Chrysler Expands Ignition-Switch Recall by Almost 700,000 Vehicles
Chrysler Group has expanded a recall over ignition-switch issues by nearly 700,000 vehicles after an investigation by U.S safety regulators. The ignition-switch issue is similar to the one that ignited the General Motors recall crisis. Chrysler said in a statement that it would recall an additional 695,957 units of the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans and Dodge Journey crossovers from the 2008-10 model years because of ignition switches that may slip from the “run” to “accessory” mode, shutting off the engine and deactivating airbags. The statement cited “an abundance of caution.”
The earlier recall covered around 196,000 vehicles from the 2010 model year. The expansion of the recall now includes 2008 and 2009 model years as well. Around 23 complaints have been received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from the 2008 and 2009 model year owners. Out of the 695, 957 units being recalled, 525,206 are in the United States while 102,892 are in Canada, 25,591 are in Mexico and another 42,268 are outside the NAFTA region. To fix the problem, Chrysler said dealers will install a new, more robust detent ring in the ignition module. The expansion follows a NHTSA investigation opened earlier this month into the size and effectiveness of Chrysler’s earlier recall. That investigation is still ongoing.
Regarding the expanded recall, NHTSA says, “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. Accordingly, NHTSA is requesting additional information from Chrysler to aid the agency’s investigation and will take appropriate action based on its findings.” The issue is that the airbags may not deploy in a crash and ignition switches inadvertently slip out of “run” position while being driven. So far, 13 deaths have been linked to the defect.