Chrysler recalling 700k minivans and Dodge Journey for ignition switch woesTue, 01 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST
General Motors isn't the only automaker with ignition switch problems. Chrysler is fighting it too and is now announcing a recall of 695,957 examples worldwide of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans from the 2008-2010 model years, plus the 2009-2010 Dodge Journey.
According to a statement from Chrysler, the models have a bad wireless ignition node detent ring in the ignition switch, making it possible for drivers to appear to have the key in the "Run" position but for the spring not to fully engage. It can then slip back to the "Accessory" position and shut the car off. If this happens, the vehicle loses power steering, brake boost and the airbags.
There is some disparity about the number of vehicles affected under this recall. In its statement, Chrysler claims that it covers 525,206 vehicles in the US, 102,892 in Canada, 25,591 in Mexico and 42,268 elsewhere. However, the recall announcement posted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists an estimated 438,109 vehicles in the US. Chrysler spokesperson Nick Cappa told Autoblog via email that the reasoning for the different figures "will become clear at a later date."
To fix the problem, Chrysler will install a new detent ring in the vehicles. It will begin contacting owners soon, and obviously the repair will be free of charge.
This isn't the first time this problem has cropped up in these models. Chrysler issued a recall for 248,437 vehicles in 2011 for certain 2010 model year examples. A few weeks ago, NHTSA also began investigating the 2008-2010 model years of the affected models for ignition switch problems. At this time, it's not clear whether that evaluation and this campaign are linked.
Chrysler told Autoblog that it has no reports of injuries related to the problem. Scroll down to read the company's statement and the NHTSA recall report.
Statement: Expansion of Wireless Ignition Node (WIN) safety recall
July 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Out of an abundance of caution, Chrysler Group is expanding a previous safety recall to install a more robust WIN module detent ring.
A previous recall in 2010 included 196,000 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Dodge Journey vehicles built August 2, 2009 through June 17, 2010.
The expansion includes an additional 695,957 vehicles manufactured January 29, 2007 through August 1, 2009.
Vehicles equipped with a FOB key may experience inadvertent ignition switch displacement from the "run" to "accessory" position while driving. If the switch is not fully engaged in the "on" position of the detent ring inside the module, the spring-loaded switch may allow the key to spring past the "on" position and into the "accessory" position. This action will shut off the engine and passive restraint systems, including air bags.
The issue was originally identified through the Company's internal quality control research and customer input. Chrysler Group is unaware of any injuries related to the expansion.
Chrysler Group dealers will, at no cost to customers, install the new WIN detent ring in affected vehicles.
Chrysler Group will contact affected customers and advise them when service is available.
An estimated 525,206 vehicles are located in the U.S.; 102,892 are in Canada; 25,591 are in Mexico and 42,268 are outside the NAFTA region.
Customers with additional questions may call Chrysler Group's Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403.
RECALL Subject : Ignition Switch may Turn Off , 1 INVESTIGATION(S)
Report Receipt Date: JUN 26, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V373000
Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 438,109
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY 2008-2010
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 2008-2010
Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC
This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. 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. Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2009-2010 Dodge Journey vehicles manufactured June 29, 2007, to June 17, 2010, and 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles manufactured January 26, 2007, to June 17, 2010. Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
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 air bags, 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.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will modify the ignition switch, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is L25. Note: This is an expansion of recall 11V-139.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
By Chris Bruce
See also: NHTSA investigating Ram 1500 models for rear differential failure, Hero gets his truck back better than new thanks to community support [w/video], Google's new Android Autos OS unveiled, will be in cars this year [w/video].