Chrysler recall to check for fuel leak
Almost 25% of DaimlerChrysler’s 2002 model Dodge and Chrysler minivans are being recalled because of a possible fuel leak, the company said Tuesday. General Motors Corp. also is calling back more than half a million sport utility vehicles to add a device to keep fingers from being pinched in the folding seats.
The minivan recall involves 145,000 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country models built at Chrysler’s Windsor, Canada, plant from Sept. 1, 2001, through March 11.
DaimlerChrysler says some of the joints on the fuel tank control valve were not welded properly. The company says no fires or injuries have been reported.
Notification of affected owners will begin later this month, but Chrysler said owners who smell fuel or notice a leak should immediately take the vehicle to a dealer for an inspection and any necessary repair.
The GM recall is the sixth this year for its popular SUVs.
GM said it involves 597,000 of its 2000 to 2002 full-size sport utility vehicles, which need a plastic shield to protect people from pinching their fingers when folding the seats.
The recall was ordered just before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month said it was launching an engineering analysis of the throttle mechanisms in 3.1 million full-size GM pickups and SUVs from the 1999 to 2002 model years. The engineering analysis, a step that often precedes a recall order from the safety agency, involves a throttle problem linked to several dozen accidents.
GM said the seat repair recall involves its Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon and Denali SUVs. The company said 14 people have pinched their fingers when the head restraint was being moved to permit the second-row seats to be folded away.
Owners of the recalled SUVs, built between September 1999 and February 2002, can have the shields installed for free at Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC dealers.
In its monthly summary of vehicle defect investigations, NHTSA also said it was launching engineering analyses of allegedly faulty tire air valves on 879,103 F-series Super Duty trucks and full-size Econoline vans manufactured by Ford Motor Co., and of seat fire problems reported in 1996 and ’97 Volvo 850 sedans and station wagons.
NHTSA said its GM probe involves throttles on Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Avalanche, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade SUVs from the 1999 to 2002 model years.
“The blade in the throttle body can stick in the closed position or less frequently in a partially open position,” the agency said.
In the Ford case, NHTSA said it believes a faulty tire valve problem that led to the recall of 112,000 F-450 and F-550 trucks in March involves more than 750,000 additional vehicles.
Drivers can lose control of their vehicles because of rapid tire deflation when valve stems fail. NHTSA’s decision to look into Volvo seat fires came after the agency received reports of three injuries and 17 suits involving seat fires in the 850 series vehicles. The alleged defect stems from problems with the power-seat motor, heater element, thermostat or grounding of the seat-wiring harness assemblies, NHTSA said.
Separately, NHTSA has released its monthly recall reminder list to provide vehicle owners a second public notice of recalls initially issued in a previous month. This month’s reminders are from August.
BMW 323i and 328i, 20,500 cars built from April to August 1999 and sold as 1999 models. BMW has issued the recall to recalibrate the air-bag control module to reduce the possibility of improper deployment of the side air bags.
Chrysler PT Cruisers, 345,436 vehicles from the 2001 and 2002 model years, for inspection and repair of a potentially faulty fuel pump mounting flange.
Chrysler also is recalling 97,779 PT Cruisers, built from May 2000 to January 2001 and sold as 2001 models, for inspection of a potentially improperly installed fuel supply line that can chafe and begin leaking.
Honda Motor Co.
Honda Accord cars, Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs and Acura TL and CL passenger cars and MDX sport utility vehicles. Involves 17,500 vehicles: 2002 model-year Accords and Odysseys and 2003 models of the others.
The recall is to inspect for and repair a misaligned timing belt pulley that could cause the belt to wear and break.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has posted its crash test results and rollover ratings for selected 2002 and 2003 models on its Web site: www.nhtsa.dot.gov.