Fiat Chrysler has expanded a prior safety recall to include more than 702,000 minivans and SUVs due to ignition defects.
According to a Consumerist.com news report, like the previous General Motors recall, the ignition key in these vehicles can inadvertently move to the off position, disabling safety features of the vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall includes 702,578 year 2008 to 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans and model year 2009 to 2010 Dodge Journey SUVs.
Ignition Defects Similar to GM Cars
A news release from Chrysler said road conditions or a “jarring event” may cause the ignition switch to move into the off position turning the engine off and disabling the airbags, power brakes and power steering.
The automaker is asking vehicle owners to take away all items from their key rings leaving only the ignition key.
Chrysler said some of the vehicles covered by the recall may have been previously fixed for the same issue.
In 2011 the automaker had submitted a recall and remedy into a potential ignition switch problem for model year 2010 vehicles.
However, in June 2014, federal regulators said they would open an investigation into the scope and effectiveness of that three-year-old recall after finding that model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles may be experiencing the same problem.
Owners of the repaired vehicles also reported that they experienced the ignition defects even after the cars were repaired. Owners will be notified by Chrysler and repairs will be performed at no cost to consumers.
Dangerous and Defective Vehicles
When cars are inadvertently shut off suddenly when they are in motion, there is a serious safety hazard.
This problem was at the center of the General Motors ignition switch recall, which has been linked to at least 42 deaths.
In GM’s case, the design flaw was in a key ignition rather than a push button. GM has been accused of covering up these serious ignition defects for more than a decade.
The issue is the subject of a criminal and civil investigation.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dangerous or faulty auto, please remember that you have legal rights.
Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Families that have lost loved ones can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Victims or families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced product liability attorney who has successfully handled similar cases against large automakers.