Chrysler is recalling 278,222 Ram, Dodge and Chrysler pickups and SUVs due to an ongoing problem with the rear axles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Specifically, the recall affects model-year 2009-12 Ram 1500 pickup trucks manufactured between Feb. 27, 2008, and June 30, 2009, and between Dec. 1, 2009, and Oct. 20, 2011. Additionally, model-year 2009-11 Dodge and Ram Dakota pickup trucks manufactured from Feb. 27, 2007, through June 30, 2009, and from Dec. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2011 are also impacted.
This recall is an expanded listing of vehicles from an earlier recall that only identified 2010 model Rams and Dakotas, although the exact same rear axle assembly issue is at the heart of the problem. The rear axle pinion nuts could work themselves loose, and the omission of a needed adhesive patch could potentially result in catastrophic axle lockup. This could increase the likelihood of a crash.
Chrysler will begin notifying owners in March, and dealers will install a pinion nut retainer clip for free. Owners with questions may contact Chrysler at 800-247-9753 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236; for more information go to www.safercar.com.