The 2013 Dodge Durango in 7-passenger form requires a specific restraint control module, which is the brain that handles the function of the airbag and seatbelt system. It seems that some of these 7-passenger Durango SUVs have been fitted with a restraint control module that is labeled as the proper unit when it is actually a 5-passenger control module with incorrect labeling. Should a 7-passenger Durango be involved in an accident, the airbag system may function as it would in a 5-passenger model and that could cause the airbags to open incorrectly. Specifically, the supplemental side curtain airbag intended to protect passengers in the third row of seats may not deploy, thus leaving those passengers unprotected in the event of a hard side impact.
There are 1,449 2013 Dodge Durango models are affected by this new recall in the US – all of which were built between April 11th 2012 and July 20th 2012. The good news is that the Chrysler Group believes that many of these 2013 Dodge Durango models are still in dealerships. Also, of those Durango SUVs which have reached consumers – no injuries have been reported as a result of this airbag issue. Chrysler discovered this problem during post production quality control measures and as soon as they did, the company issued the statement to begin the recall process.
This 2013 Dodge Durango recall is expected to formally begin in September, at which point the owners of these 1,661 vehicles will be contacted and asked to return to their friendly neighborhood Dodge dealership. A technician will replace the mislabeled restraint control module with one designed for the 7-passenger models and this work will be performed free of charge. Owners who are concerned about the safety of their Dodge Durango who would rather not wait for that letter can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 in reference to recall # M25.
Luckily, this is not a recall that will cause a drivability issue or offer any increased risk simply by driving the 2013 Dodge Durango. That isn’t the type of recall issue that will cause the vehicle to suddenly speed up on its own or have a wheel fall off. However, if you have a 7-passenger model built between the dates above and you are involved in a hard side impact – there is a good chance that the rear curtain airbags will fail to deploy and that will leave the rear-most passengers unprotected. Considering that these smaller rear seats are most often occupied by small children who don’t need the legroom of the middle row, the Chrysler Group realizes how important it is to address this problem before there are any reported injuries.