Laguna Hills, CA – Aug. 13, 2019 – The latest 2019 Chrysler recall affects the Ram 1500, ordered after the automaker learned the lighting for the dashboard cluster may short circuit, causing it to become non-operational while the truck is in use. This could increase the risk of a crash due to distraction or prevent the operator from being alerted to “check engine” warning lights. Chrysler says it will inform those affected via first-class mail to this safety issue starting Sept. 13. Their nearest dealer can determine if a fix is necessary. If so, it will come at no charge.
In documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling certain 2019 Ram 1500 models due to a circuitry issue, which may prevent motorists from seeing their speed, odometer, gas consumption or other critical details in their dashboard instrumentation cluster during the evening hours. Number 101 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard concerns “Control and Displays,” which details a series of compliance protocols automakers must abide by before vehicles can go to dealerships. The failure of the dashboard to properly illuminate – or function at all – may lead to an accident and the potential for injury.
Timeline of Events
This issue first came to the automaker’s attention Jan. 25. The engineering division of Chrysler informed NHTSA official that instrumentation clusters in certain models – specifically the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 – may fail without warning. The confirmation on test vehicles led to voluntary recall on March 7. Approximately one month later, however, Chrysler discovered Ram 1500 clusters were experiencing some of the same issues as those observed in January. An inquiry determined that they were fitted with faulty software at a component manufacturer. In follow-up testing that occurred in May and June, Chrysler determined that the incident level for Ram 1500s was highly isolated, potentially involving a mere handful. Chrysler contacted dealers and confirmed with NHTSA that a voluntary recall was the best path forward, which the government confirmed Aug. 5.
2019 Chrysler recalls have been fairly frequent through the first half of the year. In late May, the company announced it was pulling 198,730 Chrysler Pacificas from the roadways due to the potential for power steering units to malfunction, power down or cause the vehicle to stall. A month before that, close to 300,000 Dodge Dart passenger vehicles were recalled over defective transmission shifter cables that could detach, preventing drivers from switching gears in stick-shift vehicles. That same month, Chrysler also recalled a total of 52 2019 Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 vehicles over improperly machined steering columns.
Chrysler knows how to fix this issue and will proceed with the recall order starting Sept. 13 by contacting the affected motorist by mail. Presently, the automaker believes only one Ram 1500 is installed with the flaw, but the recall could expand should the company or NHTSA be notified of other instances. The owner(s) are urged to bring their vehicle to a local dealer so the cluster can be swapped out and replaced with a fully functional one. This service will be for free.