• Feb 23, 2010
Just because Toyota may be garnering the most attention for its current recall crisis, it isn't the only automaker having issues. Chrysler has just released its own recall which affects more than 312,000 2005-2006 Town and Country, Caravan, and Grand Caravan models.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the minivan's front crash sensors may crack "under certain environmental conditions," which can then cause water to seep into the sensor. We're guessing that these environmental conditions refer to cold temperatures, since the list of states affected by this recall are mostly in the northern half of the U.S. If water does enter the sensor, it can trigger the airbag fault warning light and may hinder the performance of the overall airbag system.

In the event of airbag warning light illumination, owners are asked to have their vans serviced immediately to correct the problem. The full recall campaign will begin in June of this year, and owners can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 for more information. Click through the jump to read the official NHTSA statement.

UPDATE: Chrysler informs us that this is not an official recall, but rather a "safety improvement campaign" that was reported in early January.

[Source: NHTSA]
Show full PR text
Vehicle Make / Model:
CHRYSLER / TOWN AND COUNTRY
DODGE / CARAVAN
DODGE / GRAND CARAVAN
Model Year(s): 2005-2006
Manufacturer: CHRYSLER GROUP LLC
Mfr's Report Date: JAN 07, 2010
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V008000
NHTSA Action Number: RQ09003
Component: AIR BAGS:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE
Potential Number of Units Affected: 312442

Summary

CHRYSLER IS CONDUCTING A SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN INVOLVING MODEL YEAR 2005-2006 DODGE CARAVAN, GRAND CARAVAN AND CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, IOWA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, UTAH, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, ALASKA AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE 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.

Consequence

IF THE FRONT CRASH SENSORS BECOME INOPERATIVE, THE DRIVER IS IMMEDIATELY ALERTED BY ILLUMINATION OF THE AIRBAG WARNING LIGHT AND THE VEHICLE SHOULD BE PROMPTLY SERVICED. UNTIL THE VEHICLE IS REPAIRED, THE AIRBAGS MAY NOT PROVIDE THE ENHANCED PROTECTION IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH.

Remedy

CHRYSLER WILL REPLACE THE FRONT AIRBAG SENSORS WITH A NEW DESIGN. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN WILL BEGIN DURING JUNE 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.

Notes

CHRYSLER'S CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS J38. THIS ACTION IS DEEMED A SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CAMPAIGN AND IS NOT BEING CONDUCTED UNDER THE SAFETY ACT. HOWEVER, CHRYSLER HAS INFORMED NHTSA THAT IT WILL PROVIDE THE MODIFICATIONS DESCRIBED ABOVE AT NO COST.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      With all the Toyota recalls I forgot the other automakers existed lol...

      But I have to agree with the others that this is no way as bad as Toyota troubles and yes AB is reporting on it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, when I saw this picture of the old Chrysler minivan, I just can't help but saying they looked so much nicer than the current gen.

      The quality however did went up slightly, but they still need it to go up like crazy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I understand your point. However,

        "When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts strong negative associations."
        - Marilyn vos Savant

      • 4 Years Ago
      Steven Ewing/Autoblog...Don't try and lump this Chrysler recall into something similar to Toyota's multiple recalls that they have tried to hide from the public endangering their lives.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow...a company that issues a recall BEFORE the government forces them to. Cudos Chrysler Group LLC
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep. He's right. The last thing any regulated company wants is to forced by an agency to recall a product. It's bad. Very very bad.

        If a regulated company issues a recall, that's much favorable than being forced.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, and its always the US company who gets egg on their face for having recalls.

