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Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager

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  • On to a different topic for a moment... There were posts a while back about the Airbag warning light coming on. The part finally came into my dealer and is being replaced today. I was told that D/C issued a recall for the clock spring on the Dodge trucks, but they weren't sure if the vans had be issued yet. Needless to say if you have ANY weird stuff going on with the Airbag lights get your dealer to replace the clock spring ASAP. I think a van recall is imminent. I'll let you know how things go today to see if it solves the problem.
  • I am an owner of a Chrysler mininvan and I think Chrysler is a worthless company. They now they have a safety defect and yet refuse to recall the vehicles. It is a joke when you talk to them. I asked several different reps if they would drive my van with the potential safety, "exploding issue" and they would not answer. I asked if it was not a problem why did they immediately change the part on current production, still no answer!

    They are not deserving of your money, buy elsewhere, you will be much safer and happier!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    The IIHS tests were reported to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB). They can order a recall if they feel it is a saftey problem. None of your posts will. Were you the one who posted in the NHTSB customer complaints that the test resulted in a catastropic fire? (It did not, as IIHS does not use fuel in their crash tests) If you live in a large city and your newspaper has a "Cars" section try reading it under recalls, DC does do recalls. (i.e Chicago Tribune) This sundays issue listed a half page of recalls by ALL manufacturers.
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    If you go to the IIHS site and look up the DC tests, you will see the picture of the leaking tank.If you look closely at the enlarged version, you will see that the tank is removed and tipped at what appears to be a 45 degree angle to show the leak area. They stated that the flange that leaked is on the TOP of the tank. Unless the laws of physics change liquid cannot flow uphill! So the tank could only leak under the following conditions: 1. Full tank (including filler neck) and a 40 mile per hour crash. Just pulling out of a gas station or within 20 miles of a fillup. 2. 40 mile per hour crash with van on its side or roof. And remember in the first test it did not leak. The government mandates that on a rollover crash no fuel should leak. Let them make the decision. You should not top off your tank if you are worried until this is resolved
  • 4aodge4aodge Posts: 288
    The one paragraph that you have just written really proves the point that I have been wanting to drive home for quite some time now. As others have said, this fuel leak can and only will occur when certain very rare an uncommon variables are taken into picture. Like the position of the fuel tank, the position of the van, the speed the van was going, and the angle at which it was hit.

    Also, even the spokesman from the IIHS said that it is not their intention to say that this whille occur on EVERY DC minivan that is on the road. That makes so much sense judging by the fact the leak only occured in one of many tests performed by Chrysler and the IIHS.

    In addition, for those of you who think Chrysler has carefully twisted around it's words in it's press release...wouldn't you think that somewhere along the line in designing a brand new vehicle, they would have tested it for fuel leaks during or after a simulated crash test? I think it would be very realistic that Chrysler would have checked for any leaks that might occur from it's new minivan's tank BEFORE they even started production. Also, when Chrysler tests it's own cars, they don't slam them into a wall at 40 mph but into other vehicles. This would most likely be the case in most accidents.

    People like GATOGONOW seem to want to make this into something its not for some futile reason to further slander the name of Chrysler. The level of intensity and almost fear that emminates from his "don't spend your hard-earned money on a Chrysler deathtrap" postings really does suprise and bewilder me. Some Odyssey owners (odd1) would accuse me of not being reasonable and not looking at the facts. However, I think you should go talk to GOTAGONOW if you want to converse with someone who does just that.

    BTW Steve, if there had not been a fuel leak we would be disscussing the 2002 model's "ACCEPTABLE" saftey rating, not a "MARGINAL" one.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "BTW Steve, if there had not been a fuel leak we would be disscussing the 2002 model's "ACCEPTABLE" saftey rating, not a "MARGINAL" one."

    It was me who wrote that and that's incorrect. The fuel leak issue does not affect the '02 models because of the update parts. The '01 model, if not for the fuel leak, would've received a "Marginal". The '02 gets an "Acceptable" only because it has side impact head protection airbags.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    "for those of you who think Chrysler has carefully twisted around it's words in it's press release...wouldn't you think that somewhere along the line in designing a brand new vehicle, they would have tested it for fuel leaks during or after a simulated crash test? I think it would be very realistic that Chrysler would have checked for any leaks that might occur from it's new minivan's tank BEFORE they even started production. "

    I'm sure that some testing did occur, but I'm not sure how extensive it was because Chrysler doesn't publish that. I do think it is possible that Chrysler did not detect this problem during their own testing. I'm sure they do not want to spend the tens of millions of dollars it will cost to retrofit those minivans. I'm also sure that they will do whatever they can legally to give the impression that the leak is not a problem, including implying the testing was more thorough than it was and implying the likelihood of occurance is less.

    As to the leak itself, it appears the leak was on top of the tank, as suggested here. It was discovered by the IIHS when they turned the van on its side, something they do as part of routine crash test analysis. What this implies for real life is that a) the tank is open at the top, exposing vapors that may ignite. b) if the car turns or rolls during the crash, the fuel may leak out increasing the chance of ignition.

