Laguna Hills, CA – July 24, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler is recalling a limited number of 2019 Ram models over concerns that the fuel lines may leak. Should such a scenario occur, a fire could occur, thus posing a safety hazard for the driver and anyone in proximity to the blaze. The automaker says that while the chances for this to happen are remote, but is encouraging 2019 Ram owners to err on the side of caution and return the truck to the dealer.
The recall is expected to get underway officially Aug. 16 and drivers can expect to be notified by mail.
As chronicled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chrysler is recalling 498 of the following Ram vehicles, all of which are 2019 models:
- Ram 2500
- Ram 3500
- Ram 4500
- Ram 5500
While it’s not clear if all of these vehicles have been purchased or remain on dealers’ lots, the recall concerns the trucks’ diesel engines and the potential that some of them may leak fuel due to incorrectly formed end fittings. The placement of this flaw is such that the liquid could leach onto the engine, potentially causing a fire. Of the 498 vehicles that may be affected, the truck models most likely to contain the flaw are the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. These vehicles were likely built between May 7 and 20, though precise dates could only be determined by knowing the trucks’ body and cab types.
Timeline of Events
The genesis of recalls often derive from current vehicle owners, but in this instance, Chrysler noticed the issue after learning that the supplier of the Rams’ diesel engines had other engines leaking fuel. That happened May 21. Later on that month, Chrysler worked in concert with the supplier to see what, if anything, could occur if motorists’ fuel lines were compromised, aside from the loss of fuel, a problem in and of itself. The assessment determined that a worst-case scenario was a fire, given that the leaks were occurring at connection points in the lines.
Surveys were conducted June 3 to see which Ram vehicles were potentially vulnerable. The investigation ultimately determined that the parts themselves weren’t necessarily compromised but rather that the trucks were assembled around the same time as when the leaking fuel lines at the diesel engine supplier’s plant were originally reported.
Vehicle fires are surprisingly common. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 171,500 automotive-related fires occurred on U.S. highways each year between 2014 and 2016. These resulted in $1.1 billion in property losses, 1,300 injuries and 345 fatalities. Approximately 45% of these blazes stem from mechanical failure and 62% derive from the engine. Crashes themselves are also a common cause of deadly vehicle fires.
No accidents, injuries or fatalities are linked to the recall in question as of June 20, according to NHTSA documents.
Chrysler says that it plans to brief Ram owners of this problem that could affect their safety by first-class mail starting on August 16. Recipients are strongly encouraged to have their truck examined by their local dealer. The potentially vulnerable fuel lines have codes inscribed on them, which refer to the manufacturing date. Those that align with the suspect time period will be replaced free of charge.
For more information on this recall, please visit MotorSafety.org.