“What do we ultimately want?” – 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Problems

blog van

“What do we ultimately want?”

This is what the service department just asked my husband, so I am going to share my answer here:

” If I were to answer this question honestly, I think what needs to happen is to have this van shipped down east to the head plant and have them go through it to find out what is causing the defects. The thing is, the potential for this to be happening in every 2014 Grand Caravan is there. I don’t want our family killed, but I also don’t want any other family killed. Yes, we can move on to another vehicle, but in the interest of public safety the fault still needs to be found. In my opinion, and I tend to be a “big picture thinker”, Chrysler Canada needs to find the fault so that this doesn’t happen to any family.”

We are afraid if we trade the van in some other family will be killed. The van is dangerous.

(Check out my “Dodge Chrysler problem” section for the full story.)

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Share, share, share….Dodge Problems

Some of you may have remembered this image from late last night,

2014 dodge grand caravan death trap part 1 weband the blog post that accompanied it.

Well today my husband took a glossy 8×10 of the cartoon to work with him. He is using it as an ice breaker with customers. He is getting to tell the story and share the blog….and make great customer connections at the same time.

Best thing ever.

Grassroots.

Sharing is good.

And now I would like to share even more blog posts about our faulty 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan (A.K.A. the death trap!):

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dodge-intends-to-release-unsafe-vehicle-onto-road/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/execution-by-a-2014-dodge-grand-caravan/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/avoiding-problems-nothing-new-for-chrysler-dodge-problems/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/what-do-chrysler-and-an-a-have-in-common-my-daughters-take-on-dodge-problems/

https://woodleaneighbours.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/walking/

 

****Remember….. the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan loses power while driving , save your life, take the bus.

What do Chrysler and an a$$ have in common? – My daughter’s take on Dodge problems

2014 dodge grand caravan child cartoon web

Out of the mouths of babes…..even they know our van is faulty and dangerous.

Want to read more about Dodge problems? Check this out!!!!!!

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dodge-intends-to-release-unsafe-vehicle-onto-road/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/execution-by-a-2014-dodge-grand-caravan/

(and the list keeps growing!)

Stay tuned……….more fun to come!

Avoiding Problems Nothing New for Chrysler – Dodge Problems

blog van

I came across this link today which verifies how the car industry, or shall I say Chrysler, works.

This is the portion that caught my eye:

“In the 24 consumer complaints the agency included in its investigation, motorists describe harrowing situations, including immovable steering wheels, loss of all power and difficulty braking. Dealers were generally unwilling to do repairs because no recall was in place, they said.
“When it stalls, the steering wheel is extremely hard to move,” wrote the owner of a 2009 Grand Caravan. “I have three small children in the car when it stalls on main roads. It is very frightening and dangerous trying to control the car.” “

This is exactly what we are facing. Here in the article it is a documented fact that Chrysler has a policy of NOT DOING REPAIRS until a recall is in place. Chrysler would rather have you die in an unsafe vehicle than spend a couple of bucks to fix the faulty vehicles they throw out on the market.

Here is what we are facing with a faulty 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. I encourage others to start sharing their stories on line, companies like this need to be held accountable.

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dodge-intends-to-release-unsafe-vehicle-onto-road/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/execution-by-a-2014-dodge-grand-caravan/

 

The full Bloomberg story can be read here:

 

