Chrysler Group LLC has announced that it will issue three new recalls covering more than 1.2 million pickup trucks for defects that could lead to a loss of steering.
Filed through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the first recall will affect approximately 842,400 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks from the 2003 through 2008 model years for misaligned tie-rod assemblies that could cause fracturing of steering components or a loss of steering. Just 116,000 trucks have the potential defect, says Chrysler, but the automaker is “casting the net wider than necessary to identify those vehicles that require repair.”
The second recall covers 294,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2008 through 2012 model years, as well as the 2008 Ram 1500 4×4 Mega Cab, and the third covers 43,500 Ram 4500 and 5500 4×4 chassis cab pickups, also from the 2008 through 2012 model years. Both contain tie-rod assemblies targeted in previous recalls that may still contain defects that could lead to steering loss.
Chrysler has said that there have been seven confirmed accidents as a result of the steering issues, as well as two injuries, with six accidents involving the 2008 through 2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 models. Overall, as many as 726,000 trucks included in the recall likely do not need repairs, but the widespread inspection will ensure that no vehicle is overlooked, which could create the need for subsequent recalls.
Owners of affected vehicles will begin receiving notice of the recalls starting in December, at which time they will be instructed to make service appointments for the month of January. Some Ram 4500 and 5500 truck owners may be forced to wait for repairs however, as replacement parts may not be available until late 2014. Interim service options, including component inspection and realignment, will be made available to provide temporary fixes until final repairs can be made.
As an owner of a Ram pickup truck, responding quickly to a recall notice is essential. Driving with a known defect can expose you to the threat of an accident at any time, even in normal and safe driving conditions.
If you or someone you know has been injured in such an accident, you should seek help. Depending on the circumstances that led to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from those at fault to help pay for the damages that you’ve suffered.
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