Chrysler Group announced plans to recall an estimated 349,442 2008 model-year vehicles to correct conditions that may cause ignition keys to become stuck or inadvertently move.
The recall campaign is limited to 2008 Dodge Charger sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, Chrysler 300 sedans, and Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. The action covers an estimated 292,224 vehicles in the U.S., 18,976 in Canada, 4,947 in Mexico, and 33,295 outside the NAFTA region.
Chrysler Group said it discovered that ignition keys on certain 2008-MY vehicles, which were produced before May 12, 2008, may not fully return to the “on” position after rotation to the “start” position during engine startup. Instead, they may remain between the “start” and “on” positions. If this occurs, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost. Air bag function, however, is not affected, Chrysler Group said.
Less likely, Chrysler Group added, is the prospect of the ignition key not fully returning to the “on” position after rotation to the “start” position and inadvertently moving through the “on” position to “accessory” or “off.” This occurence may result in reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering and one or more of the vehicle’s safety features including front air bags.
This year, faulty ignition switches have triggered previous Chrysler recalls.
Among the vehicles subject to the latest recall, Chrysler Group said, the company is aware of a single minor accident that was possibly related to either problem described above. The company added that it is unaware of any related injuries.
Vehicle owners will be notified when they may schedule service, which will be provided at no cost to them. In the interim, Chrysler is advising owners of these models to make sure their ignition keys are set in the “on” position (one o’clock) after starting their vehicles. This will ensure engine power and intended functionality of all systems, including front air bags.
As a supplementary precaution, customers are advised to detach their ignition keys from key rings and other keys.
Vehicle owners can reach Chrysler Group’s customer information center at 1-800-853-1403.