(Bloomberg) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is doing a second recall of 703,000 minivans and SUVs with a defective ignition switch that can rotate out of position, similar to the faulty General Motors Co. part tied to dozens of deaths.
The action covers the 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Journey, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a document posted on its website Friday.
The company previously tried to fix the switch defect, which can lead vehicles to stall, lose power and disable their air bags, in recalls announced in 2011 and 2014.
GM’s ignition-switch defect, now linked to 57 deaths in crashes, led to the recall of 2.59 million small cars. Disclosures about the company’s delays in announcing a recall spurred four congressional hearings and a then-record $35 million fine.
Chrysler in the earlier recall tried adding a trim ring to prevent inadvertent key rotation. A NHTSA investigation begun last year concluded that repair wasn’t working. The wireless ignition module will now be replaced in all recalled vehicles.
No fatalities have been reported in the Chrysler or Dodge vehicles. The defect has been tied to one crash, which didn’t involve injuries.
Chrysler Probe
NHTSA’s probe into the Chrysler vehicles began after the GM ignition-switch disclosures last year. The agency contacted all major automakers about whether vehicle stalls might affect air-bag performance. Chrysler determined that these three vehicles’ air bags function for two-tenths of a second if the ignition switch moves to the accessory or off position.
Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said the latest campaign doesn’t involve any vehicles that weren’t covered by the previous recalls. The company advised NHTSA that there’s a new remedy and repairs have been accelerated, he said.
Until the recall repairs are complete, vehicle owners are being advised to remove all items except the ignition key from their key rings.
In the 24 consumer complaints the agency included in its investigation, motorists describe harrowing situations, including immovable steering wheels, loss of all power and difficulty braking. Dealers were generally unwilling to do repairs because no recall was in place, they said.
“When it stalls, the steering wheel is extremely hard to move,” wrote the owner of a 2009 Grand Caravan. “I have three small children in the car when it stalls on main roads. It is very frightening and dangerous trying to control the car.”
Numerous consumers said their driving experience sounded similar to the situations described in the GM ignition-switch recalls.
Added another 2009 Caravan owner: “This is a clear and present danger to both my family and other drivers on the road.”
The Associated Press earlier reported the recall.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net

 

Execution by a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan?

2014 dodge grand caravan death trap part 1 web

I may not be Charlie Hebdo, but I do understand where they are coming from and the appeal of the medium. It is amazing the original pieces that one can create in very little time. I quite like this little diversion into the world of satirical comics, and in fact I have 8 more concepts on tap based on Dodge/Chrysler alone. Creativity is a wonderful thing, and being a creative person I don’t tend to have the same social limits.

(Remember “Chrysler” when I told you the more I post the higher up my links go in search engines? Remember? Yeah  sweeties, here we go, hold on for the ride…….oh forgive me, yes we are talking Chrysler…..ahem….that would mean a working vehicle…my bad!)

What’s coming up next??????? Perhaps some performance art…in a public place….or perhaps in front of a Dodge/Chrysler dealership (on “public” land of course). I am going to take this experience and RUN with it……….FLY with it…..because they asked for it, they got it.……ummm…..crap….that was Toyota……flipping heck, if I’d bought one of those I wouldn’t HAVE a deathtrap of a vehicle.

Anyways, back with a new cartoon soon. I now have to go post this on my son’s Facebook page……did you know teenagers have a TON of followers…..who tell a TON of followers? Who’d have known. Networking, networking, networking….makes the world go round!

For fun grab a BIG cup of coffee and check out the links bellow that tell the whole story about our DODGE PROBLEMS with the 2014 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN. It’s a heck of a read.

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/dodge-intends-to-release-unsafe-vehicle-onto-road/

 

(and now I will sit back and watch my stats!)

XOXOXOXO

 

Cartoon by Debra Hunter (yep, that’s me!)

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Ads by “wordpress”.

Dodge Intends To “RELEASE” UNSAFE Vehicle Onto Road

blog van

Dodge intends to “release” unsafe vehicle onto road as they are incapable of diagnosing problems.

Yes indeed, we got that from the horses mouth today….from “CARE” service rep W.. Yes, that is Chrysler’s intention we were told. If they can’t “replicate the problem”  their protocol is just to send a faulty vehicle out on to the road.

Doesn’t matter that the vehicle lost power. Or that the MIL light went on. Or that the dashboard flashed. Company policy is if they “can’t replicate the problem” (or choose not to….it is pretty easy to not look in the right places), lets indicate, “with no disrespect”  (to quote W.) that the customer is a LIAR…..and ship the faulty vehicle back out on the road.

If you like to have indications made that you are LYING and if you want to buy a FAULTY vehicle…..buy Dodge Chrysler…they will give you all the problems you can possibly imagine and be left WALKING after paying out tons of cash.

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Why keep blogging this? Good question. See, here’s the thing, if I keep blogging about this it raises the issue of Chrysler safety concerns in internet searches. The Chrysler rep. says that the internet is just full of garbage. Doesn’t matter does it Wxxxxxxx? Every little piece of information affects a person’s purchase. The seed of doubt is all it takes to shift a sale away from Dodge. As I always say, eventually it doesn’t come down to what “I get”……..it comes down to what “I can take out of their (Chrysler’s) pocket”. And take I will, just because I can. You see I am going to get something out of this situation. A smart person never leaves their opponent with nothing to lose, but that is where Chrysler has left us….with nothing to lose. But I have something to gain, I can gain by spreading the word EVERYWHERE as to how PATHETIC both their vehicles and SERVICE are. And spread I will, and enjoy it, for years, with a smile on my face and tales to tell. Such tales………soon to become urban myth…..I’m a creative person you know. Creative tales…..ahhhh.

