Chrysler Recalling 800,000 Vehicles for Ignition Switch Problem

by on Jul.22, 2014

Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 2005-2007 are part of a larger recall of Chrysler vehicles with ignition problems.

Chrysler is expanding an earlier recall, targeting nearly 800,000 older Jeep models because of an ignition switch problem that could cause the vehicles to stall and disable their airbags and other safety systems.

The move comes as federal safety regulators investigate reports that drivers inadvertently can bump the keys on as many as 1.2 million Chrysler products, causing them to turn from the On to Off or Accessory position. The problem is similar to one that has led to the recall of millions of General Motors products in recent months. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the possibility the problem could occur on products built by other manufacturers, as well.

Keeping You Safe!

While Chrysler and its dealers prepare to notify customers and schedule repairs, the maker is advising owners to remove everything but the ignition key from their key rings to reduce the risk of an unintended stall-out.

Motorists are “advised to make sure there is clearance between their knees and their keys,” the maker said in a statement, adding that it “is committing now to conduct a recall out of an abundance of caution.”

The 2006 and 2007 Jeep Commander is part of a larger recall of nearly 800,000 Jeeps for an ignition problem.

The latest ignition switch recall covers 792,300 Jeep Grand Cherokees produced during the 2005 to 2007 model-years, and 2006-2007 Jeep Commanders. Of that total, 649,900 vehicles were sold in the United States.

The latest service action follows the original announcement last month that Chrysler would recall 696,000 minivans and SUVs because they might inadvertently be prone to shift out of the On position if a driver bumped the key or key ring. Later in June, the Detroit maker expanded a 2011 recall for a similar problem involving 2009 Dodge Journey utes and 2008-2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan minivans.

General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles this year for two distinct ignition switch problems. One is similar to the latest Chrysler issue: the design of the ignition key itself makes it easy to turn the key accidentally if it or the key ring are bumped.

The other issue involves a defective switch. GM recalled 2.6 million vehicles due to that problem – which it subsequently acknowledged it had known about for more than a decade. That has triggered two separate Congressional investigations, as well as a Justice Department probe. And the maker this month announced plans for a victims’ compensation fund for those killed or injured due to the defective switches.

(Chrysler recalls 895,000 SUVs due to potential fire hazard. For more, Click Here.)

Both problems, however, create the same problem: if an ignition switch is turned out of the On position, the vehicle will stall, disabling power brakes and steering, as well as safety systems such as airbags. That not only can lead to a crash but result in more severe injuries.

In Chrysler’s case, it has received 32 complaints and 465 warranty claims relating to the ignition switch key problem. At least two crashes have been linked to the problem though, so far, there have been no reports of deaths or injuries due to airbags failing to deploy. GM has acknowledged at least 13 deaths caused by the ignition switch issue, though the number is likely higher, according to a number of independent reports.

(Click Here for details about the feds pushing Chrysler for information on Jeep recall.)

Chrysler’s latest recall move comes as federal regulators increase their scrutiny of auto safety-related problems. The maker has said it will bow to NHTSA and increase the pace of repairs for a separate problem involving the vulnerability of the fuel tanks in some Jeep models to leak and catch fire in a rear-end collision.

(To see more about Fiat Chrysler’s plans for listing its stock on the NYSE in August, Click Here.)

Separately, Chrysler also said today it is recalling 21,000 late-model sedans, pickups and SUVs because of a potential problem with their shocks and struts. This service action involves 2014 Ram 1500 pickups, 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs and 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans. All were assembled during a 16-day period ending June 6 of this year. About 14,300 of the vehicles were sold in the U.S., 5,300 more in Canada. The rest were shipped to Mexico and overseas markets.

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One Response to “Chrysler Recalling 800,000 Vehicles for Ignition Switch Problem”

  1. Jorge says:

    I guess it isn’t just that “evil” GM that has ignition switch issues. Who knew?

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