Chrysler recalling nearly 600,000 minivans and Jeep Wranglers

(June 8, 2010) Chrysler is recalling almost 575,000 Jeep sport-utility vehicles and Dodge and Chrysler minivans for brake line and wiring defects, U.S. safety regulators said.

The company has recalled 288,968 Jeep Wranglers for 2001 through 2010 to repair a defect caused when liners inside the fenders touch right-front and left-rear brake lines, leading to wear that may cause fluid to leak and raising the risk of a crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement on its Web site Monday.

The company also recalled 284,831 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans from the 2008 and 2009 model years, citing a sliding-door hinge that can wear through wire insulation, causing a short circuit and possible fire, the agency said.

Chrysler isn’t aware of accidents or injuries related to the Jeep fluid leak, the automaker told the agency in a June 1 letter. Repairs should begin this month, the agency said. Vehicle owners were directed to call Chrysler at 1-800-853-14903 or visit NHTSA’s website.

“A brake fluid leak can cause partial loss of service brakes at the affected wheel, increasing the risk of a crash,” NHTSA said in the statement.

Chrysler, controlled by Italy’s Fiat SpA after filing for bankruptcy last year, learned of the Wrangler leak on Feb. 25 in a report on the flaw in a 2008 model, according to the letter.

The automaker will recall the vehicles “to inspect and remove potential areas of liner contact with the brake line,” Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said in an e-mail. Repairs will be made without charge to the customer, he said.

Chrysler issued a recall last week for almost 35,000 Dodge and Jeep vehicles for accelerator pedals that may become stuck or fail to immediately return to the idle position.