Feds investigating 1 million Dodge, Ram vehicles for potential shifter issue

The government received reports of 25 crashes allegedly related to this issue.

When you put a vehicle in Park, it's reasonable to assume it will stay parked. When it doesn't, you have a potential for roll-aways. According to a new federal investigation, Fiat Chrysler might have that type of issue with some of its trucks and SUVs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started an investigation that looks into approximately 1 million late-model Dodge and Ram vehicles, Reuters reports. This includes the 2013-2016 Ram 1500 pickup and the 2014-2016 Dodge Durango SUV. Fiat Chrysler confirmed that it was cooperating with the investigation.

If you have a Ram 1500 or Durango equipped with this shifter, make sure to engage the parking brake every time you leave the vehicle.

Dodge

All of the vehicles included in this investigation have the same type of rotary-style shifter. NHTSA received reports of 25 crashes and nine injuries from owners who claim the vehicles rolled away after being placed in Park, from a total of 43 complaints. NHTSA recommends owners set the parking brake while it continues its investigation. Investigations are the first step in a process that could, but is not guaranteed to end in a recall.

This is the second time Fiat Chrysler has come under fire for its shifters. Earlier this year, the company recalled more than 1 million cars and SUVs -- including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 -- because of roll-away risks. In that case, the shifters were linked to 68 injuries and nearly 300 crashes.

This past June, Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the Star Trek reboot movies, died after his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a brick wall and fence. His parents sued Fiat Chrysler for negligence as it was believed that his vehicle's shifter design played a part in the freak accident.

Update, 10:04 a.m. Eastern: Clarified language regarding the nature of the investigation.

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