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Now speaking of the sales rep, Ford drivers are going to love this. We were talking about how streaming on my husband’s Ford 150 works and on the Dodge product it doesn’t. The rep tried to, in this light, say that the Ford’s aren’t as good a vehicle as the Dodge. Huh? Case and point, one works and the other doesn’t, yet he can’t even see that. By the way Wxxxxxx (Chrysler rep.), the Ford F150 is THE top seller ….so ummm…..yeah I think it “works” (we wish that a three row version of this truck existed; that we would buy!)

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Of course this same rep told me Chrysler has “endless resources” if they found a fault and there had to be a recall. “Endless resources”. Line up people…..Chrysler has a money tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Credible rep? Not.

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By the way the Chrysler rep admitted to us on the phone that he DOESN’T DRIVE A CHRYSLER. Yep….that shows faith in the company. That says everything you ever need to know about how safe or reliable a Chrysler product is….Chrysler’s  own customer service rep REFUSES TO DRIVE A CHRYSLER!!!!!!! Yet he thinks we should just put this defective Chrysler back on the road, put an unsafe vehicle back on the road………what does he care…..he doesn’t even drive a Chrysler. If anything ever told the story, this is it.

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My mini van is a crappy hunk of metal, I get that, Chrysler gets that, after all if it wasn’t a crappy hunk of metal they’d have fixed it by now. It, the 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan,  is such a crappy hunk of metal that they are INCAPABLE of fixing it. Chrysler can’t fix it. They are incapable.

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The internet is actually a powerful thing, and I think big corp., like Chrysler need to wake up to modern times and realize the impact. I actually ran some numbers based on a “mom’s internet board” I frequent on occasion. Check this out:
– if one was to post about our min-van problem (which I did)
– take the number of members
– divide by a guestimate of what percentage read posts on a given day
– then times word of mouth by the number of moms they chat to during a soccer game
The total number of people reached is 2.8 million.

Yep. In posting in just ONE place….and I never do that……and I never stop……I just keep trolling the internet looking for vaguely linked topics…..travel, families, home, vehicles…….you can fit it in anywhere….and you can do it for months or years …..and it is no problem at all as it is just copying and pasting a file name…….last night it was CNN….so easy….so quick……so important.

…..and then I sit back, watch my stats, and know it has worked.

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It’s interesting, Dodge/Chrysler won’t even tell me where my vehicle was manufactured. There must be so many problems with the line of vehicles that they are even afraid to release that information. I wonder what the plant workers could tell me? I wonder what the union could tell me? I wonder if there are stories of cost cutting measures and defective parts and safety issues? Perhaps it is time to dig. Perhaps I will.

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Previous blogs about this never ending issue:

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/why-i-blog-issues-plus-a-letter-to-transport-canada-regarding-dodge-safety/

https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/dodge-less-in-red-deer/

 

Below are emails, feel free to read or not. I like to put things out in the public so that when they say an email “didn’t exist” there it is in all it’s shining glory.

Be back tomorrow with more 2014 Dodge Caravan PROBLEMS posts!!!!!!

PS. My husband stood up and announced to all the parents and teachers at the school this afternoon not to buy a Dodge and explained the disrespect we have encountered!!! Yes he gathered them around and told the tale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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So just to let you inside of this lovely episode, here are some emails:

This one is to Chrysler today:

Please forward this to Wxxxxx’.s superior.

This situation is impossible and Wxxxxxxx has indicated through the phone call this afternoon that Chrysler has every intention, that at some point in time, of just releasing an unsafe vehicle as they “cannot duplicate the problem” and having our family die in an accident when it loses power again.

Wxxxxx has chosen from the first discussion regarding power loss that they were not going to find a problem. We phone trying to get the faults taken care of, he responds with “we aren’t in the business of buying cars back”. All we want is our car to work. We of course will be notifying Transport Canada as to their intent. This is a tactic to keep faulty vehicles on the road.

