Your airbag can go from a potential lifesaver to a hazard if it deploys when it’s not supposed to. That’s why Chrysler is recalling 209,000 Grand Caravan minivans with airbags that might inflate when they aren’t supposed to.
Chrysler announced this week the recall of 209,135 model year 2011 to 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles that may contain airbags that deploy unexpectedly.
According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the driver’s frontal airbag wiring harness could become trapped between a tab in the steering wheel plastic back cover and edge of the horn plate.
If this occurs, the metal may rub through the wire insulation creating a short, which could result in the driver airbag deploying inadvertently. The unexpected deployment of the driver’s airbag could increase the risk of a crash or injury to the driver.
CBS News reports that there have been eight “potentially related minor injuries” tied to the issue.
The carmaker says that there may be some detectable signs of the issue, including illuminated airbag warning lights, unintended wiper operation, and inoperable steering wheels or speed controls.
Chrysler says that it will notify owners of the affected vehicles and dealers will inspect the airbag wiring within the steering wheel, and replace if necessary. Owners can also call the Fiat Chrysler recall information center at (800) 853-1403.