Laguna Hill, Calif. — July 26, 2019 — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel line assemblies, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel pickup trucks produced between May 9, 2019, and May 18, 2019; 2019 Dodge RAM 3500 diesel pickup trucks and cab chassis produced between May 7-18, 2019 and 2019 Dodge RAM 4500 and 5500 diesel cab chassis. The American automaker suspects just 10% of the recalled vehicles contain the defective components.
The affected vehicles could contain fuel lines with incorrectly configured end fittings that are prone to leakage. These problematic parts drastically increase the risk of engine fire and therefore pose a serious risk to owners, occupants and pedestrians. However, FCA has yet to receive reports of any accidents or injuries connected to the defective fuel lines.
Timeline of Events
The FCA Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance group launched an investigation May 21, 2019, after personnel from the FCA quality department alerted it to leaking fuel line assemblies found at a Cummins diesel engine production plant. The VSRC then initiated several internal actions, including multiple packaging studies and an exhaustive review of Cummins’ records to grasp the approximate number of potential ignition sources present within associated vehicle engine compartments.
That organization also spearheaded customer-consequence studies, remedy tests, root-cause investigations and vehicle-scope analyses. These inquiries, all of which unfolded throughout May 2019, revealed that the leaking fuel lines could drip gasoline directly onto multiple combustible engine parts and cause fires. And the root-cause investigation showed that the leakage could be traced to incorrectly formed fuel line end fittings. Cummins confirmed these findings through dyno tests conducted during the week of May 27, 2019.
The VSRC confirmed the suspected field population in early June 2019 by assessing all vehicles on quality hold, along with those already in the field. The FCA Vehicle Regulations Committee then reviewed the VSRC’s final findings June 20, 2019, and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.
FCA has directed dealers test and, if necessary, replace the fuel lines in recalled vehicles, free of charge. The automaker intends to notify dealers via first-class mail Aug. 16, 2019. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with FCA customer service representatives by calling (800) 853-1403. Callers should use the recall code V76. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.