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U.S. opens new safety probes into Stellantis, GM, Ford vehicles

·2 min read

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto safety agency said Tuesday it was opening five investigations into more than 1.8 million Stellantis, Ford Motor and General Motors vehicles over stalling and other issues.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening a probe into 1.34 million 2014-2020 model year Jeep Cherokee vehicles because water leaks can cause the electronic parking brake to "inadvertently activate and stop the vehicle while in motion."

NHTSA said the issue can cause stalling, bringing vehicles to a stop. The company issued a 2016 bulletin instructing dealers on replacing modules and inspecting the electrical connector for rust.

NHTSA is also investigating 21,348 2019-2021 model year Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid vehicles after receiving 40 complaints alleging incidents of stall/loss of motive power potentially due to transmission malfunction.

NHTSA has opened a recall query into about 290,000 2016 model year Dodge Journey, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot vehicles because a crankshaft or camshaft sensor may work intermittently, possibly causing stalling. NHTSA is reviewing if a 2016 recall should be expanded.

Stellantis said it was cooperating.

The agency has launched a preliminary investigation into 25,538 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs after it opened a defect petition review in May into an alleged defect of the "valvetrain" on Bronco SUVs equipped with the 2.7L Eco-boost engines.

Ford did not immediately comment.

The petitions alleged the vehicles experiencing a loss of motive power at highway speeds with no-restart. NHTSA said it learned at a June 7 meeting with Ford this alleged loss of motor power is a result of "catastrophic engine failures due to the engine valves failing."

GM said it was "cooperating with NHTSA in their investigation, and GM will continue our own investigations into this issue".

NHTSA has also opened a preliminary investigation into 190,000 2020-2021 MY Cadillac XT5, XT6, and GMC Acadia vehicles because the rear-view camera may fails to properly function due to crimping of the coaxial cable connector. (Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Bernadette Baum)