Last June, Fiat Chrysler reported it would will extend a 2011 review to cover the 2009 Dodge Journey and 2008-09 Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country because of unintentional ignition key move from the run position to the accessory one. The first review covered only the 2010 models.
The automaker cautioned holders that until the recall was finished, they ought to take out all items from their key rings, leaving just the ignition key. The key fob ought to be removed from the key ring as well. Chrysler told NHTSA it didn’t have a patch in last year for the new recall.
But now Chrysler announced its intentions to start the recall this April for the 2008-09 Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Journey and in August for the 2010 Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Journey.
Chrysler designers invested months researching possible patches. At last, in November, Chrysler reached the conclusion that coming up with, testing and approving a new elastomer ring and software would take too much time. As such they opted for replacing the bad WIN modules with new, unaffected ones.
NHTSA announced last spring, it started discussing with automakers with regards to ignition key position and its impact on air bag system accessibility after General Motors Co’s. review of 2.6 million vehicles for ignition issues now connected to no less than 57 casualties.
During the talks held in April, Chrysler informed NHTSA that Chrysler air bag systems switch to energy reserve when the ignition key rotates to the accessory or OFF position, and that under energy saving the air bags would only be accessible for a brief time — around two tenths of a second.
NHTSA’s audit of its buyer database directed after the April talks found complaints claiming that MY 2008-09 vehicles may have a comparative flaw as the 2010 vehicles, and that few 2010 buyers reported encountering ignition key position issues after the recall fix was applied, which led NHTSA’s official investigation.
Chrysler acknowledged the 2008-09 vehicles had the same outline WIN module — as the at first reviewed vehicles, and discovered 66 shopper reports and one crash possibly connected with incidental ignition key rotation.
Chrysler’s first recall remedy— which implied the setup nof a “Trim Ring” rather than substitution of the ignition switch did not go very well. NHTSA’s review read:
“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.).”
Consequently, Chrysler included the extra vehicles and said that the complete ignition switch module would be substituted with another configuration part in all reviewed vehicles including those that were under the 2011 recall.
Image Source: NY Daily News