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Chrysler Recalls 2.7 Million Older Model Vehicles Because of Floor-Mounted Shift Assembly Problem

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. January 13, 2004; The AP reported that DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group is recalling 2.7 million older model vehicles to replace or repair the floor-mounted shifter assembly. The company also is fixing more than 20,000 new Dodge Durango vehicles with a throttle problem.

Chrysler said Tuesday that an internal investigation showed that when the floor-mounted shifter button is depressed and pulled with excessive force when the key is not in the ignition, the vehicle's ignition interlock system could become inoperative. That could cause the vehicle to move.

Vehicles affected by the recall include the 1995-1999 Chrysler Cirrus, Dodge Stratus and Plymouth Breeze; 1996-1999 Sebring convertibles; and 1993-1999 Chrysler 300M, Chrysler Concorde, Chrysler LHS, Dodge Intrepid and Eagle Vision.

Chrysler said the potential malfunction is likely to be most prevalent in vehicles that have had multiple drivers, such as those in commercial or rental fleets because of additional use. The automaker estimates about 10 percent of the 2.7 million vehicles is likely to be affected.

Chrysler said it will install stronger components to better withstand excessive force on the shifter.

Separately, Chrysler is recalling some 2004 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles to replace throttle cables that may take in water and freeze during extended cold temperatures. The recall covers 21,000 Durangos with 3.7- and 4.7-liter engines, spokeswoman Angela Ford said.

Owners of 5,000 Durangos will receive at no cost a new cable with an improved seal, Ford said. The other 16,000 vehicles are on dealers' lots or in transit, she said.