Chrysler Recalls More Minivans and SUVs Because Ignition Can Accidentally Shut Off | Edmunds

Chrysler Recalls More Minivans and SUVs Because Ignition Can Accidentally Shut Off


Just the Facts:
  • Chrysler is recalling an additional 695,957 vehicles, including the 2009-'10 Dodge Journey, 2008-'10 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, because the ignition switch could accidentally move out of the "run" position.
  • Chrysler told federal safety regulators there are approximately 32 customer complaints and 465 warranty claims alleging inadvertent engine shut off while driving as a result of the problem.
  • The automaker said it is aware of two alleged rear-end collisions arising from the condition, but no reports of injuries.

WASHINGTON Chrysler is recalling an additional 695,957 vehicles, including the 2009-'10 Dodge Journey, 2008-'10 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, because the ignition switch could accidentally move out of the "run" position, the automaker said on Monday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday said that while "Chrysler's expanded recall addresses the agency's concerns on vehicle scope, it does not address agency safety concerns regarding the effectiveness of the remedy, specifically the possibility that the defect may result in non-deployment of the vehicles' airbags."

NHTSA said it is requesting additional information from Chrysler to aid the agency's investigation and "will take appropriate action based on its findings."

Chrysler added a detent ring to the ignition switch in the original March 2011 recall. It said it will install a "more robust" detent ring in this latest recall.

When asked for a reaction to that NHTSA statement by Edmunds late Monday, Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa wrote: "We will gather some information and get back to you."

Chrysler told federal safety regulators there are approximately 32 customer complaints and 465 warranty claims alleging inadvertent engine shut off while driving.

The automaker said it is aware of two alleged rear-end collisions arising from the condition, but no reports of injuries.

Cappa said the automaker is investigating the two accidents.

"This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system," said NHTSA in its summary of the problem. "Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the 'run' position, turning off the engine."

NHTSA further explained that "if the ignition key inadvertently moves into the 'off' or 'accessory' position, the engine will turn off, which will then depower various key safety systems, including, but not limited to airbags, power steering and power braking. Loss of functionality of these systems may increase the risk of crash and/or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash."

Chrysler said in a statement sent to Edmunds that an estimated 525,206 vehicles are in the U.S., with others in Canada, Mexico and outside of the NAFTA region. But it told federal safety regulators that there are 438,109 vehicles in the U.S.

Chrysler dealers will modify the ignition switch by adding the "more robust" detent ring. A date has not been set for the recall. Owners can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

Edmunds says: Since there is no official start date for this recall expansion, it's best to be in contact with your dealer for next steps. As always, if you are experiencing a problem with your vehicle, get it into your dealership immediately.

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