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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is recalling about 500,000 Jeep Wrangler SUVs because potentially faulty components in the steering wheel could prevent the air bag from deploying in a crash.

The company on Wednesday said 498,985 Jeep Wranglers from the 2007-2010 model years are part of the recall, including 392,464 in the United States. An additional 7,435 model-year 2011-2016 vehicles equipped with right-hand drive for special duty also are affected in the U.S.

The recall is to replace clockspring assemblies and related components as well as install new steering wheel back covers and steering-column shrouds.

An investigation by FCA US determined that excessive exposure to dust and dirt — consistent with extensive off-road driving or driving with a vehicle’s top or doors removed — could impact the clockspring and eventually prevent driver-side air bag deployment in a crash.

A clockspring is located in a vehicle’s steering wheel. It forms part of the circuit that helps control air bag function. If this occurs, the air bag warning-lamp will be illuminated. Customers are advised to contact their dealers.

Vehicles affected outside the U.S. comprise an estimated 35,412 in Canada; 8,529 in Mexico; and 62,580 outside of North America.

Separately on Wednesday, the company recalled about 80,500 Fiat 500 cars from the 2012-2016 model years, including 39,217 in the U.S.

The recall is to upgrade the clutch release systems in the cars with manual transmissions. The company determined certain vehicles are subject to clutch travel that may exceed design parameters. Over time, this may cause component damage capable of restricting gear shifts and propulsion. Vehicles equipped with turbocharged engines are not affected.

The company said it is unaware of any injuries or accidents in the recalled Jeep Wranglers or Fiat 500s due to the potentially faulty parts.

Customers will be advised when they may schedule service for both of the recalls. Those with questions should call FCA US Customer Care at (800) 853-1403.

mwayland@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2504

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