NHTSA closes Dodge Viper investigation image

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it decided to close its investigation into nearly 10,000 Dodge Viper sports cars for complaints of crashes linked to rear suspension problems.

NHTSA said it would not seek a recall after closing its nearly eight-month old investigation into 9,670 2003-2010 Viper opened after it received 8 reports of crashes caused by rear suspension knuckle failure in 2005 and 2006 Dodge Viper vehicles.

The investigation covered the Dodge Viper SRT-10 and Dodge Viper Competition Coupe and ACRX racecars. NHTSA decided that the crashes caused the damage to the suspension – and there was no evidence of problems with the parts.

Chrysler Group LLC told NHTSA in June that its investigation showed no defect and said it did not believe a recall was necessary. NHTSA said it had a total of 10 complaints, including 8 crashes.

“Analysis of the failure data indicated these are random events and do not show any clear patterns related to vehicle build range, vehicle age or mileage. Examination and testing of failed knuckles have not identified evidence of a manufacturing or design defect in the parts. Accordingly, this investigation is closed,” NHTSA said in its report closing its investigation.

NHTSA obtained a cracked knuckle from a recent crash involving a 2004 Viper, the agency said. NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Testing Center in Ohio submitted the part to a laboratory for the cracked surface and metallurgical analysis, which concluded there was no evidence of problems in the part and that the damage was due to a single event.