With all of the recalls that have happened in the past several years, it makes one wonder if it’s safe to drive anymore!
We hope that the rash of recalls is due to increased caution on the part of automakers and not a systemic problem in quality control. But whatever the cause, recalls are important: they alert the public that the vehicle they are driving is potentially very dangerous.
The latest recall is from Chrysler. The company is expanding a previous recall to add Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravans from the 2008 and 2009 model years.
Nearly 696,000 vehicles are affected.
These vehicles have ignition switches that can slip from the “run” position to the “accessory” position, thereby turning off the engine and airbags (much like GM’s defect). This defect is very dangerous: when the engine is turned off, power steering and brakes and the airbags are disabled. With no power steering or brakes, the driver may lose control and get in an accident. And with no airbags, the resulting injuries could be serious.
Chrysler has linked two accidents to this defect so far—less than GM’s 13 but still unacceptable.
The company plans to contact the owners of affected minivans to let them know when to take their vehicle to a Chrysler dealer. The dealer will fix the switch for free.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concerns over the company’s proposed plan to fix the defect, perhaps because the administration does not believe Chrysler is acting quickly enough.
If you own a Town & Country or Grand Caravan that has this defect, we recommend driving it as little as possible (or not at all). If you must drive it, it may be helpful to remove everything from your key ring so that extra weight does not cause the switch to slip out of position. (This is what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recommended for those who have defective GM vehicles.)
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact a car accident lawyer to find out what to do next. You may be able to recover the damages from your accident through a personal injury claim.
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