3 On Your Side

Woman says faulty headrest accidentally deployed while she was driving

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Heather Anderson was driving in her Jeep when her headrest malfunctioned. (Source: 3TV) Heather Anderson was driving in her Jeep when her headrest malfunctioned. (Source: 3TV)
The airbag is supposed to be a safety feature if you get into an accident, kind of like an airbag. (Source: 3TV) The airbag is supposed to be a safety feature if you get into an accident, kind of like an airbag. (Source: 3TV)
Anderson had to shell out more than $700 to get that headrest replaced. (Source: 3TV) Anderson had to shell out more than $700 to get that headrest replaced. (Source: 3TV)

A Goodyear woman says she had to pay for an auto repair that she feels should have been covered by the manufacturer. 

“I love Jeeps, it's been my third Jeep. I enjoyed driving it, I've been really happy with it,” said Heather Anderson.

She says she enjoys cruising around in her 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

“[It’s] great for taking the kids around, stuff like that, haven't had an issue with it, everything I wanted it to be,” said Anderson.

That is, until recently, when Anderson was driving.

“I heard this loud popping, bang sound and then the back of my headrest slammed into the back of my head. It kind of shocked me, I had no idea what was going on, I thought, 'Oh, I think I just got rear-ended!'" said Anderson.

She didn't get rear-ended but as it turns out, it was her headrest that was the problem.

“So then I thought, 'My headrest just exploded! What is going on!' I finished crossing the bridge, pulled over, turned around and looked and I saw that my headrest, the whole thing had popped," said Anderson.

Anderson took some photos showing part of the headrest detached. It's supposed to be a safety feature if you get into an accident, kind of like an airbag. 

"I guess there's a mechanical thing inside here, in this plastic piece and the whole leather part of the headrest swung forward about 3 or 4 inches and smacked me pretty hard in the back of the head," said Anderson. 

But since Anderson wasn't in any sort of accident, she has no idea why the headrest was activated and deployed, striking her head.

“When I went to the doctor, I did have signs of mild concussion and whiplash. I had swelling at the base of my neck so he gave me some medication for it,” Anderson said.

Anderson says she thinks her Jeep was still under the manufacturer's warranty at the time.

So, she took the vehicle to a Jeep-Chrysler dealership to be looked at and repaired. But she says the dealership told her she'd have to pay out of pocket if she wanted it fixed.

“I'm sorry this happened to you, we haven't heard of this happening. It's gonna be $608 because they have to replace the whole headrest just as you would a steering wheel if an airbag had deployed from it. They're having us pay for it. Their comment to us was, take it up with Chrysler, it's not covered under warranty, there's nothing we can do, take it up with Chrysler,” Anderson said. 

Anderson had to shell out more than $700 to get that headrest replaced. And, as far as getting reimbursed from Jeep-Chrysler, she says she's getting nowhere.
“They told us they would get back to us, same story, we haven't heard anything from Chrysler,” Anderson said.

3 On Your Side contacted Jeep Chrysler which looked into the matter for us.

As a result, they apologized and indicated that Anderson's headrest deploying was an isolated incident and they agreed to send her a check for what she paid out which is more than $700. Anderson says she's looking forward to getting that check and is happy Jeep is paying. 

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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