UPDATE: Weitz & Luxenberg is no longer accepting new clients for this lawsuit.
A faulty integrated power module causing potentially life-endangering electrical system malfunctions in certain late-model Chrysler cars, minivans and trucks has prompted Weitz & Luxenberg to launch an investigation.
Already, Weitz & Luxenberg has learned that the flawed onboard computer — known as a Totally Integrated Power Module, or TIPM — has sparked at least 240 consumer complaints to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration in Washington.
The nonprofit consumer advocacy group Center for Auto Safety contends that the Chrysler TIPM failures carry the “potential for destructive results.”
CBS News reported that Chrysler has submitted “at least 20 death claims” tied to TIPM problems in its cars.
Consumers, meanwhile, are outraged. In addition to being made vulnerable to injury or even death because of the bad unit, they find that it costs as much as $25,000 to replace a defective TIPM.
The following Chrysler vehicles have been affected by TIPM failures:
- Chrysler Town & Country, 2010-14
- Chrysler Grand Voyager, 2010-14
- Dodge Grand Caravan, 2010-14
- Dodge Ram Cargo Van, 2012-14
- Dodge Nitro, 2010-12
- Dodge Journey, 2010
- Dodge Durango, 2011-12
- Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, 2010-12
- Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, 2010-12
- Dodge Ram 3500 pickup, 2010-12
- Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis, 2011-12
- Dodge Ram 4500 Cab Chassis, 2011-13
- Dodge Ram 5500 Cab Chassis, 2011-13
- Jeep Wrangler, 2010-14
- Jeep Liberty, 2010-12
- Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2011-12
The TIPM is a vital piece of equipment. Ironically, its main purpose is to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle in which it is installed.
Without it, the vehicle’s electrical power would not be correctly distributed to the many safety-oriented components that draw upon it. These include antilock brake systems, airbags, horns, wipers, fuel pump and injectors, headlights, taillights, brake lights, door locks and windows.
The Center for Auto Safety considers the defective TIPM situation so serious that on Aug. 21 it delivered a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which it asked for a federal inquiry.
The Center for Auto Safety said in its letter that complaints about TIPM most often blame the device for causing Chrysler vehicles to stall in traffic or else not start when the ignition is switched to “on.”
As a result, vehicle owners are “at the mercy of a defect which many have likened to the vehicle being possessed and uncontrollable,” the Center for Auto Safety wrote.
“Not only do Chrysler’s faulty TIPMs result in vehicle stalling, they have also been implicated in…failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration, and fires,” the Center for Auto Safety offered.
The New York Times reported that a number of Chrysler owners have complained about TIPM failures directly to the government.
The Times described these owners as being enraged — and justly so. The newspaper quoted several of them to prove the point.
“Vehicle power shuts down while driving at highway speed in any and all driving conditions,” stated one. “There is no warning when power goes out.
“Driver can be stranded in the middle of freeway or off-ramp or busy intersection. Extremely dangerous.”
The Center for Auto Safety told officials that Chrysler’s TIPM systems should be made the target of a nationwide recall.
“Given the number and range of complaints related to Chrysler TIPMs, it is time for NHTSA to formally investigate TIPM failures across the board in 2007 and later models,” the Center for Auto Safety wrote.
According to The Times, the agency — confronted with sufficient evidence — could initiate a formal inquiry into the TIPM problem.