FCA Recalls 703,000 Vehicles Over Faulty Ignition Switches

Mar 09, 2015 09:30 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

General Motors is no longer the only automaker dealing with ignition switch issues. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling 703,000 minivans and SUVs over defective ignition switches that can rotate out of position.

The recall is similar to a defective General Motors part linked to dozens of deaths, according to a FCA document posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

FCA will call back 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Journey vehicles. The automaker previously attempted to fix the issue in recalls handed down in 2011 and 2014.

In previous recalls, Chrysler tried adding a trim ring to prevent inadvertent key rotation. A NHTSA investigation determined the repair wasn't working however.

Certain road conditions can cause the ignition switch issue to move into the off or accessory position, thus turning off the engine and disabling power steering, power brakes and air bags.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported in the Chrysler or Dodge vehicles, though the defect has been linked to one crash so far, according to the NHTSA report.

Dealers will now replace wireless ignition modules in all recalled vehicles, free of charge. FCA expects to stat replacing the defective ignition switches for the 2008-2009 minivans and SUVS next month and all 2010 models in August.

FCA is telling all customers to remove all items from their key rings, leaving just the ignition key, until switches can be repaired. If there is a key fob, it should be removed, according to FCA's documents.

GM has dealt with ignition switch issues for more than a year now. The defect has been linked to 57 deaths and 90 injuries in crashes and forced the automaker to recall of 2.59 million vehicles. The Detroit automaker's delays in announcing the recall led to four congressional hearings so far and a $35 million fine.

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