(ABC News) -- Chrysler has announced it will recall 120, 000 Jeep Liberty sports utility vehicles due to an airbag problem.
The recall will affect nearly all of the 120,000 Jeep Libertys sold since they were sent to dealers this summer, according to Chrysler spokesman Ed Saenz.
The problem, affecting the driver's-side airbag, was detected during a recent crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. During the 40 mph test a bracket scraped against a wire, which caused the airbag to deploy 22 milliseconds slower than it should have.
According to Sean Kane of Strategic Safety, a research group specializing in automotive issues, that seemingly slight delay could mean "the difference between a serious injury and protecting the occupant."
Recall Notices to Dealers
Chrysler will send out recall notices in the next few days. Owners will be instructed to bring their vehicles to a dealership so that repairs can be made. The wires affected will be cased in a sheath which Chrysler says will take care of the problem.
The brisk sales of the Jeep Liberty have represented a bright spot for Chrysler, whose sales were down 6 percent compared to November of last year.
Long the nation's No. 3 automaker, behind General Motors and Ford, Chrysler has appeared in danger recently of falling behind Toyota in the sales race as well.
The company has not detailed how long it will take to fix the problem, but Saenz indicated it could be less than a day for each vehicle.