Back in January, we told you about a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation of rollaway complaints related to the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger, and the 2012-2014 Chrysler 300. That investigation has now resulted in a recall of those models to fix a problem with their shifters, which has allowed some owners to exit their vehicles without putting them in "PARK".
The recall affects more than 1.1 million vehicles worldwide. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says that 41 potentially related injuries have been reported.
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The shifters seem to be confusing to some owners, because, as we previously explained, they rely on indicator lights, not the position of the shifter itself, to convey the gear of the vehicle. According to FCA, "The vehicles affected by this recall are equipped with electronic shift levers that return to the same position after each manipulation. Gear-selection is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights, not gear-selector position, and unless due care is taken, drivers may draw erroneous conclusions about the status of their vehicles."
The recall affects 811,586 vehicles registered in the U.S., in addition to 52,144 in Canada, 16,805 in Mexico, and 248,667 outside North America.
The fix for those vehicles involves implementing enhanced warnings for drivers and "a transmission-shift strategy to automatically prevent a vehicle from moving, under certain circumstances, even if the driver fails to select "PARK."
Owners will receive recall notifications by mail when repair service becomes available. In the meantime, FCA strongly encourages owners to apply the emergency brake and ensure that their vehicles are in "PARK" before exiting.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact the appropriate FCA customer care department. You can reach Chrysler at 800-247-9753, Dodge at 800-423-6343, and Jeep at 877-426-5337.