Chrysler has issued recalls to inspect a prolonged brake lamp on pickups and HVAC drains on minivans, while Volkswagen is inspecting a number of its compact models to prevent underhood fuel leaks.
2010-2011 Ram Pickup Truck
The Problem: Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups built with the Cummins turbo-diesel engine are equipped with a hydroboost brake system, which uses power steering pressure to boost brake effort. According to Chrysler, certain trucks, built between March 2009 and October 2010 may have inadequate venting in the power steering reservoir cap. As a result, brake pedals could be slow to return, which could potentially leave the brake lights on longer.
The Fix: Chrysler states it will notify all Ram owners of the recall starting in February to bring their truck in for examination. If the vehicle has the defective power steering reservoir cap, the automaker will replace it free of charge.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 76,122 trucks built between March 2009 through 2010. Chrysler estimates only one percent will need to have the reservoir cap replaced.
2008 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan
The Problem: A faulty grommet at the heating and air conditioner drain could cause a water leak. As a result, this leak could trigger a short in the airbag circuit, causing the airbag telltale to illuminate or, in certain cases, prompting the airbags to deploy.
The Fix: Dealers will replace the HVAC drain grommet free of charge. Chrysler expects to notify owners nationwide to bring their vehicles in for repair beginning in February.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 367,350 vehicles are being recalled, but three percent are expected to exhibit the defect.
2007-2009 Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, Jetta; 2006-2010 New Beetle
The Problem: Golf/Rabbit and Jetta models built with the 2.5-liter I-5 engine may be equipped with a windshield washer fluid reservoir that sports a small plastic tab. This tab could chafe against a fuel supply line, potentially creating a fuel leak. New Beetle models may be built with a power steering hose clamp improperly installed, which could chafe in a similar fashion.
The Fix: Dealers will inspect vehicles, and depending on the model, will either remove the offending plastic tab or adjust the power steering hose clamp to a proper position.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: This recall surrounds 228,236 Jetta and Jetta SportWagen models, 38,700 Golf/Rabbits, and 110,350 New Beetle and New Beetle Convertibles. Volkswagen is unable to estimate the percentage of vehicles that are subject to these defects.