If your Chrysler Town and Country minivan has doors that have become stuck in the locked or unlocked position, you’re not alone. Many owners of the Town and Country or Dodge Caravan minivans say their doors are faulty, yet no recalls have been issued.
Is the Locking Problem Limited to the Driver’s Side Rear Sliding Door?
Owners and lessees have lodged complaints regarding both the driver’s side rear sliding door and the passenger’s side sliding door. Both doors reportedly have gotten stuck in the locked or unlocked position. In some cases, even the two front doors become stuck.
Are Certain Model Years Affected?
Because the automobile company has not acknowledged a defect or issued a recall, the actual model years affected by the failure of this locking mechanism are hard to pin down. In an online search, complaints go as far back as 2005 models.
Is This a Fuse Problem?
According to CarGurus.com, some owners report that replacing or resetting certain fuses will work temporarily to fix the locking and unlocking issue.
The primary fuse in question is known as the IOD fuse, which can be found in the fuse box on the driver’s side of the engine compartment. The fuses are identified on the inside of the box cover. The IOD is installed in the lower-left corner of the fuse panel.
At one point, Chrysler released a software update to rectify the problem. Some owners reported that taking the vehicle to a dealer to have the body control module (BCM) reset, (or “flashed”) prevented further issues. However, others who have replaced or reset the fuse have said this particular fix only lasts for a week, on average.
Some Chrysler Town and Country owners have simply resorted to locking and unlocking their doors manually.
Is a Failed Door Lock Actuator Causing the Locking and Unlocking Problem?
If the door lock actuator has failed, the doors may not lock or unlock correctly.
What Is a Door Lock Actuator?
The door lock actuator is an electrical motor that controls the mechanical linkage that unlocks and locks the door. According to repairpal.com, some cars use vacuum motors instead of electrical motors, but a small computer controls any type of actuator.
How Can I Tell if the Door Lock Actuator Is Starting to Fail?
The most obvious sign is that the doors won’t lock or unlock properly, but if the actuator is linked to a door switch, you also might see the interior lights staying on even after the door closes. The alarm system might begin malfunctioning, too, because the alarm system is generally linked to the door mechanism as well. Prior to complete failure, the door lock might make a grinding noise as the vehicle is locked or unlocked. Before completely failing, the actuator might get stuck in a continuous loop, which can drain the vehicle’s battery.
If the Actuator Is Broken, Can I Still Unlock and Lock the Door Manually?
Most of the time, no, the doors cannot be locked or unlocked manually or electronically after the actuator has failed, but there is at least one instance of a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country that continued to be manually operable.
Can I Replace the Actuator Myself?
Online videos are available if you would like to try replacing it yourself. But the replacement job can take up to six hours, and it’s particularly difficult if the door is locked shut. Repair estimates range from $500 to $1,300 for vehicles that need a new actuator after the warranty has expired. However, there’s no guarantee that the actuator is the problem because the manufacturer has not identified a universal issue with the locking and unlocking problems.
Do Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan Minivans Contain Defective Door Lock Parts?
Because the door locks appear to fail any time after as little as 20,000 miles in some cases, many vehicle owners believe there should be a recall issued.
Is Chrysler Doing Anything About the Problem?
A search of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles website does not bring up any specific mention of the door lock actuator issue. The company has issued recalls for Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan vehicles over the past several years, but none of these have been in connection with the current door lock actuator problem.
Have any Lawsuits Been Filed?
Although Chrysler has faced class action lawsuits in the past, there has not yet been any legal action taken on the specific issue of faulty door lock mechanisms. A number of owners of these vehicles have been calling for a class action to be filed, and a number of law firms are currently investigating these door locks as a cause of action.
Join a Free Chrysler/Dodge Minivan Door Defect Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
If you owned or leased a Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan from model years 2015 to 2019 and the door latch remote locking mechanism failed, you may qualify to join this Chrysler and Dodge class action lawsuit investigation to recover any out-of-pocket repair costs you have incurred.
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