The manufacturer of Ram trucks, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has issued an expanded recall of several of its pickup trucks. The problem is that the power-locking tailgate assembly contains a potentially defective piece that could break. If it does, the tailgate could open unexpectedly, even while the vehicle is in motion.
That creates a risk that cargo could fall from the back of the truck, creating a serious hazard in the roadway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Fiat Chrysler had already recalled over 400,000 Ram pickups in 2018. It expanded the recall in May, and then again in August. This expansion adds nearly 700,000 more pickup trucks, including:
- All 2013-2014 Ram 1500s, 2500s and 3500s
- 2015 to 2017 Ram 1500s, 2500s and 3500s with 5-foot, 7-inch beds, 6-foot, 4-inch beds, or 8-foot beds and power locking tailgates
- All 2018 Ram 1500s, 2500s and 3500s manufactured before April 1, 2018
What should I do if my pickup is affected by the recall?
If you’re not sure whether your particular vehicle is included in the recall, you can find out at NHTSA’s safety issues and recalls lookup website. You will need your vehicle identification number (VIN), which is available at several locations on the vehicle, including inside the driver’s side door.
If your truck is included in the recall, you can either contact Fiat Chrysler’s customer service hotline (800-853-1403) or your Ram dealer. The dealership will open the cover of the tailgate and install a block to prevent the gate from unexpectedly opening.
A spokesperson for Fiat Chrysler told Consumer Reports that the company has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the tailgate problem. Moreover, over a third of the trucks included in the initial recall are already fixed, he added.
Registered owners of the affected pickup trucks are being notified. If your pickup was part of the initial recall, you may already have received notice. If it is part of the expanded recall, you should see a notice come through in September.
What if I was injured due to this defect?
Although Fiat Chrysler hasn’t received any reports of accidents or injuries, there is a possibility that accidents have occurred but no one thought to notify the automaker. This issue could potentially result in a sudden roadway hazard, causing drivers to have to think fast to avoid hitting debris.
If you or a loved one has been injured because a pickup truck’s tailgate opened up and spilled debris onto the road, have your situation evaluated by your personal injury attorney.