More than 500,000 Ram pickup trucks are being recalled due to steering linkage problems, which may loosen over time and cause drivers to lose control of the vehicles.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Ram truck recall on February 14, after recognizing the potential for the outboard steering linkage jam nut to loosen. The problem has resulted in at least eight accidents, and pose a serious risk for drivers.
The impacted vehicles are equipped with a with 4×4 style steering system that includes an outboard steering linkage jam nut. According to the notice, Ram pickup truck steering problems may be experienced if this nut was not properly torqued during the manufacturing process, allowing it to become loose.
In the event of the jam nut loosening, one end of the drag linkage could separate from the adjuster sleeve, resulting in an unexpected loss of directional steering control, and increase the risk of a crash and serious injuries.
Chrysler first learned of the issue in April 2018, and opened an investigation into the matter with its parts supplier and assembly team. After collecting field parts from several warranty claims, the automaker was able to determine the steering linkage could separate due to a failure to properly torque the steering linkage jam nut.
By January 16, 2019, Chrysler was aware of at least 274 warranty claims alleging some severity of drag link separation. Of those reports, there were eight crashes, resulting in at least one injury.
The recall includes approximately 573,876 model year 2013 through 2017 Ram 3500 models, 2014 through 2017 Ram 3500 Chassis Cab models and 2014 through 2017 Ram 2500 trucks.
The recalled pickup trucks were manufactured by Chrysler (FCA US LLC) of Auburn Hills, Michigan. They were distributed to licensed dealers across the United States.
Chrysler announced it will begin notifying owners of the recall by mailed notice with instructions on how to schedule a repair appointment at their local dealer. Dealers will be instructed to inspect the steering linkage jam nut tightness and replace the drag link assembly or weld the nut to the adjuster sleeve, free of charge.
The recall is anticipated to begin on March 16, 2019. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and reference the recall number V06.
A Ram brake pedal recall was also announced last week by NHTSA officials, following at least two customer complaints that the brake pedal separated from the assembly.
That recall included approximately 200,000 Ram pickup trucks that may be equipped with brake pedals that could fall off during operation, increasing the risk of an an accident with the large 2019 Ram 1500 models.