2015 Ram HD pickup trucks Photo: Aaron Marsh / Fleet Owner

FCA recalls 1.5 million Ram trucks over shift lockout problem

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US is recalling some 1.48 million 2009-2017 trucks due to a problem where the vehicles could be shifted out of park without pressing the brake pedal or even having a key in the ignition. If that happens, the trucks could move unintentionally.

What's officially called the "Brake Transmission Shift Interlock" may not work as it should if subjected to high temperatures for "prolonged periods," FCA stated. A scenario where this could happen, the company explained, is with a vehicle idling in park and the driver's foot held on the brake pedal.

The recall is only for trucks with steering column-mounted shifters. Those with rotary-dial or floor-mounted shifters are unaffected. In terms of transparency, FCA knows of seven potentially related injuries and "a small number" of potentially related accidents, the company stated.

FCA will provide the fix to the potential problem, but the company reminded users to set the parking brake when in park.

"We urge customers to use their parking brakes, as recommended [in the owner's manual], and to ensure that child occupants are not left unattended," stated Tom McCarthy, head of safety compliance and product analysis at FCA US.

The recall does not affect any 2017 trucks built after Dec. 31, 2016. Trucks included in the recall are:

• Certain 2010-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups;

• 2011-2017 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs; and 

• 2016-2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) less than 10,000 lbs.

In addition, some 2009-2017 Ram 1500 pickups are included in the recall, "but heavy-duty trucks represent the majority of the affected vehicles," according to FCA.

Beyond the estimated 1.5 million trucks in the U.S. market, there are about 250,000 and 43,000 trucks in Canada and Mexico, respectively, included in the recall and about another 15,000 scattered outside the NAFTA region.

The company said it will advise affected customers when they may schedule the recall service. Customers with concerns can call FCA US at (866)-220-6747.


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