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2014-07-23 08:25

FAULTY IGNITION SWITCHES: The recall affects certain models of the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander - like the one above - and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Image: Chrysler

WASHINGTON - Chrysler is recalling what could total 792 300 sport utility vehicles to fix a potential ignition-switch problem, the same part involved in the huge General Motors recall.

The automaker, a subsidiary of now Italy-based Fiat Chrysler, said it was issuing the recall "out of an abundance of caution".

Chrysler took the recall because ignition keys can be moved unintentionally from the "on" position, causing the engine to cut out with a consequent loss of power assistance to the brakes and possibly disabling the front crash bags.


Chrysler said the switch could be shifted by an "outside" force, often the driver's knee, but was "unaware of any related injuries" though it knew of a single reported incident and a relatively small number of complaints covering 0.015% of the vehicles subject to the recall.

The recall affects certain models of the 2006-2007 Jeep Commander and 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Chrylser urged owners of these vehicles to "assure that there is clearance between their knees and the keys." The company also 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 air bag systems on these models following complaints of stalling.

"The investigations involve issues of inadvertent ignition key rotation from the run position to the accessory position," the NHTSA said on June 18.


The NHTSA said it was not aware of any incidents involving airbag non-deployment.

GM has publicly acknowledged 13 deaths in 54 crashes 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.

  • A spokesperson for Chrysler South Africa said: "We are still awaiting the official final numbers of cars affected in SA but, as we sold only 643 Commanders in that period, that would be the number we would look at.

"I haven’t heard yet on Grand Cherokee numbers."

As soon replacement parts were received, he added, the original owners would be contacted.

Read more on:    chrysler  |  washington  |  recall

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