Chrysler recalls nearly 400,000 minivans worldwide for potential airbag issues

Chrysler is yet again recalling minivans for mechanical issues that could potentially lead to inadvertent airbag deployment. Last year, the car company announced a recall to replace drain tubes and grommets that were thought to be allowing water to leak into the airbag module, according to The Detroit News.

Now, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that Chrysler is recalling nearly 300,000 minivans in the U.S. as well as roughly 50,000 in Canada, nearly 4,000 in Mexico and almost 14,000 worldwide for a similar problem. The recall includes the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Chrysler Town and Country and the Voyager from the 2008 model year, and owners will be able to bring their vehicles in for free repairs and replacements starting this month.

The problem originates in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, where condensation from the system may potentially leak from the HVAC drain grommet into the airbag module. This leak can affect the sensor module in the airbag system, which may cause the airbag light on the dashboard to illuminate, and possibly even deploy them without warning. If an airbag goes off while the car is in use, it could cause harm to the driver or a front-seat passenger. This potential issue may also cause the driver to get into an automotive accident. However, Chrysler reports that there have been no confirmed incidents of airbag deployment in vehicles that have previously been recalled and repaired to avoid such happenings.

“Despite the lack of field reports, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to replace these modules to ensure the proper functionality of the minivan’s advanced safety system,” David Dillion, Chrysler’s head of product investigations and campaigns, told the news source.

People who are considering purchasing a used minivan with a car loan should do their research to find out if the vehicles they are considering have been recalled. Whether or not this is the case, it is a good idea for potential buyers to request maintenance and repair records. They can also have their mechanic inspect the vehicle to see if any necessary recall repairs have been made. The mechanic can also check to see if there are any preexisting issues or red flags that could indicate potential mechanical problems in the near-future.