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‘17 Wrangler, Caravan sticky brake switches

by David Zatz on

Over 40,000 Caravans and Wranglers are being recalled because the brake switches can get stuck in the ON position. That means the brake lights could stay on all the time, and the vehicle could be shifted out of Park without the driver’s foot on the pedal.

The recall is slated for the very end of March, and involves free replacement of the switches. The recall is U09 (Chrysler) or 18V098000 (USA).

The first hint of trouble came on September 11, 2017, when a single switch did not return to the “off” position at the Windsor End of Line test. The very same day, the supplier quarantined suspect components; at both WAP (Caravan) and Toledo (Wrangler), all suspect parts were quarantined.

The supplier confirmed in the following days that the switches’ problem lay in gas buildup in the core of the plunger mold tool, due to a blocked vent, partly because the company had tried to double the number of pieces produced by the tool.

FCA then opened an investigation, trying to see if the switch failure posted a safety issue in other vehicle systems and concluded it did not, but a month later, Engineering found that the transmission could be shifted out of Park without using the brake pedal. In January, the company found seven reports of failure in the field, and on February 1, the Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to do a voluntary recall.

Only around 1% of vehicles have the problematic switches; they were produced from August 7 to September 18 (Caravan) or 20 (Wrangler), 2017.

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