Last post on Oct 23, 2006 at 1:11 AM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
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Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town and Country, Van
#3183 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [tsu670]
Aug 22, 2005 (3:04 pm)
We had a brake line burst on our 1999 Dodge Caravan. The brake lines were original equiptment on the vehicle. We had a brake job done with 31K miles and we now have 47K miles on the car.
If you check your brake lines you will see that the solid line is made of steel and it is welded to a stainless steel flex segment. The welding of dissimilar metals can cause crevice corrosion which can cause a brake line burst without warning.
I just sent the following letter to NHTSA;
Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
August 22, 2005
A review of the NHTSA complaint site indicates that Daimler Chrysler Corporation has a very serious safety defect or nonconformance that could result in a serious injury and or death. Daimler Chrysler has been notified of this defect/nonconformance on several occasions and continues to deny the problem.
The metal brake lines on the 1999 Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and Chrysler Mini-Vans are welded with dissimilar metals. They have braided stainless steel flex segments that are welded to steel brake lines. This welding of dissimilar metals could cause corrosion of the steel brake lines and results in a brake line burst which occurs without any warnings.
We found five (5) complaints to NHTSA, on the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Complaint Site pertaining to the corrosion of Chrysler supplied brake lines which resulted in brake line bursts. There may be more that we didn't locate.
Ref: ODI Complaint Numbers - 10112174, 10121461, 10023409, 10087291, and 10125674.
Complaint Numbers 10103217, 10044433, and 10017536 may also be related to this same problem.
This complaint is very personal to us because my wife experienced a brake line burst in our 1999 Dodge Caravan. If the brake line burst occurred in heavy traffic and or at highway speed, it could have resulted in her death or serious injury. Ref: ODI Complaint # 10121461.
We notified Daimler Chrysler Corporation on several occasions by telephone and emails concerning this serious safety defect/nonconformance. They were apologetic about the mishap, however, they stated (1) that they had never had a complaint concerning brake line burst on any of their vehicles, (2) they had never issued a Service Bulletin or Recall, and (3) they could do nothing for me because the vehicle was out of warranty.
We are appalled by Daimler Chrysler's lack of concern on this serious safety issue and we believe that their lack of corrective action is criminal.
We am also upset because NHTSA, has had several complaints on this safety related defect/nonconformance and no action has been taken.
Do we have to have a DEATH before Daimler Chrysler Corporation or NHTSA investigates this serious safety defect or nonconformance?
What is the LIFE EXPECTANCY of these brake lines?
How do you stop a vehicle in heavy traffic or at highway speeds?
Is the consumer or manufacturer, responsible to prove that these brake lines are defective or nonconforming?
The Safety Recall Compendium issued by NHTSA (3rd Release, June 2001) clearly requires that,
When to Report (49 U.S.C. & 30118 and 49 CFR Part 573.5 b)
A manufacturer who has determined that a safety defect or noncompliance exists, must report such a determination to NHTSA within 5 working days. A manufacturer need not have identified the cause, scope, or remedy in order to make a determination that a safety defect or noncompliance exists, at least in some vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. If part of the information which is required to fully describe the recall is unknown, notification to the agency must still be made with the existing information within 5 working days. The remaining information is to be provided as it becomes available.
Who Should Report (49 U.S.C. & 30102 AND 30118: 49 CFR Parts 573.3 and 579)
Each manufacturer of a motor vehicle has recall responsibility for any safety-related defect or any noncompliance determined to exist in a vehicle or in any item of original equipment. The manufacturer of an item of motor vehicle equipment in which a safety defect or noncompliance is determined to exist (1) is responsible for notifying the vehicle manufacturer and (2) with respect to an item of replacement equipment (including tires), has recall responsibility for the equipment containing the safety defect or noncompliance. (49 CFR Part 579 "Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility".)
We understand that Daimler Chrysler Corporation has the same type brake line configuration in the 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 models of their Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, and Chrysler Town & Country, Mini-Vans.
We also understand that a change was made on the 2001 models that removed the welded Stainless Steel Flex segment from the brake lines.