He gets offended when we refer to the car as a lemon….but it has had EIGHT defects in five months.

Wxxxxx has through tone indicated that I am a liar because they “can’t replicate the problem”. The problem happened, but the car is so faulty it’s computer doesn’t even show the problem.

Wxxxxxxx has used every tactic in the training course designed for “difficult customers”. He will not give us a straight answer on anything.

Wxxxxxxxxx refuses to put us in contact with his superiors, he has decided that it is fine for us to be weeks upon weeks without a vehicle and then we should just submit to the abuse Chrysler deals out and drive a very faulty mini van.

Perhaps someone will actually call us back.

****

This one is from March 16th, 2015

Case #26530081

From: xxxxx
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 1:17 AM
To: fcacanadacares@fcagroup.com
Cc: xxxxx
Subject: Att. Wxxxxxxxx – Case #26530081

Hi Wxxxxxx,

I thought we should touch base as we have now been without a vehicle for three full weekends and the vehicle has been in the service department for 10 full working days. I also feel we need to push to resolve the situation, I am now having to turn away any “on location” photography due to not having our vehicle, plus I can’t even book appointments such as parent/teacher interviews as I don’t know if I will have transportation. My husband is having to constantly leave work to drive our children to and from school and work. The kids are so depressed being stuck at home every weekend, and they are stressed that we won’t be able to go on our Easter vacation because of the situation with the “new” van; this situation is not just a transportation issue, it is affecting every aspect of life for every member of our family.

If you could perhaps phone my husband Mxxxxxx on Monday morning at 9:30 am (MST) to touch base as to the progress on the situation that would be appreciated. I apologize regarding specifying a time, but he has a safety meeting at 7:00 am, then he has to leave the meeting early to drive our kids to school, then he sneaks in some work before having to pick some children up from school at 2:00 pm and another one up at another school at 2:30 pm and then will have to go back to work only to leave work again to drive our oldest to work for 5:00pm . He thinks 9:30 am will be the best chance of having an opportunity to take a call as he will be driving back to work at that time.

We did contact the service department part way through last week to see what progress has been made, our take is that all they are doing is driving around waiting for the car to lose power. It feels like they are not looking at the whole picture of ALL the problems that are happening. Can you get a detailed day by day list of what they are actually doing? I realize you do not email from your office, perhaps this information can be conveyed by email through the dealer’s service department.

I have been going over all the problems over and over in my mind as I really need to find a solution to this vehicle problem, and ignoring that there are problems and just putting the vehicle back on the road is a recipe for disaster. I am going to list my most recent thoughts and finds, I apologize if I am repeating myself in case you have read my most recent blog post. Here are the thoughts.

1) First I did some internet research. I discovered two interesting pieces of information with regards to 2014 Grand Caravans in the U.S.. There is one recall that is a relevant recall and one relevant investigation.
U.S.A. recall – NHTSA Campaign #14V632000 – issued October 8, 2014 – 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Tires: Pressure Monitoring and Regulating Systems
U.S.A. defect investigation – NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004 – date opened September 25, 2014 (currently pending) – Electrical System
2) Now I am going to go through recent thoughts on the ongoing problems:
Van’s Computer Not Registering Error – we are getting shoulder shrugs. No one is taking this seriously. If the system is supposed to register an error, as in when the MIL light came on and the van lost power, and the system doesn’t, this is actually a DEFECT. This is yet another huge problem. Even though I am not a technician, common sense tells me we either have an electrical problem or a computer problem. This would make sense when you look at the never ending issues this vehicle has had (including the repaired heating defect and U-Connect mic issue).
The Flashing Dashboard/Control Panel – After we started up the vehicle the second time after the power loss, every single light on the dashboard started flashing including indicators making the audible noise. I turned the key off, removed the key. Tried to start the vehicle a minute or so later and it started normally. Dashboards/Control Panels should not flash like that. It is another sign of a defect. Again common sense points to electrical or computer.

Burning Rubber Smell – No one is listening to us. No one has addressed the burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t it make sense to start by looking for wires where the insulation is burned off. It is not right for a vehicle to emit a burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t that be an indicator of potential fire? Is this again linked to a potential electrical issue?

