Chrysler Recalls 257,000 Dodge Ram Trucks Because Axle Failures Can Be Dangerous

We may not know everything there is to know about the inner-workings of automobiles, but we’ve covered enough recalls to know that a properly working driveshaft is a pretty important part of a car. For that reason, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced the recall of nearly 257,000 Dodge Ram pickups.

The Detroit News reports that the Auburn Hills unit of Fiat Chrysler said it would recall 256,956 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks build between January 2004 through August 2005.

According to a notice [PDF] filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pinion nut in the trucks can loosen, causing the rear axle to seize. If that occurs the driveshaft can detach, which could lead to a crash.

Friday’s recall marks the third time Chrysler has had issues with the Dodge Ram’s rear axle.

Back in June, NHTSA opened an investigation into nearly 260,000 Rams trucks after receiving numerous consumers reports of rear axle lock-up or driveshaft detachment caused by pinion nuts.

Consumers reported there was little or no noise or other warnings prior to the lock-up and/or separation.

Of the 15 reports that regulators received, seven occurred at speeds of 50 miles per hour or greater, and two allege that the rear axle lockup caused the truck to go into a spin.

“While driving on interstate 195, I entered exit lane 28A and without warning at 60MPH my rear tires locked up, the driveshaft disconnected from rear and my truck went into an uncontrolled spin.”

The Detroit News reports that NHTSA opened a similar investigation in July 2012 concerning model year 2009 to 2010 Dodge Rams. That October, Chrysler recalled 48,058 of the Rams and Dodge Dakota trucks because the pinion could come lose resulting in issues with the rear axle.

However, that recall wasn’t enough. After NHTSA found 194 reports during its 2012 investigation, Chrysler was prompted to recall another 266,091 2009-12 Dodge Ram 1500 and 8,475 2009-10 Dodge Dakota trucks — along with about 3,500 2009 Chrysler Aspen and 2009 Dodge Durango vehicles.

Chrysler recalls 280,000 trucks in for axle failures [The Detroit News]