTSA said it is reviewing the auto safety center's petition.
The petition said that Chrysler's "Totally Integrated Power Module," which includes a computer, relays and fuses, distributes electrical power through the entire vehicle. In addition to stalling, the faulty modules have may have caused air bags not to inflate and fuel pumps to keep running, causing unintended acceleration and fires, the petition said.
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