Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2012 model year Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans over concerns about a malfunctioning rear liftgate sensor.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site puts the number of potential affected units at 471. Affected vehicles were built over a three-day period, from May 9, 2012 to May 12, 2012.
2012 Dodge Grand CaravanEnlarge Photo
At issue is that some Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans in the affected vehicle population may be equipped with a right side liftgate pinch sensor that may not function as intended. The improperly functioning sensor may require added force to stop the power liftgate during the final closing stages.
This condition, occurring during operation of the power liftgate, could increase the risk of injury.
Documentation from Chrysler (PDF) indicates that the problem was discovered during a trial run on March 9, 2012 to evaluate manufacturing feasibility of a proposed power liftgate pinch sensor at Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, Canada assembly plant. An internal audit discovered three vehicles with power liftgate sensor effort greater than guidelines.
An investigation revealed the root cause was due to different electrical resistance values of the trial pinch sensors, compared to previous parts. All remaining functions of the power liftgate obstacle detection system were unaffected.
The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this condition.
What Chrysler will do
Chrysler will notify owners of affected 2012 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans and dealers will inspect and replace the right side liftgate pinch sensors, at no charge. The Chrysler safety recall is expected to begin during May 2012.
In the meantime, owners of affected Chrysler and Dodge minivans with any questions or concerns may contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403. Refer to the Chrysler safety recall campaign number M17.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V191000.