MICHIGAN: The Chrysler Group has recalled up to 1.6 million of its best-selling Jeep Grand Cherokees in order to fix what some of the vehicle's owners have said is a potentially dangerous problem with the vehicle's transmission.
The DaimlerChrysler unit said it would install an extra component in the jeep's gear box to further buffer the gear change between park and reverse, following allegations that in some cases the jeep slipped into reverse after it had been placed in park.
The automaker has settled 21 lawsuits relating to alleged malfunctions of the sport utility vehicle (SUV), even though its own internal investigation could find no mechanical fault with the vehicle, a spokesman said.
The vehicle has been linked to 364 crashes, 159 injuries and five deaths, according to regulators, although they are not exclusively blamed on the alleged transmission problem.
But the automaker hopes its voluntary reinforcement of the suspect part on all of the 1993 to 1998 model years Jeeps still on the road will encourage regulators to close the book on the inquiry.