Chrysler and Nissan have announced recalls affecting some 1.3 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches and failing secondary hood latches, respectively.
Chrysler is re-recalling over 700,000 minivans and SUVs over a defective ignition switch. Separately, Nissan is expanding a prior 2014 recall to cover another 640,000 Altima sedans to fix a faulty secondary hood latch.
Here's what you need to know about these recalls:
A switch defect in these cars can allow the ignition switch to rotate into the "accessory" or "off" position, causing the cars to stall. Consumer complaints describe loss of steering wheel control and difficulty braking when the cars stall.
Chrysler claims that no fatalities have yet been attributed to this defect. A stall has led to one crash, but it did not cause any injuries, the company reports.
Chrysler previously announced similar recalls in 2011 and 2014, but the attempted fix -- adding a trim ring -- did not work.
All recalled vehicles will now receive a wireless ignition module.
Meantime, Nissan is recalling 2013-15 Altima sedans made before December 31, 2014, covering 640,000 cars. This recall expanded a prior recall from last October covering about 230,000 cars.
A defect in the secondary hood latch could cause it to release, allowing the hood to fly up. The secondary hood latch is a backup system. A Nissan spokesman told Reuters, "Altima drivers can be sure their hood will not fly up as long as they don't pull the primary hood release while driving or leave the primary hood release undone prior to driving."
Nissan has not yet found the cause for the problem or determined a remedy.
Recalled vehicles will be inspected, and secondary hood latch assemblies will be lubricated.
Does Your Car Need to Be Fixed?
Car owners can use NHTSA's free online tool to determine whether their vehicle is affected by these, or any other, automotive recall.
If you were injured because of a mechanical defect in a recalled vehicle, a products liability lawyer can help explore your options.