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

 

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.

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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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oh yeah, the ads on this site belong to WordPress.

Why I blog “issues” (plus a letter to Transport Canada Regarding Dodge Safety)

I have had an afternoon and evening of clarity. Sometimes removing yourself from the confines of the box you live in makes you see situations from a different angle.

My first revelation came at my daughter’s basketball game. Watching the girls bump into each other made me think again about our issue with the Dodge Caravan and how if you lose power you will have a chance of being rear ended.  (More on this later into the post.)

The second revelation came during yoga class, an apt environment to achieve clarity, and the revelation that came to me was that I need to share with the readers “Why I Blog Issues”. So I am going to start with that.

And then I also had a third…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WHY I BLOG ISSUES

I am sure some people think “loud mouth”, “trouble maker” and “moaner” when they read a post about an issue, and everyone is capable of having their own response and opinions, however in my case that is not why I write about issues.

I write about issues because society has become apathetic. People care more about watching “Breaking Bad” than their municipalities, the environment, fairness or health and safety. Because society is so apathetic, both private sector and government have become absolutely corrupt. Laws, by-laws, zoning, the environment, fairness, safety, honesty, and operating “in good faith” are no longer of any interest to some levels of government and definitely of no interest to “big corp”. Corruption is rampant because no one takes on the corrupt operations of big business. Corruption is never ending because no one makes governments follow their own rules. Yes there are pocket groups and petitions, but the bulk of society is more bothered about playing Candy Crush than making our society fair, honest and just.

So this is why I write on issues such as Dodge selling faulty and dangerous vehicles, Wawanesa having horrific handling of our insurance claim, issues with the school system where children weren’t taught (or were bullied), issues with Land Use By-laws where neighbourhoods and environment would be destroyed, and issues with regards to saving habitat; I write on these topics as both private and public sector are corrupt. I don’t write because I want a “freebee” or to “moan”. I write because someone has to tackle the corruption that surrounds us. I write because we are all being harmed by corrupt “big corp” and corrupt government actions. I write because it is about time someone actually did something and said something. I write because it is time to stop corruption and live in a fair, honest and just world, not the cess-pit it has become .

So that , in a nutshell, is why I blog issues.

I blog issues because it is the right thing to do.

blog van

 

DODGE SAFETY ISSUE

Now for my second revelation. As I was saying, I was watching my daughter’s basketball game, and the girls bumping into each other made me think again about our issue with the Dodge Caravan. I was thinking about the fact that if you are driving a vehicle that  loses power there is a chance of being rear ended, injured or killed. Then it dawned on me that the innocent driver behind you could also be injured or killed. The big picture became apparent to me in one huge technicolor vision of destruction…….this is not just a Dodge Grand Caravan issue , this a a transportation hazard . This is a transportation hazard that has the potential to injure or kill any driver on the road.

The issue was no longer about “my” vehicle, and the fact that it is faulty beyond belief. This is no longer about me being “petty” and thinking a new vehicle should actually work and not be in for constant repair. Yes, every aspect of dealing with this vehicle has been rubbish , from dealing with Chrysler, dealing with the manager at our dealership and dealing with the salesman at our dealership….and all that will come out in another blog post…….but at the moment the issue is safety.

Now here is the scary thought. My vehicle lost power. My vehicle’s MIL light came on. My vehicle dinged and dinged and dinged in warning. I had NO idea what a MIL light even was up until Friday afternoon. As soon as the vehicle limped it’s way into the school parking lot I hunted through the manual to figure out what was up and then called my husband to be rescued. The dealership looked at our vehicle and said first that their computer said the “MIL light didn’t come on”, and secondly that they “could not replicate the problem”. Now the MIL light did come on. The van did lose power. The dealership is missing the “real” problem. The real problem is that Chrysler has a dangerous fault in their vehicles that could cause fatalities that they can’t detect and that they can’t fix. That is a problem. That is a very big problem.

This means that vehicles with the issue are being plopped back out on the road. That means vehicles are ending up in collisions and Chrysler’s service teams can’t even detect the fault in an inquiry in a vehicle fatality. Chrysler are putting out death traps because their computer can’t detect the problem. Chrysler put more faith in their computer than their customers who are actually driving the vehicles. Chrysler is risking lives because they think their computer knows best and never makes a mistake. How many have died because they “couldn’t replicate the problem”?

