Chrysler Minivans Under Investigation for Stalling Defect
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation into Dodge Caravan minivans produced by Chrysler Group LLC. The NHTSA announced the investigation on September 9, 2014.
The NHTSA launched an investigation after receiving at least 8 complaints that the minivans routinely stalled on roads and highways after drivers filled the gas tanks. In one explicit complaint, a father detailed how his wife and kids became stranded on the highway when their 2007 Grand Caravan minivan stalled on the highway during a turn. In that case, the minivan stalled and the steering wheel locked up and failed to turn.
Unfortunately, these reports of stalling incidents are not entirely unique problems. Chrysler Town & Country 2004 and 2005 minivans have received over 20 complaints of stalling. Additionally, in 2013 the NHTSA received reports that Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s were likely to stall when driving slowly or after filling up the gas tanks.
While the NHTSA did open up an investigation in to these earlier reports of stalling Chrysler vehicles, the investigation was ultimately closed after a finding that the stalling complaints did not pose a significant or widespread safety threat. Chrysler Group’s warranty was also made available to remedy the stalling defects.
A Chrysler spokesperson responded to the NHTSA’s announcement and stated that the company is fully cooperating with the investigation. The company also took the time to point out that no injuries were associated with the stalling behavior.
It remains to be seen whether the NHTSA will conclude that the 160,000 Grand Caravan minivan stalling issue is either a minor problem like the stalling issue in Chrysler Town & Country minivans, or a more serious issue that requires a recall.