After filing a recall with the NHTSA eight months before for faulty ignition switch on the 696,000 vehicles with the potential of cutting the engine, Chrysler has come to a decision that it would replace the ignition switches instead of repairing them. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed this report.
Chrysler’s Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Journey of 2008-2010 might have starter switches with poor detents that engineer the key to being stuck between the run and accessory positions as the engine is in motion. If by accident the key goes to “accessory”, the engine is likely to cut off thus rendering the safety airbags functions and power assists immobilized like it was with the General Motor vehicles numbering millions. Chrysler on its part told that it tried to repair the switches by redesigning the detent ring and installing new software, but it found that it was taking more time than intended thus delaying the process. So it decided to replace the whole switch assembly outright and has also changed the switch supplier from Continental to Marquardt.
Chrysler has also expanded the recall numbers to 702,578 vehicles. The first batch of vehicles for switch replacement will come from the 2008-2009 models, and it will start from 6 April. For the owners of the 2010 models, it will have to be from 3 August. Till then it has been recommended by the company to remove the keys from the key chain.
The original recall for the issue involved 250,000 cars from 2010 models, and it was in February 2011 and now that has been expanded. Complaints of staling by 55 owners, two rear-end collision relevant to the ignition switch defect, and 465 warranty claims have been received by Chrysler so far.
A recall involving 338,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango was sent out in January, and it concerned the stalling of an engine triggered by fuel-pump relays. Chrysler recalled vehicles numbering 753,176 in January for defective airbags.