Chrysler, Ford Motor recall 160,000 vehicles over four separate defects

US carmakers, Chrysler and Ford Motor are recalling a total of 160,000 vehicles over four separate defects, the latest in a series of recalls that have engulfed the US automobile industry.

The US government, especially the transportation watchdog National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should seriously consider bringing out a 'white paper' on the reasons for the US automobile industry malady in making more than 19 million recalls in a span of 12 months.

In the current recall, Chrysler is recalling more than 144,000 Dodge and Ram vehicles to deal with three separate defects, while Ford is recalling about 15,000 trucks and sport-utility vehicles over a potential short circuit in the vehicles' electronic components of the body control module that may lead to a fire.

In one recall, Chrysler is recalling 65,180 Dodge Journey sports-utility vehicles manufactured from 1 November 2007 to 7 September 2008 to fix front-door wiring harnesses that could lead to inoperative side-impact airbags.

In the second recall, Chrysler is recalling 56,611 Ram 1500 pickup trucks from the 2011 model year since the rear axle in the pickup trucks makes a grinding noise, which can sooner or later seize thereby increasing the risk for a crash. 

Lastly, Chrysler is recalling 22,274 Ram 4500 and 5500 pickup trucks from the 2008-11 model years because a fault in a steering component that could potentially lead to loss of vehicle control and increase the risk for a crash. 

Although the US government will not put out its official report until next week on the total number of vehicles recalled this year, analysts say that 2010 was the worst year in the US for vehicle recalls since 2004.

It is estimated that more than 19 million recalls were made in the US and Canada this year, with Japanese carmaker Toyota leading the recalls having recalled more than 11 million vehicles since the last half of last year.