Ignition Switch Problems Spread to Jeep

chrysler-logo-pngAfter recalling 696,000 vehicles in June for ignition switch problems, Chrysler has recalled a further 792,000 automobiles in late July 2014. General Motors has similarly recalled an estimated 11.6 million cars for defective ignition switches, which were manufactured by Delphi Automotive. Chrysler has not revealed the identity of the manufacturer of the flawed ignition components is. The Auburn Hill, MI firm issued the recall after an ignition switch problem led to an accident involving one of their vehicles; Chrysler remains unaware of any related injuries.

Chrysler’s History

Chrysler was founded in 1925 and is considered one of the “big three” United States automakers, along with General Motors and Ford. The company currently produces under at least five major brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and, recently acquired, Fiat. Mopar is another product line belonging to Chrysler, dedicated to the production of luxury versions of certain cars, trucks, and SUVs across the corporation’s brand line. Previously, and unrelated to the current stream of recalls, Chrysler begrudgingly offered a “safety campaign” to install trailer hitches in 1993–1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002–2007 Jeep Liberty’s, which featured rear-mounted gas tanks that were susceptible to volatility in the event of a rear-end collision.

June 2014 Chrysler Recalls

The June and more recent recalls involved over 792,000 automobiles, including:

  • Dodge Journey SUV
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Chrysler Town and Country minivan — the targeted model years run from January 2007 to August 2009
  • 2006–2007 Jeep Commanders
  • 2005–2007 Jeep Grand Cherokees

In 2011, the company recalled 196,000 vehicles — the current total stands at nearly 1.7 million recalled cars, all of which suffer from a faulty ignition switch.

Ignition Switch Defects Swell

Chrysler’s ignition switch issues parallel those of General Motors. Like GM, certain models of Chrysler vehicles have suffered from prematurely ending ignition cycles. Repeated jolts while driving, or even bumping hanging keys with one’s knees, are known to cause the ignition to suddenly turn off. While Chrysler has not confirmed whether the ignition equipment was supplied by Delphi Automotive, the U.K. automotive parts manufacturer did supply the ignition components present in defective GM vehicles. GM’s ignition switch woes stem from a faulty detent plunger, which is supposed to supply enough torque to hold the ignition in place while driving.

Chrysler Ignition Switch Lawsuits

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 32 complaints have been filed, which allege that contact between the driver’s leg and the key chain caused the ignition to turn to the “off” or “accessory” position while driving. The NHTSA has also criticized Chrysler for inadequately dealing with the problem, specifically for failing to address the concern that an ignition in the “off” position will also turn off the vehicle’s airbags.

Schedule Your Consultation with Pope McGlamry

GM’s defective ignition switches have claimed the lives of at least 13 victims, although some independent estimates are upwards of 74. If your vehicle has been recalled, it is important to follow up with your dealership. Chrysler has announced that it will contact owners of affected automobiles and that it will provide the repairs free of charge. Making sure all of the components in your car work as designed will help ensure your safety and that of your passengers.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident as a result of a faulty ignition switch, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Pope McGlamry legal team to schedule your free case review and consultation today.

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