For Sale By:Dealer
Exterior Color: Purple
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Number of Doors: 2 Doors
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
It's frightening to think of how quickly the mice would have overtaken us if we hadn't stayed one step ahead of them with better mousetraps. We'll never have to worry about that in our relentlessly re-engineered world, though. Case in point: Chrysler has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for an improved design of the already wondrous Stow 'n' Go seating found in the automaker's Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
Introduced in 2005, the Stow 'n' Go was improved in 2008, and based on the drawings of this third-generation improvement, the new design appears to allow stowage of the second row of seats without having to move the front-row seats forward as much. It look like it also involves fewer operations and moving parts, with a portion of the seatback being incorporated into the flat floor when the seats are stowed, as opposed to having a completely separate cover.
It's possible that the innovation may appear on the next-generation minivans expected in 2015, but Chrysler isn't commenting on the patent.
Watchers of the auto industry will notice a theme among the formerly bankrupted American automakers, General Motors and Chrysler. There are the post-bankruptcy vehicles, and the pre-bankruptcy vehicles. The former, in the case of Chrysler, include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as the 200 and 300. For GM, there's the Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Impala and Buick Encore, among others. These vehicles have the freshest styling, with sharp exteriors and well-crafted interiors, as well as advanced powertrains and well-sorted chassis.
As for the pre-bankruptcy vehicles, they tend to be easy to spot. Most suffer from inferior driving dynamics, cheaper interiors, poorer fuel economy and often homely looks (we know, there were some decent cars before the bankruptcy, but they were pretty heavily outweighed by the bad ones). Think late, last-generation Chevrolet Impala or Chrysler 200. Increasingly, though, we're seeing vehicles that split the balance between pre- and post-bankruptcy. Vehicles like the Dodge Journey.
The Journey debuted in 2007 as a 2008 model year vehicle, meaning it should fall into the latter category. But heavily breathed upon in 2011, it now enjoys a new, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, a big, critically acclaimed touchscreen display and in the case of today's tester, a new-for-2014 Crossroad spec.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ended its investigation of 153,817, 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter Hemi V8-powered 2006 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models after reports of stalling. Chrysler has responded by granting a lifetime warranty on the fuel tanks for these vehicles.
NHTSA received 299 reports of engines stalling while the models were stopped or driving at low speeds, and began an investigation. The government agency found that the control valve shutoff float in the V8s' 19-gallon fuel tank could malfunction if the fuel had too high of an ethanol content. In many cases, the valve would break in the open position, allowing the tank to be overfilled, which would then cause the cars to stall. However, there were no accidents reported, and the vehicles could be restarted immediately.
There will not be a recall on these vehicles because, "the condition represents a low risk to motor vehicle safety and is adequately addressed by Chrysler's extended warranty," NHTSA said to The Detroit News.