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Safety agency investigating issues with Chargers, Impalas

The 2012 Dodge Charger. The U.S. government's road

The 2012 Dodge Charger. The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints about engine stalling and alternator failures in Dodge Charger sedans. Photo Credit: Dodge

DETROIT - The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints about engine stalling and alternator failures in Dodge Charger sedans. The probe covers about 123,000 Chargers from the 2011 and 2012 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 14 complaints of alternator failure and stalling. All the cases happened while the cars were going 40 or more miles per hour.

In one case a car stopped in traffic with smoke coming from the alternator, which generates electricity to recharge the battery and run other devices. No injuries have been reported to the agency.

Chrysler says it's cooperating in the probe. Investigations can lead to recalls but there haven't been any so far.

Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is checking into a complaint that some Chevrolet Impala front passenger air bags may not inflate in a crash. Officials said a California crash analysis firm petitioned the agency seeking an investigation.

The petition alleges that the weight sensor in the passenger seat can malfunction and disable air bags before a crash. It says GM used the same system in other models from 2004 through 2010.

The agency says it evaluated the complaint but hasn't found a defect. But as a precaution, it will seek more data from GM on Impalas from model years 2007 through 2009. The inquiry covers about 320,000 cars.

GM spokesman Alan Adler says the company reviewed the issue and decided no action was needed.

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