The recall covers Chrysler 300 models built between 2012 and 2014, and Jeep Grand Cherokee models built between 2014 and 2015, fitted with a “joystick style” automatic gear selector.
Although not unique to FCA, the affected gear selector returns to a central position after selecting either Drive, Reverse, or Park, making it difficult to see at a glance if a vehicle has been properly secured before leaving it.
Despite the implementation of warning lights and buzzers that indicate a vehicle is not in Park when the driver’s door is opened, vehicles that are part of the recall will get a software update to prevent the vehicle from moving if not left in Park.
Other similar systems will revert to Park or apply the handbrake if the driver's door is opened.
The problem has been identified as a possible factor in as many as 68 injuries and 266 vehicle crashes in the United States, the most high-profile of these includes the death of Hollywood actor, Anton Yelchin, found pinned beneath his Jeep, although the actual circumstances of the accident are not yet confirmed.
FCA says no incidents have been recorded in Australia.
Australian owners will be notified of the recall by FCA Australia, with a software update to safeguard against Park not being properly selected before exiting the vehicle, to be carried out free of charge.
In the meantime owners are advised to consult their owner's manual for the proper procedure to select Park, and are strongly advised to apply the vehicle’s handbrake before exiting the vehicle.