Chrysler Recalls New Rams for Improperly Treated Axle Shafts

Auburn Hills, MI — November 04, 2015 — Thousands of Ram 1500 trucks produced this year may be in danger thanks to axle shafts that could be vulnerable to breakage thanks to poor use of heat treatment. In a press release cited by Autoblog, manufacturer Chrysler noted the potential danger this could cause for owners, although the defect has only led to one possibly related accident so far.

According to the source, 65,760 trucks are included in the U.S. extension of the recall. Around the world, the same action has led to thousands of more vehicles being included, with the greatest number of these (16,647) in Canada. The relevant model years for this recall are 2015 and 2016.

While there was no notification schedule included with the initial recall statement, the manufacturer is alerting users to contact dealerships in the event of suspicious activity. It also explained the results of the negative conditions and how they can trigger problems in the trucks.

“An FCA US investigation discovered axle shafts produced by a supplier may not have been properly heat-treated,” the press statement said. “This may contribute to increased wear and overheating sufficient to illuminate a vehicle’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) warning light; if ignored, the condition may lead to component fracture and possible wheel separation.”

Reuters reports that the total number of trucks recalled includes more than 86,000. As this new outlet also reported, other Chrysler recalls are currently in effect for possible dangers. More than 75,360 Jeep Cherokees for a different issue, involving air conditioning lines close enough to exhaust manifolds to cause a possible fire, a condition that has not led to any reported accidents.

adminChrysler Recalls New Rams for Improperly Treated Axle Shafts

Recalled Ram trucks could suffer suspension issues

Auburn Hills, MI — August 28, 2015 — Nearly 200 trucks are included in a new recall from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced this month. While there doesn’t appear to be any information on this in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recall database, TruckingInfo features information on this action and what it means for dealerships and users.

According to this source, the trucks are from the 2015 model year and include the Ram 4500 and 5000 model names. Though the recall itself isn’t set to begin until next month, dealers are already instructed to replace the upper control arms to give the driver better reign over the vehicle and possibly keep a crash from occurring.

Even though this is just one recall for a relatively small number of trucks, it comes in the context of the greater scrutiny given to FCA and its recall practices. New England Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey have addressed the weak recall actions taken to address the vehicles, to which the government has taken new action. 

“This enforcement action is an improvement over the status quo, and it follows some of the measures that we have put forth in the Early Warning Reporting Systems Improvement Act, as it requires [Fiat Chrysler] to automatically submit documents related to potentially-fatal defects,” the two of them said in a letter to the head Administrator of the NHTSA, as the Hill reported.

During this same month, the manufacturer also held a Las Vegas meeting in which it announced new vehicles in development, including a new Dodge Charger and Jeep Wrangler SUV.

adminRecalled Ram trucks could suffer suspension issues

More than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern

Detroit, MI — July 26, 2015 — Vehicle recalls can occur not just because of faulty components, but out of fears for outside attacks on vulnerable systems. According to the Detroit Free Press, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) latest recall addresses cybersecurity issues within affected vehicles that could have massively damaging consequences for owners. Dodge Ram, Jeep Grand Cherokee and other vehicles from model years 2013 to 2015 reportedly have potentially dangerous software flaws in their “radios.”

While most of the recalls this blog has covered concern internal problems with defective autos, this issue is a concern because of the way it could potentially be exploited by hackers. The official recall acknowledgement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that outsiders could gain “unauthorized remote modification” of vehicle systems through these vulnerabilities.

As alarming as that may sound, there are some factors that mitigate the potential danger somewhat. For one, the manufacturer has already taken steps to prevent outsiders from accessing the vehicle, leading to real risk for only 3 percent of mobile hot spot subscribers.

The recall safety report issued for this action also emphasizes the unlikelihood that an exploit might take place, given how much knowledge is needed to put one into action. The remedy for this problem is a software update that can be downloaded to a USB drive.

“Some 2013-2015 MY vehicles equipped with RA3 or RA4 model radios have certain software security vulnerabilities which could allow unauthorized third-party access to some networked vehicle control systems,” the source says. “Exploitation of the software security vulnerabilities required extensive technical knowledge, physical access to a subject vehicle and a long period of time to write applicable code.”

Along with acknowledgment and government action, recalls should be supported through education and informative services that encourage drivers and owners to respond correctly.

Recall MastersMore than 1 million Chrysler vehicles recalled for hacking concern