Washington DC - Chrysler is to recall as many as 792,300 SUVs to fix an ignition-switch problem, the same part involved in the huge General Motors recall.
The company said on Tuesday it was issuing the recall “out of an abundance of caution”, because because ignition keys could be moved unintentionally from the “on” position, causing engine to stop, reducing braking power and possibly disabling front airbags.
Chrysler said the switch could be shifted by an “outside” force, often the driver's knee.
It said it was unaware of any related injuries and knew of a single reported accident and a relatively small number of complaints covering 0.015 percent of the vehicles subject to the recall.
The recall affects certain models of the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
We’re waiting on a reply fropm Chrysler SA as to how many Jeeps in South Africa are affected by the recall.
Meanwhile, Chrysler urged owners of these vehicles to “assure that there is clearance between their knees and the keys”, and suggested drivers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only their ignition key.
The recall follows a June disclosure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was investigating the airbag systems on these models following complaints of stalling.
The NHTSA said on June 18: “The investigations involve issues of inadvertent ignition key rotation from the run position to the accessory position.”
The agency said, however, that it was not aware of any incidents involving airbag non-deployment.
GM has publicly acknowledged 13 deaths in 54 accidents linked to its ignition-switch defect in several models no longer being manufactured. The company has recalled 2.6 million cars since February for the faulty switch.
The problem means the ignition switch can be jolted into “accessory” or “off” position while the car is running, cutting off engine power and disabling the airbag in a collision.