jeep grand cherokee headrest recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation into specific models of Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep vehicles due to reports of sudden headrest failure. NHTSA has received nearly 500 complaints of headrests bursting open, with at least 71 of them involving injury. Formal complaints about the headrest deployment issue date as far back as 2010.

Multiple FCA drivers claim that their headrests burst open unexpectedly, causing pain, distraction, and injury. The problem occurs in the “active head restraint” (AHR) safety feature of the headrest, which is designed to reduce the risk of whiplash in the event of a collision.

The headrests in some vehicles are supposed to pop open to provide additional support for the head and reduce strong forces on the neck. Drivers are reporting however, that the feature deploys without a collision, putting them at risk of injury and increasing the chance of a crash.

Multiple class action lawsuits accuse Fiat Chrysler of knowing about the issue but failing to provide adequate solutions to affected customers–choosing to continue manufacturing defective vehicles instead. Multiple Chrysler drivers say that the headrest issue has not only posed a serious safety risk but has also caused significant financial losses, including the cost of repairs and decreased value of affected vehicles.

Despite the ongoing investigation, many consumers have already taken legal action against FCA. Some have joined class action lawsuits, while others have filed individual claims to seek compensation for their damages and losses. These lawsuits claim that FCA was aware of the headrest defect but failed to take appropriate action to rectify the problem and protect consumers.

If you own or have owned a Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep vehicle with headrest issues, it is extremely valuable to stay informed about the ongoing investigation and consider seeking the advice of a consumer protection or lemon law attorney to understand your rights and legal options. Taking action can help ensure that you receive compensation for any damage or losses you have suffered as a result of the headrest defect.

Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep Headrest Recall Overview

Chrysler Group LLC issued a safety recall in 2013 for nearly 500,000 vehicles equipped with the AHR function worldwide. The system was designed to reduce neck injuries during rear-impact collisions by automatically moving forward. The recall was prompted by the discovery that the issue was caused by a malfunctioning microcontroller.

In March 2020, five drivers initiated a class action lawsuit against FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) regarding the exploding headrest issue. The legal action, which is the latest of several class action lawsuits against the automaker, alleges that the active head restraint (AHR) headrests in their vehicles have a defect. All the affected AHRs were manufactured by Grammer AG, an auto parts company based in Amberg, Germany.

The 65-page complaint details the cause of the defect as the failure of a cheap plastic component within the AHRs that cannot withstand the pressure applied by the springs. The plaintiffs claim that this cost-saving measure has put the AHRs at risk of failure and vehicle occupants at risk of injury. In some cases, the deployment of the head restraint can cause internal damage, making it impossible to reset the headrest.

Jeep Head Restraint Recall

head rest recall jeep

According to the class action lawsuit filed in 2020, the following vehicles may have the Jeep head restraint defect:

  • Compass
  • Grand Cherokee
  • Patriot

Recently, in April 2022, the manufacturer recalled certain 2022 Compass vehicles due to a defect in the Jeep active head restraint in the front seats. The manufacturer says that the front seat head restraints were not welded properly in affected vehicles, violating requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 202 titled “Head Restraints.”

Dodge Headrest Recall

The 2020 class action suit states that the following Dodge models may be prone to the headrest issue:

  • Caravan
  • Durango
  • Journey
  • Ram C/V

FCA has not released a recent Dodge headrest recall.

Chrysler Headrest Recall

These Chrysler vehicles may have been manufactured with the headrest defect:

  • Town & Country
  • 200
  • 300

The auto manufacturer has not issued a recall for recent Chrysler models that may have the headrest recall.

What causes the active head restraint deployment?

One of the plaintiffs in the 2020 headrest lawsuit states that they purchased a new Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2015. Two years later, the headrest activated unexpectedly and hit the driver on the back of the head. The driver went home with a headache. They were later diagnosed with a concussion.

The plaintiff found that the headrest mechanism deployed because the pin that holds the front of the headrest in place was torn out of its bracket. The plastic bracket failed, causing the headrest to activate unexpectedly.  The AHR features a plastic bracket that functions as the trigger mechanism and holds the spring-loaded release in place. Many FCA drivers state that Chrysler used an inferior and cost-effective type of plastic which can crack and deteriorate prematurely.

