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Dodge

Ram recalls 270,000 trucks for fuel tank separation

It shouldn't fall off completely, but that doesn't make this any less concerning.

If there's one thing you probably don't want coming loose from your car, it's the giant tank of explosive liquid out back. For some Ram owners under a new recall, that could be a possibility.

Ram has issued a recall for 270,254 examples of the 2009-2012 Ram 1500 pickup. The vehicles in question are limited to 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) that live within the so-called Salt Belt: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Ram was spun off in 2010, after Fiat took control of Chrysler and formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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If you're lucky enough to live outside the Salt Belt, it got its name from the copious quantities of salt that are scattered on the road every winter in an attempt to combat snow and ice. Salt might be great for that, but it also happens to be great at accelerating corrosion on metal surfaces -- like those on your car.

Corrosion is at the heart of the recall. A fuel tank bracket may corrode and fail, which would cause the truck's fuel tank to sag. Fiat Chrysler, Ram's parent company, contends that the remaining structural components are capable of holding the fuel tank in place, preventing complete separation of the tank. The tank itself is made out of polyethylene, so that isn't at risk of corroding.

FCA also notes that it has received no reports of accidents, fires, fuel leaks or injuries related to this issue. This is a voluntary recall, which means FCA made the decision to issue the recall without being compelled to do so by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Replacing the strap is likely the solution, but FCA did not include an explicit solution in its press release. For now, affected customers will receive recall notifications via first-class mail. If owners see sagging fuel tanks or hear noises out back, FCA advises owners to call a local dealership.