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FCA US is revising a previously announced recall of 702,578 minivans and SUVs; now specifying that owners replace their ignition switches, rather than just a component. The campaign affects the 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country, 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2009-2010 Dodge Journey.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initially opened an investigation last summer following complaints about the ignition switches in these models. FCA US (then Chrysler Group) responded with a recall of 695,957 examples of these vehicles because the key could appear to be in the "Run" position but not be fully engaged. If it slipped out, and there was an accident, then the airbags might not deploy. The company had initially planned to install a new detent ring to fix the problem.

According to the timeline in a NHTSA document (available here as a PDF), the government agency and FCA US continued their research into the problem. The automaker found that the time needed to create a new ring design and updated software would be longer than replacing the whole ignition switch. The company worked with the supplier Marquardt to negotiate an accelerated schedule to manufacture the extra replacement parts. According to NHTSA, the investigation has now been closed because of FCA's recall.

Company spokesperson Eric Mayne confirms to Autoblog via email, "No additional vehicles are affected and all affected customers have already been made aware their vehicles are subject to recall."

FCA US sent out an initial notification advising owners of the problem in September 2014. The company will now send out a second letter in April and will replace the parts in two phases. Repairs for affected models from the 2008 and 2009 model years will begin in April, and 2010 examples will start being fixed in August.
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RECALL Subject : Ignition Switch may Turn Off , 1 INVESTIGATION(S)

Report Receipt Date: JUN 26, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V373000
Component(s): AIR BAGS , ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 702,578
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY 2008-2010
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 2008-2010
DODGE JOURNEY 2009-2010
Details

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

SUMMARY:
This defect can affect the safe operation of the airbag system. Until this recall is performed, customers should remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the ignition key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring. Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2009-2010 Dodge Journey vehicles manufactured June 29, 2007, to June 17, 2010, and 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vehicles manufactured January 26, 2007, to June 17, 2010. Road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.

CONSEQUENCE:
If the ignition key inadvertently moves into the OFF or ACCESSORY position, the engine will turn off, which will then depower various key safety systems including but not limited to air bags, power steering, and power braking. Loss of functionality of these systems may increase the risk of crash and/or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

REMEDY:
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the ignition switch and key FOBs, free of charge. Chrysler sent out an interim notification to owners on September 11, 2014. A second notice is expected to be mailed in April 2015. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is R03. Note: This is an expansion of recall 11V-139.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

INVESTIGATION Subject : Air Bag Non-Deployment/Engine Stall , 1 RECALL(S)

Date Investigation Opened: JUN 16, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: MAR 02, 2015
NHTSA Action Number: RQ14002
Component(s): AIR BAGS , ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY 2008-2010
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 2008-2010
DODGE JOURNEY2008-2010
DODGEJOURNEY AWD 2009-2010
Details

Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)

SUMMARY:
In March 2011 Chrysler submitted a defect information report for NHTSA Recall No. 11V139 declaring a defect condition that could cause the ignition key to inadvertently move from the RUN to the ACC position on model year (MY) 2010 Dodge Journey, Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town and Country. The report identified engine stalling as the defect consequence and cited customer complaints and warranty claims, as well as two rear-end collisions, as leading to the recall action. Chrysler determined that a defective WIN module, which is effectively the equivalent of the ignition switch, was the cause of the inadvertent key rotation, and that a new design WIN module would be installed as a remedy. In Spring 2014 ODI conducted outreach to major light vehicle manufacturers regarding ignition key position and its effect on air bag system availability. The outreach was conducted in connection with NHTSA Recall No. 14V047, a recent recall involving inadvertent ignition key rotation and subsequent air bag disablement in certain GM products. During discussions held in April 2014, Chrysler advised ODI that Chrysler air bag systems of this vintage, including the subject vehicles, revert to energy reserve when the ignition key moves to the ACC or OFF position, and that under energy reserve the air bags would only be available for a short period, approximately two tenths of a second (ODI notes this consequence was not identified in the 11V139 recall report). A review of the ODI consumer database conducted after the April 2014 discussions identified complaints alleging that MY 2008-2009 vehicles may have a similar defect as the MY 2010 vehicles, and that some MY 2010 consumers reported experiencing ignition key position concerns after the 11V139 recall remedy was applied. Accordingly this investigation was opened. In response to ODI?s information request letter, Chrysler reported that MY 2008-2009 subject vehicles used the same design WIN module as the recalled vehicles, and also identified 66 consumer reports and one non-injury crash incident potentially related to inadvertent ignition key rotation. Chrysler?s review of the MY 2010 remedy used in 11V139, which involved installation of a "Trim Ring" as opposed to replacement of the WIN module, showed the remedy did not adequately address ignition key position concerns, and in some use-cases could cause other systems to operate improperly (radio, instrument panel lighting, HVAC fan motor, etc.). Chrysler subsequently filed multiple defect information reports to 1) add the MY 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country, and the MY 2009 Dodge Journey to the original recall scope, and 2) stating that the complete WIN module would be replaced with a new design component in all recalled vehicles (including those that had the Trim Ring installed during 11V139). Chrysler?s report also advises of constrained remedy parts availability, see NHTSA Recall No. 14V373 for further details. Accordingly, the investigation is closed based on the recall action Chrysler is undertaking.

The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10584873, 10583399, 10573295, 10566365, 10546805, 10513060, 10509284, 10503121, 10496599, 10475027, 10456099, 10450629, 10443680, 10422766, 10410447, 10409269, 10402947, 10402751, 10402660, 10396943, 10394957, 10356632, 10315972

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