Car Losing Power – it seems the only step forward is to drive around waiting for the problem to “replicate”. I can’t help but feel they are looking in the wrong place as the van’s computer doesn’t register that an error light came on. That is the starting point. We’ve told Dodge and the service department that that is the starting point, but they are still driving the vehicle around trying to replicate the problem. Why won’t they start with the obvious problem? I have also been reading various car forums and it is a disturbingly common problem for Dodge/Chrysler service departments to give the “can not replicate” line and then the defect happens on highways and in busy traffic. I am not sure just having a technician go out for an occasional spin is really a verification of the safety of the vehicle, especially when the vehicle has had so many problems. I must again remind you that the last time we drove the vehicle (weeks ago) it was only 4.5 MONTHS old.

Low Tire Pressure Indicator Going On And Off – our service department blames “weather” and says it is “normal” (which we actually bought until I started researching on the internet), however in the U.S. it is actually a RECALL. This is REALLY disturbing and leads me to doubt that Dodge/Chrysler have any concern for safety. It leaves me thinking “This is how they avoid recalls, the service departments try to make the customer out to be “over reacting” or “picky” or “crazy” so that they can avoid expensive recalls. If the service departments brush you off there is no evidence of an issue. They are avoiding recalls at the front desk or on the phone. These issues will never reach Transport Canada as Dodge/Chrysler have found a tactic around the situation. It is all about PROFIT with few concerns as to SAFETY.” Did you know not once did anyone look for a recall in front of us.

On that note, two weeks ago we asked our dealership to look into the origins of our van, where it has been, where it was built, etc.. We have heard nothing. We had asked as even before Christmas, way before the power loss situation, we were starting to really wonder what was going on with the vehicle, it drove like a used vehicle. It drove like a vehicle does just before we trade it in, which is crazy when a vehicle is only months old. So we are wondering what sort of past did this van have, and perhaps does it have any link to the U.S. recall. Can you check this out for us, we really need to know and have a right to know seeing as we own the vehicle.

U-Connect Cutting Out- This is still driving me crazy, especially seeing as when I get a lift in my husband’s work truck (Ford F150) the streaming works perfectly. You are going to think my last thought is a bit “out there”, but is the “interference” that makes the streaming with the U-connect not work properly actually being created by the vehicle? Is it the electrical system creating the interference? The hotter the vehicle gets the less the U-connect works properly. A valid thought that would also make sense with the burning rubber smell. No one is listening to us when we repeatedly tell them the pattern of when the U-connect is having huge problems in working properly. The other thought is could a computer defect be causing interference? Another valid thought as there is obviously a computer defect as the computer did not detect the MIL going off or the power loss.
I cannot stress enough that all of these issues need to be looked at. Six issues, and that doesn’t include the mic and heating that have already been repaired.
When I have to explain to people as to why we have no transport and why we aren’t driving our “new van” their mouths literally hang open in shock. They can’t believe a vehicle like that could be sold legally, let alone be on the road. No one has ever heard of such a disaster, it is unprecedented. I guess all I can do is thank Dodge/Chrysler for such a fantastic conversation piece, especially since the demographic of people we know are big mini van drivers. This is becoming a memorable situation not only for us, but the families we know.
I can’t believe I am having to turn away work because I bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband is having to compromise being able to work because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe we are stranded at home because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe we can’t make appointments because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe our children can’t attend events because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband has to take a roofing truck to pick up groceries because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe my husband has to come rescue us because our “new” vehicle loses power.
I can’t believe we will probably have to cancel our Easter vacation because we bought a “new” vehicle.
I can’t believe how many times even prior to this I have been without transport as my “new” vehicle has been in the service department.
This vehicle is destroying our lives. It has made both family life and our employment impossible.
I realize what Dodge/Chrysler is doing, they are trying to force us to just take the vehicle and drive it. Their goal is to inconvenience us enough that we will risk our lives, the lives of seven people, and drive a very unsafe vehicle. My guess is that you know I don’t operate that way, I will not risk my family, and I will not give up….ever. This is not a vehicle with one teeny problem, the total number of problems is now at EIGHT.
We need to solve every single problem this vehicle has. We bought a new vehicle. We bought a new vehicle so that EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE VAN WOULD WORK. Every item needs to work before we drive this vehicle again. We need to know:
1) Why the computer didn’t register the error.
2) Why the control panel flashed.
3) What is causing the burning rubber smell.
4) Why the car lost power.
5) Why the Low Tire Pressure goes on and off.
6) Why the U-Connect still doesn’t work properly.
7) The origin of our vehicle.
8) The relevance of the recall and investigation in the U.S.. How many components do the U.S. sold vans share with the Canadian sold vans?
9) When will we have our “new” van back and fixed so that we can get on with our jobs and our lives?
If Dodge/Chrysler is going to operate in good faith, perhaps they need to change their advertising campaign. Dodge/Chrysler needs to have their advertising accurately reflect the product they are selling. The Dodge Grand Caravan ad campaign should indicate that the vans “may work” and will have “some problems” and are “sometimes safe but may have a burning rubber smell and lose power while driving with flashing error lights and ringing bells”. If this had been the ad campaign at least I would have known the truth.
Please call my husband, xxxxxxxx, at 9:30am (MST). His number is xxxxxxxx. We need this sorted.

