DETROIT (Reuters) — The Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler will recall more than 1.1 million Jeep sport utility vehicles to fix an engine problem that could result in a fire, federal safety regulators said Tuesday.
The latest recall comes amid several efforts by Chrysler to improve its quality and reputation among consumers. It brings the total number of vehicles recalled by Chrysler in the past four months to about 3.3 million — far more than the company will sell in the United States this year.
In a statement from its Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters, Chrysler said the recall covers 2000-2002 Jeep Wranglers, 2000-2001 Jeep Cherokees and 1999-2002 Jeep Grand Cherokees, all with 4-liter engines.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the engine's air passages were designed in such a way that debris could accumulate over one cylinder, creating the possibility of a fire.
The NHTSA said dealers would install a manifold shield to prevent debris from accumulating, and that customers should begin receiving notices about the problem and plans for free repair in May.
A Chrysler spokeswoman said the company had received no reports of injuries from the problem.
The latest recall follows a February recall for 1.6 million Jeep Grand Cherokees to fix what hundreds of owners said was a tendency for the vehicles to roll backward when their transmissions appear to be set in "park."
Chrysler officials have said the recalls were "the sins of the past," and that the newest vehicles had quality levels that matched those of some Japanese competitors.
But a large number of buyers still worry about Chrysler's quality. According to J.D. Power and Associates research, about 20 percent of consumers reject Chrysler vehicles over worries about reliability, while 25% reject Dodge and Jeep vehicles.