        Please recall my vehicles and fix them on your coin not mine!
        • 4 Years Ago
        You don't know how it works. The large majority of recalls are voluntary and the company alerts the government. Despite the feet dragging at Toyota, the threat of bad press and liability is a large incentive for comapnies to do it without the government forcing the issue.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No Cudos to Chrysler. You really think they recalled this out of concern for the consumer. Chrysler saw what was happing to Toyota and decided to recall because of the opportunity cost may become to great. This is a recall on 2006 models. You really think they have just started to see these problems? As for as Im concerned most, if not all, auto industries are the same with recalls. Heck even Ford weighed the opportunity cost on the Pinto. They had financial analysts and other professionals looking how cost effective it would be to recall all Pintos or hold out and pay some people damages if their car was rear ended and burst into flames. Unfortunately they didnt calculate what would happen if the media got involved. Also the Government never forced a recall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmmm,
      I dont trust any journelist nowadays,they seem to be all biased..They seem to want the domestic manufacturers to all fail and import brands to survive.Case in point ,they down play Toyota and Honda's recalls blamming/making excuses and always bringing up something about a domestic manufacture.Also,they praise ugly looking import brands and say how good they drive,high interior plastic quality,and in reality they ride and drive and handle worse than a 1977 Plymouth Volare wagon with a bent frame and 3 wheels...By the way the Volare was praised for its high handling ability,like a sports car they said back in the day (motor trend) Also how many times do they have to road test a Honda Fit ? Hell they never test a chrysler product as much as any import,even when aChrysler product is all new,revised,new powertrains ect..They will test any import even if it never changed in 5 years and they test them multiple times a year..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Boooo!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The first time I ever took my '05 Caravan through a car wash, the air bag light came on immediately and then stayed on the entire time I owned it. There was a recall, but my van wasn't included in it. So, I sort of expected to hear this at some point. If only they had recalled the crappy transmission.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        I never said I didn't take it in. Let's see... fix the airbag light or fix the broken torque converter? Fix the airbag light or keep the brakes maintained?

        I have been in accidents where either the car did not have airbags or the airbag did not deploy. I've never been injured, probably because I always wear a seat belt. Will that always be the case? Probably not. But to me, it is more important to keep the engine, transmission, brakes, tires, etc. properly maintained than to worry about a part on the car that I will likely never use (and never did.) When you own a Chrysler product, you have to treat it like a triage situation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Let me get this straight, you had an air bag light come on, and you never took it in?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You pretty much did say that, since it was "on the entire time you owned it". Unless you owned it for a week, that sounds like you never took it in, and if you did have it for a week, it certainly didn't warrant a comment here. I've had an airbag light on once in any car I owned, and the moment I said that, the dealership wanted it taken care of immediately.
      • 4 Years Ago

      How could a fault that "may hinder the performance of the overall airbag system" merit a voluntary instead of mandatory recall?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Because they CHOSE to recall BEFORE it was mandated by the Government
      • 4 Years Ago
      I realize this is completely off topic - but as I was staring at that photo of the Town & Country I couldn't help but think to myself, "Now isn't THAT a nice looking minivan - so much nicer than the new T&C!"
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree,That gen T&C as well as the caravan were much nicer loking then.Actually,all Chryslers were.Now,they're all boxy,sharp and too...geometrical.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This isn't anywhere close to on the level of Toyota's recalls, neither in size nor severity. This isn't causing deaths (as far as I know), it's simply causing an air bag fault light to go off and hopefully then causing people to come in for service.

      So yeah, do not equate this in any way to Toyota's current issues.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i don't believe I said that this wasn't an important issue. It is, but lets be real here for a second. What's happening is that the sensor is failing which is TRIGGERING A FAULT CODE and turning on the check airbag light.

        In other words, you, as the consumer will KNOW something is wrong and if you are in the least bit intelligent go have it checked out and corrected.

        The biggest problem outside of Toyota's attempted cover up of all their issues was the fact that the problems are not triggering any faults or codes and cannot therefore be detected before hand and fixed.

        This can.. Again, yes, it's a recall, yes, it's important but don't blow it out of proportion or slyly compare it to Toyota's woes as the wonderful Mr. Ewing so eloquently did.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to the whole 'we invented the minivan,and we make them the best' thing?
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