Chrysler recalling sedans following reports of engine fires

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WASHINGTON -- DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said Friday it would recall about 265,000 sedans after receiving dozens of complaints of engine fires.

The recall involves 1999-2000 Dodge Stratus, Plymouth Breeze and Chrysler Cirrus sedans equipped with the 2.4-liter engine. Chrysler has received 168 reports of fires through November 2005, DaimlerChrysler spokesman Max Gates said.

The automaker said the high-pressure power steering hose may experience premature aging because of heat and could leak power steering fluid, creating the potential of a fire in the engine compartment. Gates said the company had received one report of minor smoke inhalation.

Under the recall, the hose, which carries coolant into the power steering system, will be replaced.

Gates said temperatures inside the engines of the vehicles were higher than normal, and the automaker was trying to figure out why. The replacement hoses will be more resistant to heat.

The recall involves about 210,000 vehicles in the United States and about 55,000 vehicles in Mexico and Canada.
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