Chrysler Group will issue a recall of 792,300 MY2006-2007 Jeep Commanders and MY2005-2006 Jeep Grand Cherokees around the world to fix ignition switches that could be shifted out of the “on” position and lead to a stall and potential loss of power to the airbags.
Chrysler said its engineers are still developing a solution for the issues, adding that the recall will be issued “out of an abundance of caution.”
The recall is not related to a recall of MY2009-2010 Dodge Journeys, 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country minivans over the same reason.
Carmakers, safety regulators and lawmakers have turned their eyes on safety regarding ignition switches since General Motors recalled 2.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches tied to at least 13 deaths.
So far this year, GM has recalled around 25.7 million vehicles in the United States. The Chrysler recall covers around 650,000 Commanders and Grand Cherokees in the US, 41,600 in Canada and Mexico and the rest overseas.
Chrysler said it is aware of one accident but no injuries related to the issues. According to the carmaker, its investigation “suggests an outside force, usually attributed to contact with the driver’s knee, may move ignition keys from the ‘on’ position.”
The carmaker said the condition may cause engine stall, cut braking power and render steering more difficult. It added that the condition may render fronal airbags unable to deploy.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has disclosed that it had recorded at least 32 complaints alleging that the key switched to the “off” or “accessory” position once a driver’s hit the key fob or key chain.
Chrysler has advised owners of affected models to ensure there is clearance between their knees and the keys.