It has come to light in the past several years that several Dodge and Chrysler vehicles are equipped with valve stems that are prone to corrosion and damage. This failure is most common in colder parts of the country, but even here in warmer states the failure still occurs routinely. This failure can and does happen on weakened valve stems sometimes by just simply unscrewing the cap to check the tire pressure. It should be noted that the valve stem is merely the most common part that fails, other parts of the system are also at risk.
If you own a 2008-2011 Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country, you may be at risk. These defects can cause tire blowouts, even at low speeds. There is currently a pending lawsuit against Chrysler over this issue, and their failure to issue a recall. Later models switched to rubberized valve stems to avoid the problems found in earlier models.
At Convoy, we’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the effects of this firsthand. It’s tough to explain this to customers when their valve stem fails simply from us checking their tire pressure. When a known defect happens to result in failure while a vehicle is in our shop, it’s important to make the distinction that we didn’t “break” the part, it failed. This is a no-win situation for both our customers and for Convoy. We are able to fix the problem, but we’re not able to do it for free, because the manufacturers are not covering the cost of this defect. While it’s an unfortunate situation, ultimately it’s most prudent to bite the bullet and get all four tires fixed at once, if you wait until they fail on their own, it might cause a blowout while you’re on the road.