Chrysler's Jeep Patriot probed after stalling complaints

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2012 9:37 AM
Chrysler's Jeep Patriot probed after stalling complaints

(Reuters) - Safety officials said Friday they have begun a "preliminary evaluation" into complaints of stalling engines in 2011 and 2012 model year Jeep Patriots made by Chrysler Group LLC while the vehicles were running at high speeds.

One of 12 incidents of engine stalling led to a crash and an injury, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. In 10 of the incidents reported to NHTSA, the Patriot stalled while it was being driven at speeds of 65 miles per hour or faster, NHTSA reported.

The preliminary evaluation involves about 112,000 Jeep Patriots in the United States. Such an evaluation could eventually lead to a recall, which would involve vehicles sold in other countries as well.

"Chrysler Group is cooperating fully with NHTSA in this preliminary investigation," the company said in a statement on Friday. "The 2011-2012 Jeep Patriot meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and has an excellent safety record."

The Jeep Patriot is a small crossover vehicle.

Through September, Jeep Patriot U.S. sales were up 15 percent at 49,061, according to Autodata Corp.

While there is no recall, if owners of 2011 and 2012 Jeep Patriot are concerned about the complaints, they should consult their local Jeep dealers, a Chrysler spokesman said.

Michigan-based Chrysler is majority owned by Fiat SpA.

(Reporting By Bernie Woodall; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)