Chrysler Group is launching a massive recall involving ignition switches on older model SUVs.
It says it will recall "an undetermined number of older-model SUVs" because the ignition switch can be bumped by drivers' knees, moving it out of the "on" position and turning off the vehicle's engine. With the engine off, air bags are disabled and power steering and brakes won't work.
It's the same problem that has result in the recall of hundreds of thousands of General Motors vehicles.
Chrysler says 792,000 vehicles are in the pool of those affected by the problem, but the actual number being recalled hasn't been determined. It says 649,900 of them are in the U.S. Only one accident involving the issue has been reported. No one, Chrysler says, was injured.
Vehicles involved include certain model-year 2006 to 2007 Jeep Commanders and 2005 to 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Chrysler is urging owners of those vehicles to use only a single ignition key to start the cars, rather than a bunch of keys on a key ring, to create less pressure on the switc mechanism.
The Jeep Commander was a three-row SUV that is no longer made. Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the Jeep division's most popular models, but it has been completely redesigned compared to the one involved in the recall.