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Chrysler recalls vehicles due to head restraint issue

Owners of Chrysler vehicles will be returning to dealerships very soon once again. The automaker is recalling nearly 500,000 vehicles to correct an issue caused by microcontrollers set in headrests. The small transponders are designed to prevent neck injuries that could occur in rear-end collisions.

Essentially, the microcontrollers help in moving seats forward when a car is hit from behind, thus reducing the possibility of whiplash injuries (the action of the head and neck violently snapping forward then back). The recall will reportedly affect recent models of Chrysler 200s and Sebrings as well as Dodge Nitros and Jeep Libertys.

Chrysler bases the recall on a shortage of proper microcontrollers stemming from the 2011 earthquake and tsuami that crippled a number of industries in Japan. Chrysler notes that no injuries have occurred as a result of the defects, and it hopes to correct them as soon as possible. 

The current recall is the second this year for the embattled automaker. A month ago, it reluctantly agreed to recall more than 2 million Jeep Cherokees and Libertys that were criticized for potentially dangerous fuel tanks. Federal regulators believed that a rear-end collision could rupture the tanks and cause a fire.

Nevertheless, recalls are common strategies that automakers employ to correct dangerous defects. After all, they have a duty to correct problems that could injure consumers. If they neglect this responsibility, they could be held liable for injuries (and deaths) that occur as a result of the defect. 

Chrysler reports that so far, no injuries have occurred as a result of the defective microcontrollers.

Source: CNN.com, Chrysler recalls nearly half-million vehicles over head restraint issue, July 5, 2013

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