Fiat Chrysler recalls 4 minivans in Canada

Faulty tool may have been used to improperly fasten third-row seats

Published: May 29, 2016, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:27 PM

Made in Canada - An assembly plant in Windsor, ON, originally built in 1928, has expanded over the decades to become a sprawling 4.4-million-square-foot facility that is now the sole source of the company’s popular minivan models. The Windsor plant began building its segment-setting Magic Wagon minivan in 1985 and today produces the Dodge Caravan (scheduled to be phased out in 2015) and Chrysler Town & Country models, as well as the Ram Cargo Van. Until recently, it also built the Volkswagen Routan van plus the right-hand-drive Lancia Grand Voyager for overseas markets.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling 103 minivans to inspect third-row seatframes that may not be fastened properly.

The issue stems from a faulty fastener tool that was not calibrated properly, and could therefore have delivered less torque in fastening the seat than the manufacturer specification. Luckily, the problem was caught after two 8-hour shifts, which accounts for the low numbers — 99 in the United States and four in Canada.

The recall affects 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, and Chrysler is unaware of any incidents or injuries related to the issue.

FCA was also involved in the expansion of the Takata airbag recall last week, adding another 4.3 million vehicles to the list of over 50 million worldwide, from almost every manufacturer. The additions represent older model vehicles, since research indicates degradation of the ammonium-nitrate propellant over time (enhanced by hot and humid conditions), especially without a drying agent (desiccant) present.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that subject inflators “do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety under the Safety Act until they reach a certain level of propellant degradation … a function of time, temperature cycling and environmental moisture.”

FCA is unaware of any injuries or accidents involving any of its vehicles named in the Takata airbag recall campaign; nor has it found any ruptures in nearly 6,300 exploratory tests of vehicles in regions subject to high absolute humidity. Those tests also represent the oldest current generation of the recall — vehicles from model years 2004 and 2005.

Among the vehicles included in the recall expansion are 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspens, 2005-2012 Chrysler 300s, 2006-2012 Dodge Chargers, 2005-2008 Dodge Magnums, 2008-2012 Dodge Challenger coupes, and various types of Ram pickups (light and heavy duty). 2007-2012 Jeep Wranglers, 2006-2009 Mitsubishi Raiders (pickups) and 2008-2009 Sterling/Bullet 4500/5500 cab chassis models have also been added.

The 4.3 million recalled do not include an estimated 933,000 from Canada, Mexico and outside the NAFTA region.

As with any FCA recall, customers will be notified by mail when parts are available to repair their vehicles, but they can also check with the FCA US Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403.