    As to the comments that the offset frontal crash represents a rare occurance in real life: it is true that the exact conditions of the crash test are very rare ... but that is true with any standardized test you choose due to the fact that crashes are unique. However, the offset test is considered by safety engineers to be a good representative, and standardized, sample of how a car will perform in a variety of crash situations. More importantly, it is considered far more representative than the frontal crash.
    So, for people to say that because the exact circumstances of this crash test are rare, the problem won't occur in other crashes is simply unsubstantiated. The reality is the car did something it should not do during such a crash, and DC should fix it. DC's stonewalling on this is reminiscent of Ford's stonewalling on the Pinto.
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    Cgaydos,

    I'm curious to hear your opinion as to whether you think Honda should have recalled its CR-V when it rolled over unexpectedly during similar crash testing? After all, it "did something it should not do during such a crash". Personally, I don't think these types of lab vs. real world occurrences are so cut and dried.
  • ed12ed12 Posts: 100
    I am looking at leasing a new minivan. All the dealers are very negative about AWD. They hardly ever sell one and think the extra money is not worth it. Anyone with a AWD have any comments? I am interested in beter traction on wet roads or when loose dirt is on the street.
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Honestly, scanner, I can't offer an opinion as I don't know the specifics of the CR-V situation. In general, I think any fuel leak or breakage in the fuel tank is very serious because in a crash situation there is a strong potential for sparks or other causes of ignition which, in combination with fuel or vapors, can turn a survivable crash into a firebomb in a matter of seconds. It was such reasoning that lead the IIHS to give the DC minivans a "poor" rating for the leak, versus an "acceptable" (for vans with side airbags) without the leak. We also know that the problem is easily correctable, as DC has fixed the problem starting with late MY 2001 production cars.

    In the CR-V rollover situation, two questions come to mind. First, how much additional danger does the rollover add to the occupants? Second, can the rollover potential be corrected without a complete vehicle redesign?
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    ed12: you don't say where you live or whether you do much driving in snow country. I'll bet that snow country dealers wouldn't pooh-pooh AWD unless they didn't have any on their lots and just wanted to move current stock.

    If you do a lot of snow travel AWD is a great option. I had AWD with my '94 minivan and it was great. However, because we rarely travel in snow anymore I chose to go with 2WD with our 01 minivan. Even with traction control I notice the 2WD minivan doesn't get as good traction on wet pavement as the AWD did.

    One disadvantage of AWD is maintenance. Alignments are more difficult and usually more expensive, tires wear out faster, and any repairs in the drivetrain cost more.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    I find AWD to be great here in rainy Vancouver. I can take off on really wet roads almost as though they were dry. This is extremely useful on hills where there are traffic lights or stop signs, since when you accelerate, the weight transfers to the rear. With a FWD vehicle, the front wheels will simply spin whereas with the AWD, you will feel your front wheels grabbing for traction for only a split second, and then you will be off. The torque split ratio is 90/10 in normal conditions (90% to the front/10% to the rear) but can vary up to more than 50/50, IIRC, as needed. Of course, AWD doesn't help you to brake any faster, so it's also something to keep in mind as to the limitations.

    I hope this helps!
  • If you go to the IIHS site you will note the pictures of the Chrysler Mini van on it's side. This was the inspection of the first van tested to view the damage from the cracked part after the second test showed the leak. In the second test the liquid used actually leaked out of the part and onto the floor. The second test was requested by Chrysler because the vehicle did so poorly in the first test. It is very possible for this leak to occur in a real world accident.

    Chrysler like many companies must consider their costs verses their liability when determining a recall. It is my experience that customer satisfaction plays a very small part in most safety recalls. Liability, publicity and government intervention seem to be the key factors.

    I also believe that this will change over time. The manufacturers are having a harder and harder time hiding their mistakes. With the advent and increased use of the internet, more people are coming to sites like this to bring their case to bear and to solicit others opinions about products and companies.

    If this message board continues to allow both sides of an issue to be aired, then the side of right will prevail. If they only allow a single sides opinions then the public will be directed to their point of view and not allow for an intelligent person to make their own determination.

    My decision would be to never deal with a company that has treated their customers the way the Chrysler has.
  • jeffc1jeffc1 Posts: 29
    Sell your Chrysler product and get on with your life. Most responsible adults can make their own decisions without some pinhead constantly badgering them. You stated you opinion on this subject on more than one (thousand) occassions. Enough already!!!
  • hayneldanhayneldan Posts: 657
    Do you have access to IIHS pictures that we do not? Where did you find pictures of the 1st van on its side showing the leak? The text said the first van was only cracked and did not leak. Please divulge your source, or is this just conjecture again?
  • I am about to order an '02 T&C. Its been a year since the introduction of the new electric tail gate. I find this option very useful. Have there been any problems this past year? I am always leery of new options in their first year of operation. Problems? Repairs? Anyone have this option?
  • cgaydoscgaydos Posts: 116
    Works just fine, from all the posts I've seen and my own experience. I'm sure if problems existed we would have seen it posted here. Some don't like the beeping, but someone has posted how to disable that.
  • dwgutwirdwgutwir Posts: 60
    We have it on our '01 LXi. No problems at all, and its very handy.
  • scoyle1scoyle1 Posts: 14
    My wife loved the electronic tail gate. Initially she said that she did not want it. However, when juggling the baby and bags, she found it most helpful. She is upset that no other minivan offers it. (We returned our Town & Country b/c of the IIHS test results). If we were to get the 2002 Town & Country, we would definitely get the automatic rear liftgate again. We had no problems, other than the baby wanting to play with the key fob!!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Open and shut case for Voyager

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

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