Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is recalling almost 1.8 million Ram trucks because of a parking issue that may allow the vehicles to start rolling without the driver’s foot on the brake, or without a key in the ignition. The safety issue which prompted the RAM truck recall involves a defective shifter on the steering column, which may not remain in the “park” position.
The company initiated a recall after reports of seven people suffering injuries and a number of crashes that may be linked to the problem. There may be numerous unreported accidents and injuries related to the defect.
Fiat Chrysler has said the brake-transmission shift interlock device on the affected Ram vehicles can fail from long-term exposure to high interior temperatures caused by an electrical problem. Transmission issues have been the cause of Fiat Chrysler recalls in the past, and their safety record has suffered as a result.
If you have suffered an injury due to a Fiat Chrysler truck defect, contact an experienced attorney to investigate the cause and to work for proper compensation on your behalf.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Catastrophic Injury and Product Liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and automobile defect cases like the RAM truck recall litigation.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a voluntary recall of 1.8 million Ram pickup trucks that could be shifted out of park without the driver’s foot on the brake. Of the 1.8 million vehicles recalled, around 1.48 million of the trucks were sold in the United States, with the remaining 290,000 trucks mostly sold in Canada and Mexico.
The models below are affected, but Ram has noted that most of the recalled vehicles are of the heavy-duty variants on the list:
The rollaway issue for Fiat Chrysler is caused by defective steering column shifters. An auto part called the brake transmission shift interlock, which is supposed to ensure a vehicle is not shifted out of park without engaging the brake, has been overheating in Ram trucks.
In some cases, the column shifter has been moved out of the “park” position without pressing the brake or even without putting a key in the ignition. This creates an obvious rollaway hazard.
According to Fiat Chrysler, the overheating issue is caused in part by drivers leaving their feet on the brake pedal while idling in park. As a safety precaution, Ram has advised owners to apply the parking brake each and every time the vehicle is put in park.
This particular RAM Truck recall involves a large number of vehicles, but it is not unusual for Fiat Chrysler, who has issued many recalled in the recent past. Two years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Fiat Chrysler $105 million for failing to promptly notify vehicle owners of recalls and delaying repairs of defective models in 23 recalls which encompassed 11 million vehicles.
A transmission recall is also nothing new for the carmaker. In 2016, Fiat Chrysler recalled about 800,000 vehicles in the United States because owners were having a hard time understanding how a new rocker-style gear shifter worked properly. In 2017, FCA recalled almost 8,000 Challengers for a software defect that wouldn’t shift the transmission into park when the driver moved the shift lever to “P.”
In 2016, FAC faced scrutiny when a famous actor, Anton Yelchin, was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee, made by Fiat Chrysler, rolled down his driveway and hit him. The vehicle had been part of yet another recall related to a defective electronic gearshift.
Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.