Active Head Restraint Warranty Extension

On June 10, 2020, FCA announced a warranty extension through NHTSA on the active head restraint of the following FCA models:

  • Chrysler 200
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Dodge Caliber
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Journey
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Liberty

In this formal announcement, FCA offered both 5-year and 10-year warranty extensions for affected vehicles. Certain Dodge Durango drivers were given 10-year warranty extensions that included unlimited mileage on the active head restraint.

Many of the vehicles on this list were vehicles named in the 2020 headrest lawsuit against FCA. The manufacturer instructed owners and lessees to bring their vehicles in for inspection if they were included in the warranty extension. FCA announced additional warranty extensions on several newer model year FCA vehicles in November 2020.

What makes and models are affected?

The following FCA models may be affected by the headrest safety defect:

  • Chrysler Sebring
  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Chrysler 200
  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Dodge Caliber
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Journey
  • Dodge Nitro
  • Dodge Ram C/V
  • Jeep Compass
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Jeep Patriot

FCA vehicles manufactured in 2022 such as the Jeep Compass may also be affected by manufacturing defects in their head rests. Older vehicles have been included in several class action lawsuits against the manufacturer.

This headrest problem has been discovered in Chrysler vehicles as old as 2010. The potential headrest defect in newer FCA vehicles such as the 2022 Jeep Compass has raised concerns among consumers and sparked calls for a new investigation into the auto manufacturer.

active head restraints dodge

Can I join a lawsuit?

Joining a class action lawsuit can provide some benefits, but it may not always be the best option for those affected by the headrest issue. In some cases, individual lawsuits may be more beneficial as they allow claimants to seek full compensation for the issues they personally experienced with their vehicles.

Individual lawsuits can also provide a more personal touch to your case. In a class action lawsuit, you may be part of a large group of plaintiffs and your individual experience may not receive the same attention as it would in an individual lawsuit. This is particularly important if you have suffered serious injuries or significant damages because of a headrest issue in your vehicle.

An individual lawsuit may also allow for quicker resolution of your case while class action lawsuits can take years to resolve–and the final settlement may not be distributed to plaintiffs for several more months or even years. On the other hand, an individual lawsuit may be resolved in a much shorter time frame, allowing you to receive compensation for your damages sooner.

To determine the best course of action in your case, you should speak with a lemon law attorney who can assist you in deciding how to proceed. Lemon law attorneys specialize in cases involving vehicles with persistent defects, such as the headrest issue, and can provide you with valuable advice and guidance in your case.

They can assess the specific circumstances of your case, including the cost of repairs, the severity of any injuries, and the availability of any relevant warranties. Based on this information, they can help you determine the best course of action, whether it be joining a class action lawsuit, filing an individual lawsuit, or pursuing alternative forms of legal remedy.

What are my options?

Your best option if you have experienced issues with the head restraint in your Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep vehicle is to see if you are eligible to file an individual claim against FCA.

Individual lemon law claims can provide more benefits compared to accepting a settlement from a class action suit. This is because individual claims take into consideration the specific circumstances and damages of your case, whereas class action settlements are a one-size-fits-all solution that may not fully address your individual concerns.

To determine if you are eligible to file a lemon law claim, you can start by gathering evidence, such as repair records, maintenance logs, and any other documentation related to the issue with the headrest. This information will help support your claim and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

In addition to gathering evidence, it may also be helpful to speak with a qualified lemon law attorney. An experienced attorney can protect your rights as a consumer and guide you through the process of filing an individual claim.

They can also represent you in negotiations with the manufacturer, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome. If your claim is successful, the manufacturer will be required to replace your vehicle, provide a refund, or offer cash compensation. By taking advantage of the resources available to you, you can increase your chances of getting the resolution you deserve.

If you live in California and are experiencing active head restraint issues in your Jeep, Dodge or Chrysler vehicle, the Lemon Law Experts can help.

Our firm has helped thousands of consumers across the state recover millions for their lemon law claims, as one of California’s leading consumer protection firms. We have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys who are committed to getting the best results possible for their clients.

Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators who will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the compensation and justice that you are due.

Through the Lemon Law Experts, you can feel confident that you are receiving the best lemon law legal representation available in California. If you have any questions about your case, please let us know by contacting us at 877-885-5366 or by filling out an online case evaluation on our site today.