Why FCA is recalling a million Ram trucks


FCA on May 8 opened an investigation as a result of customer complaints related to the tailgate falling open while driving or stationary.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling an estimated 1.1 million Ram pickups in the U.S. to upgrade their tailgate locking mechanisms.

The automaker Thursday said the power locking mechanisms in the tailgates of certain pickups have a small internal component that may break over time. FCA said 1,149,237 U.S. vehicles have the defect.

The recall affects Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2015 through 2017 model years, the automaker said. The trucks have a power locking tailgate and either a 5-foot, 7-inch, or 6-foot, 4-inch bed.

“If the tailgate latch releases and the tailgate opens while driving, cargo may fall out, creating a road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash,” the company’s NHTSA filing states.

Another 260,315 vehicles are subject to recall in Canada, along with 19,432 in Mexico and 25,361 in other markets.

FCA opened an investigation as a result of customer complaints related to the tailgate falling open while driving or stationary on May 8, the safety recall report states. Through May, June and July, FCA analyzed and verified all known incidents related to the problem. As of July 13, FCA identified 5,643 warranty claims and repair orders potentially related to the problem. FCA on July 19 decided to issue the recall.

The automaker said no injuries or accidents have been reported.

Customers will be notified when service is available, the automaker said. In the meantime, FCA said customers may use “alternate features to accommodate load security, including tie-down rings, cleats, high-friction bed-liners, bulkhead dividers and bed-extenders.”

Trucks with manual tailgate locks, with eight-foot-cargo beds, are not included in the recall. The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 is also not included.

The recall is expected to begin Sept. 14.

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