How can Chrysler even argue with this? They don’t even have the technology in their service departments to detect the issue, let alone fix it…..and definitely not the capacity to care.

Perhaps it is time to look at all the mini van fatalities involving Dodge Grand Caravans. Perhaps it is time to look at the circumstances. Perhaps it is time for Chrysler to both admit they have a huge problem and rectify it.

Picture of my son after being in an accident in a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan

Picture of my son after being in an accident in a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan

 

Revelation #3 – Did this happen before?

This revelation came to me on my way home from yoga (in my husband’s work truck as I will not even touch our “new” 2014 Grand Caravan, it is at the dealership). I never really blogged that much about the accident we had back in September, quite honestly I was happy my children were alive. It was an accident that made no sense, I was making a left turn with lots of time, clear intersection and then “Bam” hit so hard the van was written off. Now up until a couple of hours ago my thought was “the other vehicle must have been flying” , now I am wondering “did I lose power?” I will never know, it happened that fast, but now it will always be at the back of my mind. A 2014 van, 6 months old, an accident that made no sense. In hindsight I am really left wondering.

Dealing With the Big Picture

As I was getting nowhere with Chrysler or our dealership I had to do something. This is a public safety issue. People are going to be killed and Chrysler is going to hide behind either their computer or “we couldn’t replicate the problem”. It may sound dramatic, but lives ARE at risk. In the end my solution was to write to Minister Raitt at Transport Canada. I need the problem on record. The problem needs to be looked into. If the Dodge Grand Caravan is truly “Canada’s best selling mini van” as advertised, there are a lot of potential death traps on the road.

This is my email:

Att. Transport Canada
Minister Raitt

Dear Minister Raitt,

I am finding myself contacting you as we have an issue that could have an impact regards to safety on Canada’s roads and highways.

We have a new 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan purchased in October 2014. Serial number xxxxxx. On Friday we were driving, the van loses power, the MIL light comes on and the van starts dinging. We take it to our dealership as you do with any warranty issue. Their computer doesn’t show the MIL coming on, plus they say they “can’t replicate the problem”.

A car losing power on the road is a hazard for both the driver of the faulty vehicle and the vehicles behind the faulty vehicle. This technical issue is going to result in injuries and deaths. This technical difficulty isn’t being detected by the service departments.

Our dealership seems to think it isn’t a problem as does Dodge. We have been in contact with both. The worry here is it IS happening and they aren’t detecting the technical issue in the service department. This means even in a fatality inquiry the issue won’t be detected.

Once I got over my initial anger of the issue, I realized the broader scope of how dangerous this is. The potential to lose power and thus be rear ended will inevitably end in fatalities. I want to drive in safe vehicles. I want to be on the road with safe vehicles.

I felt I had to formally get on record that this issue is happening. Perhaps you can take this concern in whatever direction necessary to insure we are driving in and with safe vehicles.

By the way I have blogged details of our experience at: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/

Debra Hunter

———————————————————–

So now you know “why” I blog issues, it is not for me, it is for all of us, and it is for the right reasons.

Deb

Please click here to read the previous detailed post of all the problems our Dodge Grand Caravan has had.

 

 

 

“We need to replicate the problem.” – Don’t buy Dodge, it will potentially kill you.

“We need to replicate the problem.” This is the official statement from Dodge. This is a statement with regards to LOSING POWER WHILE DRIVING. But this is their official statement.

So let me tell you the tale of our minivan. Our NEW Dodge Grand Caravan. A tale I hadn’t told due to the ongoing hassle with Wawanesa, but as it shows a similar “big corp” disregard for customer safety and well being it is time to tell the story. I also feel it is necessary to get the problem out on the public forum so others know that there is this issue with the vans. Recalls only happen after deaths.

We bought a Dodge Grand Caravan in Mid October 2014. Brand new from Southside in Red Deer, Alberta. The van isn’t 5 months old yet. This is our second 2014 Grand Caravan, our first one had no problems at all, but was written off while I was traveling 10 km/h (tells you how fast the other car was going!).

