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Chrysler recalling 350, 000 vehicles over ignition switch issues

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Chrysler is voluntarily recalling an estimated 349,442 older-model vehicles to correct conditions that may cause ignition keys to become stuck or inadvertently move.

In a statement, the automaker said an investigation found the ignition keys on certain model-year 2008 vehicles produced before May 12, 2008, may not fully return to the "ON" position after rotation to the "START" position during engine-startup. Instead, they may remain between the "START" and "ON" positions. If this occurs, windshield defroster and wiper function may be lost. Air bag function is not affected.

Less probable is the prospect that an ignition key may not fully return to the "ON" position after rotation to the "START" position and may inadvertently move through the "ON" position to "ACCESSORY" or "OFF." If this occurs, it may result in reduced braking power and a loss of engine power, power steering, and one or more of the vehicle's safety features including front air bags.

Among the vehicles subject to recall, Chrysler is aware of a single minor accident that was possibly related to either condition. The automaker is unaware of any related injuries.

The campaign is limited to 2008 Dodge Charger sedans, Dodge Magnum station wagons, Chrysler 300 sedans, Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

It covers an estimated 292,224 vehicles in the U.S.; 18,976 in Canada; 4,947 in Mexico; and 33,295 outside the NAFTA region.
All affected customers will be notified when they may schedule service, which will be provided at no cost to them. As a precaution, customers are advised to detach their ignition keys from key rings and other keys.

In the meantime, owners of these models are advised to confirm their ignition keys are set in the "ON" position (one o'clock) after starting their vehicles. This will assure engine power and intended functionality of all systems, including front air bags.
Owners with questions may also call Chrysler Group's Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.