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Chrysler to Recall 831,000 Minivans Because of Power Steering Hoses That Could Pose Fire Dangers

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. August 4, 2004; The AP reported that DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group plans to recall 831,000 minivans that may have weak power steering hoses and could pose fire dangers, the company said Wednesday.

Owners of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 model year minivans with V-6 engines will receive letters informing them of the problem in September, said Chrysler spokesman Max Gates. The recall will apply to Dodge Caravans and Grand Caravans, and Chrysler's Voyager and Town & Country models.

The problem in the minivans is that one of the hoses that carries power steering fluid may become weak with age and leak fluid, which could start a fire under the hood. Cold weather is believed to aggravate the problem, Gates said.

He said replacement parts will be available in early September. About 681,000 of the vans are in the United States, and 150,000 in Canada.

The company also said it's recalling immediately 2,000 Dodge Rams from 2004 and with 4.7 Liter engines. Gates said an alternator wire in the those trucks can hit a valve, cause a short circuit and pose a fire danger. Ram owners will be notified Aug. 13.

The two recalls are unrelated.

Gates said no incidents have been reported in the Rams. Twenty-three fires have been reported in recent months in the minivans, mostly in Canada, but none have led to injuries or accidents, he said.