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Chrysler Recalling 600,000 Minivans and Jeeps

Troubled maker cites potential brake failures, wiring fires.

by on Jun.07, 2010

The latest recalls are the result of design or assembly process defects.

Chrysler is recalling 600,000 of its Jeep Wrangler SUVs, and Dodge and Chrysler minivans to address potential safety problems involving brake and wiring defects.

The announcement is the latest setback for the struggling automaker, and comes just days after it issued a recall notice for 161,000 Dodge Caliber models to repair a potentially sticky accelerator pedal because of defective parts from CTS, the same supplier of recalled Toyota pedals. (See Chrysler Recalls Dodge Calibers for Sticky Pedals )

The latest defects are the result of improper engineering or assembly.

On model year 2008 and 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans manufactured from February 2007 through September 2009, some of the minivans may have been assembled with an improperly routed wire harness. The lower sliding-door hinge bracket can make contact and wear through the wire insulation. A short circuit in the latch is possible, which in turn could cause a fire. About 285,000 minivans with power sliding doors are affected. No accidents or injuries are reported.


Chrysler Recalls Dodge Calibers for Sticky Pedals

CTS, the same company that supplied Toyota, made the parts.

by on Jun.05, 2010

The engine control computer will override a stuck gas pedal if the brake is depressed.

Chrysler Group is recalling almost 35,000 Dodge Calibers in the United States, Canada Mexico and other countries to fix a potential problem with sticky gas pedals, the same defect that affected millions of Toyotas. A small number of Jeep Compass models, 90,  are also involved.

No accidents or injuries have been reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation back in April covering 161,000 of the 2007 model Dodge Caliber hatchbacks. At that time, Chrysler said that only 10,000 of the vehicles, produced during a five-week period in March and April 2006 are affected by the potential problem.

The Federal safety defect investigation was looking at pedals manufactured by an Indiana-based supplier, CTS Corporation, also the source of sticky accelerator pedals involved in the January recall of 2.3 million Toyota vehicles. Toyota recently paid a record fine of $16.4 million for failing to notify the government of the problem in a timely manner. NHTSA had received customer complaints about sticking Dodge pedals.

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Chrysler said the pedal is a completely different design and was made on different tooling than the Toyota pedals. It appears to be a mechanical problem where a pivot bushing falls out and jams the pedal. And unlike Toyota, the engine control computer overrides the accelerator if the brakes are applied at the same time so the driver can stop the Caliber.