Laguna Hills, CA – June 7, 2019 – Thousands of Ram 1500 pickup trucks, model years 2018 and 2019, are under recall notice by Fiat Chrysler because the installed rear driveshaft may be compromised and at risk of fracturing. This could cause the component to physically fall from the vehicle, which trailing motorists could hit, potentially resulting in a crash or injury. The detachment of the driveshaft would also cause the vehicle to lose power, increasing the operator and passengers’ risk for injury as well due to an accident.
FCA says it will notify owners, starting on June 15, of the potential component failure. Motorists can get their driveshaft replaced free of charge by taking their automobile to any authorized Chrysler dealership.
According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the Department of Transportation, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 10,160 Ram 1500 pickup trucks, whose model years range between 2018 and 2019. An investigation determined that the vehicle’s rear driveshaft, a component whose main responsibility is to power the engine through the transmission of torque, may be vulnerable to fracturing due to an improper weld fusion that connects the driveshaft’s tube and its tube yoke.
The progressive nature of this cracking could cause the component to break away from the vehicle and fall into the road, becoming a hazard and potential source of an accident for other motorists. It could also cause Ram 1500 operators to lose control of their automobile due to a sudden loss in power, which may also raise the risk of a crash.
Because the component is underneath the vehicle, it’s virtually impossible to know whether the part is compromised. However, Fiat Chrysler says that unusual noise or vibrations emanating from beneath the vehicle may presage the fracturing.
Timeline of Events
The issue came to the attention of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicle safety and regulatory compliance office in August 2018 when the company received six warranty claims – all submitted within a month of one another – each of which complained of broken driveshafts. Days later when the driveshafts were examined, they all had the same issue – an incomplete weld fusion. No other flaws were found in follow-up inquiries, which concluded in January. Later than month and into February, however, FCA was informed of additional driveshaft failures, which, unlike the original six, occurred at mileages greater than 5,000. A more thorough investigation that transpired in March and April determined that the failures were isolated incidents but that the similar nature of the driveshaft flaws warranted a voluntary recall. FCA says it’s unaware of any actual accidents or injuries stemming from these incidents.
Although the recall is not mandatory, FCA recommends that operators and owners of 2018-2019 Ram 1500s err on the side of caution and take their vehicles to their nearest Chrysler dealer so a fix can be scheduled. If necessary, the driveshaft will be replaced at no expense for neither parts nor labor. For additional specifics on this recall, contact FCA’s customer service department at 1-800-853-1403. The recall order is classified as V48. Entering your VIN at MotorSafety.org can help as well.