By Greg Botelho
(CNN) — Chrysler took the preemptive step this week of recalling nearly half a million vehicles because of issues with the active head-restraint function found in several makes and models.
The problem is related to a “potentially faulty microcontroller (that) entered the supply chain after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a worldwide microcontroller shortage,” Chrysler Group said in a news release issued Wednesday.
Because of such defective microcontrollers in some vehicles, the active head restraints — which are supposed to automatically move forward during some rear-impact crashes, thereby helping prevent neck injuries — aren’t working properly.
The Chrysler Group said it doesn’t know of any injuries or accidents tied to the issue.
Some 442,000 vehicles sold in the United States are affected by the recall, as well as 25,000 in Canada, 10,000 in Mexico and 12,000 elsewhere.
Makes and models affected by the recall are:
— 2011 to 2013 Chrysler Sebrings, Chrysler 200s and Dodge Avenger midsize cars.
— 2011 to 2012 Dodge Nitro SUVs.
— 2011 to 2013 Jeep Liberty SUVs.
The Chrysler Group’s recall comes weeks after the company resisted the federal government’s attempt to make it recall vehicles over a potential fire hazard.
Chrysler stated earlier this month that it would not comply with the demand to recall vehicles that, the government said, had a high risk of catching fire when struck from behind.
But it reversed course on June 18, hours before a government deadline. Even then, the company still claimed the 2.7 million recalled vehicles — 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Libertys — are safe.
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