Chrysler Group is recalling 780,000 minivans to replacing power window switches that can short-circuit and overheat or catch fire if moisture comes in contact with them.
Chrysler says it has reports of 36 incidents, some of which have involved fires that were contained to the door after the switch became wet, such as through beverage spills, rain or other ways, according to Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne. No injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of the problem.
Affected minivans include the model-year 2010 to 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. They were all made between Aug. 25, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2013. Chrysler believes 644,850 of them are in the U.S.; 106,980 are in Canada; 8,009 are in Mexico and 20,638 vehicles are in other foreign countries.
The recall applies only to minivans that have power window vents for passengers in the third row of seats. Unlike windows the roll down in the first two rows, the third row has a power-operated flap to cool down passengers. The potentially faulty switch for the vent is operated by the driver.
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Because the glitch could concern many drivers, Chrysler is offering to let customers come to dealers after next Wednesday and have the vent switches disconnected. The disconnection will only put window vents in the third row out of service.
Chrysler says it discovered the issue by studying warranty repair data. Not only can the moisture from spilled drinks and rain, but other sources like snow or car washes.