2009 Volkswagen Routan – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler recently announced the recall of 285,000 2008 and 2009 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of an improperly routed wiring harness in the sliding doors. If you were thinking that your Volkswagen Routan, which is almost completely identical to the Chrysler minivans, was somehow immune to this issue, think again.

VW is recalling 15,902 Routans built between June 2008 and July 2009 for the exact same issue as it's domestic-branded siblings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the minivan's lower sliding door hinge bracket can make contact with the harness. That contact could eventually wear through the wire insulation, potentially causing a "high resistive short circuit within the latch mechanism located inside the sliding door." As a result of the condition, the latch can overheat, leading to the possibility of a fire inside the rear sliding door.

Affected owners can take their Routan to the nearest VW dealer for a free inspection. Any damaged parts will be repaired or replaced as necessary. Hit the jump to read over the NHTSA press release.


Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Routan

[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]

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Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
VOLKSWAGEN / ROUTAN 2009

Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC Mfr's Report Date: JUN 08, 2010

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 15902

Summary:
VOLKSWAGEN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 ROUTAN VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 2008 THROUGH JULY 2009. THESE VEHICLES MAY HAVE BEEN BUILT WITH AN IMPROPER ROUTED WIRE HARNESS THAT MAY HAVE A CONDITION WHERE THE LOWER SLIDING DOOR HINGE BRACKET CAN MAKE CONTACT AND WEAR THROUGH THE WIRE INSULATION. CONTACT WITH A 12V POWER FEED CIRCUIT WITHIN THE HARNESS MAY CAUSE A HIGH RESISTIVE SHORT CIRCUIT WITHIN THE LATCH MECHANISM LOCATED INSIDE OF THE SLIDING DOOR.

Consequence:
THIS COULD RESULT IN AN OVERHEATED LATCH AND A FIRE WITHIN THE REAR SLIDING DOOR COULD OCCUR.

Remedy:
VOLKSWAGEN WILL INSPECT THE SLIDING DOOR WIRE TRACK WIRE ASSEMBLY AND THE SLIDING DOOR POWER DRIVE UNIT WIRE ASSEMBLY FOR DAMAGE, REPAIR/REPLACE AS NECESSARY, TIE STRAP THE TWO HARNESSES TOGETHER AND ROUTE THE HARNESSES UNDER THE SLIDING DOOR WEATHER STRIP. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JUNE 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.