Chrysler Recalls 349,000 Vehicles, Cites Defective Ignition Switches

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) -- Chrysler announced Thursday it is recalling an estimated 349,000 vehicles over ignition switch problems, adding to its growing collection of cars, SUVs and minivans that are afflicted with similar problems. 

According to the automaker, the ignition key on five different models of its older 2008 vehicles could potentially be rotated to the start position and work its way to the off position. That action could result in a loss of engine power, power steering, reduced braking power or deployment of front airbags.

The safety issue, while being monitored closely by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also has put the automotive industry on the hot seatGeneral Motors (GM) , for example, has recalled a whopping 15 million vehicles for faulty ignition switch problems, according to The Associated Press. 

Over the summer, Chrysler issued a recall for more than 1.7 million vehicles for ignition switch problems, according to the AP. With its announcement Thursday, Chrysler now exceeds 2 million recalls for vehicles with faulty ignition switches.

Chrysler said it's only aware of one minor accident linked to its ignition switches and that no serious injuries or deaths have resulted.  

Chrysler models subject to this recent recall include:

  • Dodge Charger sedans
  • Dodge Magnum station wagons
  • Chrysler 300 sedans
  • Jeep Commander
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs

The automaker advises drivers to detach their ignition key from key rings to avoid bumping the keys into the off position.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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