The Chrysler Group has ordered a recall of 349,442 cars and SUVs from the 2008 model year to fix faulty ignition switches that can move out of position. This technical glitch is incredibly serious as it could potentially lead to the engine shutting off while driving and air bags not functioning. Yikes! Chrysler has only reported one accident with no injuries or deaths due to the issue.
The car company says the ignition keys on certain vehicles may not fully return to the “on” position after they are turned to start the engine. Rather, the keys end up only between the “on” and “start” position. This also causes the windshield defroster and windshield wipers to not work.
The latest recall covers Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee SUVs, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans and Dodge Magnum wagons, all from the 2008 model year. According to the company’s spokesman, they are still determining the cause of the switch problem and what repairs will be needed. This is not the first of Chrysler recalls. The company has recalled 16.5 million vehicles for defective ignition switches. The latest recall will affect cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico and around 33k cars outside North America.
All affected customers will be notified when they may schedule service, at no cost to them. As a precaution before then, customers are advised to detach their ignition keys form key rings and other keys. They should also confirm their ignition keys are set in the “on” position after starting their vehicles. This will assure them engine power and all the intended functionality of the systems, including front air bags.
Recalling nearly 400,00 vehicles will undoubtedly tarnish the reputation of the automotive company. Car recalls often create a large amount of public relations-related problems for companies like Chrysler; time will tell how this particular recall will affect the overall value of the company.