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Chrysler and Jeep vehicles recalled to reduce roll-away risk

Jeep Grand-Cherokee is one of the models currently being recalled by FCA.

More than 47,000 cars recalled nationally to install software designed to minimise risk of cars rolling away if not parked properly.

Fiat Chrysler Automotive Australia is moving to recall 47,451 of its cars sold locally since 2014, after FCA's head office in the US admitted to 41 injuries potentially caused by drivers failing to correctly engage Park with the joystick-style shifter fitted to Jeep Grand Cherokees and Chrysler 300s.

The death of American actor Anton Yelchin, who was this week found crushed between his driveway gate and his 2015 Grand Cherokee, is suspected to have been caused by the phenomenon, which sees owners potentially failing to engage Park correctly on the self-centring shifter.

If the shifter fails to engage Park, and the foot-operated parking brake has not been engaged, there is an increased risk that the vehicle will roll away, particularly if parked on an incline.

The Australian recall has appeared on the ACCC website, and affects 2014-2015 model year Grand Cherokees and 300s equipped with the self-centring automatic shifter.

"The selected gear is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights. As a safety precaution, the vehicles deliver warning chimes and alert messages if a driver attempts to switch off the engine when in any gear other than park, or if the driver-side doors are opened while their engines are still running and park is not engaged. As a further safety precaution, it is also recommended that drivers engage the parking brake whenever they leave the vehicle," reads the FCA Australia statement.

Almost 1.1 million cars worldwide have been caught up in the recall.

"However, an investigation found these measures may be insufficient to deter some drivers from exiting their vehicles without first selecting park. FCA Australia will enhance the warnings and transmission-shift strategy on these vehicles via a software update.

"The enhancements will combine warnings with a transmission-shift strategy to automatically prevent a vehicle from moving, under certain circumstances, even if the driver fails to select park."

The fix requires no parts, and will not take long to implement. However, the fix itself is not yet finalised, with an original deadline of late 2016 now being pushed to as early as July. FCA Australia has said it will inform the owners of the affected vehicles as soon as the software patch becomes available.

The latest Australian-spec 300C is now equipped with a rotary dial shifter in place of the joystick shifter, while the limited edition Grand Cherokee SRT Night is fitted with a more traditional T-bar shifter.

An FCA spokesperson declined to comment further on the issue today.

Almost 1.1 million cars worldwide have been caught up in the recall, according to FCA, with the recall program announced overseas in April this year.

Have you been caught up in the latest FCA recall? Let us know in the comments below.