Chrysler yesterday admitted it will have to recall 792,300 SUVs after it emerged they have an ignition switch flaw which can turn the car off during transit disabling airbags.
The flaw, which has seen drivers hit the ignition keys with their knee and turning the car off during journeys, can result in “an engine stall, reduced braking power and more difficult steering. Safety features such as frontal airbags may also be disabled”.
As a result, the third biggest carmaker in America will recall Jeep Grand Cherokee models released between 2005 and 2007 and Jeep Commander SUVs between 2006 and 2007.
The company estimates that it will have to upgrade 649,900 models in the United States, 28,800 in Canada, 12,800 in Mexico and another 100,800 internationally.
The car manufacturer, which was bought by Fiat for $4.35bn earlier this year, said it is aware of only a single accident as a result of the fault, and no injuries.
Chrysler will spend the next few months identifying affected customers, while engineers work on an effective solution for the problem, when the cars are recalled in September.
The ignition fault is not present in newer models.