London – Feb. 7, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling more than 573,000 heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. alone, including 2014-2017 Ram 2500 pickups and 2013-2017 Ram 3500 pickups and chassis-cab trucks, due to a serious potential steering issue. The problem stems from a steering-linkage configuration that can catastrophically fail over time. The recall will ultimately affect more than 660,000 heavy-duty trucks worldwide.
According to Consumer Reports, the linkage that connects the truck’s steering with its front wheels could separate over time, due to a loose nut. As a result, drivers may experience a loss of steering control. Loss of steering, especially at high speeds, can increase the risk of serious crash and potentially cause injury or even death.
Timeline of Events
According to a safety bulletin released by FCA, the recall follows a December 2018 investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into steering failures on some Ram trucks. The inquiry began after the agency received two complaints from owners that the linkage between the steering box and the front wheels can separate. In the FCA’s press release, the auto manufacturer announced that it is currently aware of one injury and eight crashes that may have been caused, at least in part, by this issue.
Vehicles recalled include:
- 2014-2017 Ram 2500 pickups
- 2013-2017 Ram 3500 pickups
- 2013-2017 Ram chassis cab trucks
Additional vehicles will be subject to recall in Canada (an estimated 62,734 trucks), Mexico (est. 17,682) and certain markets outside the three biggest North American nations (est. 5,837). The NHTSA has not yet provided more details on this recall, or the sequence of events leading to the announcement.
According to reporting from CBS, customers will be advised regarding when they may schedule service to address the potential linkage issue. FCA doesn’t have a specific date yet for owners of the affected trucks to be notified, but stated that it will do so before April 2019.
Dealers will inspect a steering linkage nut: If it’s properly tightened, it will be welded to a sleeve to keep it in place, and if it’s loose, the steering assembly will be replaced outright. The replacement or repair of any faulty parts will be completed at no charge to owners. Owners can contact FCA at 1-800-853-1403 to learn more. They can also reach out to the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA has yet to issue a recall number for this campaign.