The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened two investigations into possible ignition switch defects in approximately 1.25 million Chrysler Group vehicles, a similar problem to the defect that led to the massive General Motors recall that has caused hundreds of deaths.
The First Investigation
The first investigation was launched after NHTSA received at least 32 complaints alleging that a driver’s knee can inadvertently move the key fob, causing the ignition switch to turn off. The investigation covers an estimated 525,000 model year 2005 and 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and 2006 and 2007 Jeep Commander SUVs. NHTSA said in its notice:
This causes the engine to shut off, affects the power steering and brakes, and may potentially result in the vehicle’s air bags not deploying during a frontal crash that would normally warrant deployment.
The Second Investigation
The second investigation covered approximately 700,000 model year 2008 to 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans and Dodge Journey SUVs. The agency said it has received at least 23 complaints related to the ignition switch problem in these vehicles.
In 2011, Chrysler recalled 196,000 2010 Grand Caravans, Town & Country minivans and Journeys for the ignition switch problem, but NHTSA has continued to receive complaints from drivers of the 2008 to 2010 model year vehicles. On June 30, the 700 minivans were recalled. Hopefully, Chrysler’s ignition switch problem won’t be as bad as GM’s problems which get worse each week.
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