DETROIT, Dec 29 (Reuters) - FCA US, the former Chrysler Group, said on Monday it is recalling almost 67,000 older-model pickup trucks equipped with manual transmissions globally for possible clutch problems that have been linked to one death.
FCA, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles , is recalling an estimated 66,819 pickup trucks from model years 2006 and 2007 after engineers discovered clutch interlock switches may be equipped with spring wire that differs from wire used in previous switches, the company said.
The alternate wire may break, causing the vehicle not to start or in rare cases result in unintended movement when the ignition key is turned, the company said.
FCA said it is aware of one fatality related to the recall stemming from an accident. In May, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation after the fatality.
In the incident, a young child was able to enter a 2006 Ram 3500 truck and start the ignition without the clutch depressed, according to documents filed with NHTSA. The vehicle then moved forward and struck and killed another child.
The recall covers certain Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500, and Mitsubishi Raider pickups. Switches with the alternate wire were not used in any vehicles made before July 2005 or after June 2006.
The Dakota and Raider, built under contract for Mitsubishi, are no longer made.
An estimated 54,558 of the trucks are in the United States, 4,356 in Canada, 7,648 in Mexico and 257 outside of North America, FCA said.
Owner notification is expected to begin Feb. 13, FCA said. In the interim, customers are advised to follow recommended procedures for starting their vehicles, including activating the parking brake, placing the shift lever in neutral and pressing the clutch pedal before turning the ignition key. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Leslie Adler)