FCA US (formerly known as Chrysler) is recalling more than 66,000 pickup trucks from the 2006 and 2007 model years to fix a problem with the vehicles' clutch ignition interlock switches. According to a statement from the automaker:
An investigation by FCA US engineers discovered switches in certain model-year 2006 and 2007 pickups may be equipped with spring wire that differs from wire used in previous switches. The alternate wire may break and, as a result, the vehicles may not start. In rare cases, a vehicle may – if recommended starting procedures are not followed – exhibit unintended movement when its ignition key is turned.
FCA goes on to explain that those "recommended starting procedures" include "activating the vehicle’s parking brake, placing its shift lever in the neutral position and pressing the clutch pedal before turning the ignition key".
FCA knows of one accident related to the clutch ignition interlock switch flaw, and unfortunately, that accident resulted in a fatality.
The recall includes select 2006 and 2007 Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, and Mitsubishi Raider trucks. FCA explains that the faulty switches may have been installed on vehicles built between July 2005 and June 2006.
The recall affects 66,819 vehicles worldwide: 54,558 registered in the U.S., 4,356 registered in Canada, 7,648 registered in Mexico, and 257 registered elsewhere.
FCA says that it plans to mail recall notices to owners on February 13, 2015. The notices will explain the procedure by which owners can have their clutch ignition interlock switches replaced at no charge.
If you own one of the vehicles listed above and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact FCA US at 800-853-1403.