DETROIT — More than 2 million older Ram trucks have been recalled because of defects that could lead their tailgates to open unexpectedly.
The latest announcement is an expansion of a recall from this spring, but the updated recall is larger, covering an additional 693,128 trucks and adding to a separate 1.1 million truck recall announced last year. Together, the recalls cover more than 2 million trucks, as noted in a posting by The Car Connection.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the company that makes Ram brand trucks, said it is “unaware of any related injuries or accidents associated with either vehicle population” and the recall does not include “redesigned-for-2019 Ram 1500” trucks.
However, the defect could lead to accidents, FCA said.
“An unintended opening of the tailgate while driving may result in a loss of unrestrained cargo from the truck bed. Lost cargo may create a road hazard to operators and occupants of other vehicles, and can cause such vehicles to crash without prior warnings,” according to FCA’s letter to affected customers.
The recall affects 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups equipped with an 8-foot bed and a power locking tailgate, all 2013-2014 and 2018 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups built before April 1, 2018, with a 6- or 8-foot bed and a power locking tailgate. The recall expansion announced late last month affects model year 2013-2014 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups.
A notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the “tailgate actuator limiter tab may fracture and cause the tailgate to unlatch and open while driving.”
FCA said the expansion “is a response to an FCA review of customer data, which is consistent with the company’s continuous monitoring of vehicles in the field. More than one-third of the vehicles initially included in the campaign have been serviced. Notices to customers affected by the expansion will be mailed next month.”
Dealers are to fix the tailgate latch free of charge. Owners with questions can contact FCA’s customer service line at 1-800-853-1403.
The company noted in a message to the Free Press that “all loose cargo should be secured while driving, as stated in the operating manuals of the affected vehicles” and that the company’s trucks “offer alternate features to accommodate load security, such as tie-down rings, cleats, high-friction bed-liners, bulkhead dividers and bed-extenders.”