By Andrew Thurlow, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (May 13, 2013) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) checking into 2006 Chrysler Group and 2009 Mazda vehicles in response to complaints about engine stalls and doors that fail to properly close.
NHTSA said it has opened a preliminary evaluation into 192,076 Chrysler 300C, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum vehicles with 5.7- or 6.1-liter eight-cylinder Hemi engines. The agency received 48 complaints alleging multiple stall incidents and 54 complaints of vehicles stalling while driving after refueling.
More than half of the complaints were received within the past eight months, according to the agency.
Separately, NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation into 39,000 Mazda6 vehicles after complaints about doors that fail to properly close. NHTSA said "complainants alleged the door would fail to or not properly latch following attempts to close."
In one incident, a passenger door opened while the vehicle was in motion, NHTSA said. Several reports indicate that some or all three door latch mounting screws were missing.
NHTSA usually begins a preliminary evaluation when consumer complaints or manufacturer service bulletins suggest there may be a harmful defect. Once that evaluation is complete, the agency begins an engineering analysis or closes the inquiry. Based on the outcome of the engineering analysis, a vehicle may be recalled or the inquiry may be closed without further action.
Reporter Gabe Nelson contributed to this report, which appeared in Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.