Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced a recall of select Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, and Dodge Viper vehicles from the 2006 model year. According to a press release from FCA, some of those vehicles may have dodgy ignition switches that could prevent them from starting -- or worse.
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The problem stems from a faulty wire that was temporarily used by one of FCA's suppliers. The wire was only used on Liberty, Wrangler, and Viper models that came equipped with manual transmissions. According to the automaker, that wire can break, which may have one of two effects:
1. It can prevent the vehicle from starting.
2. In rare instances, the vehicle "may exhibit unintended movement when its ignition key is turned".
While there's nothing to be done about item #1 before the recall begins, there are ways to ensure that vehicles stay put when started. Before turning the key, FCA encourages owners to put their vehicles in neutral, keep the clutch pressed, and ensure that the parking brake is engaged. To date, FCA knows of no accidents or injuries linked to the problem.
The recall affects manual-transmission Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, and Dodge Viper vehicles from the 2006 model year that were manufactured between February 15, 2005 and September 14, 2006. All told, the recall affects 43,874 vehicles registered in the U.S., 2,944 registered in Canada, 706 registered in Mexico, and 11,309 registered in other countries.
FCA says that it will notify owners by mail about the recall. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a dealership for service, where the clutch ignition interlock switch will be replaced, free of charge.
If you own one of the vehicles listed above and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact FCA customer service at 800-853-1403.