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Dodge Intrepid Chrysler 300M Unsafe Steering Problems Failure Defects


Chrysler has clearly known about defective and 'dangerous' Steering design in Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Intrepid, 300M, LHS, New Yorker, Concorde and Eagle Vision vehicles since 1993. Daimler Chrysler knows the entire 'design' is defective and will do everything in its power to avoid responsibility.

Chrysler has been under investigation by the NHTSA for more than 55,000 warranty claims for Steering problems with Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concord, 300M, LHS and Eagle Vision vehicles and 1,450 reports of steering control problems. Some including complete loss of steering control with 1993-1996 models, reported as of 1999 alone. These statistics do not include 1997 and second generation models (1998-2004) and does not include LH vehicles that may have been brought in for warranty service, where a Chrysler dealer claimed to be 'unable to duplicate' a steering related problem. Furthermore, this report also does not include consumers who may have experienced failures under 36,000 miles past the 3 year factory warranty period, (3 years/36,000 miles whichever comes first). We believe that Chrysler has actively concealed the defect from consumers while deliberately misleading the NHTSA about the defect resulting in the NHTSA closing this defect investigation. Chrysler has had nea rly 10 years to properly address and correct these common problems while Chrysler's patch attempts or attempts to put a 'band-aid' over this defective steering design have failed. The fact is that premature steering rack and pinion failures continue even with newer Intrepids, 300Ms, LHS' and Concordes (2000-2004). Over the years Chrysler has even issued internal Technical Service Bulletins to dealers that 'quietly' and 'delicately' address certain common Steering related problems. January 1, 1997 Chrysler implemented a running change improving the durability and heat tolerance of its inner tie rod bushings in attempt to deal with common steering problems. October 6, 2000 Chrysler also implemented a running change of the inner tie rod connecting bolts with a stronger bolt design, allowing for higher torque specifications in another attempt to deal with common steering problems. We feel that this is not nearly enough for what experts call a 'negligently designed and dangerous ly defective steering system'. We believe this design puts dan gerously high load forces on inner tie rod ends and connecting bolts when steering is turned and that the design of the steering system is not fully compatible with the front suspension system thereby causing or contributing to cause sudden, premature and unnecessary failure of its various assemblies and components. What we suspect tends to happen is that the connecting bolts tend to take the brunt of these forces and either shear off or the threads strip. As Chrysler attempted to put a 'bandaid' over this problem by increasing the strength of the connecting bolts and increased the bolt torque specifications, we suspect that with the increased bolt strength, and connecting strength, the forces then tends to be transferred to the rack and pinion assembly itself, which often prematurely wears out as a result of this design.

This is probably why the standard throughout the industry has been an end take off Rack and Pinion steering system. Chrysler did not to follow an industry standard which is far safer and much more reliable. Chrysler has a history of not following safer industry standards as it has done in the past with unsafe Gen3 Seatbelts, unsafe liftgate latches and lack of brake shift interlock on some vehicles. The location of the steering assembly, located in a high temperature area behind the engine, right above the transmission or 'transaxle' could also contribute to or accelerate these failures. The fact that in another bandaid attempt Chrysler revised the Inner Tie Rod Bushings to be more durable and heat tolerant could suggest this. It is alleged in a lawsuit where a mother and her child suffered brain damage due to the steering failure with an Intrepid, that Chrysler rejected a safer, more compatible end take off design proposed by TRW because an Audi had a center take off design and Chrysler wanted an alleged European feel for their LH Platform. However, Audi's had a more compatible suspension design, different steering positioning and geometry where they were not prone to premature and/or sudden failures as LH vehicles. The founder of this website, including many others have had accidents, some serious and could have been killed due to steering related problems. There have even been serious injuries and possible deaths while Chrysler continues to choose profits over putting lives at risk. Chrysler's view seems to be a cost-benefit ratio where it is cheaper to let these circumstances happen where a few people could become hurt or killed and Chrysler doesn't have to pay to redesign and replace all the defective parts. Many consumers have been left to pay an average of $1200 for replacement when beyond warranty. We believe many consumers have been lied to by Chrysler and its dealers through claiming not to have any prior knowledge of this defect and denying responsibility, thereby forcing consumers to live wit h the dangerous condition, sell the vehicle at a loss or incur the expensive of repairing the defects, especially when under warranty to reduce warranty costs and prevent defect liability. We believe Chrysler has pressured dealers to reduce warranty costs, even for common problems and defects where dealership technicians were reluctant to diagnose steering related problems unless the failure was urgent and obvious at the time to push consumers past Chrysler's 3 Year/36,000 mile warranty period. In these cases, a dealer would claim it was 'unable to duplicate' steering problems that were covered whenever possible. This would seem evident due to some consumer complaints stating dealers claimed they were 'unable to duplicate' problems that independent mechanics were able to find and diagnose, such as clunking and wandering. Common symptoms of steering problems with these vehicles are typically loose steering, excessive play in the Steering, vibration, wandering, pulling, steering out o f alignment, difficulty aligning, sudden changes in steering responsiveness, steering wheel doesn't return smoothly and/or properly after executing a turn, steering easier to turn in one direction, excessive tire wear or tires frequently out of balance, clunks, rattle over bumps, rubbing noises or binding. We have had reports of Steering problems developing in nearly brand new vehicles. The average report of Steering failure with these vehicles seems to be about 20,000-70,000 miles.

For More Information Visit http://www.dodgechryslersteeringproblems.com

Submitted by:

John Stanley

John Stanley, Founding member of http://www.daimlerchryslervehicleproblems.com

A former DaimlerChrysler / Chrysler customer who has owned several Chrysler vehicles and has extensively researched DaimlerChrysler's business practices and additionally has talked with thousands of consumers with similar experiences.





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