Chrysler Defective Active Headrest Restraint Class Action

The subject of this class action is a device known as an active head restraint (AHR), manufactured by Grammer AG and installed in certain model Chrysler vehicles by FCA US, LLC. The device is meant to prevent whiplash in rear-end collisions, but the complaint alleges that it may activate on its own, risking head and neck injuries and possibly causing an accident.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons in the US (excluding California) who own or lease, or who formerly owned or leased a vehicle made by Chrysler, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, which is equipped with headrests containing the defective AHR. Subclasses have been proposed for Florida, Arizona, and New York. Vehicles which are equipped with the headrest include the following:

  • 2010-2018 Dodge Journey
  • 2010-2011 Dodge Nitro
  • 2010-2012 Jeep Liberty
  • 2010-2017 Jeep Patriot or Compass
  • 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber
  • 2010-2018 Dodge Caravan
  • 2011-2018 Dodge Ram C/V
  • 2011-2018 Dodge Durango
  • 2011-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2010-2014 Sebring/Avenger
  • 2011-2018 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 2011-2018 Chrysler 200
  • 2011-2018 Chrysler 300

The AHR is meant to spring forward at a rear-end collision, catching the seat occupant’s head to prevent whiplash. However, according to the complaint, “a cheap plastic component inside the device” can fail and cause the AHR to activate, even when no rear-end collision has taken place. The piece is a plastic bracket that holds the spring-loaded release in place until it’s asked to deploy.

The complaint says, “As a cost-saving measure, [FCA and Grammer] designed this bracket with an inferior and inexpensive form of plastic which cracks and breaks down prematurely under the constant pressure exerted by the springs in the AHR.”

The complaint alleges that this defect falls into the category of what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls a “safety-related defect[.]” The4 NHTSA opened an investigation into the AHRs in Chryslers in September 2019.

The complaint alleges that FCA and Grammer knew about this defect “no later than 2010 based on, among other things, engineering design reports, pre-production testing, pre-production design failure mode analyses, manufacturing and design validation reports, plastic aging tests, plastic material data reports, consumer complaints to NHTSA, consumer complaints to Chrysler dealerships, consumer complaints on website forums, aggregate warranty data compiled from Chrysler dealerships, and repair orders and parts data received from dealerships.

The complaint also claims, “Grammer is further aware of the defect because the same defective AHR system … has been the subject of numerous incidents involving Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”

Despite this, the complaint claims that the companies have continued to make the defective devices, install them in vehicles, and sell those vehicles to the general public without warnings and without issuing a recall. “To the contrary,” the complaint alleges, “when presented with deployed, defective headrests, Chrysler refuses to cover the cost of replacing the defective AHR after it spontaneously deploys, blaming the consumer and disclaiming any responsibility.”

The complaint alleges breaches of warranties, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Chrysler Active Headrest Restraint Deployment Complaint

February 27, 2020

The subject of this class action is a device known as an active head restraint (AHR), manufactured by Grammer AG and installed in certain model Chrysler vehicles by FCA US, LLC. The device is meant to prevent whiplash in rear-end collisions, but the complaint alleges that it may activate on its own, risking head and neck injuries and possibly causing an accident.

Chrysler Active Headrest Restraint Deployment Complaint

Case Event History

Chrysler Active Headrest Restraint Deployment Complaint

February 27, 2020

The subject of this class action is a device known as an active head restraint (AHR), manufactured by Grammer AG and installed in certain model Chrysler vehicles by FCA US, LLC. The device is meant to prevent whiplash in rear-end collisions, but the complaint alleges that it may activate on its own, risking head and neck injuries and possibly causing an accident.

Chrysler Active Headrest Restraint Deployment Complaint
Tags: Defective Automobile, Headrests