 

Dodge-less in Red Deer ……

A scooter....better than a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan....the only reliable wheels we own!

A scooter….better than a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan….the only reliable wheels we own!

“Sleepless in Seattle” may have been a hit, “Dodge-less in Red Deer”, not so much…..but here is how the story for this week goes.

Friday night. Lovely weather. Stuck at home. Again….or still….you choose. You see it is my THIRD weekend…and two full weeks…. without a vehicle as our new vehicle is again/still/perpetually in the shop. Now I do realize I am doing wonders for the environment by not driving (A.K.A. the new vehicle sitting in the lot of the car dealership as they try to replicate the problem), but the last two plus weeks (plus all the other 6, 7 or 8 times the car has been in for service) are feeling like a cross between house arrest (no, I don’t have personal experience!) and quarantine (yes, the family is all immunized!).

Originally this post was going to  be a painting post but I can’t help myself, this situation of having a new car, with endless problems, and being reduced to walking is….well….preposterous. Yes walking to do errands is just lovely, but a 15 minute return trip by car is a good hour and a half trip on foot. Okay, more like two and a half hours as I have to explain to anyone we meet “why” we aren’t driving our new van, plus go through all the problems the van has, which takes a very, very long time……I should just record the story on my phone and hit “play ” really.  And did you know that carrying groceries for 7 people while walking isn’t feasible; we go through 8 litres of milk alone on some days (that is two hands taken up with milk alone!)…..lets just say the kids are starting to notice food that used to be in the cupboard isn’t. And did you know now I can’t take on location shoots, yep, I can’t work unless it is in the studio, as hauling tripods and lighting and cameras on a two or three hour walk doesn’t quite work…..and using my preschooler’s wagon to carry my gear just crosses the “stupid” line. My four year old is bored, the other day he wanted to go somewhere, I reminded him we didn’t have the car, he huffed and let his head thump down on the table. We…are…stuck.

So for the record…stuck at home…….running out of groceries……can’t work……….new van still in the shop…………..

…..and of course they still haven’t been able to replicate the problem on the vehicle. It is kind of like buying a new house, the roof leaks once, but they have to wait until it rains again, destroying all your interior and belongings, in the aim to replicate the problem before they will look to fix it. Unfortunately in the case of an unsafe vehicle it isn’t carpet getting wet, it is people getting killed if the issue “replicates” at an inopportune time.

To make matters worse, in an act of desperation, last night I started to search the internet to see if there were any indications of others facing the same vehicle problem. I thought “well if the technicians can’t figure it out at least I am going to give it a shot!”.  I suspect the outcome was the same as when people Google diseases. Let’s see, well one thing I did find was in the U.S. a group of 2014 Grand Caravan’s had a recall for the tire pressure light going on or off….yep, ours has done that…..we were told that can happen due to weather…..I guess either the U.S. doesn’t have that type of “weather” or they have stricter safety requirements. Hmmmmmmm. The other thing I discovered was endless “can not replicate the problem” situations and then the issue of course replicates itself in dangerous circumstances like on a highway or in busy traffic…one person wrote something to the effect as to “how many people are going to have to be killed before they try to rectify these problems?” It’s a good question.

And so I “try” to be patient……and what will my patience achieve? It is probably going to achieve the first ever Dodge Grand Caravan running out of warranty while sitting in the parking lot of the service department. And then guess what is going to happen, either one day or one kilometer after the warranty is up they’ll find the problem miraculously and charge us for the repair.

It’s going to be a long two years and seven months before that happens.

