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Chrysler recalling 11 models for steering problem

DETROIT – Chrysler Group LLC is recalling 11,351 cars, minivans and other models because a manufacturing problem can cause the steering to fail.

Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it doesn’t know of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem, which affects 11 models from the 2011 model year.

NHTSA said on its website Thursday that a missing or incorrectly installed rivet could cause a loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.

Recalled vehicles include the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan and convertible and Town and Country minivan; the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan, Caliber compact car, Caravan minivan, Journey crossover vehicle and Nitro SUV; and the Jeep Compass wagon and Patriot, Liberty and Wrangler SUVs. The vehicles were built from mid-April to the middle of May.

Dealers will check to make sure the rivet was installed correctly and make repairs free of charge. The company plans to begin notifying dealers and owners in July, according to the documents.

Chrysler began investigating after it discovered that a steering column rivet was missing in some of the vehicles.

The problem was traced to the improper identification of rejected components by new employees on one shift at a factory near Toledo, Ohio, according to documents filed with NHTSA.

The company inspected 14,000 steering columns and found seven with missing or misaligned rivets. There are no known customer complaints about the problem, the documents said.

Vehicle owners who have questions can call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403 or NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.

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