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Chrysler recalls 645,000 minivans and Jeeps ; GM and Toyota Vehicles recalled

April 3, 2002, REUTERS is reporting that the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG will recall 645,000 vehicles, including 545,000 minivans and 95,000 Jeeps, in two separate recalls, a federal safety agency said on Tuesday.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Chrysler would recall Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country minivans built between June 1996 and October 1998 to fix a piece of sound insulation that can fall into the rear seat belt assembly. The agency said the insulation could cause the seat belts to not work properly.

The other Chrysler recall involves 95,000 Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicles built between June 2000 and December 2001. NHTSA said the Wrangler's ignition switch can short out if exposed to water and dirt, creating the chance of a fire.

The agency also said General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. would recall 11,100 brand-new vehicles to fix bolts holding the rear wheel hubs to the axle.

The recall covers 8,483 2003 Toyota Corolla sedans and 2,701 front-wheel-drive 2003 Pontiac Vibe wagons, both of which are built at a plant in California.

NHTSA said the bolts were not tightened enough during assembly. If one came loose, it would make an odd noise, and if all four came loose the wheel could separate from the axle.