Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FIATY.PK) is recalling several hundred thousand SUVs – 792,300, to be more precise, though that’s not the final tally — for an issue that should sound unpleasantly familiar: The ignition-switch performance in late-model Jeep Commanders and Grand Cherokees is reportedly not up to par.
Unlike the ignition problems that have plagued General Motors this year, Chrysler says it is not aware of any related injuries or deaths as a result of the problem, though it “is aware of a single reported accident and a relatively small number of complaints involving 0.015 percent of the subject vehicle population.” However, the symptoms sound startlingly similar to the same malady that, in GM’s case, has been attributed to numerous deaths and multiple accidents.
“Preliminary investigation suggests an outside force, usually attributed to contact with the driver’s knee, may move ignition keys from the ‘on’ position,” the company said. The recall covers 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Jeep Commanders.
Of the 732,300 vehicles, 649,900 of them are located in the U.S.; 28,800 were sold in Canada; 12,800 in Mexico; and the remaining 100,800 were sold outside of the NAFTA region, Chrysler said. Given that the Commander is no longer in production and the Grand Cherokee has received a full redesign since then, the new models are unaffected by the recall.
Owners of the affected vehicles are being advised by the company to “assure there is clearance between their knees and the keys” while engineers work out a solution for the issue. As in the General Motors scenario, Chrysler is also advising its owners to remove any unnecessary items from the keyring.
On a completely unrelated note, Chrysler is also recalling an estimated 21,000 vehicles to inspect and, if necessary, replace shocks and/or struts. It covers the 2014 model year Ram 1500, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs, and the 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans that were produced during a 16-day period that ended on June 6 of this year.
The issue lies in certain components that “may break free from their mounts,” which could potentially lead to reduced shock damping and possible loss of vehicle control, the company warned. The problem was actually discovered by a supplier, and Chrysler said that it is unaware of any related injuries, accidents or complaints.
It added that 14,300 of the vehicles are in the U.S., while 5,300 are in Canada, 160 are in the Mexico, and 2,000 are outside the NAFTA region.