Chrysler is recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles worldwide over an ignition switch defect nearly identical to the fault that has caused massive recalls at General Motors over the past year, the automaker announced late Monday.
According to statement from Chrysler Group, which is owned by Italian automaker Fiat (BIT:F), the recall is an expansion of a 2010 recall. At that time, 196,000 Chrysler Town & Countrys, Dodge Grand Caravans and Dodge Journeys built from Aug. 2, 2009, to June 17, 2010, were recalled.
Now, 695,957 vehicles of those models built between Jan. 29, 2007, and Aug. 1, 2009, are also being recalled worldwide. Chrysler says it is unaware of any injuries related to those vehicles.
Those vehicles have a type of key that can switch positions while in the ignition assembly from “run” to “accessory,” if not fully engaged in the assembly’s locking mechanism. This shuts down the engine and passive restraint systems, including the airbags.
The recall comes less than two weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it was opening probes into Chrysler’s ignition switch issues. Chrysler said it would fully cooperate and appears to have willingly issued the recall ahead of a NHTSA order.
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Read an NHTSA letter sent Sunday to Chrysler to get a fully detailed look at the NHTSA’s concerns:
â€” David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) June 30, 2014
The NHTSA is separately investigating 260,000 Chrysler-owned Dodge Ram trucks from 2005 over a rear axle issue. Chrysler recalled 370,297 vehicles for that issue last year.
GM (NYSE:GM) added 8.2 million vehicles to its own ignition switch recall Monday as well. GM has recalled nearly 30 million cars in 2014 at a cost of $2.5 billion prior to litigation.