NHTSA: Jeep Liberty SUVs probed for rust issues image

Federal authorities upgraded an investigation into 200, 000 Jeep Liberty SUVs over concerns that severe rust in cold-weather states could spark a loss of control.

The current probe, which focuses on 2004 and 2005 model year Liberty SUVs stems from an earlier more expansive investigation of rust issues with Chrysler-made Jeeps.

According to the NHTSA, there were 22 complaints of problems resulting from corrosion. All the complaints came from cold-weather states, where salt — which can contribute to rust — is used on the roads in the winter.

The automaker has told NHTSA it has as many as 95 warranty claims tied to the problem, but that the automaker has not received reports of crashes or injuries.

Last week, automakers, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Subaru recalled more than 800,000 cars and trucks last week for defects including faulty airbags, according to federal regulators.