Chrysler Group will recall some 1996-1998 model Dodge Grand Caravan/Caravan, Plymouth Grand Voyager/Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country minivans to replace the clockspring, which provides power to various components in the steering wheel, on approximately 500,000 vehicles with less than 70,000 miles. Also, as a precautionary measure, another 1.3 million vehicles will receive a lifetime clockspring warranty under the recall.
Chrysler Group engineers determined that the clockspring may have been installed off-center during the vehicle assembly process. If this occurs, the airbag warning lamp will illuminate and the driver's air bag, horn, and/or speed control may eventually become inoperative.
Owners of minivans with more than 70,000 miles that have the airbag light operating normally require no further action at this time. Normal operation is when the red airbag lamp illuminates for a few seconds after the ignition is started and then turns off.
The Company also determined that only a small percentage of these vehicles are likely to have this condition. Affected vehicles were built at either St. Louis or Windsor Assembly Plants. Vehicles produced at Eurostar Assembly Plant in Graz, Austria, which builds the majority of minivans sold outside of North America, are not affected.
All customers affected by this recall will receive a notification letter this month. In the meantime, if the air bag warning light remains illuminated for more than a few seconds, the vehicle should be taken to a dealer for inspection -- as should be done with any diagnostic/warning light.