The constant stream of automotive recalls that has been happening for the last several years shows no signs of slowing down. That may be seen as a good thing since it means automakers are taking problems seriously and not allowing them to get worse before they take responsibility. Still, it might be better if they did more testing during and immediately after the vehicles are sold to the public.
The Latest Recall Could Impact Steering
Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler America (FCA) announced a recall of more than 182,000 heavy-duty Ram trucks in the US and Canada (and more than 660,000 worldwide) because a fastener may come loose and cause a loss of steering control. The recall covers Ram 3500 pickups from model years 2013 through 2017, in addition to 2500 pickups and 3500 Chassis cabs from model years 2014 through 2017.
This latest FCA recall expands a recall it made late last month, of about 160,000 2019 Ram 1500 pickups in the United States because a fastener could cause the truck’s power steering to fail. The fastener is supposed to complete the battery’s ground circuit and if the connection becomes loose enough, the truck’s power steering could become disabled. The steering may still work, but turning could require extra force, which could increase the risk of a crash.
According to a news release, the first recall was made when FCA discovered the problem when an internal investigation found that some 2019 Ram 1500s may have had a battery ground-circuit fastener that was not properly secured, which meant the connection could become loose enough to create an intermittently open circuit.
While losing power steering isn’t the worst problem one can be faced with, Fiat Chrysler has reported eight accidents that are possibly related to this problem, resulting in one injury.
Another Recall for Braking Problems
In addition to the problem with battery fasteners, Fiat Chrysler has also initiated a recall of more than 220,000 2019 Ram 1500 pickup trucks worldwide, because the brake pedal could become detached when a driver moved the pedal to its farthest-rear position.
In the recall announcement, Fiat Chrysler said that technicians at their dealerships will be required to either correctly fasten the current component, or weld the fastener in place, whichever will remedy the issue. 2019 vehicles that are still at the dealer will be fixed before they are sold. The manufacturer will be notifying vehicle owners by mail in the next few weeks.
These Recalls Come After Last Month’s Airbag Recall
These recalls follow last month’s Fiat Chrysler recall of about 1.4 million additional vehicles to replace Takata airbags because their inflators may send shrapnel into the vehicle’s cabin when deployed in an accident. These defects are related to temperature, humidity and time. The latest recalls are part of the fourth and final phase by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to replace all potentially deadly airbags made by Takata. In all, FCA has replaced more than 4 million Takata inflators.
Fiat Chrysler’s North American Safety and Regulatory Compliance is strongly urging all customers to respond to their recall notice and contact their closest an authorized Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealer to get their free repairs. For a while, they ran out of parts, but now, the dealers are fully supplied and can handle all necessary repairs.
Anyone can search the NHTSA website to search for possible recalls by entering their 17-character VIN. At the same site, you can also sign up for NHTSA safety alerts. In any case, it’s always a good idea to follow up on all recall notices as a way to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible.