Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Other Pickups
Forest Ranch, California, United States
1964 D200 step side truck, slant 6, push button automatic, runs. Immaculate rust free body. The only dent in on the passenger door. Bed is 7 feet long. Wood in bed is gone. Truck is 100% complete, except temperature gauge, rear view mirror and wipers are missing. Scratch on windshield. Not original rims.
It has been over a year since Chrysler first announced its recall of 3,660 2003-2004 Dodge Vipers because the airbag could suddenly deploy. The repairs are finally beginning, and it appears to be a nightmare for mechanics.
According to the automaker's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the airbag control module can fail, which causes the bag or the seatbelt pre-tensioner to deploy without warning. It took over a year to design the new parts, according to The New York Times. However, Chrysler finally has a new "jumper harness with an in-line diode filter circuit" ready to fix the problem.
The dilemma now moves to the mechanics who have to actually install the part. A 47-step guide from Chrysler explains that the procedure should take about two hours. It's not an easy job, though. Most of the dashboard has to be taken apart, and the instructions include this helpful bit of advice: "Installing the jumper harness and filter box into position is not an easy task. Patience, perseverance, and small hands are required." We wish the best of luck to them. The fix comes just in time for the Vipers to enjoy the summer sun.
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.
As if driving the old Dodge Viper (not the fancy new SRT model) isn't intimidating enough, imagine trying to wrangle that V10 beast and then suddenly having the airbags deploy. Yikes. That's apparently what could happen to some 3,660 Viper models from the 2003 and 2004 model years, and as such, Chrysler has issued a recall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the car's airbag control module may fail, causing the bags or seatbelt pre-tensioners to deploy without warning while the vehicle is in operation. That's a dangerous scenario in any car, let alone one offering insane horsepower a near-total paucity of safety nannies should things get squirrely.
Owners will be notified this month about the recall, though a remedy is not expected to be available until later this year. Scroll down for the full NHTSA statement.