Chrysler Recalls Almost 470,000 Jeep SUVs For Shifting Problem

Chrysler is recalling almost 470,000 Jeep SUVs for a gearshift issue. The recall announcement was made by the No. 3 US automaker on Saturday.

Therecall includes Jeep Commanders and Grand Cherokees worldwide and will involve the dealership updating software on some vehicles’ circuit boards.

The circuit boards can transmit signals that trigger inadvertent gear shifts to neutral. Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne added that there have been 26 accidents and two injuries reported that may be related to the defect.

Affected models are Jeep Commanders between the 2006 and 2010 model years, as well as Grand Cherokees from the 2005 to 2010 model years.

Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission that it first learned of the problem almost 16 months ago when the owner of a Grand Cherokee with a remote-start feature reported the vehicle shifting into neutral when it was started. Last December, the US automaker finished developing new software that might fix the problem.

It completed testing on the fix in March, but didn’t believe until May that a recall was necessary to fix the problem. Mayne stated that he was not able to explain immediately what caused Chrysler to wait to issue a recall for the gearshift issue.

Chrysler added that the recall is voluntary. When a manufacturer becomes aware of a safety problem, it is required by law to tell the NHTSB of its plan for the recall within five business days. If it does not do so, it can face a civil fine.

The recall is Chrysler’s largest since November 2012, when 900,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs were recalled worldwide for a defect that could cause airbags to deploy incorrectly. The company plans to directly contact affected customers and will make the repairs for free.

The news of a new Chrysler recall comes one month after the company reported a drop in its quarterly profits due to an aggressive new-vehicle launch schedule. Despite the drop, it stated it is on track to meet its business targets.