Another car manufacturing is facing recall troubles due to defective ignition switches. Fiat Chrysler announced Friday that they will be recalling 703,000 minivans and SUVS with the faulty ignition switch that can rotate out of position. Vehicles included in this action are the 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country, and Dodge Journey. This defect can cause vehicles to stall, lose power, and disable their airbags. Fiat Chrysler previously announced recalls in 2011 and 2014 due to this defective ignition switch and attempted to fix the defect.
This situation came to light after the NHTSA contacted all major automakers in response to GM ignition-switch disclosures last year. NHTSA sought information about whether vehicle stalls might affect airbag performance. In its investigation, Chrysler found that the affected vehicles’ airbags function for two-tenths of a second if the ignition switch moves to the accessory or off position.
Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said that this latest recall doesn’t cover any vehicles that weren’t covered by the previous recalls. They previously tried to repair the defect by adding a trim ring to prevent inadvertent key rotation. The NHTSA concluded that the repair was not working. The company has informed the NHTSA that they have discovered a new remedy for the issue and repairs have been accelerated. The company has also advised vehicle owners to remove all items except the ignition key from their key rings until repairs have been completed.
Although no fatalities have been reported in the Chrysler or Dodge vehicles, the defect has been connected to one crash that did not involve injuries. In addition to this crash, many consumers have dealt with the terrifying situation of having their car stall in the middle of the road. Dealers were unresponsive to consumer complaints about immovable steering wheels, loss of all power, and difficulties breaking because no recall was in place.
One 2009 Grand Caravan owner described the alarming situation of having her car stall on main roads while her three young children were in the car with her. She said it was “frightening and dangerous trying to control the car” when the steering wheel would become immovable.
If you, or someone you love, has been injured in an automobile collision, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.