The joy of 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan problems.

To be continued………….

(for further reading check out this and this!)

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References which may be connected to the van issues:

U.S.A. recall – NHTSA Campaign #14V632000 – issued October 8, 2014 – 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan Tires: Pressure Monitoring and Regulating Systems

U.S.A. defect investigation – NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004 – date opened September 25, 2014 (currently pending) – Electrical System

To view ongoing Dodge issues please check out http://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/2014/recalls/ or http://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Grand_Caravan/2014/investigations/

I guess I just don’t believe that it is only the U.S.A. vans having the issues; I can’t help but feel it is relevant.

 

March 14, 2015 update (15 straight days without the vehicle and 10 working days at the service department):

U-Connect Cutting Out– One more thought……..is the “interference” that makes the streaming with the U-connect not work properly being actually created by the vehicle heating up? Is it the electrical system creating the interference? The hotter the vehicle gets the less the U-connect works properly. Is something in the vehicle creating interference, perhaps a computer defect? A valid thought that would also make sense with the burning rubber smell. No one is listening to us when we repeatedly tell them the pattern of when the U-connect is having huge problems in working properly.

Low Tire Pressure Indicator Going On And Off – our service department blames “weather” and says it is “normal”, however in the U.S. it is actually a RECALL. How can we have any faith in Dodge/Chrysler Canada being concerned about safety? This is how they avoid recalls, the service departments try to make the customer out to be “over reacting” or “picky” or “crazy” so that they can avoid expensive recalls. If the service departments brush you off there is no evidence of an issue. They are avoiding recalls at the front desk or on the phone. These issues will never reach Transport Canada as Dodge/Chrysler have found a tactic around the situation. It is all about PROFIT with few concerns as to SAFETY.

Burning Rubber SmellNo one is listening to us. No one has addressed the burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t it make sense to start by looking for wires where the insulation is burned off. It is not right for a vehicle to emit a burning rubber smell. Wouldn’t that be an indicator of potential fire? Shouldn’t Dodge be concerned?

Car Losing Power – it seems the only step forward is to drive around waiting for the problem to “replicate”. I can’t help but feel they are looking in the wrong place as the van’s computer doesn’t register that an error light came on. That is the starting point. We’ve told Dodge and the service department that that is the starting point, but they are still driving the vehicle around trying to replicate the problem. Why won’t they start with the obvious problem?

Van’s Computer Not Registering Error – we are getting shoulder shrugs. No one is taking this seriously. If the system is supposed to register an error, as in when the MIL light came on and the van lost power,  and the system doesn’t, this is actually a DEFECT. This is yet another huge problem. Even though I am not a technician, common sense tells me we either have an electrical problem or a computer problem. This would make sense when you look at the never ending issues this vehicle has had (including the repaired heating defect and U-Connect mic issue).

The Flashing Dashboard/Control Panel – After we started up the vehicle the second time after the power loss, every single light on the dashboard started flashing including indicators making the audible noise. I turned the key off, removed the key. Tried to start the vehicle a minute or so later and it started normally. Dashboards/Control Panels should not flash like that. It is another sign of a defect. Again common sense points to electrical or computer.

So here we sit.
It seems that Dodge/Chrysler’s protocol is to just drive around trying to “replicate the problem” but they refuse to look at ALL the problems.
We are pretty sure they just want to “appear” to be trying to solve the situation, which is what all the “driving around to replicate the problem” is. It is a facade.
We are pretty sure they are just trying to drag out the situation until we are so frustrated with having no vehicle that we take back the DEATH TRAP and drive it risking our family and others’ lives.
It’s a tactic……and when we are forced to put this very unsafe vehicle back on the road, and it ends in a fatality, the official statement will be “Dodge only produced .5% (or some other random percentage) of their vehicles with a defect.”……….which means the lives and safety of .5% of their customers are worthless.

If a company is going to produce vehicles, EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE ON THE ROAD NEEDS TO BE SAFE, there should never be ANY margin for error. A margin for error results in deaths.

 PS. We will be emailing Dodge/Chrysler on Monday and requesting a detailed, day by day account of what they have actually done with the vehicle. We have also asked previously about them looking into the origin of the vehicle (it has always driven like a “used” vehicle), but we have yet to receive any information; this request was made at the dealership level. Brush off and ignore seems to be company policy.

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