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DaimlerChrysler in $90M Settlement to Repair Defective Emissions Controls

The United States has reached a settlement with DaimlerChrysler to repair defective emission controls on nearly 1.5 million Jeep and Dodge vehicles from model years 1996 through 2001, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.

The agreement also settles allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by failing to properly disclose defective catalytic converters installed on the affected vehicles.

In settlement, Chrysler has agreed to:

  • Extend the warranty on the catalytic converters installed on approximately 700,000 of the vehicles involved, and for another 300,000 vehicle owners, send notification of the catalytic converter problem which will be covered under the original emissions system warranty under the CAA;

  • Recall approximately 500,000 of the vehicles to fix a separate defect in the on-board diagnostic (OBD) system installed on the vehicles and to check the catalytic converters on the recalled vehicles;

  • Implement enhanced emission-related defect reporting procedures.

The total estimated cost to Chrysler to implement the settlement is $90 million. In addition, Chrysler will pay penalties of $1 million and will spend at least $3 million to implement a supplemental environmental project to reduce emissions from diesel engines currently in use, making this the largest settlement yet for an emission-related defect reporting case.

Chrysler will pay another $1 million to California as part of a parallel administrative settlement agreement with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and will provide similar remedies for California-certified vehicles with the catalyst or OBD defects.

The lawsuit is the result of a joint EPA-CARB investigation of Chrysler’s 1996 through 2001 Cherokees, Grand Cherokees, Wranglers, Dakota trucks, and Ram vans, wagons, and pickup trucks. The investigation disclosed that a significant percentage of the vehicles experience excessive deterioration or failure of the catalytic converter.

The deterioration of the catalytic converters in the named models results from a design defect in the original converter installed on each of the vehicles. As a result of this design defect—in some of the identified Chrysler vehicles—the internal components of the converter move around excessively, causing the device’s ceramic core to break up.


Norita J. Halvorsen

My 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo has a strange rattle in the catalytic converter. My dealer says there is no recall action. How can I find out if my car is part of the proposed Chrysler action? Thanks. Norita J. Halvorsen.

Doris Grant

My catalytic converter is really rattling, making a terrible noise. I was at the Daimler-Chrysler office in Hendersonville NC today and asked them about the warranty on my 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and they told me they hadn't received anything from the Company about the warranty on this vehicle. When will you start sending out these warranty notices. I want to get mine fixed if it is under warranty.
Thanks, Doris Grant


when my cat. converter went bad at a little over 78,000 miles the dealer fixed it.the dealer said that an 02sensor had to be removed to get to the cat.converter.it cost me 200.00 bucks.i think i was taken for a ride.also,my transmission blew up at the same time the converter did.my mechanic said the converter probably killed my transmission.should i seek compensation from the dealer for charging me for the sensor to fix the converter and what should i do about the transmission cost?

Paula Ward

I took my Grand Cherokee in for the recall. The converter was already rattling so they replaced the sensor and had to wait 2 weeks for them to get the converter in. Returned to have converter installed when i returned to pick up Jeep was told they had to carry the Jeep to a different place to have the converter cut off and weld the new one back one. The one they replaced it with is round doesn't fit in the same spot so they rerouted the pipes. After repairs were done engine is not running good real rough idel then noticed transmission fluid under the jeep when checked the transfer case is leaking. I checked online didn't find a converter that is round they all are shaped like a muffler with a flat top & bottom. Never received anything from anyone wanting to know how my service went. Is it possible this not a converter they put on my Jeep?

Robert Wait

My catalytic converter on my 1997 Grand Cherokee Laredo has been causing the "Check Engine" to light up. I cannot get the local Jeep dealership to check the problem; moreover, they've told me I do not have any claim, but they won't even check the vehicle. What do I do from here?

Johan Pingree

I now have this issue: Bad catalytic converter which lead to the manifold cracking, found by dealership ($1800.00+ to repair). Took it to Dan Fast Muffler for an estimate. They have three more sitting waiting to be fixed with the same issues! Where is the JD and EPA with getting this settlement and recall issued? If I get this repaired will I be able to get a refund if the recall does finially appear?


My cat was doing that for a while and I just removed it because I did not have the money to fix it. Will I be able to take my jeep in for the recall anyway?

Renzo Sees

My '96 Grand CherokeeReceived the letter from mfgr to take car in for cat recall. Made appointment 2 weeks in advance-left car all day-dealer says part is on nation-wide back order & may take weeks or months to get new part. Meanwhile car started stalling at idle & running rough but showing no codes(classic symptoms of clogged up cat) I removed cat & sure enough, all the honeycomb material was dislodged and loose inside. I removed the material and re-installed cat-all is fine now, EXCEPT car is due for bi-annual Emission test soon.. Obviously it wont pass with cat empty,so I'm in Government Limbo 'til dealer gets new part ...

kyle goodwin

My '96 had same problems. Cat. started rattling so I had it removed. Due to "light wallet" at the time I had a straight pipe installed and ever since engine stalls and and back fires. Sometimes good for3-5 days, other times can't leave my driveway for 15 mins.! Today my muffler blew open from a huge backfire. Getting new one put on tomorrow and wondering now if I am part of this recall and if these "mysto" problems are from the cat. converter. As weel, will i blow another muffler without the converter installed. Mechanics I have spoken to say the pipe has nothing to do with any of this but I'm thinking otherwise.
Who do I contact for warranty?

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