The automaker has learned that ignition keys on some vehicles "may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position during engine-startup," the company said in a statement. Additionally, "an ignition key may not fully return to the 'ON' position after rotation to the 'START' position and may inadvertently move through the 'ON' position to 'ACCESSORY' or 'OFF.'"
Chrysler says it is unaware of any related injuries, and notes that while reduced braking, engine or steering power is possible in such instances, the airbags are not affected. The later stands in contrast to General Motors' recent rash of high-profile recalls, and it's an important distinction that Chrysler (understandably) felt necessary to call out in bold print in its press release.
Vehicles affected by this recall include the Dodge Charger and Magnum, Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee. 292,224 of these vehicles are in the United States, 18,976 are in Canada, 4,947 are in Mexico, and another 33,295 are outside of North America.
Owners will be notified to schedule service, which, of course, will be performed free of charge. For now, the automaker is urging owners to ensure the ignition keys are set in the "ON" position after starting their vehicles. In addition, as a "supplementary precaution," Chrysler is urging customers to detach their ignition keys from the rest of their keys and key rings. Sounds familiar, eh?
Scroll down for the company's official statement.
September 25, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group is voluntarily recalling an estimated 349,442 older-model vehicles to correct conditions that may cause ignition keys to become stuck or inadvertently move.
Chrysler Group investigated and found the ignition keys on certain model-year 2008 vehicles produced before May 12, 2008, may not fully return to the "ON" position after rotation to the "START" position during engine-startup. Instead, they may remain between the "START" and "ON" positions. If this occurs, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost. Air bag function is not affected.
Less probable is the prospect that an ignition key may not fully return to the "ON" position after rotation to the "START" position and may inadvertently move through the "ON" position to "ACCESSORY" or "OFF." If this occurs, it may result in reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering, and one or more of the vehicle's safety features including front air bags.
Among the vehicles subject to recall, Chrysler Group is aware of a single minor accident that was possibly related to either condition. The Company is unaware of any related injuries.
The campaign is limited to 2008 Dodge Charger sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, Chrysler 300 sedans, Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. It covers an estimated 292,224 vehicles in the U.S.; 18,976 in Canada; 4,947 in Mexico; and 33,295 outside the NAFTA region.
All affected customers will be notified when they may schedule service, which will be provided at no cost to them. In the interim, owners of these models are advised to confirm their ignition keys are set in the "ON" position (one o'clock) after starting their vehicles. This will assure engine power and intended functionality of all systems, including front air bags.
As a supplementary precaution, customers are advised to detach their ignition keys from key rings and other keys.
Owners with questions may also call Chrysler Group's Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.