Thanks to GM, Fiat Chrysler Is Facing an Ignition Recall

The Feds are investigating ignition-switch problems in Chrysler's minivans and Jeeps. Is Chrysler about to join the 2014 recall circus?

Jun 23, 2014 at 1:31PM


The now-discontinued Jeep Commander is one of several Chrysler products under investigation for ignition-switch issues. Source: Fiat Chrysler

It has been quite a year for automaker recalls. So far in 2014, General Motors (NYSE:GM) alone has recalled over 20 million vehicles in North America -- thanks to the fallout from a long-delayed recall of a defective ignition swtich blamed for over a dozen deaths.

It isn't just a GM thing, though -- all automakers are coming under much closer scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which some have accused of lapses with GM. Ford (NYSE:F) added $400 million to its "warranty reserve" in the first quarter, likely in anticipation of increased pressure to recall vehicles, and Ford, Toyota (NYSE:T), and others have each issued several large recalls of their own in 2014.

Now it may be Fiat Chrysler's (NASDAQOTH:FIATY) turn. As Motley Fool senior auto specialist John Rosevear explains in this video, the NHTSA -- surely sparked by the GM example -- is looking into a potential problem with over a million Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps, a problem that will seem remarkably familiar to those who have followed the GM recall saga.

A transcript of the video is below.

Why "Made in China" is on the way out
China is overtaking the U.S. as the next global superpower... right? I've heard that too, but I know there's one HUGE reason why China is actually falling BEHIND...and fast. It's not a military buildup or giant new oil fields -- it's a brand-new technology being used by everyone from Ford to Nike to the U.S. military, and the payout for investors could be massive. Watch The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation today to discover the new garage gadget that's putting an end to the "Made In China" era... and learn the investing strategy we've used to double our money on these 3 stocks. Click here to watch now!

John Rosevear: Hey Fools, it's John Rosevear, senior auto specialist for We've heard an awful lot about General Motors and ignition switches and recalls in the last few months, some of you have told me that you've heard too much.

Okay, here's a story that involves ignition switches and recalls, but this time it's at Chrysler. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this past Wednesday that it is opening investigations into 1.2 million vehicles made by Chrysler because of reports that the ignition switches could get knocked out of the "run" position and cause the vehicle to stall.

The danger is what we've seen in some of the accidents involving the defective General Motors cars, if the ignition switch isn't in the run position when the car gets hit, the airbags don't deploy. So you can see what they're worried about, you knock the key while you're driving with your knee or maybe you hit a bump on the highway or in an intersection or something, the car abruptly stalls, somebody crashes into you, and your airbags don't go off. 

A report in the Detroit News said that Chrysler has received "hundreds" of complaints about vehicles stalling because of the issue, but to be clear here there are no reports of injuries or fatalities that are linked to air bags not deploying.

There are actually two separate investigations here, one is of Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans as well as the Dodge Journey crossover, vehicles made between 2008 and 2010, where they say that a rough road or a sharp bump could cause the ignition to turn from "run" mode to "accessory" mode, which shuts the engine down. Then there's a separate investigation, which is with Jeep Commanders and Jeep Grand Cherokes made between 2005 and 2007, where the driver's knee can bump the key fob or key chain and turn the ignition off.

This is basically the same issue that led GM to recall a whole bunch of Camaros last week, because the new Camaros have these big key fobs that apparently are big enough that a driver's knee can bump them, and then GM recalled a lot more vehicles on Monday, 3.16 million, to modify the keys to make it so that you can't hang too many things on your key, because the momentum of the weight on the key could cause it to turn the ignition while you're driving, so GM is going to modify the keys so that they have only a little hole for the keyring instead of a larger slot.

It's getting to the point where it all sounds silly, but the Feds are apparently really concerned about this, it makes me wonder if they're going to end up requiring all of our new cars to have keyless start, with the key fob in your pocket and a start button on the dash. But one thing is clear, and that's that our big season of recalls in the United States is still in full swing. Thanks for watching.

John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers