In a year marked by some major recalls, Chrysler has announced one of the largest, with 1.2 million of its Ram pickups subject to a new service action due to front-end problems that could lead to a loss of steering control.
The latest announcement actually combines three separate recalls for steering-related issues. Chrysler says, however, that while it wants to inspect more than a million heavy-duty Ram trucks and chassis cab models, it expects that only a little more than a third will actually need to undergo repairs.
Nonetheless, the problem is potentially serious and Chrysler says it knows of six crashes and two injuries involving Ram pickups and another crash – with no reported injuries – involving the other models.
The largest of the three recalls covers 842,400 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups produced between 2003 and 2007. According to Chrysler, 116,000 have experienced repaired using tie rods that could be out of alignment.
The other two recalls also involve tie-rod problems but involve vehicles that were improperly repaired during previous recalls. That includes 294,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks sold during the 2008 through 2012 model-year, as well as 2008 Ram 1500 four-by-four Mega Cabs. The last of the recalls involves 43,000 Ram 4500 and 5500 four-by-four chassis cabs sold between the 2008 and 2012 model-years.
(Chrysler agrees to recall 1.5 million Jeeps due to potential fire risk. Click Here for the full story.)
Chrysler expects to begin notifying owners directly next month and expects to begin repairs in January. But in some cases, dealers will make only interim repairs until the necessary parts become available later in the year.
Just short of 1 million of the vehicles were sold in the U.S., with another 157,000 sold in Canada, and 37,100 in Mexico. Another 18,000 were shipped to other parts of the world.
(Growing list of automakers facing problems with shattering sunroofs. Click Here for the full story.)
While Japanese makers Honda and Toyota have run up some of the biggest recall totals in 2013, Chrysler has had some serious problems of its own. After initially threatening to fight federal regulators, the maker agreed to the recall of 1.5 million Jeeps due to potential fire problems last June – a number that was still about 1.2 million less than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had originally sought.
Weeks later, Chrysler announced another series of recalls involving 848,000 vehicles due to a variety of safety-related issues. Just last month, it recalled another 150,000 vehicles due to lighting problems.
(NHTSA launching preliminary investigation of Tesla Model S fires. Click Herefor the latest.)