Chrysler recalling as many as 792,000 older-model Jeep SUVs because of ignition switch defect.
Chrysler Group is launching a recall involving ignition switches on as many as 792,000 older-model Jeep SUVs.
It's similar to the problem that's forced General Motors to recall millions of cars this year and another Chrysler recall earlier this month.
Chrysler says that in the Jeeps, the ignition switch can be bumped by the driver's knee, moving the ignition out of the "on" position, shutting off the engine, killing the power assist to the steering and brakes and disabling air bags.
That's what GM reported in some of the cars it has recalled for ignition-switch-related faults this year.
Chrysler says 792,000 vehicles are in the pool of those affected by the problem, but the actual number being recalled hasn't been determined. It says 649,900 of them are in the U.S.
Only one accident involving the issue has been reported, and there have been about 100 complaints. No one, Chrysler says, was injured.
In contrast, GM links 13 deaths and 54 accidents to the switch defect in 2.19 million small cars it recalled in the U.S. in February and March, and another three deaths to the 10.72 million vehicles it has recalled since then for switch-related flaws. The two automakers reportedly did not use the same supplier on their switches.
Vehicles involved in the Chrysler recall: 2006 to 2007 Jeep Commanders and 2005 to 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Earlier this month, Chrysler expanded a previous ignition-switch recall involving older Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans and Dodge Journey crossovers to encompass a total of 892,000 vehicles.
Chrysler is urging owners of those vehicles to use only a single ignition key to start the cars, rather than a bunch of keys on a key ring, to create less pressure on the switch mechanism. It also says drivers should sit so their knees aren't close to the ignition switch.
That's the same advice GM gives to owners of recalled cars.
The Jeep Commander was a three-row SUV that is no longer made. Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the Jeep division's most popular models, but it has been completely redesigned compared with the one involved in the recall.