If you own a Dodge, Chrysler or Plymouth minivan PLEASE HAVE YOUR METAL BRAKE LINES INSPECTED ASAP!!!!!
My wife was driving our 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan and was parked at a drive thru window with the car in Park. When she applied the brake to shift into drive, the brake pedal went to the floor, and all of the brake fluid was expelled onto the ground.
The vehicle was unsafe to drive and we had it towed to a Chrysler dealership for repair. THe Chrysler dealership informed us that the brake lines had rusted thru and ruptured and was unsafe to drive. The brake lines were replaced at our expense.
I contacted Chrysler Customer Service on 3 different occassions by telephone and another 3 times by email to request reimbursment and to report this serious safety defect.
CHrysler would not address this seriuos safety problem and stated that this vehicle was out of the warranty period, and was not eligible for reimbursement.
They also stated that they have never had a complaint with a brake line burst on any of their vehicles,nor had they ever issued a Service Bulletin or Recall for this problem.
I was appalled by Chrysler's lack of concern over this serious safety issue that could have resulted in seriuos injury or my wife's demise.
The metal brake lines supplied by Chrysler on the 1997 - 2001 vehicles have a braided stainless steel vibraton sleeves welded to a steek brake line.
The design of this brake line causes a bi-metal reaction between the steel brake line and the stainless steel braided section, which will result in corrosion of the steel brake lines. This corrosion usually results in a brake line burst after 4 or 5 years.
This is a very dangerous condition and happens very unexpectedly. These brake lines are subjected to over 2500 lbs/psi when the brakes are applied.
If you have a rusted area that is subjected to this high amount of pressure and apply your brakes in heavy traffic and/or at highway speed, you could face serious injury or death.
Subsequent investigation of the US Dept of Transportation and NHTSA safety hotline and complaint website revealed at least 5 other complaints that I found without too much difficulty.
CHRYSLER STILL MAINTAINS THAT THEY HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM OR A COMPLAINT REPORTED ON THIS ISSUE!!!!!
I was informed that the 1996 CHrysler brake lines did not have the stainless steel braided segment. The 1997 thru 2000 Chrysler brake lines had the stainless steel braided sections. In 2001 CHrysler redesigned the brake lines and removed the stainless steel braided segments.
My question is.... Why did they redesign this brake line and remove the stainless steel braided segments if they were not having a problem with the incompatibility of 2 different welded materials?
If anyone can answer this question, or has knowledge of why Chrysler made this redesign, please respond to this post.
ALso,if any other DOdge, Chrysler or Plymouth minivan owners have experienced a brake line burst due to corrosion, please respond to this post.
PLEASE HAVE YOUR BRAKE LINES INSPECTED TO PREVENT AN UNEXPECTED INJURY OR DEATH TO YOU OR YOUR FAMILIES!!!!!!!