Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will recall over 1 million pickup trucks due to rollaway risk.
The recall includes certain Ram pickup models from 2009 to 2017 with transmission shifters mounted on the steering columns. The recall doesn’t affect trucks with floor-mounted and rotary shifters and those built in the 2017 calendar year.
Recalled trucks are mostly heavy-duty with some light-duty pickups, according to USA Today. Around 1.5 million are in the U.S. while over 300,000 are in other countries.
“An FCA US review of field data led to the discovery that Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) may not function properly if subject to specific high-temperature conditions for prolonged periods,” FCA said in a statement. “The conditions are consistent with those that occur when there is protracted brake-pedal application while a vehicle is idling in park.”
Vehicles may shift out of park without the applied brake if BTSI malfunctions. This increases the risk that the trucks may roll away, ABC News reported.
“In such circumstances, a vehicle may exhibit inadvertent movement– if its parking brake has not been set,” FCA said.
FCA gave a reminder in the statement that drivers should set the parking brake per the FCA US owners’ manual.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that seven injuries and a “small number of accidents,” according to Fiat Chrysler, may be related to the BTSI malfunction. The company found the issue after reviewing field data.
“FCA US will restore BTSI function in the vehicles subject to this recall,” Tom McCarthy, FCA’s head of safety compliance and product analysis, said according to Automotive News. Apart from using the parking brake, FCA suggests not leaving children in vehicles unattended– among other reasons, in case the vehicle rolls away.
Fiat Chrysler will repair the defect for free for recalled vehicles.
USA Today reported, “owners will be notified when they can visit dealerships for the fix, which will involve repairing the brake-transmission shift interlock.”
“The issue is not related to a gear-shifting defect that dogged Fiat Chrysler and triggered a federal investigation in 2016 after actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a tragedy involving his Jeep Grand Cherokee,” according to USA Today.
Recent Recall History
Fiat Chrysler had several major recalls within four months. WSJ recapped:
“Last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled about 8,000 late model Jeep Compass model SUVs to fix defective air bags that pose a potential hazard to front seat passengers.”
“In October, it issued a recall for 709,837 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs sold in North America with a potential braking defect stemming from a previous recall three years ago.”
“In September, the company recalled about 50,000 Chrysler Pacifica minivans and almost a half-million Ram heavy-duty pickups and medium-duty work trucks.”
All of the recalls were unrelated and for different models.
USA Today reported that Jeep and Ram drive sales for FCA, though “the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200, highly touted when they were launched, have been disappointments.”