Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.1 million cars for gear shifters

DETROIT -Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is recalling more than 1.1 million cars and midsize SUVs worldwide because their gear shifters may confuse drivers and allow them to exit their vehicles without placing them in "park."

The recall covers the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. Fiat Chrysler is recalling 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 317,616 elsewhere.

An investigation by Fiat Chrysler and the U.S. government found that the electronic gear shifters in the vehicles were confusing and might lead people to believe that they were parked even if they weren't. Fiat Chrysler is aware of 41 injuries potentially related to the problem.

In a statement, Fiat Chrysler explained how the problem can occur: "The vehicles affected by this recall are equipped with electronic shift levers that return to the same position after each manipulation. Gear-selection is conveyed to the driver by multiple sets of indicator lights, not gear-selector position, and unless due care is taken, drivers may draw erroneous conclusions about the status of their vehicles."

Owners will be notified, and dealers will update the transmissions so they won't move once the driver has exited. They'll also add enhanced warning signals.

Fiat Chrysler said it began equipping the Charger and 300 with a new shift-lever design in the 2015 model year and for Grand Cherokee in the 2016 model year.

More information about the recall can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.