Chrysler Recalls an Additional 695,957 Vehicles Over Ignition Switch Issue

Jul 02, 2014 03:27 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Chrysler has announced that it will recall an additional 695,957 vehicles because ignition switches could accidentally move out of the "run" position, according to a statement made by the automaker.

The recall affects vehicles like the 2009-'10 Dodge Journey, 2008-'10 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country.

"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," said The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on June 30.

NHTSA has requested additional information from Chrysler to help with the investigation. The NHTSA said it "will take appropriate action based on its findings."

The automaker added detent ring to the ignition switch in the original March 2011 recall.

Chrysler said that it will install a "more robust" detent ring this time around.

"This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system," said NHTSA regarding the issue. "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."

Approximately 32 customer complaints and 465 warranty claims have been received by Chrysler alleging inadvertent engine shut off while driving, according to the NHTSA.

Chrysler is aware of two supposed rear-end collisions that occurred as a result of the issue. No injuries or fatalities have been reported yet.

Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said the automaker is investigating the two accidents, according to Edmunds.

"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."

Approximately 525,206 affected vehicles can be found in the U.S. The rest are in Canada, Mexico and outside of the NAFTA region, according to Chrysler, who spoke with Edmunds.

Chrysler told federal safety regulators that there are 438,109 vehicles in the U.S. however.

Chrysler dealers are being instructed to modify the ignition switch by adding the other detent ring. All repairs will be made free of charge.

A recall has not been decided on yet.

Owners with more questions contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

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