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After Hundreds of Incidents, NHTSA Expands Chrysler Probe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it will be expanding its investigation into transmissions that may increase the risk of crashes due to its design. The transmission that has been presenting issues are designed by Chrysler and used in the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees, the 2012 through 2014 Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers.

Since these transmissions are designed differently, the shifters may pop back to a central position even after the driver shifts it. Instead of staying in a set detent, the Chrysler eight-speed automatic transmission may shift unexpectedly, increasing the risk of an accident.

During road tests with the impacted vehicle, Consumer Reports learned that the design caused the shifter to be somewhat hard to figure out. The unintuitive design makes it likely for mistakes or issues to occur while the vehicle is in use.

So far, there had been at least 306 accidents involving Grand Cherokees. In most incidents, the vehicles rolled away while the engine was on and the gear had been shifted to Park on its own. At least 117 crashes occurred and 28 injuries were reported. Four other crashes were tied to the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger vehicles. Two injuries were reported.

Consumers with the vehicles should stay alert. While the NHTSA is in the investigative phase, they must keep in mind that the discovery of issues will undoubtedly lead to a major auto recall.

In the past, the Lincoln MKC presented similar issues associated with the design of the model’s unique push-button shifter. The company had to redesign their new transmissions because drivers were shutting off the ignition accidentally.

If the NHTSA finds the transmissions designed by Chrysler require repairs and the vehicles are recalled, consumers are urged to avoid ignoring the campaign. Have the vehicle repaired promptly to avoid potential accidents.

If you would like to know more about this investigation, follow this link.

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