The Detroit News is reporting that DaimlerChrysler has recalled 270,000 units of the 2005 Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minvans to fix airbag sensors that could corrode and fail to activate. The recall, however, only affects minvans that were sold in 20 states and Washington D.C. where lots of salt is used on public roads to melt ice and snow. Apparently these UF sensors have brass bushings that may corrode from road salt and crack, allowing to water to reach the sensor, which causes it to fail and illuminate a warning light on the dash.
So if you own a 2005 Dodge Caravan and live in Florida, you're probably safe. If you live in Buffalo, NY, however, you might want to visit your local Dodge dealer this weekend. The number of vehicles affected includes as many 270,958 minivans built from April 24, 2003 to February 2, 2005. We've included a list of the 20 states affected after the jump along with the recall report from the NHTSA. DaimlerChrysler will notify owners in each state and replace the brass bushings with steel ones to prevent the sensor from failing in the future. If you live in a different state than one on the list, DCX will offer you lifetime free replacement of any UF airbag sensor that fails on your minivan. If you have more questions, you can contact DCX at 1-800-853-1403.
[Source: The Detroit News, NHTSA]
NHTSA Recall Report
2005 CHRYSLER / TOWN AND COUNTRY
2005 DODGE / CARAVAN
Manufacturer : DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORPORATION
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 07V192000
Mfr's Report Date : MAY 01, 2007
Component: AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 270958
CERTAIN MINIVANS ARE BEING RECALLED IN STATES WHICH USE LARGE AMOUNTS OF SALT FOR ROAD DE-ICING, TO REPLACE THEIR UP FRONT (UF) AIR BAG SENSORS. UF SENSORS WITH BRASS BUSHINGS MAY CORRODE AND CRACK ALLOWING WATER TO ENTER THE SENSOR, CAUSING IT TO FAIL, ILLUMINATING THE AIR BAG WARNING LIGHT.
UF SENSORS PROVIDES ENHANCED AIR BAG PERFORMANCE IN CERTAIN TYPES OF FRONTAL CRASHES. IN ONE OF THESE CRASHES, WITH ONE OR BOTH OF THE VEHICLE'S UF SENSORS INOPERATIVE, THE OCCUPANTS WILL NOT BENEFIT FROM THE ENHANCED AIR BAG PROTECTION THAT THESE SENSORS WOULD PROVIDE.
IN STATES THAT USE LARGE AMOUNTS OF ROAD SALT, INCLUDING MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, MASSACHUSETTS, RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, MARYLAND, WEST VIRGINIA, OHIO, INDIANA, MICHIGAN, ILLINOIS, WISCONSIN, MINNESOTA, IOWA, MISSOURI, KENTUCKY, NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, UTAH, NEBRASKA, KANSAS, ALASKA AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DAIMLERCHRYSLER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPLACE THE SUPPLEMENTAL UF AIR BAG SENSORS THAT CONTAIN BRASS BUSHINGS WITH UF SENSORS CONTAINING STEEL BUSHINGS AND HOUSINGS MOLDED OF CRASTIN MATERIAL. IN THE OTHER STATES, DAIMLERCHRYSLER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND WILL PROVIDE LIFETIME FREE REPLACEMENT OF ANY UF SENSOR THAT FAILS. OWNERS ARE REMINDED TO SEEK IMMEDIATE REPAIR IN THE EVENT THEIR AIR BAG WARNING LIGHT IS ILLUMINATED. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JULY 2007. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DAIMLERCHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER NOS. G09/X16. THIS ACTION IS DEEMED A SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN AND IS NOT BEING CONDUCTED IN FULL ACCORDANCE WITH THE SAFETY ACT. DAIMLERCHRYSLER HAS INFORMED NHTSA THAT IT WILL PROVIDE THE ABOVE REMEDY AT NO COST TO THE OWNERS.