More than 500,000 Ram trucks are being recalled, due to problems with instructions that may cause owners to “over-torque” the rear wheel lug nuts, potentially causing the truck wheels to separate during operation, increasing the risk of an accident.
The Ram truck recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 1, impacting vehicles equipped with Service and Owner’s Manuals that provide incorrect lug nut torque specifications.
Over-torqueing the flanged lug nuts may cause the wheel stud to yield and eventually break during vehicle operation, which may result in wheel separation for certain Ram trucks.
The recall impacts 2012 through 2021 model year RAM 3500 Heavy Duty Trucks, 3500 Cab Chassis, 4500 Cab Chassis, and 5500 Cab Chassis vehicles, which were manufactured by Chrysler (FCA US, LLC) from April 2011 through May 2021, and distributed to licensed dealers nationwide.
Approximately 446,643 vehicles with the incorrect owner instructions were distributed throughout the U.S., while another 31,000 were shipped to Canada and another 32,365 were distributed to Mexico.
FCA US indicates that the problems were first identified on August 18, 2020, after several reports were received involving Ram truck wheel studs breaking. The auto maker opened an investigation, and determined that at least 128 customer assistance records have described similar problems, as well as 116 warranty claims and 184 field reports that may be related to this issue.
The manufacturer’s engineering division continued to collect field parts and investigate the root cause of the stud failure, which ultimately determined the M14 studs and flanged lug nuts torque specification listed in the Service and Owner’s Manual information was incorrect.
FCA US announced they will begin notifying owners of the recall on July 16, with instructions on how to schedule a free inspection and replacement owner’s manual along with other published service documents updating the torque specification. Dealers are also being instructed to inspect the vehicle’s wheel studs, and replace them free of charge if necessary.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall are encouraged to contact t FCA US customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and reference the recall numbers Y26 and Y36.