Chrysler Minivans In Salt Belt States Recalled

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Chrysler and the National Highway Safety Administration recently announced a recall of some 300,000 minivans for air bag problems.

The problem, limited to 2005-2006 Chrysler Town Country and Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan models, involves a crash sensor found inside the front air bag units. The air bag sensors were made for Chrysler by Robert Bosch Corporation.

The action covers vehicles originally sold, or currently registered, in 27 states (Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia.

Vehicles sold outside of these 27 states, or approximately 185,000 vehicles, are not affected by the recall. Most of these are not involved because of lower exposure to road salt, while other vehicles had different sensors installed.

“Chrysler has determined that the supplemental front crash sensors may crack under certain environmental conditions and allow water to enter into the sensor. This can cause the sensor to become inoperative and illuminate the airbag warning light. These sensors were added to enhance the performance of the airbag system in certain frontal crashes.”

Chrysler noted in a letter to NHTSA that customers who have previously fixed a faulty air bag sensor will pay consumers back, provided they have saved their receipts.

The recall notice indicates that NHTSA and Chrysler have different opinions about the severity of the problem. The report states:

“NHTSA AND CHRYSLER DIFFER REGARDING THE SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE DEFECT, BUT IN THE INTEREST OF REMEDYING THE AFFECTED VEHICLES EXPEDITIOUSLY AND TO AVOID A PROTRACTED DISPUTE, CHRYSLER IS IMPLEMENTING STEPS TO REPLACE THE FRONT CRASH SENSORS. BASED ON THESE ACTIONS, THE AGENCY HAS DECIDED THAT FURTHER USE OF ITS RESOURCES DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE WARRANTED. ACCORDINGLY, THIS INVESTIGATION IS CLOSED. THE CLOSING OF THIS INVESTIGATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FINDING BY NHTSA THAT NO SAFETY-RELATED DEFECT EXISTS IN THE SUBJECT VEHICLES. THE AGENCY WILL MONITOR THE ISSUE AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO TAKE FURTHER ACTION IF WARRANTED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES.”

Customers will receive notices from Chrysler soon. Owners who experience problems with their vehicles should have them serviced at their dealer. Owners can also call 1-800-Chrysler or visit http://www.chrysler.com/webselfservice/chrysler/index.jsp?screenName=recall.

Stashi is an Editor at Driver Pulse, a provider of online automotive editorial reviews and latest news throughout the automotive industry. From the sight of sleek curves to the sound of a roaring engine, old and new, she has a great love for vehicles of all makes and models. What she finds most exciting is that automakers of iconic muscle cars from the past, such as Ford and Chevrolet, are reproducing them for this generation of gearheads. Her dream car, the 1964 or 1966 Ford Mustang, is the ultimate American pony car and paved the way for her love of growling and rumbling engines of old school muscle cars. She spent her whole life in the Midwest and still finds herself playing the same game she once played with her father when she was a young girl. It’s a game her father liked to call “Name that make and model”. This game has become more challenging as the years pass making it a great way to pass the time on long road trips. She believes that automobiles, old and new, are an art form that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

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