2008 Dodge Grand Caravan: Power Failgate
July 23, 2008
As Jacquot first reportedand Dan Edmunds confirmed, the Dodge Grand Caravan (and almost certainly Chrysler Town & Country) is prone to having a warped bumper. It's a phenomenon I've seen on other DGC's as well. We originally thought ithappened only whenleaving the van in the heat -- which isprobably what initially causes the problem -- but now it permanently looks like it does above.
This sort of body panel warping is not only horrible looking and a sign of terrible quality, it makes opening the tailgate rather difficult as the below videos show.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor@ 11,400 miles
This is what happens when you press the power tailgate button on the key fob. The videos were taken on a temperate (ie NOT HOT) day.
Here is a close up of the tailgate fighting with the warped bumper. If you go to close the tailgate using the power function, it'll stop just before it latches shut, confusing the bumper with a baby's finger or something.
If you try to open the tailgate yourself, it looks and feels like the bumper will rip right off. Instead, you have to do this...
Hey moms, how'd you like to do that with a kid and some groceries in arm? Looks fun, eh?
The Caravan is now in service to see if our local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealer can fix the bumper warping. Given the commonality of the problem, we really hope Chrysler's come up with a fix by now.
(Videos directed by Mike Magrath, featuring special guest star Kurt Niebuhr as "Aggrivated Caravan Owner #1")