Auburn Hills, Mich. – March 9, 2018 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 3,400 vehicles potentially equipped with noncompliant tire placards, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The actions affects 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo vans produced between June 29, 2017, and Dec. 18, 2017. FCA estimates that all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the problematic parts.
Affected models are fitted with tires that feature incorrect informational placards. These components display inaccurate “vehicle capacity weight” and “designated seated capacity” numbers. Consequently, the defective placard poses a serious threat to occupants as they could unintentionally overload their vehicles, cause tire failure and wreck. In addition to constituting a driving hazard, the parts violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110, which states that “each vehicle, except for a trailer or incomplete vehicle,” must have tire information placards that include entries for vehicle capacity weight, designated seated capacity, “recommended cold tire inflation” and “tire size,” according to the Government Publishing Office.
Timeline of Events
The FCA Corporate Audit team on Dec. 18, 2018, reached out to the FCA Vendor Management group about an incorrect seating capacity figure displayed on tire placard affixed to a 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo van. The FCA VM connected with the engineering team to verify the error. Engineering personnel verified the inaccurate tire placard and launched an investigation, which revealed that incorrectly calibrated production software caused the issue.
FCA corporate leaders on Dec. 22, 2017, brought the problem to the Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group via email. VSRC leaders received the message Jan. 2, 2018, and initiated another investigation. On the following day, the FCA VSRC group placed a hold on 2018 Dodge Ram Pro Master cargo vans and hosted a meeting with cross-functional stakeholders to review the issue, identify the root cause and develop actionable corrective action. The VSRC also requested that engineering look into the seemingly incorrect placard, confirm its inaccuracy for a second time and judge its compliance with FMVSS.
On Jan. 12, 2018, the VSRC team officially designated the root cause, the overall scope of the issue and its impact to customers. With this data in hand, FCA decided on Feb. 15, 2018, to conduct a voluntary safety recall. The automaker began notifying dealers of the impending action Feb. 22, 2018.
FCA has directed dealers to inspect and, if necessary, amend the tire placards installed on the recalled vehicles, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturer intends to notify owners through first-class mail April 13, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact FCA customer service representatives via telephone at (800) 853-1403. Callers should use internal recall identification code U17. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.