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Chrysler Recalling 630,000 Jeeps to Fix Multiple Defects

Chrysler Group LLC recalled about 630,000 Jeep sport-utility vehicles to fix transmission leaks and other mechanical defects, two days after the company said it won’t recall 2.7 million other SUVs alleged by U.S. regulators to have faulty fuel systems.

Chrysler will recall about 254,000 Compass and Patriot SUVs from the 2010 to 2012 model years in the U.S. to fix a software error that can delay the firing of curtain airbags and seat-belt pretensioners, the company said today.

The automaker separately is recalling 181,000 Wrangler SUVs in the U.S. to fix a transmission cooler line that could leak due to premature wear, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company said. The airbag action affects 109,400 more vehicles outside North America and 45,400 in Canada. The transmission-leak recall covers an additional 40,100 vehicles outside the U.S.

Chrysler on June 4 said U.S. regulators proposed recalls for Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty from model years 2002 to 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked the vehicles to 51 deaths from fires after rear-impact collisions.

Chrysler said the vehicles are safe and won’t be recalled.

The automaker is optimistic that consumers will read the company’s research and agree that the vehicles in question are safe, Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s sales chief, told reporters at the company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters.

Executive’s Views

“Our vehicles are safe and if they make an informed decision, I don’t think they’re going to have any concerns at all,” Bigland said.

Discussions with NHTSA are continuing, he said.

“We’ve articulated our position in a tremendous amount of detail why we consider them to be safe,” Bigland said. “And that’s it. We’re not looking, I’m certainly not looking, to get into a public tit-for-tat on this issue.”

Shares of Chrysler’s majority owner, Fiat SpA, declined 41 cents, or 6.5 percent, to close at 5.92 euros in Milan today. The slide was the biggest since Nov. 7.

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