Chrysler, VW Recalling 745,000 Vehicles to Fix Air Bags and Fuel Leaks

David Schepp

Chrysler Group and Volkswagen are each recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles in separate actions to fix problems related to passenger side air bags and possible fuel leaks, according to federal safety officials.

Chrysler's recall involves 367,350 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans from the 2008 model year to fix air bags that may deploy unexpectedly. The source of the problem is an improperly assembled drain for the air-conditioning system that may leak water and cause the passenger-side air bag to deploy without the vehicle being involved in a crash, Chrysler informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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The inadvertent deployment of the air bag may injure occupants of the passenger seat and lead to a crash, NHTSA said in a posting at its website. Chrysler will begin recalling affected vehicles in February, the automaker said, and dealers will replace the faulty drains free of charge.

Owners of the minivans may call Chrysler at 800-853-1403.

Volkswagen Recall Involves Fuel-Line Problem

Separately, Volkswagen told NHTSA it is recalling 377,286 units to fix a fuel-line problem. On models equipped with 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder engines, chafing against other engine-compartment parts could cause a hole to appear in a fuel line, possibly leading to fire, VW told the agency.

The recall covers 228,236 Jetta and Jetta SportWagen models and 38,700 Golf and Rabbit models, all from the 2007 through 2009 model years. Another 110,350 new Beetle and Beetle convertibles from the 2006-10 model years are also being recalled, VW spokesman Kerry Christopher said.

Christopher said the company has received no reports of injuries or fires caused the defect.

Repairing the defect involves either removing a plastic tab on the vehicles' windshield washer fluid reservoir, or, in the case of the Beetle, adjusting a fastening clamp into its proper position.

VW said it expects to begin advising owners of recalled units to bring their vehicles in for repairs on or before Jan. 31.

Consumers can call VW at 800-822-8987.

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