The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a preliminary investigation into 128 complaints related to potential safety issues with Jeep and Dodge vehicles.
According to NHTSA’s report, the complaints allege the “Active Head Rest” or AHR’s on the 2014 model Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durangos inadvertently deployed without the occurrence of a crash or other rear impact events.
The agency said the head rests, which are intended to deploy in these rear impact crashes and designed to reduce the risk of neck injury, are sometimes deploying without cause.
Thirteen of the complaints alleged the head rests resulted in injuries mostly involving headaches, disorientation, nausea and vomiting.
Barbara Savoie of Enfield has a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that’s subject to NHTSA’s investigation.
“I’m scared. I’m concerned about driving this car,” said Barbara Savoie.
Savoie wasn’t driving her vehicle when the passenger’s side head rest burst open. It was replaced, but she still has reservations.
“If I’m driving down the highway doing 55, 65 miles an hour and that thing blows, I could, said Savoie, I could get into an accident and hurt someone else.”
NHTSA said it appears the head rest may pop open unexpectedly when a plastic material inside, fails due to stress or fatigue.
FCA US LLC which is the parent company for Jeep and Dodge told NBC Connecticut Investigates: “We are providing NHTSA with our full cooperation.”
NHTSA said their investigation will also examine other Fiat Chrysler Automobile models with active head rests to evaluate the scope, frequency and consequences of the alleged defects.