Chrysler, Dodge Minivans Recalled For Inadvertent Airbag Deployment

December 20, 2010
Chrysler last week initiated a safety-related recall of 367,350 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, all from the 2008 model year, for an issue with improper water drainage off the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system in these vehicles.

The issue, which is caused by an "improperly assembled HVAC drain grommet," allows moisture to potentially drip onto the floor in the cabin—a problem that wasn't initially seen as a safety issue.

The reason it's now a safety concern on 2008 Dodge Caravan and Town & Country models isn't that damp carpet so much as that the dampness will get to a critical airbag switch, "which can lead to illumination of airbag warning light and a potential inadvertent airbag deployment," according to the NHTSA recall notice.

Chrysler has received notice of a total of 15 inadvertent airbag deployments and one minor injury from the issue from 2008 through June 2010, then in the following three months the automaker received 15 additional complaints and four more minor injuries.

Dodge and Chrysler dealers will replace the faulty HVAC drain grommet at no charge, and the recall effort itself will begin in February 2011.

Owners can either contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753 or NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.


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