Over 1 million Dodge and Chrysler vehicles are being included in a recall. The announcement of the recall comes as a result of an investigation into concerns of some potentially related injuries. The recall will affect some older Dodge and Chrysler vehicles.
What are the vehicles in the recall
Over one million vehicles are involved in the recall. It affects 2007-2011 Dodge Nitro SUV models, as well as 2008-2010 Chrysler Town and Country models, and its twin, the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. In total, 925,239 units were sold in the United States. There were 188,249 of the affected vehicles sold in Canada. Also, there were 24,139 units that sold in Mexico and 66,120 outside the North American market.
What is the recall about
The recall centers around some parts from the airbag cover that can be launched as high-speed shrapnel should the driver’s side airbag deploy. These are small parts, but dangerous none-the-less. According to the press release,
“[The] investigation discovered these vehicles are equipped with certain clips, no longer in use, that may — over time — loosen and disengage. Should these things happen, and there is a driver-side airbag deployment, the clips and/or plastic emblems they are meant to secure, may act as projectiles.”
Just to be clear, this recall is separate from the previous massive Takata airbag recall. That recall involved potential shrapnel from the airbag. This recall involves potential shrapnel from the airbag cover on the steering wheels and is not associated with Takata. This is a voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
What has happened
The release says that FCA, the parent company for Dodge and Chrysler, is aware of 14 potentially related injuries. However, none of the injuries were to the front passenger, or rear seats. So, this affects the driver in the event that there is a deployment of the steering wheel mounted airbag.
When will recall notices go out
FCA will begin notifying affected owners next month. The registered owners will receive recall notices by mail. “In the interim, FCA strongly advises against tampering with the emblems, which are located in the center of the vehicles’ steering wheels.” Should there be any questions, FCA has provided (800) 853-1403 as a contact number for owners.
The Dodge Nitro and Grand Caravan
The Nitro was a mid-size SUV. It is no longer offered by Dodge. The Nitro shared its platform with the Jeep Liberty. Interestingly enough, the Jeep liberty was not mentioned as part of this recall.
The Dodge Grand Caravan is an old mainstay of the Dodge lineup. The Caravan minivan was launched in the early 1980s and grew in length to include the Grand Caravan a few years later. The 2020 model year will be its last, leaving no minivan remaining in the Dodge lineup.
Recalls are no fun but are necessary. The alternative is the potential for more people to get hurt. So, when a manufacturer finds something with the potential for injury, a recall is the only way to take care of the problem and also their customer’s continued health and wellbeing. To keep safe, if owners of the affected vehicles find themselves with questions, they should contact FCA at the number provided above or their local dealer.