The active head restrains (AHR) in some Chrysler vehicles are unexpectedly striking occupants in the back of the head. Granted, the systems are designed to push the head restraint forward to prevent whiplash and other neck injuries, but they're supposed to wait for a rear-end collision first. The constant threat of random concussion is, unsurprisingly, making owners a little nervous.
Random AHR deployments are a headache in every sense of the word.
There's the physical cost and scary tales of owners who say they were left disoriented or in pain, some with continued nausea related to concussions.
Then there's the financial cost of resetting or replacing the AHR, depending on the condition of the sled. The average repair cost is over $800 per head restraint. And it's not always something owners have success getting covered under warranty.
In November of 2019 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into random AHR deployments, but only in the 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee ... not any Chrysler vehicles.
In its preliminary evaluation they stated it appears a plastic material inside the AHR, intended to hold the AHR in the "ready" (compressed) state, fails due to stress and/or fatigue allowing the AHR to actuate unexpectedly.
Of the 128 complaints, 13 resulted in injuries and occurred at either (or both) front seat positions, when the vehicle is either occupied or unoccupied, when the seat is either occupied or unoccupied, and in some cases (nearly two-thirds) while the vehicle was in motion. In other words, randomly.
It was originally only offered to 2014 and 2015 owners. The warranty was also extended to 2014-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. ↩︎
Lawsuits Regarding This Problem
Lawsuits about this problem have already been filed in court. Many times these are class-action suits that look to cover a group of owners in a particular area. Click on the lawsuit for more information and to see if you're eligible to receive any potential settlements.
The plaintiffs argue FCA should have told them about defects in the active head restraint systems, but instead the automaker concealed its knowledge about the headrests.
Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported
This problem has popped up in the following Chrysler generations.
Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.
A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at CarComplaints.com.
Chrysler is trying to wiggle out of another active head restraint lawsuit.
The automaker's lawyers point to technicalities in the case that don't hold up in the Arizona Consumer Fraud and Magnuson-Moss Warranty Acts. Another approach they could take would be to actually do something about the restraints that keep randomly smacking people at the base of their skull.…