FCA's luck has gone from bad to worse.
Just days after the recently launched Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was hit with 1,677 recalls, FCA's luck has gone from bad to worse as a much larger recall has been issued for its predecessor, the Dodge Grand Caravan. The recall affects 209,135 examples of the 2011-2012 Dodge Grand Caravan in the US and 87,703 units of the minivan in Canada because the driver's side airbag could accidentally deploy. According to FCA, eight potentially connected injuries have been reported, but no accidents have been caused.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011-2012 Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles built between August 23, 2010 have a problem caused by a steering wheel wiring harness which can get trapped between the back cover of the steering wheel and the edge of the horn plate. Should this happen, the wire insulation may become worn which could cause a short circuit. This could then cause the driver's airbag to accidentally deploy, thus increasing the risk of a potential crash. Potential warning signs to look out for include an illuminated airbag warning light, unintended wiper operation or an inoperable steering wheel switch.
Unlike the on-going Takata airbag fiasco, the fix is relatively simple. Affected owners will be contacted by the FCA and arrange for dealers to inspect the steering wheel wiring condition and replace if necessary. They will also remove the steering wheel back cover tab and apply a protective covering on the wiring.