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NHTSA Reports Chrysler Recall Of 11,000 Vehicles

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DETROIT June 16, 2011; Ben Klayman writing for Reuters reported that Chrysler Group LLC has recalled 11,351 vehicles for a possible missing or incorrectly installed part that could compromise the steering column's performance in an accident, potentially increasing the risk of injury for the driver.

Some of the 2011 model-year vehicles were built with a missing or incorrectly installed pivot rivet on the steering column, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the event of a frontal crash, the steering column's ability to absorb the force of the driver's weight could be hurt.

Chrysler said the issue does not affect the steering of the vehicle under normal driving conditions.

Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga said the company was cooperating with the NHTSA and that there had been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.

Affected vehicles include the Chrysler 200 and 200 convertible cars; Town and Country minivan; Dodge Avenger, Caliber, Caravan, Journey and Nitro vehicles; and Jeep Compass, Liberty, Patriot and Wrangler SUVs, according to the NHTSA documents.

Dealers will inspect for the presence of the rivet and repair the steering column pivot as required. Plans call for the recall to begin in July. Chrysler is operated by Fiat SpA.

Editing for Reuters by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman