Do you know what to do if your vehicle catches fire? Thankfully, Texas auto writer Terry Box knew enough to steer off the expressway to the side of the road and get out of his brand-new Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn press vehicle, not unlike the model our compatriots in Chicago had for a PUTC quick-drive. Thankfully, after seeing a few other vehicles giving him frantic hand gestures, he eventually stopped the truck, even though, he noted, none of the gauge lights gave any warning whatsoever.
According to his column in The Dallas Morning News (subscriber access is necessary to read the story), Box did later make contact with Ram CEO Fred Diaz, who, as you'd imagine, was apologetic and suggested this could be a "one-in-a-billion" situation.
What did the grizzled veteran journalist learn from the experience? Apparently new pickups burn more quickly than old pickups, he wrote, among other things. No word on whether the auto writer's vehicle was a pre-production or new off-the-line model.
As you might imagine, there are many unanswered questions to this story, and given the nature of our litigious culture, we don't expect to hear too much from Chrysler or Ram Truck about this (thank you lawyers), or any other Ram fire issues, in the near future. However, we have several calls and emails out to various representatives, so we'll keep an eye on this story and report any information we find or hear about.
In the meantime, this is probably a good reminder for all of us to give some serious thought to what safety equipment to keep in our rigs. We take along a few tools, a flashlight, a small fire extinguisher, some WD-40, a tire gauge, and a roll of duct tape (we like Gorilla Tape too) when we travel. What do you bring?