Here is a detail of everything that has gone wrong in the last four months:

1)U-Connect Mic – The van started out with a niggly problem of the mic in the U-Connect system not working. A slight problem when having a hands free system means you need to hold your phone to talk. THREE trips to the dealership and the problem was eventually fixed.

2)Heat Stuck On High – Three separate incidents of the heat being stuck on full blown high on the passenger side. Imagine driving over 3000 kms with one temperature….”hotter than hell”. We had items in the glove box that melted. Melted. Of course it happened THREE times intermittently before it could be fixed at the dealership because they “have to replicate the problem”.

3) Tire Pressure Light – comes on and off at will…..I was told it was normal

……..but this isn’t all

4) Burning Rubber Smell – it comes and it goes, a strong burning rubber smell, burning in a vehicle probably isn’t good, or maybe it is Chrysler’s version of a “new car smell”. Everyone just shrugs when we mention burning smell. Perhaps the vehicle needs to go up in flames like a Guy Fawke’s bonfire for them to “replicate the problem”.

5) U-Connect Cuts Out While Streaming – this is STILL happening. The further you drive the worse it gets. It seems as the van heats up it cuts out more and more. Coming back from the coast last week by Salmon Arm it was cutting out once per song, by Calgary it was FIVE times in a three minute song. Yes we’ve tried to “replicate the problem”, I even drove around for an HOUR BEFORE taking the car to the dealership to warm it up, it was cutting out. Serviced person gets into the van, we do a 2 km drive, it cuts out while he is looking in the glove box not paying attention and missed it. WE REPLICATED THE PROBLEM, but the service person missed it.

We were also told the cutting out was due to the areas we were driving, so that would be….Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Golden, Revelstoke, Sicamous, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Merritt, Hope, Abbotsford, Langley, Vancouver, Victoria and Pender Island , plus ALL the connecting routes. Tops of mountains, at sea level,probably the only place it doesn’t happen is on the ferry….because the van isn’t turned on.

Chrysler Canada’s solution for the U-Connect streaming issue was to “USE A CORD”. Yep. Take your phone. Plug in a $4 cord. Listen that way. Trick is to “Use A Cord” you need to TURN OFF BLUETOOTH……and answer your phone WITH YOUR HANDS. Chrysler’s version of “hands free”. Clearly safety or abiding by the law while driving is no concern of Chrysler (which will be proven in the next entry).

……. the piece de resistance

6) CAR LOSING POWER – yep, you heard it here first. I was driving to pick the kids up from school on Friday. I get to the intersection of 39th street and 43rd avenue, turn the corner and no power. No matter how hard I press down the accelerator I can’t get above 30 km/h. I am praying no one rear ends me. The “MIL” light is flashing, the van is dinging, I can’t drive properly, I have a pre-schooler in the back seat, and I am going to get rear ended if someone isn’t watching. The van is powerless. The van limps down the road, gets to the school with not even enough power to park it; I leave it diagonal in the first spot and apologize to the father parked next to me. I call my husband to rescue us. He leaves a customer at the office. I am NOT putting my kids in a vehicle that loses power only to be rear ended and have my whole family killed. I am not that stupid.

After a big phone palaver (at this point we are beyond insanely unhappy) with both Chrysler and Southside we come up with this solution. My kids ARE NOT going back in the van. No way. My husband loads the kids in his WORK truck and drives them home, while I drive the van home. We then leave our 16 year old watching his four siblings. The plan is that I drive the van to Southside, my husband drives behind watching in case I lose power. I go to start the van, the whole instrument panel flashes and quits. This is new. I start it a second time and it doesn’t flash. We drive through downtown and up Spruce Drive avoiding any routes where there is any amount of speed. Going up Spruce Drive I tested the power, put my foot down as you do in the mountain passes, the tackometer would soar, the van wouldn’t go above 50 km/h. This isn’t right. This is a new vehicle, by the end of the year we will be putting on about 24,000 km through mountain passes alone, we need to go UPHILL and fast, the speed limit on the Coquihalla is 120km/h, we need to be able to get above 50-60 km/h.

We drop off our van at Southside, choose not to take a courtesy vehicle as they will use that as an excuse to drag out the whole situation, and spend the WHOLE WEEKEND STUCK AT HOME VEHICLELESS……while our “new” van is in the shop again.

