Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2007-2008 Dodge Nitro 4X2 vehicles manufactured March 21, 2006, through March 1, 2008; and 2008 Jeep Liberty 4X2 vehicles manufactured February 15, 2007, through March 1, 2008. The transfer case heat shield may drop down and rub on the drive shaft, weakening it and potentially causing the drive shaft to break.
If the drive shaft breaks, a section of it can strike the transfer case tunnel with enough force that the airbag computer will believe the vehicle is in a crash and thus deploy the airbags. Additionally, the drive shaft failure will result in a loss of motive power. Either condition may increase the risk of a crash.
Chrysler has agreed to notify owners, and dealers will add a bracket to support the rear of the heat shield, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during May 2013.