BEVERLY HILLS, April 18, (THEWILL) – The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has given a seven-day ultimatum to Westar Associates Limited, major dealer of Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler motor vehicles in Nigeria, to submit information on its vehicles in relation to defects associated with clutch pedal positions and the driver’s frontal bag of the vehicles following the recall of Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler 300 motor vehicles by the European Union (EU) authorities.
CPC, in a letter to Westar, signed by R.O. Ogundipe, Director, Surveillance and Enforcement, said its directive was pursuant to the powers of the Council to compel manufacturers to give public notice of any hazard inherent in their products.
“The attention of the Council has been drawn to the fact that EU authorities on the 19th of February, 2016 recalled Chrysler 300 and Jeep Wrangler 2006 (TJ) model from the European market for safety reasons,” it wrote.
“According to the European Commission Rapid Alert System for No-Food Products (RAPEX), the Jeep Wrangler 2006 (TJ) model and Chrysler 300 vehicles produced between 2005-2010 were recalled due to factory defects associated with clutch pedal positions and the driver’s frontal bag respectively, which posed serious risks to consumers.
“Nigeria is a very big market and there is high possibility that many customers may currently be in possession of these affected models.”
The agency, therefore asked Westar Associates Limited to within seven days of the receipt of its letter make available to it the number of affected vehicles in Nigeria (if any), steps taken to inform and sensitise consumers and efforts being made to facilitate quick recall of such vehicles in the country.
Checks by THEWILL show that the springs within the clutch pedal position switch of the Jeep Wrangler prevents the vehicle from starting unless the clutch pedal is pushed down, thus the vehicle may not start when the clutch pedal is pushed down or the engine may crank and start without the clutch pedal being pushed down causing the vehicle to unexpectedly tilt.
Also, the deployment of the driver-side frontal air bag of the Chrysler 300 causes excessive internal pressure which may cause the inflator to rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially inflicting serious injury on the vehicle occupants.
Story by David Oputah