Before I continue, let’s do a recap on how many times this “new” vehicle has been in the shop:

– 3 times for the mic
-at least twice (once for verification) for the heat issue (possibly one more time, I’ve lost count)– I think twice for the cutting in and out, it has been ongoing so one visit may have been combined with a heater visit
– the current visit with the loss of power

That is a minimum of SEVEN TIMES IN THE SHOP IN LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS……….for a new vehicle…..”new vehicle”.

…..but it gets better

Now it is Monday, I am still car-less, even though I own a “new vehicle”. All day long, no car. My husband is taking time from work to run the kids around, running them around in his work’s ROOFING TRUCK. This is why you buy a “new vehicle”. Soooooooo…….. we hear from the dealership, they “can’t replicate the problem”. Of course. They also say ” The computer doesn’t show the MIL light came on.” and to fix it they “need to replicate the problem”. Really……. I’m sorry, I was driving, the light did come on and the van did lose power and it is beyond dangerous because if you are driving at the speed limit and the person behind you is doing the same and you suddenly lose power well, you get rear ended and can end up DEAD.

….but the computer says the light didn’t go on and they can’t “replicate the problem”….so that is how life is…..a $10 circuit board encased in plastic with a flashy light knows more about what is going on that the person that experienced the problem.

So we get into it with Dodge on their Canadian Facebook site, we are done. SIX separate issues in less than 5 months and now it is becoming dangerous. EVENTUALLY W. at Chrysler gets back to my husband who has been leaving messages about the problems for what seems like an eternity (but is in fact less than 5 months).

Let me give you the highlights of the conversation:

– they need to “replicate the problem” which means someone is going to have to get in a vehicle, drive it so that it loses power, get rear-ended and be maimed or killed all in the effort of following  company policy to “replicate the problem”

– when my husband says it isn’t safe to have someone drive our vehicle it is mentioned that the service people have liability insurance…….what does that matter if a husband, wife, father or mother is killed…………..this complete disregard for safety of the public and their employees is shocking. Another case of “profit over people”, with “big corp” people are disposable.

– W. at Chrysler took offense when my husband called it a lemon and said we can’t say that. Ahem. SIX separate problems in less than FIVE months, some that Chrysler’s solution is “use a cable” because they can’t fix it. What constitutes a problem….the engine dropping out or all the wheels simultaneously dropping off? What is Chrysler’s bench mark for a “lemon”?

– W. said they aren’t in the business of buying back vehicles. So Chrysler can sell you a vehicle that doesn’t work properly, Chrysler can sell you a vehicle that they can’t fix, Chrysler can sell you a vehicle that isn’t safe…….and it is your problem. The consumer’s money wasted, the consumer’s well being put at risk. CHRYSLER WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS. This is the theme of “big corp”, screw your customer and put them at risk, the consumer doesn’t matter just billions in the bank.

– As I refuse to take a “rental vehicle”…… I am completely unrealistic in the eyes of Chrysler, I am unrealistic to  expect that if I buy a NEW vehicle I might actually be able to DRIVE IT and DRIVE IT SAFELY ( I know, what the heck am I thinking!)

…….and so the van sits at the dealership

………I’m not driving a deathtrap

…….. I am car-less

……….I “own” a new vehicle that isn’t safe to drive

………I can’t take my kids to school

……… I can’t pick my kids up from school

……… I can’t take my son to work

………. I can’t go grocery shopping

……….I am stuck at home…………………with my computer………………and what I can do is hit social media with this ridiculous situation

 

The list price on the vehicle was around $30K.

$30K to have an un-driveable “new” vehicle.……well driveable if you want to risk your life ……………..mere insignificant detail!

—————————-

And now I am going to tell you the rest of the story:

We have owned several Dodge Grand Caravans, a 1998, 2003, 2010, and two 2014’s. I am going to share the story of our 2010. Our 2010 van was “OK”. Yes the engine was under-powerd (proven in the stats sheet for horse-power) and it had to go in for the ignition problem (recall), but it was okay. And then we started to have a few weird issues one was the radio cutting in and out and the other was the heat sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. We were just out of warranty when these two things started happening so my guess is sometime in 2012 or 2013. At first the problems were intermittent, and then they happened more and more. You could fool the heating into working by turning the dial up all the way then turning back so that it was positioned in between blowing levels. The radio we solved by streaming our iPod through a portable “bem” speaker ( I had lost confidence and wasn’t putting a new radio into the van).