We have copies of emails sent to Daimler Chrysler Corporation concerning this complaint and also emails with their replies to us.
We also have a section of the original brake line that was removed from my 1999 Dodge Caravan. It can be made available to your testing facilities to analyze the cause of the defect/nonconformance. Ref: attached picture.
Please keep us informed as to your progress on this serious safety defect/nonconformance.
Aug 22, 2005 (4:49 pm)
Please note ALL cars/vans come with dual master brake cylinders. This means that should a brake line or wheel cylinder or caliper piston fail, the vehicle still has braking on at least two wheels.
#3185 of 4276 Re: Brake lines [hayneldan]
Aug 22, 2005 (5:24 pm)
That is what they say, however, when we had a brake line burst we had no warning and the pedal went to the floor. The duel master cylinder failed to engage and the brake warning light never came on.
Maybe the duel master cylinder failed to engage because both lines burst at the same time. The duel master cylinder is great if it works!
Aug 22, 2005 (6:23 pm)
While driving our Ford Taurus on the highway on the way to school, our youngest son ran over a truck tread carcass, and it flew up and broke the PLASTIC brake line to the rear wheels. The pedal did go down considerably, but not to the floor. He had enough braking to bring the car to a stop from 55 MPH on the sholder and call for help. The car was towed fom the highway to the dealer. Can't figure out what happened in your case.
#3187 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [vankings]
Aug 22, 2005 (6:29 pm)
"If you check your brake lines you will see that the solid line is made of steel and it is welded to a stainless steel flex segment."
Hmmm, not mine. I just checked the master cylinder end of the brake lines on both our 1998 and our 2003 3.8 GCs as well as the rear end of our 1998 (gas tank and back). Under fairly close inspection I didn't find a single place where two dissimilar types of metal were welded together. In fact, I didn't find a single place where there were any welds at all. The only place where I saw a transition from a "flex" format to "standard" tubing format was running off the master cylinder end on both vans (just one of the two lines), and in both cases the metal was the same material for the entire length simply with a section that was formed/extruded differently (the "flex" section).
Maybe I didn't look in the correct spot. Was it the front or the rear braking circut? Where exactly am I supposed to look for the welds? When you wrote "They have braided stainless steel flex segments that are welded to steel brake lines.", did you really mean "Braided" lines? I ask because I've never seen a single braided high pressure line anywhere on either of our Caravans.
FWIW, the master cylinder ends were quite different between the two vans. That said, based upon my quick "look-see" the differences were due to the fact that the 2003 has the full ABS and Traction Control treatment while the 1998 only has ABS.
#3188 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [shipo]
Aug 23, 2005 (2:55 am)
Shipo, how do I post a photo of this brake line? Can I send you an email with the picture to show you just what I am talking about?
#3189 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [shipo]
Aug 23, 2005 (4:09 am)
This is a photo of the original equipped brake line that was removed from my 1999 Dodge Caravan, Note that all of the corrosion occurs next to the welded stainless steel flex segment and the balance of the steel line is in good condition.
#3190 of 4276 Leak from rain
Aug 23, 2005 (6:08 am)
98' Plymouth Grand Voyager front passenger floor gets soaked when it rains or go through a car wash. Have re-sealed the rubber gasket at bottom of windshield with a sealant, with no improvement. I know it's not the a/c drain tube being plugged, because I unplugged it, and it only happens when it rains. The dealer said it could be a plugged drain for the plastic cowling where the windshield wipers rest. Has anyone else had this problem and solved it? And does anyone know where the drain for this cowling is located?
#3191 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [vankings]
Aug 23, 2005 (7:32 am)
Where exactly in the braking system is this braided line? Throughout my various examinations of the braking systems of our two GCs, I've never seen any such braided cables.
#3192 of 4276 Re: Failure of rear brake lines '96 T&C [shipo]
Aug 23, 2005 (8:20 am)
They are connected to the ABS Module and are connected to the two rear brake lines that run along the left frame.