Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chrysler Recalls Vehicles That May Roll Away Causing Crash

Chrysler Recalling 475,000 Vehicles for Electrical Issues
Chrysler Group LLC will is recalling about 475,000 vehicles in three separate recall campaigns -- most covering older-model SUVs worldwide to perform a software update -- after at least two dozen vehicles rolled away after drivers started their SUVs.
The Auburn Hills automaker said it is recalling 469,072 2006-2010 Jeep Commanders and 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokees -- including 295,000 vehicles in the United States, 28,500 in Canada, 4,200 are in Mexico and 141,000 outside North America.
Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said the automaker has reports of 26 crashes and two injuries related to the issue. Some of the crashes stemmed from drivers using remote starters, which led to vehicles rolling away.
Chrysler discovered some circuit boards with cracks transmitted compromised signals that enable inadvertent gearshifts to neutral. The software reflash will prevent the problem. Chrysler has been working on a software fix for more than six months, according to documents it filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The investigation by Chrysler began in January 2012 when an owner of a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee said his SUV rolled away after he used a remote starter. Chrysler will notify owners next month.
Separately, Chrysler is recalling 5,440 right-hand-drive SUVs to install dust shields mostly used by the U.S. Postal Service for rural delivery. The vehicles, model-year 2008-2012 Jeep Wranglers, are used primarily for mail delivery in rural areas.
The shields are designed to prevent dust buildup on a steering-column-mounted electrical connector. Buildup may cause circuit fatigue and compromise airbag function, Chrysler said.
Investigators discovered connectors in the affected vehicles sustained buildup more rapidly because of their rigorous duty cycle. Chrysler Group also will replace the connectors with components that are more resistant to dust.
Chrysler Group is unaware of any associated accidents or injuries. The issue has not been observed in any other vehicle population. NHTSA opened an investigation into the issue in 2011.
Chrysler is also recalling 532 Ram 1500 pickups to inspect components that accommodate windshield defrosting and defogging.
Chrysler Group engineers observed a fault code linked to coolant-system function in the 2013 trucks. Investigation revealed one component had evidence of corrosion that compromised system performance.
Additional investigation discovered coolant systems in some vehicles would benefit from recalibration, so Chrysler is recalling the trucks to perform a software upgrade - if necessary - and to replace the component, if compromised by corrosion.
The campaign affects 498 vehicles in the U.S. and 34 in Canada. More than one-third are still in dealer hands.
Chrysler Group is unaware of any associated complaints, accidents or injuries.
The repairs will be performed at no cost to customers and are designed to ensure proper windshield defrosting and defogging.

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