Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has issued a vehicle defect recall for more than 1.8 million Ram pickup trucks that could unexpectedly roll away under certain circumstances. According to a report on trucks.com, the problem affects vehicles with gear shifters that are mounted on to the steering column. Those with electronic dial shifters or floor-mounted shifters are not included. The recall will include 2009-17 model year Ram 1500 light duty trucks and 2010-17 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks. The 2011-17 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs are also part of the recall.
In the vehicles that have been affected, the Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) may become disabled if subjected to high temperatures for an extended period of time. If the BTSI is not working, the vehicle could shift out of park inadvertently and begin to move. FCA has reported seven injuries and a “small number of crashes” relating to this vehicle defect. When the recall begins, FCA will inspect the affected vehicles and issue a fix. In the meantime, FCA is urging vehicle owners to use their parking brakes and to not leave children unattended in the vehicles.
High Number of Recalls for Ram Trucks
Ram trucks have had a large number of recalls in 2017. In September, FCA has recalled more than 500,000 Ram pickup and heavy-duty trucks for a water pump bearing that could overheat and cause an engine fire. Also in May, a software problem led to the recall of about a million Ram pickup trucks because the issue affected how airbags and seatbelts worked in the event of a crash. One fatality was reported as a result of these defects. These recalls come as FCA is getting ready to launch its next-generation version of the light-duty Ram 1500 pickup at the 2018 Detroit auto show in January.
Last year, federal regulators launched an investigation of FCA products after receiving 43 reports about defective shifters that could result in rollaway risks. That probe did target 1 million Ram and Dodge pickup trucks and SUVs. The federal investigation into the automaker’s Jeep line was spurred by the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin who was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away, pinning him against a fence.
If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one as the result of a vehicle defect, you may be able to receive compensation for injuries, damages and losses sustained as a result. Such cases require the expertise of an experienced auto defect lawyer who can conduct independent investigations about auto product defects and hold the at-fault automaker accountable.