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Chrysler recalls 300,000 Jeeps, Rams for issues including roll-aways

Chrysler recalls 300,000 Jeeps, Rams for issues including roll-aways
Chrysler is recalling more than 300,000 vehicles, including some Jeep Commanders made from Jan. 31, 2005, through March 10, 2010. (Jerry S. Mendoza / Associated Press)

Chrysler is recalling more than 300,000 Jeep Cherokees, Jeep Commanders, Jeep Wranglers and Dodge Ram trucks in the U.S. for multiple problems in three separate cases.

In the biggest, the automaker is recalling 295,345 model-year 2005-2010 Jeep Grand Cherokees and model-year 2006-2010 Jeep Commanders for a possible electrical failure that could allow them to roll away unexpectedly.

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The automaker said the Cherokees in the recall were manufactured from Feb. 11, 2004, through March 9, 2010. The Jeep Commanders were made from Jan. 31, 2005, through March 10, 2010.

The problem could result from an electrical failure in the vehicle's transfer case that, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  documents, "may result in an unintentional shifting of the transfer case into the neutral position."

The NHTSA said the Jeeps could roll away, increasing the risk of injury or a crash if the transmission shifts to neutral.

Chrysler said that it is aware of reports of 26 accidents and two injuries.

A transfer case is part of some four-wheel and all-wheel drive systems. It's connected to the vehicles' transmission through drive shafts that connect to the front and rear axles.

The automaker said the parts in question were built in Troy, Mich., and in Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Chrysler said it will notify owners, and dealers will reflash or reprogram the final drive controller that manages the transfer case, with new software, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in June.

Owners who have questions are encouraged to call Chrysler at (800) 247-9753 and refer to the recall campaign number N23.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 (TTY 800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Separately, Chrysler is also recalling 5,440 model-year Jeep Wrangler right-hand drive vehicles built between Feb. 1, 2007 and Oct. 10, 2011 for driver-side air bags that might not deploy in a crash.

The recall is expected to begin this month. Chrysler's recall campaign number for the air-bag problem is M31.

Finally, there are 498 model-year 2013 Dodge Ram trucks that are being recalled for a problem in which windshield defrosters might not function properly, potentially leading to a buildup of moisture or ice. The problem could restrict vision and could lead to a crash.

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