NHTSA Closes Probe Into Dodge And Chrysler Minivan Sliding Door Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded a probe into 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country models over right and left rear sliding door issues.

The probe was launched in July 2021 by the Office of Defects Investigation and came after 365 complaints alleging that one or both sliding doors on 2016 Grand Caravan and Towing & Country models weren’t functioning, noting that neither the mechanical handle nor electric remote switches worked. This prompted some owners to remove rear seat passengers through the front doors, the second sliding door, the window, or the car’s rear hatch.

Chrysler issued a technical service bulletin to its dealership network on June 4 regarding the issue, instructing its technicians to replace one or both of the sliding door lock actuators when owners identified that the locks were not functioning or “emitting a loud buzzing noise” during the locking or unlocking process.

Impacted vehicles were manufactured between May 1, 2015, and January 9, 2018.

The NHTSA’s investigation found that 96 percent of sliding door failures occurred prior to the 2020 calendar year when subject vehicles had been in service for approximately 4 years. In closing the investigation, the Office of Defects Investigation notes that 99 percent of subject vehicles are passed the age where failures typically occur.

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On June 16, 2021, Chrysler approved a Quality Warranty Extension for 15 years / 150,000 miles from the vehicle’s in-service date.

In confirming the closure of the investigation, the NHTSA noted that it could take action at a later date if required.

“The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist, and the agency reserves the right to take additional action if warranted by new circumstances,” it confirmed.