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Chrysler to Address Airbag Issue in Minivans

February 24, 2010

DETROIT - Chrysler Group LLC is launching a safety campaign to address a possible problem with the effectiveness of minivan airbags in certain states, the Detroit News reported. The campaign affects 356,000 MY 2005-2006 Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans globally. 

Of the 356,000 vehicles affected, about 250,000 are in the U.S. 

The action is technically called a "safety improvement campaign" rather than a recall. Because the defect is related to weather, the campaign only applies to vehicles sold or registered in Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Alaska and the District of Columbia. 

Airbag sensors can crack under certain environmental conditions and allow water to enter, causing the sensor to malfunction. This could lead to airbag failure during a crash. 

If the sensors become inoperative, the airbag warning light will illuminate to alert the driver of a problem. 

"The company is not aware of any complaints, injuries or property damage related to this issue," Chrysler said in a statement. 

The automaker will send out letters in June informing owners of the problem. The front airbag sensors will be replaced at no charge to the vehicle owner.

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