So let me share my very last trip in my 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan van. March 2014, we are headed to the west coast with our five children for spring break. We are driving down the QE2 and notice the heat is really iffy, the “trick” is no longer working, we try to find the sweet spot where it will work. We reach Calgary, take the Stony Trail, and as we are going past the Costco I say to my husband it isn’t driving right, the power isn’t there. He tried to tell me it was the hill and maybe it was windy, but it was more than that, the way the van was driving was wrong. We continue on to the Trans Canada and head west. We stop at Deadman’s Flats for gas. We fill up. We go to start the vehicle. NOTHING. FLAT. DEAD. We are stuck at the gas station which is in a community of another gas station and a couple of run down motels. As our family does not fit in the tow truck we wait FOUR hours to be rescued. The van is towed to the Dodge dealership in Olds,AB , we are told it will be three weeks for a part. Heating doesn’t work, radio doesn’t work, van doesn’t go. We cut our losses and buy a new 2014.

“That” new 2014 worked, but was written off in an accident in September.

I can’t help but go back to our experience from close to a year ago and make comparisons. Both vans have had heating problems, both vans have had radio/u-connect problems, both vans have lost power when driving. That is one heck of a coincidence. Actually, it isn’t a coincidence it is a PATTERN, or perhaps a SYMPTOM, that is is only a matter of time that if the loss of power doesn’t kill us, the van will simply die and leave us stranded.

———–Tuesday morning update—————-

Chrysler Facebooks me to say that they will call us this morning but they have to take down the Facebook post as it uses an employees name. So guess what, it is now 12:15 Alberta time….2:15 pm down east…..yes PM….and NO PHONE CALL! Clearly the post was taken down due to the utterly rubbish customer service and the fact Chrysler and their employees don’t feel confident in either the service they provide or the product they sell.This company is one lie after another and can’t even manage a phone call when they promise it…..and if they say they are busy……..why the heck are so many of the vehicles you building NOT working? It’s a good question.

——————–Tuesday Afternoon Update——————–

“Can not replicate problem”

Fourth day without a vehicle THIS TIME…..plus ALL the other times at the shop

—————–Summary—————-

I am not putting my kids in that death trap. It is sitting at the Southside dealership.

Thousands of dollars WASTED.

Dodge will sell you a vehicle, a new vehicle, but don’t be so unrealistic to think it will WORK.

————————————————–

Edited to add:

I have now emailed Transport Canada with the following email as this is a public safety concern for anyone driving on the roads with a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. The email reads:

March 3, 2015

Att. Transport Canada
Minister Raitt

Dear Minister Raitt,

I am finding myself contacting you as we have an issue that could have an impact regards to safety on Canada’s roads and highways.

We have a new 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan purchased in October 2014. Serial number xxx. On Friday we were driving, the van loses power, the MIL light comes on and the van starts dinging. We take it to our dealership as you do with any warranty issue. Their computer doesn’t show the MIL coming on, plus they say they “can’t replicate the problem”.

A car losing power on the road is a hazard for both the driver of the faulty vehicle and the vehicles behind the faulty vehicle. This technical issue is going to result in injuries and deaths. This technical difficulty isn’t being detected by the service departments.

Our dealership seems to think it isn’t a problem as does Dodge. We have been in contact with both. The worry here is it IS happening and they aren’t detecting the technical issue in the service department. This means even in a fatality inquiry the issue won’t be detected.

Once I got over my initial anger of the issue, I realized the broader scope of how dangerous this is. The potential to lose power and thus be rear ended will inevitably end in fatalities. I want to drive in safe vehicles. I want to be on the road with safe vehicles.

I felt I had to formally get on record that this issue is happening. Perhaps you can take this concern in whatever direction necessary to insure we are driving in and with safe vehicles.

By the way I have blogged details of our experience at: https://htheblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/we-need-to-replicate-the-problem-dont-buy-dodge-it-will-potentially-kill-you/