Chrysler is recalling a handful of minivans with tailgates that might not reverse direction as designed if they hit an obstruction, and a few pickups that have incorrect spare-tire information placards.
Though involving tiny numbers, the recalls are an unwelcome slap at the automaker’s improving, but hard-won and not-yet-solidified, reputation for quality. They follow a bigger call-back of 119,072 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 big sedans because a fuse holder could overheat, create a problem in nearby electrical connections and cause the anti-lock brakes and stability system to fail.
The van recall involves 471 of the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan models. Chrysler found the liftgates on three vehicles in a quality audit that closed with too much force because of a faulty sensor on the right side. That means the gate could squish too hard on a child, hand, sack of groceries — whatever happens to be in the way before it decides there’s an obstruction and reverses.
Chrysler says the potential flaw is isolated within a small batch of components from a supplier. The problem has been fixed and Chrysler says it knows of no incidents or injuries.
The pickup problem is simpler and, seemingly, less threatening.
Chrysler is recalling 129 U.S.-market Ram 1500 pickups built Jan. 5 and 6 because their full-size spare tires are a different size than specified on the tire placard that’s on the driver’s door pillar. Installing a wrong-size spare tire could, the government says, foul up the vehicle’s electronic stability system.
Nissan had a tire-placard mismatch issue recently and had to recall 26,625 Titan full-size pickups and Armada big SUVs.