Stellantis announced plans to recall 1.4 million full-size Ram pickups because the tailgate may open while trucks is being driven.
The vast majority of the affected pickups — 1.23 million — were sold in the U.S. Another 120,000 are in Canada while the rest are in Mexico and outside North America. The recall covers various Ram pickups from 2019 to 2022. They include the 1500, 2500 and 3500 models.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, if the tailgate accidently opens while the truck is being driven, whatever cargo is in the bed of the pickup could slide out of the back. This could cause a road hazard, increasing the potential of a crash.
The company, which discovered the issue last year and opened an internal investigation in July 2021, said no crashes or injuries have occurred as a result of the problem. However, there were more than 800 warranty claims issued for the problem. Stellantis is using “improved alignment tooling” now during the production process, according to NHTSA records.
Owners can bring their vehicles, once notified, to a dealer, which will inspect the tailgate striker alignment to the box latch and adjust if necessary, according to the company. Notification letters are expected to be mailed Jan. 27, 2023. Owners may contact FCA US, LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403.
More safety moves
The recall comes about a month after the company issued a stop-drive order for some of its popular muscle cars, many of which are equipped with potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflator modules.
Owners of 2005 to 2010 Dodge Magnums, Chargers, Challengers and Chrysler 300s have been warned by the former Fiat Chrysler to stop driving those vehicles until they get the airbag recall repair completed. The move affects about 276,000 vehicles.
Even minor crashes can result in exploding air bags that can kill or produce life-altering injuries. Older model year vehicles, such as these 2010 sedans, put their occupants at higher risk as the age of the air bag is one of the contributing factors, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Owners or custodians of these vehicles will be contacted directly, advised to stop driving their vehicles, and urged to obtain the necessary service, which continues to be available free of charge at any certified FCA-brand dealer. FCA — the first automaker to migrate from Takata to an alternate source of replacement parts — has sufficient inventory of new airbags to meet demand,” the company said in a statement.
The repair often takes less than an hour, Stellantis officials noted. The company notes the longer the vehicles remain unrepaired, the greater the risk to the vehicle’s occupants. There have been 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries globally attributed to the inflators.
The inflators are part of a massive recall effort after it was determined the inflators are loaded with volatile mix of chemicals that can, under certain conditions, explode, sending pieces of metal and plastic into the vehicle’s cabin, often causing injuries or death.