NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Totally Integrated Power Module Failure NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 25, 2014
    • Date Closed: July 24, 2015
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System

    Summary: In a letter dated August 21, 2014, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation of alleged failures associated with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) installed in Chrysler SUV-s, trucks, and vans beginning in the 2007 model year. The petitioner alleges that TIPM defects may result in engine stall, airbag non-deployment, failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration, fire, and other symptoms. On September 25, 2014, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened DP14-004 to evaluate the petition for a grant or deny decision. ODI analyzed complaint data provided by CAS as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 296 complaints submitted by the petitioner in the original petition and five supplements, including 271 complaints related to the subject vehicles equipped with TIPM-7. Approximately 3 percent of CAS complaints are related to vehicles equipped with TIPM-6 and ODI-s review of these complaints did not identify any safety defect trends. ODI conducted a detailed review of complaints narratives submitted by CAS and consumers including careful analysis of vehicle repair histories, warranty claims obtained from the manufacturer and any available Customer Assistance Inquiry reports (CAIR). Analysis of the field data indicated that MY2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles exhibited significantly higher complaint rates related to fuel pump relay (FPR) failures than other subject vehicles. In a September 3, 2014 letter to NHTSA, Chrysler submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a defect in the FPR within the TIPM-7 which can result in a no start or stall condition in approximately 188,723 model year (MY) 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and Dodge Durango (WD) vehicles manufactured from January 5, 2010 through July 20, 2011 (14V-530).In a February 24, 2015 letter, Chrysler submitted a second DIR expanding the scope of the FPR defect condition to include an additional 338,216 MY 2012 through 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured from September 17, 2010 through August 19, 2013 and MY 2012 through 2013 Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured from January 18, 2011 through August 19, 2013 (15V-115).ODI analysis of the CAS allegations of TIPM defects resulting in stall while driving, airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration, fire and other faults identified a single defect condition related to 1 of over 60 different circuits in the TIPM assembly. The most common effect of this defect condition, related to the fuel pump relay, was a no-start concern, but it could also result in stall while driving (76 complaints). No valid evidence was presented in support of claims related to airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration or fire resulting from TIPM faults and these claims were found to be wholly without merit based on review of the field data and design of the relevant systems and components.Except insofar as the petitioner's contentions relate to the defect condition addressed by the Chrysler recalls, the factual bases of the petitioner's contentions that any further investigation is necessary are unsupported. In our view, additional investigation is unlikely to result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists or a NHTSA order for the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect as alleged by the petitioner at the conclusion of the requested investigation. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety mission, the petition is denied. This action does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The agency will take further action if warranted by future circumstances. Please see the Federal Register notice in DP14-004 file (www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/defects).

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #DP14004 »

  2. Air Bag Non-Deployment/Engine Stall NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ14002

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Electrical System:Ignition:Module

    Summary: In March 2011 Chrysler submitted a defect information report for NHTSA Recall No. 11V139 declaring a defect condition that could cause the ignition key to inadvertently move from the RUN to the ACC position on model year (MY) 2010 Dodge Journey, Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town and Country.The report identified engine stalling as the defect consequence and cited customer complaints and warranty claims, as well as two rear-end collisions, as leading to the recall action.Chrysler determined that a defective WIN module, which is effectively the equivalent of the ignition switch, was the cause of the inadvertent key rotation, and that a new design WIN module would be installed as a remedy.In Spring 2014 ODI conducted outreach to major light vehicle manufacturers regarding ignition key position and its effect on air bag system availability.The outreach was conducted in connection with NHTSA Recall No. 14V047, a recent recall involving inadvertent ignition key rotation and subsequent air bag disablement in certain GM products.During discussions held in April 2014, Chrysler advised ODI that Chrysler air bag systems of this vintage, including the subject vehicles, revert to energy reserve when the ignition key moves to the ACC or OFF position, and that under energy reserve the air bags would only be available for a short period, approximately two tenths of a second (ODI notes this consequence was not identified in the 11V139 recall report).A review of the ODI consumer database conducted after the April 2014 discussions identified complaints alleging that MY 2008-2009 vehicles may have a similar defect as the MY 2010 vehicles, and that some MY 2010 consumers reported experiencing ignition key position concerns after the 11V139 recall remedy was applied.Accordingly this investigation was opened.In response to ODI-s information request letter, Chrysler reported that MY 2008-2009 subject vehicles used the same design WIN module as the recalled vehicles, and also identified 66 consumer reports and one non-injury crash incident potentially related to inadvertent ignition key rotation.Chrysler-s review of the MY 2010 remedy used in 11V139, which involved installation of a "Trim Ring" as opposed to replacement of the WIN module, showed the remedy did not adequately address ignition key position concerns, and in some use-cases could cause other systems to operate improperly (radio, instrument panel lighting, HVAC fan motor, etc.).Chrysler subsequently filed multiple defect information reports to 1) add the MY 2008-2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country, and the MY 2009 Dodge Journey to the original recall scope, and 2) stating that the complete WIN module would be replaced with a new design component in all recalled vehicles (including those that had the Trim Ring installed during 11V139).Chrysler-s report also advises of constrained remedy parts availability, see NHTSA Recall No. 14V373 for further details.Accordingly, the investigation is closed based on the recall action Chrysler is undertaking.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10584873, 10583399, 10573295, 10566365, 10546805, 10513060, 10509284, 10503121, 10496599, 10475027, 10456099, 10450629, 10443680, 10422766, 10410447, 10409269, 10402947, 10402751, 10402660, 10396943, 10394957, 10356632, 10315972

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #RQ14002 »

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