FCA to recall again minivans and SUVs with faulty ignition switch

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 12, 2015

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will issue another recall of 703,000 minivans and SUVs with a faulty ignition switch that could rotate out of position. According to the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall covers MY2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Journey, which faulty switches could make a vehicle stall, lose power and disable its airbags.

These vehicles were recalled in 2011 and 2014. FCA’s recall is similar to the ones that plagued General Motors in 2014, linked to 57 deaths in crashes and led to the recall of 2.59 million small cars. The delays in GM’s response to the defect have led to four congressional hearings and a $35 million fine. Those switches were supplied by Delphi.

NHTSA’s investigation into Chrysler vehicles commenced after the GM ignition-switch disclosures in 2014, when it contacted all major carmakers on whether vehicle stalls might affect airbag performance. In Chrysler’s case, it has determined that the airbags in the three affected models function for two-tenths of a second if the ignition switch moves to the accessory or off position.

Fiat Chrysler has advised NHTSA that there is a new remedy for the issue and repairs have been accelerated, according to spokesperson. Vehicle owners are advised to remove all items except the ignition key from their key rings, until their units are repaired.

NHTSA received 24 consumer complaints about the issue, and these document situations like immovable steering wheels, loss of all power and difficulty braking. Likewise, dealers were generally unwilling to fix the vehicles since no recall was issued.

These driving experiences, according to the complaints, were similar to the situations described in the GM ignition-switch recalls.

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